Biggest Barrier To Real-Time Native Content Is Brands Themselves

One of the massive buzzwords in advertising and marketing right now is "real time." Not just in terms of real-time bidding, but now as an extension to content. There's nothing hotter right now than content marketing, particularly native (where it appears within an editorial context), and so when you throw real time into the mix, you're going to grab attention.

Recent seminars and conferences have all focussed on the need to go real time. I know many social media execs who get in to their agency before anyone else, read the headlines and come up with something witty -- George, the Asda fashion brand, got a lot of traction congratulating William and Kate on the fantastic name chosen for their son, for example.

The trouble is, whenever I've been involved with copywriting projects that need to move ahead swiftly, the bottleneck is always at the client's end. It's not necessarily anyone's fault, it's not deliberate -- but how many brand managers have got an extra hour in the day to suddenly be approving scripts and making fast short-term decisions which could have long-term consequences? How many marketing executives at the client side have the guts to agree that the public will see the funny side of a joke that might potentially raise eyebrows? How many will act decisively compared to those who will find a reason to send it to another team and have a decision based on a lengthy committee process?

That's what makes the Moment Studio launch from Engine interesting. It appears to be set up to hit a waiting client with ideas that get approved in one fell swoop, rather than feeding ideas throughout the day. It's a step forward for sure. 

The elephant in the room, however, is that the agencies are ready, the content creators are primed, the technology is at hand but what's missing is the client themselves -- or at least their availability. 

It's not their fault -- they're busy people. For the agency the campaign is everything, whereas to the client it's one of many things. 

But to walk the proverbial walk, and not just talk it, massive client side changes will be required. 

Real time and native don't require anything new to be created. They require structural and culture change among the thing that's hardest to change at any brand -- its people.

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