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Real-Time Marketing Backlash

There is a line forming and digital marketers need to choose which side they need to stand on. Do you appreciate good Real Time Marketing (RTM) or are you ready to get behind the bashing? Ever since Oreo more or less invented RTM, brands have tried to glom onto chatter. And a number of Tumblrs and parody accounts have been created to document what they see as RTM ‘Fails’. The latest pundit to throw their hat into the ring (anonymously I might ad) is Real-Time Marketing Sucks. This particular blog goes after everyone from Zappos to Chips Ahoy.

My issue with blogs like this is that they look at the content holistically. Taken out of context, many tweets could look really bad. I don’t think these bashing blogs take into account a brand’s overall social voice. Instead, they look at things in a critical vacuum. In general, the criticism ignores the fact that most brands’ social voices don’t take themselves too seriously in the first place.

Case in point: a harmless tweet from Snuggie Blanket tying into pop culture (Kim & Kanye’s wedding) “wondering” if #KimYe will put Snuggie on their registry. Does anybody who sees this tweet take it seriously? Unlikely. But does it bring a smile to a few faces? Probably. It’s current. It’s social. And it doesn’t deserve a mean-spirited smackdown from an anonymous source.

Frankly, these blog simply seem bitter. Also worth noting: for every pundit that goofs on a brand there are metrics that show RTM can, in fact, have efficacy. Take that there is a Guinness Black Friday Tweet that was retweeted 126 times. Real time marketing can work. And brands shouldn’t be afraid to try it.

On a side note, after doing a little RTM research I think I am going to start my own blog that parodies digital journalists and marketing blogs that use the term… Fail. Please stop.

~ Jaime Hamel, Digital Strategist, The S3 Agency


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