We’ve all heard the buzzwords by now. Cookies that “Dunk in the Dark” and offer up daily realtime creative. Commercials made out of 6-second Vine videos. There’s even a fashion billboard that changes outfits based on the weather.

It seems like every day marketers at big brands with expensive advertising agencies are coming up with new realtime marketing antics, delivering content that’s fresh, relevant, and timely.

But realtime marketing isn’t just the latest buzzword—and it isn’t just for big brands. Let’s look at some myths about realtime marketing that might make you re-think how it applies to your business.

Myth #1: Realtime Marketing is All About Speed.

Realtime marketing is, first and foremost, about relevance. And yes, timeliness is part of relevance. But studies have shown that most customers expect a response to a social media inquiry within 24 hours, not immediately.

The most important component of realtime marketing—and what makes it so different from other types of marketing is listening. Unlike traditional marketing, where you craft a story and then “message” it out to as many qualified prospects as possible, realtime marketing involves looking for an opportunity to engage a potential customer with the right content, at the right time, in the right place.

That can mean different things for different businesses, but it always starts with spending time listening to what your customers are talking about before you start talking about yourself.

Myth #2: Realtime Marketing is All About Clever Creative.

Think about it: when you walk into a cocktail party, you don’t immediately go up to the first group of people you see and start talking about yourself. You spend some time getting a feel for the atmosphere, and finding an appropriate opening to introduce yourself and join a conversation that’s already in progress.

If you’re a restaurant, are your customers talking about where they’re going to go for a snack after the latest blockbuster movie? Why not let them know you saw the movie, too, and invite them to come talk about it at your place?

Effective realtime marketing is a conversation. It starts with the premise that “I know what you’re doing” (checking into a movie theater down the street, shopping for the new school year)—and I can offer something to help you with that.

Myth #3: Realtime Marketing Requires a Big Budget and a lot of Resources.

True – none of us ever have enough time and money to do everything. But having a realtime marketing strategy doesn’t mean you need a big agency and a large team of people to man the controls 24/7.

Today there are hundreds of tools, technologies and platforms that enable brands to engage in a realtime conversation with customers and prospects, manage that conversation at an enterprise level, and collaborate across teams and departments to drive leads and deliver bottom-line business value. These tools can scale, and, increasingly, can integrate with your other digital marketing strategies.

Figure out your realtime marketing strategy—What kinds of signals are you listening for? How will you respond to them? What are the kinds of customer interactions that do need to be flagged for a personal engagement?—and then find the tools that will help you make that engagement easier and more efficient.

So what’s your realtime marketing strategy?

If you’d like to learn more about realtime marketing strategies and see the latest technologies first-hand, join me at Realtime Marketing Lab on October 14 in New York City. In one day, you’ll be able to explore the latest realtime tools and technologies in a fun, hands-on environment, and see case studies and learn strategies from brands across a variety of industries. And, as a Chamber of Commerce reader, you can save 20% off your ticket if you enter code Chamber when you register. See you at Realtime Marketing Lab!

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock