Magic Moments: Why Real-Time Matters

Surging monsoons from the South China Sea ushered a rainy start to 2018 to much of Asia. From the Philippines to Indonesia, umbrellas went up as showers poured down over fireworks displays and revelry. In these times of celebration, changes in the weather or other conditions become part of the moment, and a window of opportunity for marketing.

The formula behind high-performance campaigns with moment marketing can be summed up as three “R”s: readiness, relevance and rigor.

Be ready – spontaneity is key

In the eyes of a consumer, a brand’s moment marketing efforts could be identified as ‘seizing the moment’ – a well-executed creative could look like a snap decision by an advertiser. However, there is now plenty of data available to uncover and prepare for micro-moments. Google’s 2017 Year in Search shows a rise in “right here, right now” searches. Consumers are now searching for immediate solutions, to the point where if it starts raining, there would easily be a spike in searches for “umbrella shops near me”.

Instead of waiting for suitable moments to present themselves, marketers can pre-empt these moments, saving both time and resources by preparing a range of creatives ahead of time. Automating the execution of these ads through rule-based decisions frees up further resources for marketers to optimise their campaigns and ad spend through improved targeting. Sporting events, in particular, are a good starting point, as the nature of it presents predictable moments. Win, lose or draw – marketers intending to capture the attention of their fans should be ready to engage at every opportunity. Brands such as Airtel have utilised this to award-winning effect, sending weather and sports results-triggered creatives during India’s ICC Champions trophy in June 2017 to grow their traffic by 50%.

Be relevant – integrate brand content with consumer interests

In moment marketing, it’s easy to get carried away trying to be first. However, speed is only one part of the equation. To cut through the crowd of content on social media, brands need to make sure they are able to identify the interests and concerns of their audience, and speak directly to them. The creative and copy should be able to resonate with their viewers in order to elicit the maximum amount of reactions, which leads to better ROI.

This may sound daunting, but many companies already have the data, or are in a good position to collect the data required to know what triggers a reaction from their target market. Related searches, for example, are a good place to start when deciding on the type of content that best speaks to customers. Similarly, any information on customers’ past behaviour will help with segmentation, enabling brands to develop different sets of messaging.

Be rigorous – make moments part of your everyday

As with any other marketing effort, moment marketing requires advertisers to be strategic, and have a keen understanding of tactics that will elicit a response from consumers.

Rather than being one-off runaway successes, well-executed moment marketing campaigns are often the result of constant, conscious optimising of regular ad campaigns. These campaigns are one of the best avenues through which marketers can identify their ‘golden moments’. Do your campaigns indicate a small but consistent spike in response or engagement at certain times? If so, the underlying reason will usually point the way to moments that you can count on for great results.

In Southeast Asia’s tropical climate where the weather is unpredictable, a café may see more interest in hot drinks on a rainy day but cold drinks on a sunny day. In place of seasonal ads, they can prepare relevant creatives to trigger based on the weather. Besides the weather and sports results, other live data sources can also drive sales, such as monitoring real-time traffic data to trigger location-targeted food delivery creatives when an area is affected by a traffic jam.

Moment marketing is no one-hit wonder – only brands with the right data and skills will find a way to turn these moments into a stream of steady sales.

The power of a moment

As consumers become increasingly mobile in all forms of content consumption, one thing is for sure: real-time is here and there’s no going back. Whether it’s engaging with existing customers or reaching new ones, it is up to marketers to decide how they want to capitalise on relevant moments with their audiences. Predicting and harnessing the marketing potential of moments will unlock endless possibilities.

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