Real-time marketing techniques have begun to mature, enabling big brands to take bigger risks.
Taco Bell took one by sponsoring a concert at the South by Southwest (SXSW) annual music conference that became part of the brand's Feed the Beat program, a project that financially supports emerging artists with Taco Bell gift cards and opportunities to become featured in the brand's advertisements.
The brand's real-time marketing strategy relied on a camera switching app on Feedthebeat.com that gave fans images from several cameras, along with Instagram posts, Vine videos and Twitter tweets from fans sharing content at the show using the hashtag #feedthebeat.
Taco Bell will piece together the footage from several cameras to form what Lincoln Bjorkman, chief creative officer at ad agency Digitas, calls an experimental fan-made Rockumentary under the direction of documentarian Sam Jones.
"They are rewiring the playbook on how they bring content to market," Bjorkman said, but there's more. "We want long drive-through lines and people freaking out."
Brands will focus this year on responsiveness and speed to market. To get there, Taco Bell keeps listening to consumers "like nobody's business," Bjorkman said. The company entered a world where Twitter tweets become physical interactions with the brand.
American Express, Procter & Gamble, and Taco Bell are some of Digitas' clients, but Bjorkman would only confirm that Sprint taps into the agency's BrandLIVE strategy, which combines social and content to launch real-time campaigns, and encourages brands to take more risks.
It's a mantra led by some at Google, which taught marketers running paid-search campaigns to just pivot if something doesn't work. That thinking drove a stick in the ground, making search the backbone of many campaigns.