Real-Time Marketing: Experts Reveal What Works, What Doesn't and What to Do When Things Go Wrong Live

By Stephen M Zorio

Delta is not having the World Cup of its dreams.

The airline wanted to capitalize in real-time after the US held off Ghana and decided to mark the occasion with the now infamous tweet seen in the screenshot below.

As the apology makes clear, there are no giraffes in Ghana. While it may seem like a negligible error, it was made all the worse by the fact that it was an avoidable one. And when it comes to real-time marketing, that is a cardinal sin.

ScribbleLive hosted a chat yesterday on real-time marketing, how it's being implemented at the World Cup, the right way to approach it and what happens when things (like Delta's tweet) go wrong. We were joined by  Mark O’Connor, Head of US Media for GolinJørgen Schrøder Aanonsen, Director of Sales and Business Development at TacticJohn Crozier, Senior Account Manager (and resident sports expert) at We Are Social; and Michelle Barna, Director, Social Media Communications at Deep Focus.

You can view the chat in its entirety here, but below are the top five moments from the chat -- including why Delta should have known about the (lack of) giraffes.


Delta had the right idea -- or part of the right idea. The US win over Ghana is the right kind of moment to capitalize on in real-time marketing. But, as our panelists noted, they stumbled before they even got out of the gate.

The number one thing you can learn is to DO YOUR RESEARCH and have sound knowledge prior to posting or tweeting anything!  As I said before, its about quality and not speed! Also, be transparent with your missteps and lay on your sword with an apology! -- Mark O'Connor

To Mark's point, take the extra step to do your research. Even more so when you're jumping into a very large conversation with so many eyes. It doesn't take nearly as long as you think to double check everything - or even triple check. -- Michelle Barna

1) Ensure the right people are signing things off. 2) It's important to be aligned with the other disciplines. So for example, PR and crisis teams. It means that if something does go wrong you'll be able to quickly deal with any issues. -- John Crozier

2) "A perfect storm"

Many people now know Delta did real-time wrong ... so who's doing it (or has done it) right? The answers were varied.

For pure scale and impact it has to be the Oscar Selfie. It was really a perfect storm. Selfies are a 'thing'. It's a HUGE media moment. The celebrities involved. And then of course it all came out that it was a Samsung idea so it delivered that brand message as well, despite the issue over Ellen using iOS to tweet. -- John Crozier

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JetBlue - When it turns 90 degrees you get $90.00 off your ticket! Arby's and Pharrell with his hat at an award show got a lot of chatter.  Also, National Geographic played up the "What Does The Fox Say," by telling people what the fox ACTUALLY does say! -- Mark O'Connor

I ... truly admire the work of Oreo both on Facebook and Twitter, especially the "you can still dunk in the dark" campaign during the Super Bowl. -- Jørgen Schrøder Aanonsen

Heineken NL are also doing some cool stuff with the hashtag #twelftal which roughly means twelfth man and is encouraging content creators to get involved and support the Netherlands, which is the RT'd by the official account. -- John Crozier

3) "A combination ... of factors"

And when you get it right, how do you know? Which metrics matter?

From my point of view real time marketing campaigns that are able to engage a potential customer and build loyalty to a brands knowledge of their product instead of their actual product/service/solution is the best one. We believe that brands need to be set up with tools that make them able to continue their usual internal workflow and serve the client a relevant message 24/7 -- and customer ROI. -- Jørgen Schrøder Aanonsen

Twitter's Kevin Weil on Real-Time Marketing -- and Showing Results

Twitter's VP-product for revenue Kevin Weil weighed in on favorite instances of real-time marketing and the company's measurement tactics.

It definitely is a combination of all those factors. Obviously, for our clients, there is a definite return wanted on their business. But, you also want to be part of the water cooler chatter. That is all part of engagement.  If people are talking about it, then you know you at least got the word out! -- Mark O'Connor

Success needs to be defined on a case by case basis. Each company will have their own measurement of success. For challenger brands it may be to increase share of voice or to improve the size of your community against other companies - which which can both easily be tracked through simple analytics tools. Or it could be to drive sign ups to CRM or create new business leads. I think it's also important to listen to the response you get from real time and use your learnings in future posts to ensure your always improving. -- John Crozier

4) "If done correctly ..."

It's well and fine to look at the successes and the measurements of success -- but how do you get there in the first place? What is the formula for really good real-time marketing?

Timing, prep but also workflow with the brands/companies you're working with. For real-time marketing to be successful it's important to have a well established relationship with the points-of-contact approving the work. You can have a great piece of content but if it's being held because the workflow isn't perfect it's a miss. -- Michelle Barna

While real time is often a reactionary measure when it is most successful is when it is centered in a planned strategic and creative direction. When this does happen the content that is posted flies and the reason it does that is often because ... it's timely, it looks great and delivers against your objectives. -- John Crozier

I like to look at it as disruptive storytelling. it also has to have effective copy and design, hyper-relevant content and remember its about the quality and NOT the speed!  Also, there have been some failures when people DON'T recognize when to speak! -- Mark O'Connor

Being thoughtful. Just because it's real-time doesn't mean it's knee-jerk. What separates the good from the great is the right timing and smart content. -- Michelle Barna

Relevance is massively important. If your an FMCG brand and you are talking about the World Cup you need to really have a good reason to be talking there. Football fans are a cynical bunch and you could easily see a backlash. In addition you need the supporting content to be of a high quality. That could just be copy for a tweet OR it could be an amazing vine, but it needs to fit your audience and the platform's community. -- John Crozier

5) "Players are also going to benefit massively"

So who's on top of their real-time game during the World Cup?

UK supermarket Asda (part of WalMart) really nailed it for me yesterday by jumping on a conversation with @BoringMilner which is a parody account of England player James Milner. They really got his tone of voice and managed to keep the conversation going for a long time. -- John Crozier

EASPORTS! Having Landon Donavon play FIFA in his bathrobe and winning!!! Adidas is doing a great job as well. -- Mark O'Connor

I think the players are also going to benefit massively - their personal brands are really important to their pulling power and this is a brilliant opportunity to develop their follower base. Selfies and the like are really exploding this World Cup. -- John Crozier

Be sure to follow Engage Magazine on Twitter to stay abreast of our upcoming live chats. And learn how ScribbleLive can help you master the art of real-time ... on your own site.

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