In the digital era it's essential to build up your online reputation and your public image. That's why it's important to know what to say and when to say it. Real Time Marketing, as the name implies, is doing content in real time that has to be implemented with your strategy. Being in the right place at the right time is surely a way to stay on the top of your marketing game. However, there is a fine line between making the most of a situation or being opportunistic. Some brands think that the novelty of an event can be used to up their sales and their online presence, that can be true depending on the creativity, effort, coordination and tact you put on your message overall.
Depending on how you phrase your message, you can get very good results. Take for example the Super Bowl XLVII. It will be remembered to most as the year the Baltimore Ravens won, but it will also be remembered as that one time the lights went off due to technical difficulties and they had to stop the play for 34 minutes.
It doesn't seem as a situation one might use to market a product, however, Oreo was ahead of the curve and decided to tweet an ad that read: "Power Out? No problem" with an image of a solitary Oreo and the caption: "You can still dunk in the dark". The image caught on immediately getting more than 15,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on facebook. The way they managed to do this is by coordinating with their team of copywriters, strategists and designers who were tasked on reacting to any situation the fastest way posible.
This may not always be the case...take for example the unfortunate ad from iPad Air on The New York Times e-paper. On an article talking about the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 tragedy, iPad Air thought it was a good idea to advertise their new iPad with the caption "See the unique ways people are using iPad around the world", with a photo of a man underwater. Needless to say, The New York Times had to pull out that article after receiving backlash.
With the Coronavirus pandemic, some brands might think it's a good idea to jump on the bandwagon in order to be "trendy" or to seem relevant, nevertheless just because the world is talking about a topic means that as a brand I should be talking about it too. There is a very fine line between talking about a situation or cause to raise awareness or to raise exposure.
In an era where anything we say might go viral, we have to be careful not to appear tone-deaf to a situation or taking advantage of the situation. That doesn't mean that everything is lost. In this ever changing world, we must learn to adapt in order to stay at the top. A Healthy advice for your brand's message right now would be to be helpful, useful and informative.
Right now we are forced to adapt our message in order to create resonance with the rest of the world and with these new challenges to come, we can use our time to be helpful and plan ahead of the crisis. It is true that sales can lower during a crisis, but in spite of that, whatever you say (or you don't say) will matter in the next few months, years, etc. Right now it would be a very good idea to focus on building trust and Loyalty for your brand.
Food for thought...
We definitely live in a world that is evolving and adapting every second, so it's up to us as business owners to know when to take advantage of a situation. However, we also have to be careful not to seem opportunistic of a situation and know what to say.