Oreo's Real-Time Marketing Strategy Requires Entrepreneurial Spirit

Oreo-Ad-BOreo, the sandwich cookie from Mondelez, revealed insights into its real-time social strategy during a panel at South by Southwest (SXSW), where company and media execs dug into the success behind the famous Twitter tweet during the blackout at this year's Super Bowl.

Real-time marketing requires an entrepreneurial spirit, simple message, willingness to prepare and readiness and ability to act quickly. All the attributes of a startup.

The strategy depends on pinpointing the moment in time that people will engage with a tweet. At this year's Super Bowl, those moments were touchdowns, turnovers, and in this case, a blackout.

Oreo learns from its Facebook Fans and Twitter followers about what works and what does not. The focus becomes raising overall awareness -- not only from consumers in stores who buy the products, but from advocates online.

"There's no reason why this should just work with Oreo," said David Berkowitz, 360i VP of emerging media. Companies need to push the boundaries. "It's open to everyone and anyone if you're willing to put in the work to get the same type of results."

Pay attention to the cultural moments that marketers expect to happen and become a part of them. For Oreo, it happened with a combination of television and Twitter. Bonin Bough, VP of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez International, gets stats on the performance of TV ads -- but he wants to know when the industry will start to see real-time ads on TV. The next wave becomes swapping out a TV spot in real-time that doesn't work with one that does. "Print couldn't work with outdoor and TV couldn't work with print," he said, pointing to mobile and TV as a good combination.

Bough points to the biggest problem being the lack of capabilities at media companies that are "just not built for it." He said "creative agencies might not be ready to deliver in real-time."

One reason may be that attribution models don't work. Bough said last year that the company worked with mobile on the Daily Twist campaign and figured out that it delivered 10% directly attributable to Oreo sales. "We sat down with the media agencies and told them we need you to figure out how to build an attribution model to track our spending in this channel," he said. "We told them point blank -- you don't get paid unless you deliver. The largest revolution in our history, and you can't measure it?"

While attribution models clearly need an overhaul to prove ROI, the panel offered a few pieces of advice to make real-time work for any brand. The shortest thing in supply is effort, so make it count. The equity of the effort matters to consumers. Brands must prepare to engage with consumers on a continuous basis.

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3 comments about "Oreo's Real-Time Marketing Strategy Requires Entrepreneurial Spirit".
  1. Eric Hyman from The Partnership , March 12, 2013 at 8:55 a.m.
    I think the first question that comes up here is not about Oreo or social or real time, but rather, who the heck is Mondelez? OK, I know the spin off of Kraft/Nabisco stuff but funny to see it said so matter of factly in a piece like this as if it doesn't stand out even for long time marketers who might ask that question like I did. I advise socializing that a bit. Then again, consumers don't care about corporate brand. Or maybe they do? Love the real time stuff. When I was with social intel co Networked Insights, our CEO used to say why are the only marketers who work in real time in the movie biz or politics. I always thought that was a brilliant insight. So glad to see it playing out little by little in other spaces.
  2. Doron Tamari from Insightera , March 13, 2013 at 12:58 a.m.
    This is a great piece, and the focus on having the right plan and technology in place in order to be able to market in real-time is key. Insightera offers a great platform to achieve real-time marketing that moves anonymous top of the funnel prospects down the sales funnel by using their location, online behavior, etc. as they visit your site. You can take advantage of opportunities to connect and steer prospects to your site and then provide the most relevant information when they do. I'm looking forward to seeing how companies take advantage of new technologies.
  3. Michalis Michael from DigitalMR Ltd. , March 13, 2013 at 4:35 a.m.
    Fully agree with everything you say in this article. Also check out the accelerated customer advocacy model described in this eBook http://info.digital-mr.com/download-free-accelerated-customer-advocacy-e-book