Not another marketing buzzword !

images Rob Carpenter recently said  “every couple of years there seems to a new marketing darling, innovated by big brands, that will change the face of marketing forever. Today’s belle of the ball is real-time marketing.  The beginning of any marketing craze is fraught with insta-experts that rush to be a thought-leader and resource on the subject. You see this often when new technologies launch, and within days experts are already providing in-depth advice and best practices for success. What’s worse is that so called “analysts”, who are actually journalists, get up at a marketing conference to talk about the latest buzzwords without in fact actually working in marketing.  Here we go again.

Katy Howell says “in theory, real-time marketing seems straightforward. Follow the trends, be responsive to the interests of your audiences and build a live, relevant relationship with them. In practice, real-time marketing is not quite so easy though. Combining real-time online PR and social media marketing and integrating it with offline communications is time, resource and investment intensive.”

The biggest challenge for almost two thirds (62%) of brands is managing out of hour’s engagement. Social of course, goes beyond the 9-5 of business. Staff need flexible working and a level of trust that lets them work autonomously. Almost a third (31%) of brands also struggle with gaining post approvals.

However, before we even get “into the challenges” shouldn’t we ask if it’s worth it?  I mean Coca-Cola did some great real-time marketing in conjunction with the Olympics, but last time I looked the sales of carbonated soda were dropping like a stone in water.  But it’s a lot easier to talk about a new buzz phrase than to ask “is it really right for  consumers”.  I mean, does the average consumer really give a damn about how fast a brand responds to the Academy Awards or the start of baseball season?

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I am amazed at the pseudo-experts who are asked to speak at marketing conferences to stroke their egos.  I am even more puzzled that so many people pay a lot of money to attend these conferences which have become a profit center for publications like AdAge.

Before ANYONE gets up to speak at every conference, please review what they have actually DONE in real ROI terms not in vanity metrics or writing a book.