One Year After Realtime NY 11: How Realtime is Your Marketing?

While many brands are still struggling with some of the most basic tenets of social media marketing, some have made the leap to engage in realtime marketing–connecting customer actions or cultural moments to their brands in realtime.  In the case of Pepsi, that leap was made more than a year ago–but the presentation that PepsiCo Head of Digital Shiv Singh delivered at Realtime NY on June 6, 2011 still feels cutting-edge and exciting one year later.

Our friend and TWTRCON SF 10 speaker Shrinath Navghane reminded me that today is the anniversary of the Realtime NY 11 Conference we hosted last year.  It was an amazing event, the last one we’ve had in a while (more on that later), and the first one that we hosted after rebranding this site and our events from TWTRCON to The Realtime Report.

One of the things that  struck me the most about Realtime NY 11 was how much the speakers, sponsors and attendees embraced our new name.  Many speakers used the phrase “realtime marketing” or “realtime engagement” to describe what they do for their brands.  Shiv Singh went so far as to define not just what realtime marketing means, and why it matters — but also how you do it.

The Realtime Marketing Framework

According to Shiv, PepsiCo had created strategies and dedicated resources for the six elements that are critical to the realtime marketing framework:

  1. Realtime Insights – monitoring, analyzing and understanding the flow of data
  2. Realtime Response – solving problems, addressing questions and concerns in realtime
  3. Realtime Content Studio – the ability to take a piece of news that is relevant to your brand and instantly turn it into valuable, sharable content
  4. Realtime Co-creation – the ability for your customers and fans to personalize the content as they’re sharing it
  5. Realtime Distribution – making the content instantly available to anyone and everyone who might find it interesting or exciting
  6. Realtime Engagement – using the Realtime Framework to spark conversations and engage customers and prospects around your brand

Shiv told the story of the Diet Pepsi “Get the Skinny” campaign, which was built around the launch of a new skinny can at NY Fashion Week in February 2011, and generated 90,000 new fans for Diet Pepsi in just 14 days. One of the key shifts that marketers need to make:  thinking realtime means that you’re not focused on buying demographics, but on aligning your brand with trends. For a consumer brand like Pepsi, that could mean pop culture trends; for a b2b brand, that might mean a focus on thought leadership or market innovation.

Shiv was such a strong advocate of the power of realtime marketing that he closed with this recommendation:  “Devote at least half your budget to realtime marketing.

Over the last year, we’ve seen more examples of brands going realtime and the introduction of many exciting realtime marketing tools and platforms.  In March of this year, Golin Harris released research to show that realtime marketing strategies improve brand outcomes.  But the reason that Shiv’s presentation still feels so fresh: most brands are still working to understand what realtime marketing is, how it works and how to apply it to their brand.

One year after Shiv introduced his realtime marketing framework at Realtime NY 11, how many elements of the Realtime Marketing Framework has your brand embraced?


Update on the Realtime Conferences

Many people have been asking about our plans for the next Realtime Conference, so here’s a quick update. After seeing the response to last year’s event, we realized that the shift to realtime marketing represented an enormous opportunity for brands, for marketing professionals, for technology companies — and for us. Rather than rushing into the next conference cycle, we wanted to take some time to figure out how to create an event that was big and important enough to deliver real value to this community. And we wanted to create an event that, in a sea of social media conferences, would really stand out.

We’re almost there.  We’re currently finalizing our plans for a new, bigger and totally unique event, one that is designed to engage all participants in creating the experience, connect the dots between technology innovation and marketing strategy, and bring the realtime marketing process to life.  We hope that sounds exciting to you, and can’t wait to share the details.   If you’d like to be among the first to get the updates, sign up for our weekly newsletter, or join our mailing list.  See you at #RLTM later this year!