The definition of real-time marketing continues to be elusive. Many have tried to emulate the success of brands that have capitalized on events of cultural significance. These attempts have had varying degrees of success, but what they all have in common is a reliance of quick and reactive marketing over smart and pre-informed marketing using data.
Coupling real-time marketing with data-driven marketing is the key to creating strategy that resonates with consumers. Social channels are unique platforms for gathering data because they ultimately lead to consumer insights that are gleaned from the millions of conversations, likes, and preferences of customers. Whether a company is preparing its strategic plan for next year or trying to choose a celebrity to appear in its next commercial, social insights and social data can guide these decisions by providing intelligence into the consumer’s wants. For example, a cola company may want to use a well-known singer to promote its new beverage geared toward 25-34 year old females. Using social data, it can find out which singers its target market admires and make overtures to sign that singer for its ad campaign.
Enterprise platforms that aggregate and analyze social data are invaluable to pre-informing marketing decisions. As this Fortune article mentions, Samsung leveraged the social insights gleaned from Twitter to both launch a very successful ad campaign to coincide with the iPhone 5 launch. You see a similar leveraging with Nokia’s ads following the iPhone 5C release.
To replicate this type of success, companies need to begin data-driven marketing by looking at real-time data, not just data from a static point in time. Consumer opinion is fickle, and while one day pre-teens may be worshipping Justin Bieber, the next day, they could idolize Selena Gomez. Brands need to analyze the most recent data before launching campaigns to ensure they’re capturing the attention of their target markets. They need to know not only who is considered a trustworthy celebrity but also what their target market cares about: product launches, premieres, or contests.
Marketers can also leverage these social insights outside of real-time marketing to create innovative campaigns, segment groups, and promote the right products to the consumer most likely to buy them. A brand might use social data to evaluate and change how they segment their target audience, reviewing conversations on how consumers engaged with their product. These insights can drastically alter pre-existing perception of consumers and offer the brand the start of a new strategy for marketing—one that reveals the elements driving audiences to purchase.
Data-driven marketing takes marketing decisions out of the purview of Madison Avenue and provides consumer insights that can’t be gleaned anywhere else. On Facebook, Twitter, forums, and blogs, consumers are more likely to admit their preferences and uses for products because they are around trusted contacts. Using this data gives brands an honest, unbiased, and real-time look at how audiences are interacting with content, providing marketing teams with the best strategies for moving forward with campaigns.
The best part of data-driven marketing is that the information needed to pre-inform marketing decisions and refine campaigns is accessible in real-time through platforms such as Networked Insight’s SocialSense. These platforms allow companies to measure the effectiveness of social media, analyze sentiment, and leverage social data as part of a sophisticated marketing strategy. This offers companies a chance to flip marketing so that they are not just pushing information to the consumer but actually listening and engaging.
Over time, drawing insights from social data results in more efficiency because companies don’t have to keep debating what their customers want – instead, it’s right in front of them, ready for the creative team to craft a campaign around it. Data-driven marketing doesn’t remove creativity; it focuses creativity and provides a strategy for engaging audiences so that the creative team can hone in on successful campaigns and the product development team can introduce features that customers will pay for. Combined with intuition, data-driven marketing has the power to embolden companies to develop game-changing products and launch campaigns that drive consumers to purchase.
After all, it all goes back to what the customer wants. Companies that make sure they’re talking to their customers and gleaning consumer insights make more effective decisions and streamline messaging, content, and media planning.