The age of real-time marketing is nigh, according to a new report by eMarketer.
Marketers are already well-versed in analyzing social media sentiment for clues to brand health, and most have the capability to respond to comments and complaints on social media.
But more are now tapping the services of social analytics vendors, digital agencies and PR firms to also use social data for a variety of outbound marketing activities, according to the new eMarketer report, “Meeting the Need for Speed: How Social Analytics Support Real-Time Marketing.”
An already well-cited example came when a power outage disrupted Super Bowl XLVII, and brands ranging from Oreo to Tide to Calvin Klein took to social media to deliver catchy responses to the unusual situation.
However, this form of marketing goes far beyond simply posting a timely tweet or status update. In this report, Cisco, Dell, Discovery Communications, H&R Block, McDonald’s, SAP, Sprint Nextel and other businesses share how they are expanding their use of social analytics to do much more. They are rapidly creating content that drives more response and engagement, making on-the-fly changes to marketing plans and developing marketing initiatives around topics and events that are trending on social media. Some marketers are also using real-time social data for strategic business decisions, such as product development.
In a 2012 survey conducted by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive, 53% of marketers worldwide said they planned to make greater use of real-time data in 2013.
In addition, 80% of surveyed marketers said they planned to use social media data in their broader marketing efforts.
“The brands that listen in real time and take advantage of that information to either readjust their campaigns or respond to commentary or customer service issues are the brands that are being successful in social,” said Gordon Evans, Salesforce.com’s vice president of product marketing for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
As effective as social data can be, however, a variety of factors hold marketers back from effectively using it in their business, including lack of tracking capabilities and organizational silos.
The chasm between how marketers view the value of social data and their ability to use it is wide.
Marketers must walk before they run; as tempting as it is to explore real-time engagement, they need to have a solid social analytics infrastructure in place first.