How Fast Are You With Your Marketing

In these days of constant connection and 24/7/365 opportunities, you have to be ready to respond to customer questions, sales opportunities, and breaking news or be left behind by your competition from around the world.
The good news is that between social media and tools like Hootsuite you can have your ears on all the time and be ready to respond. Let’s look at a couple of marketing philosophies which can help you out:
Real-time Marketing: If you have your ears on and your tools in place you will be able to participate in real-time marketing. Real-time means news breaks over minutes, not days. It means ideas percolate, then suddenly and unpredictably go viral to a global audience. It’s when companies develop (or refine) products and services instantly, based on feedback from customers or events in the marketplace. And it’s when a businesses see an opportunity and are the first to act on it. (via)
RTM is extremely hard to do ‘on the fly’ and maintain any sense of trust with the customer or prospect. Properly done it involved days, weeks, or months of pre-planning and content creation.
Always Have Your Ears On: When it comes to managing the fire hose of information coming from social media, we have found the best way to be lists. Using list tools on Twitter and Hootsuite, we can follow publishers by specific location, industry or keyword. Check out the image below and note the three business opportunities:
1. The first tweet shows that Illinois is wanting to tax the rich of their state. There is opportunity here for ant-tax activists to share and bemoan this fact, for elected officials to ride to the defense or demise of the issue, and for government affairs folks to contact their contacts who will be impacted by the action to seek contracts to stop the action. That’s a lot of business and action from one sentence.
2. This local cafe does a great job with their food and their service. When they publish tweets like this which we saw in our local #JCMO column for activity in our actual neighborhood could lead to their competitors and neighbors touting their specials or their after-dinner activities. More business for everyone and more business conversation behind a community hashtag which really could use more.
3. While this third tweet might be a joke, its also an opportunity for banks, ATM manufacturers, or even car companies to jump in an show a product highlight which would solve this problem. This is one of the best uses of RTM: find a problem and highlight a solution in non-selly way.
Check out our use of Twitter lists here.
Newsjacking: This is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story and generating news coverage, social media engagement, or sales from it. Be very careful with this tactic as plenty of organizations (dummies)  have ended up with egg on their face for jumping into news about bad weather or news they didn’t understand to sell their wares.

The rule here is to always be listening (again: 24/7/365) for opportunities to help your audience, promote your services and products to new audiences, and to build your reputation as an expert in your field. Just be very careful about how you do it.
UPDATE: The counterpoint to this real-time marketing discussion looks like this: 

Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm headquartered in Jefferson City, Missouri which serves clients across North America. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter.