Real Time Marketing: Your Brand and Your Site

March 24, 2011
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

Good morning, friends. Congratulations on making it to Day 3 of SES NY. It seems like just yesterday we were arriving in the Big Apple and now it’s almost time to leave. They grow up so fast, don’t they?

Speaking this morning we have David Meerman Scott and Lauren Price.  Apparently if you walked through the *correct* door you got a free book. I walked in a side door and didn’t get one.  Do you see how difficult my life is? I know. Poor me.   Okay, time for the session!

First up is David.

He asks how many people saw the Chilean miners come out of the hole. Did you notice they all had Oakley’s on?  Someone said that product placement was worth 41 million dollars in PR value. He spoke at SXSW last week. The first day of the show was the day of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Tokyo. People got together that day and started SXSW 4 Japan – a Twitter handle. Lots of people were RTing lots of activity. Then they got corporates involved and a .org site was created. Amazingly, this generated over 100,000 dollars for Japan.  It was all done on that site set up the day of the disaster.  He sees these kinds of things all the time.

In August Paris Hilton talked about when she got arrested for cocaine possession in real-time via Twitter. David says one of his goals in life is to get Paris Hilton to follow him on Twitter. He’s been RT’d by Howard Stern. I think David needs to set higher goals for himself. ;)

Anyway, the Wynn Hotel banned Paris after that incident. A hotel banning a hotel heiress. Imagine if you’re a member of the media. You have to talk about this. What’s the second paragraph of that story? That the Wynn banned her.  It got 5,286 news stories for what was probably half an hour’s worth of work. It used to be that scale and media buying power was dictating how much success you got in the marketing field. That’s not true anymore. People who are really, really quick have an advantage. There’s a power law curve at work. If you’re the first to create a site, if you’re the first to rank well for something that’s breaking, it can be a huge advantage for what you’re doing.

His first job was on a bond trading desk. In the 1980s the bond market was transformed by real-time information. Prior to that it was really clubby and good ‘ol boys. Then it became real-time trading all driven on real-time information and analysis. What that meant was that if you had a piece of info early, you could make millions of dollars trading on it.  We’re going through that transition now when it comes to marketing. It’s something that most marketers don’t really think about it. If you can do something fast, then you are the one who can win.  Speed and agility is a really decisive advantage.  When you’re planning for two years from now, don’t forget to plan for RIGHT NOW.

He shares a really great example of how a company was able to use one blog post to generate a whole boatload of money. But..I was too busy listening to capture it. My bad.  Stop being so interesting, David!

People are driven by fear of the unknown. Imagine working in the 1890s when the telephone first came out. Telephones in the office? We can’t have telephones in the office – what if people give away a company secret? What if people waste time on it? Replace the telephone with Twitter.  You see how dumb we sound.

The Gap redesigned its logo a few months ago. The media started to talk about it. Someone created a site which ‘craps up’ your logo. There are so many opportunities if you’re aware of real-time that the search engines will find in real-time.  Of course the Gap reverted back to their old logo and it all happened in 4-5 days. If this happened a few years ago, Gap never would known how awful their logo was. They would have spent thousands on a focus group and wasted ham sandwiches to learn in months what they learned in a few days.

Instant Web sites

The floods in Australia happened in January. People were volunteering and Danielle Crismani decided she wanted to do something about this. She decided to bake cookies and cakes and feed them to the people who were working as volunteers. This took off under the hashtag #bakedrelief and @BakedRelief. It became a huge movement.  It became so popular that she had to create because it became bigger than something she could manage through Twitter. It helped 10,000+ people and she got recognized by the Australian Government.

These things are noticeable when there’s a disaster but that’s not the only time to do it. And it’s not just non-profits.

What’s the ROI of real-time engagement?

What’s the ROI of arming the sales team with Blackberries? If we don’t know that, why do we have to calculate everything else with ROI?

He did an analysis of the Fortune 100 companies to see which are doing real time digital communications. 28 of the Fortune 100 companies are doing it.  The companies that did engage saw their stock price went up 3 percent. The companies that didn’t engage saw their stock prices drop 2 percent. The 5 percent swing is the ROI.

Most people get that, it’s the fear thing they’re trying to overcome.

You have to develop a real-time mindset. It’s important we understand Charlie Sheen. He’s a phenomenon because he understands real time, he understands instant communication, he’s owning the search engines. It’s fascinating. Last week at SXSW David wore a shirt that said “Duh, Winning”. People gave him high fives, they told him they loved his shirt, people took his photo, etc. That’s real-time. That’s incredibly interesting.  You don’t have to agree with his lifestyle choices (Charlie’s, not David’s) but you have to acknowledge he’s  a master of getting his info out in real-time.

Charlie Sheen is going on tour. David’s going in Boston.   And with that, he’s done.

Next up is Lauren.  She has to hold her mic pack because she’s not wearing pants to clip it into.  I’d make a #tightsarenotpants joke but she’s pregnant so she gets a pass.

She talks about how she found out that Liz Tyler had died.  Liz died at 9:02pm and Lauren found out at 10pm – Liz hadn’t even been dead for an hour. That’s how fast things are breaking. You can either be part of that conversation and steer it or you can let it happen without you.


She shows a scene from The Graduate where the old man takes the young man out to the pool to have a talk with him.  And he says he has one line for him – plastics. I have no idea what she’s talking about because I haven’t seen it. Hopefully you have. Maybe you can fill me in.

Apparently plastics became a huge part of our life and that’s what he meant? Now that term is “Internet”.

In August 2008 the FDA put out a report about the dangers of plastic, which changed the way we look at people drinking water out of plastic bottles.  Now think of all the brands that use plastics, is this a crisis or an opportunity? It hit the baby and toddler industry hard because they live in plastics – pacifiers, plastic sippy cups, etc.  The media uses baby bottles as the way to get the story going.

That lead to opportunities for some. We started seeing BPA free seals. Wooden baby toys. Stainless steel water bottles. Glass baby bottles. Whole Foods used that report to reinforce their brand as a health-conscious grocery story. Crisis for some, opportunity for others.

How can you react in real time?

The Challenge

Stand up a Website (bells and whistles included) in real time. How fast and cheap could she do it?

  • Real-Time Tool – Instant Web page. She set it up for $14.14/yr in 12 minutes.
  • Real-Time Tool – Content Widget – $24.95 and 38 minutes to build.
  • Real-Time Tool – Ning Community – $24.95 and 34 minutes to set up
  • Real-Time Tool – Standard Website + donation widget- $23.95/yr, 52 minutes

What do scrapbooking, autism and bacon have in common?  $50,000 in donation through a widget from   Kevin Bacon was coming to terms with the fact that his acting career was coming to a close. He googled himself to see what his legacy would be. He was appalled. Pages and pages of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game and that was it.  That’s not how he wanted to go out.  Someone connected him with Network For Good. The mission of the org was to embrace technology for good. They took a spin off the 6 Degrees game. You can create a video and be the spokesperson for their cause.   One woman raised $50,000 for autism from her scrapbooking site. Her site had nothing to do with the cause but she made it really easy for people to donate.  That’s pretty cool.

She’s going to leave us with a stopwatch. Not a real one. A photo of one.


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