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Social Media Darling Oreo Does It Again
Earlier today, Kit-Kat’s Twitter provoked the Oreo Twitter handle with a cheeky game of tic-tac-toe, and though it was a quick game, it has the internet abuzz.
Oreo cleverly responds with the following image:
Boom and #micdrop.
I can only imagine the amount of fun the community manager/content manager has when he or she creates content for this brand. Oreo has built a tongue-in-cheek brand voice without getting overly annoying. While some Twitter handles’ shticks become a bit stale and trite, Oreo has been rolling with the punches and content feels like reactions in conversations. The brand kind of built this persona of the cute, witty guy at parties who always has something funny to say about last night’s episode of whatever or current event — it doesn’t always feel like a team of marketers behind every tweet.
Again, the internet is applauding Oreo’s real-time marketing charm. Ugh, this brand is like the Jennifer Lawrence of brands on social media. Somebody gag me with Oreos.
Real Time Marketing: Five Ways to Improve #RTM
Coming off the success of some brands at the Superbowl, several are now trying to capitalize on big cultural events by creating content in which they can interject themselves into the real-time zeitgeist. The advertising/marketing/PR world has dubbed this as “Real Time Marketing” or RTM for short (everything needs an acronym in order to sell it as a service). You can check out some of the examples from The Oscars on Twitter at #OscarsRTM.
One thing to note is that RTM execution is nothing new. Regardless of what the social ninjas tell you it’s been around since the advent of live blogging and live tweeting. There are several that want to state it is a new trend in order to charge more hourly rates to provide a service seen as innovative. Too many of us who are introverts but have been doing social for awhile need to speak up. In 2010 I performed the first content RTM campaign for Coca-Cola around the American Music Awards (in which they were a sponsor and we wanted a social integration to their TV ads) and in 2009 around Davos where The Economist live tweeted speeches of the participants with color commentary (a first). In terms of live RTM, many brands just weren’t involved that much in such executions until recently. Then again, social has always been about people connecting with people. Social platforms are created with a UX in mind to foster connection, the sharing of information, messaging and interaction with others. As a result, many people do not want to interface with brands that are simply pushing messaging on others with content they are trying to squash into the public’s cerebellum about the need to seem relevant (unless of course these people follow said brands and then, well, I guess maybe they want that?).
The acceleration of social TV and the second screen experience has kickstarted an RTM movement that brands want to utilize using the social sector to reach their audience in an era of declining advertising views. It’s also a way to cut back on their paid media in the long run (that’s the ultimate white elephant in the room no one wants to discuss). This makes sense. Brands simply want to engage where others are engaging. However, much of this RTM fascination has probably been sped up in the marketing services world by several on both brand and agency sides of the spectrum stating that they “want to be like Oreo.” Yet, performing RTM requires improvements in order to make one’s messaging resonate going forward. My feeling is the ad world is being disrupted and RTM is simply a knee-jerk reaction to remain relevant in a world where people want less, not more interaction with brands around their leisure activities of something as simple as watching television.
What RTM does in its current state is simply execute a “push” model using Twitter (possibly Tumblr, rarely Facebook since the EdgeRank algorithm deems it impossible to implement) as the channel to deliver messaging into where everyone is congregating online at a given time. Makes sense if you look at it from the old traditional advertising model used for much of the last century. Go where the impressions are and bombard them with buzzwords. Or “spray and pray” is the moniker. Usually I like to stay away from debates or opinion regarding the advertising industry and social media as carried out by the agency world for fear many will see my observations as criticism. For those who are good in social my observations should be seen simply as guidance to improve your RTM program moving forward. There are two reasons I wanted to discuss RTM. One is I’ve taken my time and listened to what people have had to say (including consumers) about RTM. I’ve used analytics and sentiment to gain some advantage of what has been said and what people have liked and didn’t like. That’s the big key learning insight about social. Everyone is so quick to want to talk in the echo chamber they fail to do what good people should do using emerging social technology. Observe, listen and reshape. Secondly, from performing many early experiments with live RTM I have learned a lot over the years about what works in social from a behavioral level. It’s great when agencies and brands want to establish “newsrooms” or “publishing models” and “editorial calendars.” Trust me, these are all good things that note the evolution of communication in the 21st Century. Social media snake oil sales people like to tell you of hot new shiny objects so they can sell you an expensive product. I want marketer’s to simply get it right via evolution and taking into consideration my point of view.
