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Real-Time Marketing Is Now Right-Time Marketing

Something delivered at right time doesn't have to be created in real time

October 29, 2014

It’s time for the conversation about real-time marketing to move on. It’s not that the conversation is over. Rather, it’s that real-time marketing needs to evolve into something bigger and more important than simply sending out catchy posts timed to news events.

Biggest Challenges in 2014 According to US Fortune 500 CMOs (% of respondents)

That’s the upshot of a series of interviews we conducted with brand and agency executives for a new eMarketer report, “The Evolution of Real-Time Marketing: What Marketers Are Thinking—and Doing—Now.” Their viewpoints provide a snapshot of the current state of real-time marketing and how companies can expand their thinking about this important topic.

The definition of “real-time marketing” is changing. Many now refer to it as “right-time marketing.” The difference is subtle, but important: Something delivered at the right time doesn’t necessarily have to be created in real time. Even if it was developed days or weeks before, if it is delivered at the optimal moment, it feels real time.

“It’s about the right time. It feels real time because it’s the right thing to get in that moment. Now, that thing could have happened three months ago, but when you received it, it was the perfect thing for you to get at that time. The more data we have and the more companies that pop up with data about where you are and what you may be doing and what your past history has been, that’s going to inform what kind of content is served up to you. And mobile obviously is where this is going to happen.” —Anne-Marie Kline, DigitasLBi

We have adopted a similar but not totally identical moniker, which is right-time marketing. Right-time marketing is about the right message at the right time on the right platform.” —Matt Wurst, 360i and Expion

“I personally hate the term newsjacking because I think it sounds opportunistic. I think of what we’re doing as momentum marketing. We’re using data and insights to create the right content that hits the right people at the right time.” —Charlie Treadwell, Symantec

“Timeliness is the keyword. It’s not actually real time that we’re after. What we’re after is taking advantage of something that people are already talking about and participating in that conversation. If that’s created in real time, fantastic. If it’s not created in real time but it has the same effect, great.” —Marshall Manson, Social@Ogilvy at Ogilvy & Mather

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “The Evolution of Real-Time Marketing: What Marketers Are Thinking—and Doing—Now.”

This report answers these key questions:

  • Why has real-time marketing been so hard to execute?
  • How is the definition of real-time marketing evolving?
  • What are brands doing that’s working, and how are they structuring for success?

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