Keith Errington

marketing strategy
07860 267155

Challenges of the Real Time Web

The concept and impact of the real-time web on marketing is that as information systems improve, connections become faster and cheaper, and people spend more and more time connected to the Internet we will reach a stage where many more marketing campaigns will need to be planned, conducted and monitored in ‘real time’

This is not possible with conventional media – once you have booked a TV ad or a poster site you need to use it – you need to create a poster or an advert ahead of time, and it can’t be changed if circumstances change.
With social media the campaign can evolve over time. The real time web concept suggests it could evolve minute by minute if need be.

In order for marketing to move that quickly there are a number of challenges:
  • Real time monitoring and analysis
  • Understanding the objectives
  • Responsibility and control
  • Flexibility and agility

Real time monitoring and analysis
This will be essential, monitoring of social networks and web analytics will have to produce relevant results in real time. This is not that difficult, many systems can do this right now. The problem is the analysis of that data. This will have to be performed faster than ever before. At the moment most intelligent analysis has to be done by human analysts and it will be a while before computer systems can match their level of understanding and insight.

Understanding the objectives
As a marketer, if you are reacting and responding in real time to developing situation, it is essential that you understand what the company line is on any subject and it is vital you understand what the organisation is trying to achieve. This is easier if you are responsible for marketing strategy, but more difficult if you are not, or if you are working for a third party such as a marketing agency or PR company.
There has already been a number of incidents where third parties have made questionable decisions in the heat of the moment and ended up working against their client’s best interests.

Responsibility and control
Similarly, whoever is carrying out real-time marketing will need to have the responsibility to make marketing decisions as there will be no time to refer them back to a higher authority. They will need to be in control of the marketing budget for the campaign and in turn, control mechanisms will need to be in place to quickly and seamlessly control them.

Flexibility and agility
Given that the real time web will require quick reactions, decisions and deployment of resources, marketers will need to be flexible and agile to survive this environment.

The move to the real time web presents a number of unique challenges for the organisation, brand and marketer – but it’s shaping up to be an exciting, dynamic and rewarding experience.
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