In the interest of being transparent (and those that know me realize I speak my mind and like to be honest and honesty is just a good policy in life and the evolving business world), I’m writing this not in the bid to get your business. Nor am I writing this to cut on some of the examples committed during The Oscars. The 30+ brands that decided to do this I commend. There is nothing wrong with trying new things. My notation here is that I’m simply stating that RTM isn’t for every brand and the way it’s being presently executed is more “advertising in real time,” and not the essence of “social” in real time which involves connection, conversation, advocacy, measurement, fine tuning, evolution. I witnessed none of this with the “one way street” examples from The Oscars. My goal in the sharing economy is to help others build a stronger business as a result of my thought leadership. That’s the point of creative intelligence. The reciprocity factor. You get information many “experts” usually charge a lot for to help your business, you share it, some people question it, some people use it, some ask for additional information and then maybe through all of that some people decide to work with me. This is the essence of B2B social in which I am part of after spending years in B2C social. Maybe this is why I have a differing opinion on RTM than many of my consumer packaged goods counterparts.
In addition, from my parents having both been in academia there can be civil debate about subject matters. I realize some people may have not enjoyed the examples of RTM last night and commented (I was one of them) but guess what? There’s a learning lesson in all of that which can be used going forward. My hope is brands can learn from their trial and error and hopefully evolve RTM more into a conversation with the possibility of connection rather than simply creative expression and amplification. If they treat it as the later, they’re simply using Twitter as their TV/Radio/Print ad rather than using these platforms in a unique connective manner.
Here are the top 5 ways brands can improve RTM going forward:
1. Think of your goal and how you want to become part of the conversation. Not be the the conversation. Too many of the RTM content examples try to amplify to the point where they are trying to cast a wide net rather than speaking to their audience. Think of your audience first. That’s why they follow you. Don’t think of the virality of the message and how big you are going to make it. Viral is a dirty word. It doesn’t exist. It’s been killed by social ninjas who have never conducted campaigns for large Fortune 500 brands but somehow their personal tweeting and content creation for their Tumblr has led them to run these big initiatives. Your audience follows you for a reason. Speak with them first. If they like what you have to say, they will speak back and you need to be prepared to keep that convo going with more content that may have nothing to do with the program on-air. Think second screen and think mobile. Remember, many people don’t even pay attention to the show. What are you doing to capture a conversation with them much like you are in the same room? Don’t think of the masses. That’s what paid big media is for. Keep it intimate and unique. One-to-one where you can.
2. Use analytical reasoning and insights to figure out if your audience or potential customer audience is going to care about what you produce around these events like the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Oscars, the State of the Union, the World Cup, the Olympics or countless other live big events. People only want to hear a brands POV or creative if it’s personally relevant. This is social, not television. Stop treating it like that flat screen in your living room. Ask why people share, interact and talk with one another in the first place. If you’re there to sell and not listen you’re missing the point. Relationships are two way now. If you haven’t checked the barometer using data then you are probably not going to know what to talk about or what your potential customers want to talk about. Some brands just created content during the event. I barely saw anything on Monday when the event still resonates. Missed opportunity? Definitely.
3. Ask if your brand fits into that event. I get why Oreo was doing content marketing around these events. People eat snack food when they watch television. But a breakfast cereal? That’s the last thing on my mind. A marker? Come on! Like you use a marker when you’re on your smartphone/tablet? Think beyond simply content. What is the context? How do you want your brand to be perceived if the content is shared by your followers? And what events can your brand own that isn’t cluttered with other brands? This helps you move away from the crowd to take ownership on niche targeted events rather than mass scale events. Who will do live RTM around season finales? Who will do live RTM around live conventions? Why didn’t any brands live tweet during the Daytona 500? Social is a microscope not a loudspeaker. Apply that to RTM and you may see measurable results. Think “slow social” rather than speed for once.
4. Can you make it financially work beyond simply a once and done campaign model? So many brands want to do this and devote some budget when the long tail is they should devote 365/24/7 resources to the “always on” news model more than simply “let’s do some content during that event.” Social is moving full time. If you want to make RTM work, it must work daily, not simply around The Oscars and a few events here and there. This again is not a television campaign. Ask if the people you are working with have the right skillsets to make this a reality. Many will say they do, most have probably never live tweeted an event in their life or understand user behavior or attention deficit disorder during television viewing events. Find the right partnership where you’re not bogged down in legal review around every tweet, piece of copy or piece of content. Be open with knowing your content will be shared, maybe made fun of, maybe derogated.
