Is it time to pull the plug on RTM? #EmmysRTM #RTM


The 65th episode of the Emmy awards was on last night. I didn’t watch, because I find the actual shows more interesting than the awards. However, given that 2013 is The Year of Real-Time Marketing, brands were certain to be posting Emmy-related content as an “almanac” tactic, one of the three types of real-time marketing. And just like fashionistas watch the red carpet to see what dresses celebrities are wearing, marketers watch Twitter to see what tweets brands will be posting.

Some watchers like Karen Geier (above) predicted that RTM would end up like a character in a DirecTV commercial. Others like the anonymous “RTM Sucks” were posting real-time criticism:

 

 

On the other hand, one of the most visible proponents of RTM last night was David Armano, whose Edelman team was working with Ogilvy & Mather to participate on behalf of Glade, both before and during the show using the hashtag #bestfeelings.

So, did #EmmysRTM work?

Digiday would vote no, reporting that “Brands Awkwardly Glom Onto Emmys.” AdAge concurs, telling us “It’s About Time to Get Real about Real-Time Marketing.” But whether you love or hate RTM, let’s look at some cursory data from a random sample of tweets:

  • Glade posted this tweet and received 8 retweets, 7 favorites, and 1 response. Looking at a random past tweet, they received 1 retweet, 0 favorites, and 5 responses.
  • Target Style posted this tweet and received 85 retweets, 169 favorites, and 3 responses. A random past tweet shows 61 retweets, 53 favorites, and 10 responses.
  • Cinnabon posted this tweet and received 169 retweets, 94 favorites, and 10 responses. A random past tweet shows 47 retweets, 38 favorites, and 5 responses. And I just got a clogged artery from researching these numbers.

So what, if anything, does this experience mean for RTM? Not the end — but there are some lessons that brands can take away.

  1. Winning with real-time requires real-time creativity. Cinnabon (!) had one of the most successful posts, outperforming most of the templated, pre-prepared brand content. No graphic, just a well-timed quip.
  2. You have limited resources; make them count. The lack of brands participating in #EmmysRTM isn’t surprising; it’s the least watched of the awards shows. Brands are better off participating in events that have critical mass. The downside is that more noise means less chance for your signal to break through.
  3. Integration is the name of the game. As Digiday points out, some brand participation was quite awkward. Others, like Target Style, fit naturally. An almanac RTM effort should fit into the rest of your efforts, just like well-balanced asset allocation across an investment portfolio.

 


 

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