Real-time Marketing

What's real-time marketing and how do I keep up?

Doctor Digital Says


There's always something new, changing or evolving with digital marketing. Luckily, we keep up and give you all you need to know just-in-time so you can get on with the work of making your business awesome. This blog, it's real time to look at real time marketing, but what is it?

Real-time marketing means reacting in real, or near, real-time. It's about creating relevant messaging, and it's achieved on social channels by listening to and anticipating customer needs. Essentially, real-time marketing focuses on current events, trends, or feedback.The objective? To connect with your audience and communicate your brand position.

Real-time marketing is reactive but that doesn't mean it is unplanned. It works alongside your marketing strategy, and is deployed when you have a campaign where you want to do a lively awareness raising. You might be able to plan real-time marketing if there's an event or ongoing trend that aligns with your business or sector or a current pressure point for your clients. This shows you are responsive, aware of their needs, and also raising their awareness of a trend, issue or time-sensitive product.

Real-time marketing helps you provide relevant messaging that is tailored to your audience's wants, interests, and needs. One of the best ways to implement a real-time marketing strategy is to have an active social media presence. You and your social media peeps will usually be the first people to know about a current fad or trend if they're implementing social listening (which they should be).

Additionally, you can learn more about your audience and their current interests by looking at your own data from your website analytics. If you can see where interest is building, or trends are developing on social media (using trending hashtags is a great tool too) you can plan real-time campaigns to ride these waves. Real-time is multi-platform, multi-device and multi-channel, so it helps if you already have a diverse marketing strategy.


When you want to implement a paid real-time marketing ad, you can use social media and search engine targeting tools to ensure you reach the right audience. That type of personalization in marketing has elevated real-time marketing efforts so your hard earned dollars are being targetted towards the right audience who are ready to convert their interest to a purchase.

Ultimately, to effectively implement a real-time marketing plan, you should listen to your audience, monitor industry trends, and know where the conversation is taking place. Then, you need to react. Respond to your audience on social media and create assets to discuss what's going on.

Before you implement a real-time marketing campaign, think about your audience and what you want to achieve with your reaction. Once you know the goal, you can create your message, whether it's a social media comment, an email, or an ad.

Real-time marketing shows that you’re aware of what’s going on in the world and gives companies a chance to show their personalities and what gives them their unique brand DNA.

A great example is when fashion brand ASOS had 17,000 bags printed that misspelled “online.” They tweeted, “We *may* have just printed 17,000 bags with a typo. We’re calling it a limited edition.” They included a picture of the new bags. They could have sent them to landfill, but instead made it a feature and brought as all in on the joke, creating hype where no hype should have existed.

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This is a somewhat unusual example as it is a brand reacting to itself in real-time. Usually, it is a brand reacting to an external situation in real-time to capitalise on that moment. Oreo's did a classic piece of real-time marketing during the US Superbowl when the lights went out, suggesting that you could still dunk cookies in the dark. Clever.

Real-time marketing strongly relies on you knowing what is going on, when, and where. Then you need the resources to react in real-time to create the conversation, plus the tenacity to keep the conversation going, which is where you can really engage with your audience and hopefully create some memorable moments that lead to virality, conversions and a little of that digital magic where timing is everything.

Time to get real with your marketing? One of our Digital Ready coaches can help you as part of your free four hours of Digital Ready Coaching available annually to Tasmanian businesses with an ABN. Book a session here.


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