5. Come up with more than gif or jpgs that remind me of bands trying to get people to a show ala low tech flyers. Don’t sound desperate. Don’t try to ram a square peg into a round hole. Where are the brands that have a Spreecast or Google Hangout chat set up with interesting personalities to talk during the television commercials for colorful commentary and participation? (just give me credit here if you do this for your next RTM campaign, ah who am I kidding, you’re all vultures;)) Remember, social is now a participatory model. Always has been but is even more so due to things like the “Harlem Shake” meme. How do you make your RTM move beyond simply “liking” or “retweeting?” What exists for others to remix? What questions are you allowing people to ask and answer? What is making your audience care beyond the fact you are simply asking them to be a conduit for your tired ad disguised as a piece of content in a tweet? Be creative. That’s the beauty of social and the second screen experience. A bunch of agency folks sitting with brand folks eating pizza and making jpgs because they heard about “newsjacking” does not make a social RTM experience. What will you create that resonates long after the event is complete? Remember that social has amazing power in that respect. The majority of brands were simply thinking in the here and now, a one night stand, not a marriage and certainly not the long tail. That is so 20th Century to think one night of impact. Think 21st Century and keep experimenting. Innovation isn’t simply stating you performed RTM based on how others have done it in the past. Innovation is doing things only you have imagined and making them become real. Was your campaign a failure? What’s failure anymore in an everything is beta society? Keep learning and evolving. If you want to treat the channel like an ad, that’s fine. Just don’t complain when people like me tell you to knock it off or tell others to simply stop following you. That’s the beauty in a world where open communication is for all not just the few who can afford to purchase it.
“Agencies, brands must retool their approach for real-time age ”—http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Real-Time-Marketing-Drumbeat-Gets-Louder-Agencies-Brands-Sign-On/1009869
What are the most effective B2B examples of ‘real-time’ marketing you’ve seen or been involved in?
IDM B2B Council member, Pete Jakob, UKI Brand Manager, IBM will be sharing a real-time marketing case study at the IDM B2B conference on 24 May, detailing a campaign he led last year around IBM’s broadcast sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup. He recently put the above question to members of Linked In. Below are eight of the replies he got back. Read all the replies on the IDM LI group and on LI Answers.
Tim Morgan: At our B2B agency, we’ve been trying out a new technology with clients which involved Augmented Reality. One example would be where a user uses their smartphone camera with a printed brochure. This is totally the bridge between the digital and human worlds. The app allows the person to point their smartphone camera to a part of the brochure page such as a product photo and on your smartphone screen comes up content such as a video explaining this product in more detail or maybe a photo where you can use your fingertips to rotate for a 360 view. More can be done, this is just the start.
Graham Archer: Speaking personally, and I’m sure IBM have better data than this, but I like many probably only use 5-10% of what my PC / Smartphone etc etc can do - and I use more than most! Interesting discussion for us in the marketing fraternity - just feel that many consumers don’t really see the relevance and benefit to them as of yet- so its back to us again!
Pete Jakob: @Tim: Interesting thoughts Tim. Part of my remit is managing our newly refurbished customer centre (IBM Forum London) on the South Bank. I think things like AR and QR Codes
Update on @maryforauditor & Social Media #VoteRepair #Mapoli #Mauditor
There’s been a bit of discussion surrounding my recent high-speed encounter with sign for Massachusetts State Auditor candidate Mary Z. Connaughton.
To recap: Two days ago, while driving eastbound on Route 2, a MaryforAuditor sign dislodged from the truck transporting it and damaged my car. A motorist stopped to inform me that the truck, which was carrying political lawn signs, sped off. As a result, I came to the reasonable conclusion that the driver was providing a service to the candidate, so I reached out – over all digital channels – to remedy.
When the candidate’s team failed to engage me, but instead removed from her Facebook Fan page the photos of the lawn sign penetrating my vehicle, I blogged about it. I also told some folks my story. This resulted in a number of supportive comments, tweets, and blog posts, including this one from The Huffington Post. It also led to some criticism, which I will get to momentarly. But first an update.
Mid-day yesterday I received a pleasant call from Karen Barry, a spokesperson with the Connaughton campaign. Ms. Barry spoke earnestly and empathetically. My fundamental question was obvious: “Who was this driver, and was he affiliated with your campaign?” The answer was honest, yet unfulfilling. She explained that Ms. Connaughton runs an “all volunteer” campaign, meaning the team has no way to reliably monitor exactly who is doing exactly what at any given moment. Supporters, it would seem, help whenever they can. Ms. Barry did say, unsurprisingly, that no driver called headquarters to explain that he left the scene of an accident in which his negligence damaged someone else’s vehicle and jeopardized their safety.
Ms. Barry and I agreed to keep in touch. I called my insurance provider and informed her via email that I am responsible for my deductable. She hasn’t replied yet. I am unsure if she will, but, to be fair, she gave me no reason to believe she wouldn’t.
Some folks, as expected, have criticized me. One suggests my tactics were strong-arming; another suggests that if my car were to hit detritus in the road, I wouldn’t expect the manufacturer to accept a portion of the blame.
Regarding the former, I suppose for someone who hasn’t accepted that social media have reshaped expectations placed on communicators – that is, the public now has a one-to-many voice and, fairly or otherwise, expects to be heard and engaged – then, yes, this approach could resemble strong-arming. It’s actually an interesting debate.
