Social Media Helps Marketers Capitalize On Events, Consumer Reactions

KOHLER, Wisc. -- Entertainment executives looking to craft a mission statement for real-time marketing might consider this maxim from AEG Global’s Scott Carlis: “Marketing at the speed of culture.”

Speaking about AEG’s business, which includes live events and sports teams, Carlis said the trick is to monitor conversation and sentiment and be in position to capitalize on a marketing opportunity on the spot.

The AEG vice president in digital and social media spoke on a panel Friday at the MediaPost Brand Marketers Summit.

Denise Humphreys, who oversees digital marketing for the PGA Tour, described real-time marketing as “being able to react to situations as they happen and expand on them and make them benefit your company.”

Obviously, social media plays a dual role in the space, allowing marketers to monitor consumer reactions and offering them a channel to respond swiftly. In the PGA’s case, the tour found conversation spiking about a shot Sergio Garcia hit out of a tree and moved quickly to feed the video on YouTube, which brought 300,000 views in a matter of minutes.

The PGA has an editorial team that continually monitors social conversation.

Caitlin Moyer, a senior manager in advertising and marketing with the Milwaukee Brewers, offered ample examples of how the team uses social media, including as a sort of direct-response avenue. It’s offered coupons with different codes on Twitter or Facebook and tracked the response rates.

She also said digital billboards that allow for messages to be updated in near-real time have been a boon for the team. “One of the most nimble resources that we have … they’ve just been great for us,” she said.

Offering a type of real-time marketing playbook, Tom O’Keefe, formerly with Draftfcb, who recently founded his own agency with several partners, said consumers have a sense when a brand is showing spontaneity. They don’t want canned material or content that feels as if it’s been sitting on the shelf as a marketer waits for the right moment to unleash it.

“Consumers don’t want to be engaged in a conversation started by brands,” O’Keefe said. “They want brands that can engage in conversations that they started. The ability to respond in real time is the definition of that.”

O’Keefe said it’s crucial for a brand to find its voice first and then ensure it carries through on real-time platforms. (He noted Taco Bell and Oreo as brands that have had success.)

The Brewers’ Moyer said an entity starts with real-time efforts, it shouldn’t expect to pull back on the gas.

“Once you start responding in real time, people just expect you to do that and once you stray from that, you’re going to hear about it,” she said.

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