Agencies and Real-Time Marketing in 2015

Today's RTM Tuesday post comes from Kai McMahon, our VP of Agency Business Development. He's giving Chris Kerns a break and sharing the top RTM takeaways for agencies looking ahead to 2015.

In the two years since that famous Superbowl Tweet, real-time marketing has gone from strength to strength, with more and more brands seeing the potential in smart and effective RTM creative. Naturally that means that more and more agencies have needed to get in the game.  The results speak for themselves: when RTM is on-point, consumers response is overwhelmingly positive (more on that here).

For agencies that touch social on behalf of their clients (and who doesn’t nowadays?), the last couple of years have changed almost beyond recognition. Gone are the silos and barriers to direct communication—now social touches every aspect of your clients' business. Now every agency at the table has a strong POV on social, but it is everchanging as the need to adapt alongside consumers is greater than ever before.

This non-stop demand will only accelerate as we pick up speed in 2015. With that in mind, here are five expectations for 2015 for agencies looking to step up their social game:

1) More Real-Time Marketing

RTM is here to stay: leveraging brand appropriate moments in real time is now table stakes for brands in social. Expect to see more agency/client conversations about how brands can be more effective in the moment, and more client pushes to come up with creative and innovative ways to engage and connect with consumers.

2) Definition of Real-Time Marketing Continues To Evolve

The ‘tentpole’ real-time marketing moments will continue to be important, but increasingly we will see brands start to define their own ‘mini-tentpole’ moments. A huge event is great, but a series of smaller events can have just as much of an impact (if not more). As more brands gain their RTM chops, expect to see our definition of RTM continue to evolve, and expect to see greater emphasis placed on watchlist RTM.

3) Data, Data, Data

It's a cheaper alternative to a Super Bowl ad but RTM isn't free—and it's increasingly becoming a key component of brands' social and online marketing strategies. A brand saying the right thing in the right way at the right time can see a big impact, but conversely a misstep can be hugely damaging. Expect to see an increased emphasis on taking a  data-driven approach to RTM in order to make smarter decisions. When it comes to real time: Data = knowledge = power.

4) Real-Time Marketing & Planning

As RTM matures, clients are gaining a better understanding of the work that needs to go into creating good real-time content. Expect to see RTM more integrated into the planning process. Who are we aiming to engage with? What moments in time does it make sense for my brand to be talking about? Which should it keep away from? What’s our issues/crisis plan?

5) Real-Time Marketing Integration

Two years ago most brands only had one agency active in social. Fast forward to today and RTM is playing a role across the board, often with multiple agencies engaged simultaneously. Your creative shop will need to work closely with your digital, just as your TV work will need to be in lock step with your social. Throwing a hashtag at the end of a TV spot won’t cut it anymore.

There you have it. Keep these five ideas in mind as you move into the new year and you'll start to notice your social strategy moving in line with your audience. 

Keep your social strategy moving naturally with content that's relevant. Learn more in Trendology

Kai MacMahon's picture

Kai MacMahon

Kai is the Vice President of Agency Business Development at Spredfast. He has over a decade of online experience, spanning both sides of the agency divide. Outside of work, he enjoys running and his 2-year-old English Bulldog, Brutus.