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Real-Time Marketing and The Client-Agency RelationshipJune 10, 2013 by Brand Algorithms
Real-time marketing, as a marketing concept, has been gathering momentum of late, in this age of social media, always-on consumers, and higher customer expectations. Given the relative newness of the term, it is necessary to define it operationally, so as to preclude any misconceptions about the scope and rigour of the practice. So, here goes: real-time marketing refers to the practices of conceptualising and executing brand communications, and of planning and purchasing online advertising space, on the basis of real-time information from the target market and the online advertising marketplace, respectively. The two components - brand messaging and online advertising media planning - need not be executed together or sequentially: either practice would qualify as real-time marketing. An oft-repeated example of real-time marketing from a brand messaging point of view is the Oreo tweet at this year's Super Bowl, played on February 3, 2013, in the USA. An earlier blog Topicality Turbocharges Brand Buzz, describes what happened. From the media-buying perspective, Real-time Bidding (RTB) and Programmatic Buying are examples of real-time marketing practices.
How does real-time marketing redefine the traditional client-agency relationship? For an answer to that question, let us look at how companies are going about practicing real-time marketing.
Real-time Brand Communications
In an IBM survey of more than 500 companies worldwide this year, as reported by eMarketer, the following findings stood out:
Real-time Bidding (RTB) / Programmatic Buying
Brand-owners, today, are purchasing ad inventory through programmatic buying, often at a lower cost than traditional ad-buying methods. Demand-side platforms and real-time bidding exchanges are automated technology facilitating this practice. As reported by eMarketer, a survey by Digiday and digital advertising technology provider OpenX, of media buyers and publishers in North America, in February 2013, found that:
Reworking the Relationship for Real-Time Marketing
There is more to real-time marketing than brand-owners single-handedly and instantaneously churning out brand-related messages on various social media platforms, as events occur, or purchasing media space whenever prices are attractive. Organisations interested in practicing real-time marketing will have to customize the workings of their marketing and client-facing functions, as well as their agency interactions, in three areas:
Authored by: Sam Oommen Thomas
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