3 Ways to Medal in Real-Time Marketing in Rio

Editor’s note: As you make your marketing plans for the Olympics, please keep in mind the Olympic committee’s updated guidelines for promotion—they’re fairly strict. Find good info here.

Athletes have been training tirelessly and vigorously for the Rio Olympics, yet they aren’t the only ones — coming to you live from desks all over the world I introduce to you, the marketers. The Olympics provides marketers with access to a uniquely large audience. Bringing us to the biggest question of all — what are the benefits and what are the pitfalls of having the whole world as your spectator? Let’s dive deeper into our marketing training and find out.

The pitfalls and how to face them

There is no doubt about it, having such a massive audience can be extremely beneficial if done correctly. If your campaign is a success then you find yourself with an international consumer market as well as a new level of recognition for your brand. Yet at the same time, you are facing vastly different demographics, cultures, languages, etc. How do you target everyone? The answer is you don’t. You use this opportunity to hone in on your target audience and reach the international scope of that consumer base. You will see a much higher rate of success if you market towards one consumer specific group that responds well to your brand or product, rather than wasting your efforts trying to appeal to the world. The best way for you to approach this is market research. Make sure that you know everything and anything regarding your audience so every post you produce is gold medal worthy. Having this information on your target audience is one of the few aspects of real-time marketing that you can fully control. It makes the process of live marketing simpler and quicker. You know who you’re trying to reach, what they like, and the types of marketing that have been effective on them. Now let’s dive into some past events that we can look back to for guidance.

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Lessons learned from the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl this year was in some ways an unintentional practice-run for the Olympics. The busted play for marketers though was Beyonce and Coldplay ranking so high on social stats. Marketers knew they were going to perform during halftime, yet they failed to take advantage of the known event to accumulate social buzz for themselves. This lesson is key for the Olympics. Use the fact that the whole world’s eyes are specifically on Rio and orient your campaigns around occurrences that would interest your brand. For example, if your brand is oriented around the environment, then right now would be a perfect time to create a campaign oriented around the Rio Sarapui. From now until the ending ceremony, the world is taking their attention and focusing it on one city — not just the competitions occurring within it. From audience members to political events it can all be used to generate buzz for your brand, if correctly applied. There is a lot of pre-planned events and appearance that are known to be big social buzz generators. Use that known knowledge to your advantage and have the groundwork for a campaign around those events completed before the Olympics begins. This is where your research on your target audience comes into use as well. If you already have a vast supply of knowledge on your audience, and intel on the specific situations that they are going to be interested in, then creating a campaign that successfully generates buzz becomes simple. Do not let unexpected competitors knock you down to silver when you’re going for gold. Do not make the same mistakes twice, use the Super Bowl as a cautionary tale.

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Real-time marketing

Real-time marketing has become the go-to engagement strategy for marketers during tentpole events. Companies such as Oreo, and Budweiser produced some of the most successful campaigns of the Super Bowl. As the Olympics are coming up, and more and more companies seem to be turning to this marketing strategy, it becomes more unclear whether or not it will still be the winning game plan. Has real-time marketing become an overused and predictable training method? Before you go into a frenzy and start rethinking your whole strategy let’s step back and prepare ourselves in a different way — by looking at the pitfalls of real-time marketing and basing or adjustments around avoiding them. The most challenging obstacle to overcome in real-time marketing is the demand for authenticity. If your audience feels in any way that your campaign is staged then it will do much more damage than good. There is nothing that consumers hate more than feeling like they are being played. Other brands can use your failure for their real-time marketing campaign — both hurting your reputation as well as giving your competitors a larger audience. The way to avoid this is by simply keeping this warning in mind and paying attention to the details of the situation your post is revolving around. The little things matter, especially when you’re marketing an event that has so many people physically present and engaged on social. Real-time marketing also creates the problem of unoriginality. You cannot stand out to your audiences if you are one of fifty companies making a post regarding the same event. This is where the concept of quality over quantity applies. It will benefit you more if you produce one well done and unique real-time marketing post, rather than five that are sub-par. Another way to avoid unoriginality is to hone in on brand voice. If you make it a priority to apply your unique brand voice to all your content, then it will stand out amongst posts pertaining to the same topic. Real-time marketing has many risks, but if done correctly it can take your company all the way to victory; increasing your brand awareness and consumer base to an Olympic-sized level.

Are you ready to be a champion for your brand? The Olympics is all about competition and with the knowledge that you now have obtained you can take the Olympics head-on. We’ll see you on the social field.

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Jacqueline Rosso is the Brand Communications Intern for Spredfast this summer. An Austin, Texas native she is a passionate lover of queso and Texas Honey Ham. She is an NYU student and is working on a future in media, marketing and communications.