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President Obama understands real-time marketing. Do you?

Published November 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

Did you think to add a Halloween element to any of your marketing collateral these last few weeks?

If you did, it needed to have been in a way that didn’t seem contrived or forced. Adding in a picture of a pumpkin or a word associated with Halloween wasn’t enough, and it probably didn’t get your brand much additional visibility.

President Obama took a dive into real-time marketing yesterday with a tweet that promoted the Affordable Care Act. It featured a pumpkin, ghost, skull and Frankenstein head, with the message: “Some people want to scare you out of getting affordable health insurance. Don’t let them trick you.”

Nearly 2,000 retweets later, the message has clearly had an impact on the Twittersphere.

Be more like Oreo and less like AT&T: Two real-time marketing examples

Many of the stories you’ll read about real-time marketing will inevitably cite Oreo’s “Dunk In The Dark” tweet, sent in the middle of the blackout that stalled the Super Bowl last February. That message, which has since been retweeted 15,000 times, is Exhibit A in how a brand can seize on current events to gain instant visibility.

What you shouldn’t do is appear exploitative, which was the charge leveled against AT&T for its ill-timed September 11 “Never Forget” tweet that also shamelessly promoted one of its products. Even after AT&T apologized, the outrage continued.

As long as you show some level of nimbleness and creativity in your real-time and social media marketing efforts, you’ll appear more accessible to your customers, which should ultimately boost your bottom line.

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