But the latter argument – that I wouldn’t pursue Rubbermaid if I collided with their trashcan – is flawed. I will propose a more accurate analogy:
Let’s say a family moves into the house next to you. The new homeowners invite friends to lend a hand with the move. One of the helpers carelessly throws a box out of the back of the moving truck, shattering your picture window. Seeing what he did, the negligent helper runs off. Unable to voice your concern to the person who committed the act, you take the next reasonable step: You pound on the front door of your neighbor’s house. You want information. You want a remedy. But they refuse to answer. How would you feel?
Stephen Fry Quits Twitter Again After Article Controversy
We have faithfully and fairly reproduced Stephen Fry’s quotes in his interview with Attitude magazine. It fully and accurately reflects the opinions he expressed. He has no grounds for complaint against this newspaper.
So The Observer has strongly denied misconstruing any of Fry’s comments saying they reproduced them as they were expressed.
Based upon Stephen’s response, I very much doubt he meant it in perhaps the way they have implied. Would you respond in such a manner if someone accurately quoted your every word?
Now, normally this blog isn’t written based upon non-sporting events or issues, but I am such a fan of the man Fry that I felt I compelled to write about it.
Here is a a perfect example of controversy between a news medium and a person it has written about - but played out live. As soon as Fry found out about this article in which his words are taken perhaps out of context (even supported by the editor of Attitude magazine, Matthew Todd) he responded using the medium he knows best. Twitter. A beautiful ‘real-time’ response that I was fortunate enough to watch pan out in front of my eyes.
As I logged into my twitter account (@aston_ward) earlier today, the very first tweet on my feed was Fry’s reaction to seeing the news story. I was surprised, as I’m sure many others were too, to see his use of profanity aimed towards something more serious than his normal light-hearted tweets. Then as time went on and after some refreshing of the page by me, low-and-behold a second tweet - ‘Bye bye’. Oh dear. It’s happening again.
I then immediately searched ‘Stephen Fry Twitter’ in google and there were already tweets and a news story about how he might be leaving once again….about 20 minutes after it had happened… One was an actual news site that had picked up on it immediately.
So ignoring the plight of Stephen for one second - here was a beuatiful example of ‘real-time’ responses across the internet and I was watching the reaction pan out.
Subsequent refreshing of the page has now lead to an increase in news stories to 21 news articles - and no doubt this will increase.
So what use is this to you, the reader?
Well unless you like Stephen Fry, not much? Wrong. This beautiful organic process of real-time spread of information and news across the internet is a perfect example of what David Meerman Scott calls ‘Real-Time Marketing and PR’ - events unfolding in the world that people comment on in real-time making them spread like wildfire.
If businesses can respond to events in real-time as they are happening it opens up a world of opportunities. A company can have a product or service and watch is developed or refined immediately based upon customer feedback. Let’s say someone goes to play golf at a golf course and hated it because of a problem with the golf course condition or a maintenance issue but never figures to tell anyone, but then decides to voice it on Twitter or some other social-platform. Most companies would miss this and merrily go on their way without knowing that their customers are having bad experiences and also telling other about it.
Not good PR eh? So what if the golf club had, for example, a Google Alert set up for their name. And the update comes in showing the bad feedback about a maintainence issue. They see it and can do two things - 1. they can contact the customer and explain the situation and what they are going to do to solve the issue (and perhaps offer something as a gesture of good will for the inconvenience) increasing customer relations and PR; and 2. they can immediately act on fixing the issue in the first place preventing it from happening to another customer at a later date.
Something so simple can go a long way.
Another example could be if a golf resort is monitoring searches for golf travel in their location/destination. They see on Twitter that someone is looking at their location but can’t decide where to go. The golf resort can instantly see an opportunity. They reach out to the individual, create a connection between themselves, suggest their resort, and perhaps offer some sort of incentive like a discount or something special just for them. Business from effectively nowhere, and all it took was some monitoring that can be done automatically by a simple piece of software IN REAL-TIME…
So, on a personal note Stephen, I hope you do come back to Twitter, I really do. Your beautifully crafted tweets are the best out there. But in the meantime…thanks for the help with the real-time marketing and pr…….. (see what I did there…?).
Something Surprising: Dunk In The Dark
Brands spend millions to get on TV during the Super Bowl, but it’s what happened off the screen this year that will be remembered. When the lights went out, Oreo was ready and quickly inserted themselves into the social discussion with a photo that aligned their brand with the real time conversation. The photo was Retweeted more than 15,000 times and liked more than 20,000 times on Facebook. Other brands with clever, rapid responses included Audi, which took a shot at rival Mercedes-Benz, and Walgreens, which reminded fans that they stock plenty of emergency supplies.
–Cory, 100 words