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The real costs of poorly implemented real-time marketing

by | Oct 23, 2017 | Analysis, Public Relations

Reaching customers is more challenging than ever, with so many brands competing for consumer attention. To stay ahead of the game, businesses will often launch marketing campaigns in real time, adjusting their approaches as they begin to perceive the results.

Unfortunately, without the right technological tools in place, many businesses may find they lack the information they need to be effective. Instead, they hear about the trend and immediately launch a campaign. This technique not only dooms a business to failure, but it will likely cost a business a significant chunk of money during the duration of the campaign. Here are a few ways real-time marketing can cost your business money.

Cost 1: Wasted resources

Real-time marketing is nothing new. While it is often associated with the advent of social media, the term was actually in use a full decade ago. In fact, the widespread availability of the Internet likely accounts for a great deal of real-time marketing’s growth, since this constant connection gave brands an outlet through which they could distribute information immediately.

But just because a message can be deployed online for free, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a cost attached to it. Every social media interaction requires the time and effort of a valued employee, whether that employee is the owner of the business, a dedicated social media manager, or another worker. Each minute that employee spends on real-time marketing could be put to use on other business operations.

Cost 2: Lost time

When businesses deploy real-time campaigns without measuring their efforts, they risk spending days, weeks, and even months doing exactly the opposite of what they should be doing. Those days, weeks, and months are time they could be spending doing something that will work. If a business eventually learns a marketing campaign isn’t working, it may be too late to backtrack and start over.

With analytics in place, a team can watch each new campaign and adjust behaviors according to the results. A business could realize posts that are launched during a certain timeframe simply aren’t being seen. Alternatively, a business may realize that when it words a post a certain way, it gets more clicks than when it changes the wording up a little. Without analytics, the business may never have realized it was going in the wrong direction.

Cost 3: Alienated customers

One of the biggest issues with real-time marketing is that it allows brands to launch a campaign without thinking things through. As a result, mistakes can be made. Those could be simple typographical errors or, worse, mistakes where customers are severely misunderstood. When a team doesn’t take the time to think through its campaign and track the results that team risks publicly humiliating its brand in front of the buying public.

Real-time marketing can be effective, especially when the timing is perfect. However, by thinking through your approach before you launch a new campaign, you’ll at least be able to put a small amount of thought into how best to distribute information to customers. Unless the information is extremely time sensitive, every team can stop and strategize for a few hours before taking a campaign public.

Cost 4: Wasted ad dollars

In some instances, businesses actually launch real-time marketing campaigns that involved paid advertising. A brand may pay to promote a tweet or Facebook post that is especially timely to ensure as many people as possible see it. In those cases, a business may be taking funds from its marketing budget to pay for ads that aren’t reaching a significant number of customers.

Social media analytics can make a big difference in a business’s paid marketing campaigns. With analytics in place, a brand can watch results in real time and pull an ineffective sponsored post before more money can be wasted on it. Successful paid marketing campaigns can serve as inspiration for future campaigns, since businesses will now have a better idea of what makes their customers respond well.

Real-time marketing is a great way to communicate with customers in a timely manner. However, it’s important to track campaigns to make the most of every resource spent on launching them.

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Paul Sciglar
Paul Sciglar is a columnist interested in international policies and economic affairs. Certified Accountant with broad experience in strategic analysis, FP&A, investment banking, and investment management. You may connect with him on Twitter.

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