Over the past few years, reactive communications have become more and more popular within the digital space; particularly so with the explosion of social and mobile media. But what can this do for your business?
For those of you who might be unsure as to what actually constitutes reactive, here is a brief overview.
Reactive marketing sees businesses tailor and adapt their communication efforts to take advantage of a significant hook, whether it’s a current event, competitor or consumer action. You might also know this as agile marketing or, more commonly, piggybacking.
Now, while it’s nothing that’s particularly new, its prevalence certainly seems to be on the rise. With more and more consumers acquiring instant access to information anytime, anywhere it comes as no surprise that many brands have already noticed the value of investing in agile strategies to support their promotional activity.
Why Invest In Reactive Marketing?
So, now we know what it is, let’s take a look at the reasons why your team should acknowledge the potential it has to enhance business and why they should allocate sufficient time and resource for future campaigns.
Improve Brand Identity & Earned Media
First and foremost, the payoff can be enormous. Most companies who successfully pull off some kind of responsive tactic have seen the popularity, awareness and perception of their brand skyrocket as a result; especially if they can hijack a globally publicised cultural event or phenomenon.
Oreo set the precedent for this, at least on social media, when they took to Twitter with this low cost- yet powerful ad during 2012’s Superbowl.
For 34 minutes, screens around the world showing the NFL’s chief event went dark after a temporary power cut. They responded with this one trademarked image with the brilliant tagline “You can still dunk in the dark”.
The content was picked up by news sites, blogs, and social networks from all over the world and achieved an enormous amount of shares across Facebook and Twitter leading to a significant amount of earned media, which then ended up driving its reach even further.
Support New/Existing Products
Reactive marketing can also be used as a means to support launches of new products and services or even revitalise demand for existing ones that have become saturated or started to decline.
Some of you might remember a while back that a certain member of the Royal Family was caught in a number of compromising situations by the paparazzi.
Off the back of this, the men’s deodorant producer Lynx decided to create this print ad which tapped into the widespread news coverage and tie it in to support the release of their latest fragrance – an action completely on par with the aspirational, playboy advertising initiatives that the company is so famously renowned for.
A more recent example of this can be seen by Snickers and their latest commercial. With the upcoming Godzilla blockbuster hitting cinema screens soon, Mars have quite sneakily built an advert that features the monster; utilising the hype for the movie by directing it towards the Snickers brand. Check out the ad below.
Drive Interaction, Engagement And Sales!
Its use is also a great way to drive, prompt and encourage interaction and engagement between your brand and consumers; particularly with clever and provocative actions that are similar to that of Oreo and Lynx. Just look at the Twitter stats.
A fruitful campaign also has the potential to substantially shift your sales forward as Oreo discovered. Though this is not always a guarantee, it certainly does help if you are already secured in the market with an esteemed and established identity.
How Can Your Business Leverage Reactive Marketing?
A successful campaign is not reliant simply on chance. Preparation is everything. Even Oreo had a strong social strategy in place, which then went on to inform their Superbowl ad.
Closely monitoring your surroundings and keeping your ear to the ground is really the only advice to give, but take note, there are a number of fool-proof ways to do so:
- Where possible, you should think about how your business can get involved and take advantage of a situation, whether it’s specific to your industry or society in general.
- Make sure your Marketing or PR department is regularly searching global and industry news sources. Is there a widely publicised event occurring at the moment?
- Frequently check up on social media. What hot topics are currently trending? What seems to be driving the most engagement?
- Set up Google Alerts to notify you with up-to-the-minute happenings and trends in your industry and out.
- Cultural sites like Mashable and Buzzfeed and blogs and forums are usually some of the first sources to break news online. For news that is sector specific, keep an eye on coverage from the likes of Marketing Week.
- Pay close attention to your competitors – monitor their news, press releases and current promotional activity and respond in kind. Take a look at this example of Audi and BMW in their 2012 billboard war.
- Is there a world event going on at the moment that audiences from all over the world can collectively relate to? This might be sports related, a political movement or some kind of societal change.
Once you have found an opportunity to explore, your creative team will need to work quickly while the topic is still hot to get the numbers reeling in.
Developing Agile Material
When creating content you’ll need to consider three key things:
- What’s the in for your business? Considering the tone and identity of your company, how can you engage with a subject in a way that will be familiar with an audience?
- Does your product, service or brand ethos seem at all related to the topic at hand and fit the bill?
- What’s the best way to address the subject? Will it be a vignette, textual article, TV advert or a social media campaign?
As soon as you have made your decision and the content has been created, it’s time promote it and see how well it is received.
If you have anything you would like to share with regards to reactive marketing, please feel free to leave a message in the comments section below.
Light bulb image courtesy of Bigstock
Oreo ad courtesy of Wired
Lynx ad courtesy of PaulMartinBlog
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