Real-Time Marketing Can Lead to Big-Time ROI

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Today's got-to-have-it-now news obsession may actually be a boon to marketers, according to a survey from Wayin.

The social intelligence and marketing software company's “Real-Time Marketing Report” finds that brands that respond to breaking news on social media see a higher return on their real-time marketing investments than those that don't.

The survey, which polled 200 real-time marketers from companies with more than $100 million in revenue, shows that 64% of real-time marketers have leveraged breaking news on social media in the past year. That number balloons to 78% for brands seeing an ROI of at least 50% on their real-time marketing investment, which compares to only 57% for brands with an ROI of less than 50%.

Also, ROI leaders make better use of major events (e.g., the Super Bowl) that afford opportunities for real-time marketing moments (80% versus 58%). The research highlights the growing importance of unscripted marketing campaigns that require brands to be agile, as well as the integration of real-time social content across other marketing channels.

“The best brand marketers no longer rely only on planned campaigns; they're looking to social media to find real-time, consumer-generated moments to power more informed and engaging campaigns–and it's paying off,” Jordan Slabaugh, Wayin VP of marketing, said in a release about the study. “Companies using the right technology to find and analyze these real-time moments and use them in a meaningful way are able to connect real-time efforts to overall marketing goals and greater revenue results.”

Is it real time?

The report also finds that just 4% of marketers surveyed can respond to breaking news and events on social media in less than one minute; this despite the fact that 26% define real-time marketing as happening within seconds. And nearly half (46%) of real-time marketers say they can't respond to breaking news within 30 minutes, while 24% say it takes them at least one hour.

Overall, 93% of respondents say they need to respond to trending social media content in a quicker fashion to improve their real-time marketing efforts. The study also shows that 98% of respondents report a positive ROI on their real-time marketing investments. In addition to responding to breaking news on social media more often, leaders that experience a ROI of at least 50% stand out for several reasons:

Budget: 52% of ROI leaders allocate more than 60% of their marketing budgets to real-time tactics, making them more than four times as likely to do so as laggards (12%).

Technology: ROI leaders are twice as likely to say they feel they have the technology in place to effectively practice real-time marketing compared to laggards (63% to 35%), especially when it comes to the ability to search, analyze, and act on social media content.

Team: 35% of real-time marketers have at least five or more team members devoted to responding to breaking news, trends, and events; 28% of ROI laggards have one two members devoted to real-time marketing, compared to 14% of leaders who have that size team.

The survey purports that real-time marketing is becoming an increasingly valued practice, with brands planning to increase their investments as a result—59% of respondents plan to increase their real-time marketing budgets and 66% say they'll increase social media spend specifically.

“Real-time marketing done right drives real business results,” Slabaugh said. “Marketers should be investing in the resources, strategies, and technology that enable them to make the most of real-time marketing moments that happen every day on social media.”

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