At 'BtoB's' Digital Edge: Scott emphasizes 'real-time marketing'

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Chicago—During BtoB's Digital Edge virtual trade show Thursday, keynote speaker David Meerman Scott urged b-to-b marketers to engage in what he called “real-time marketing.” The rise of the Internet, search and social media, he said, has created an environment in which marketers can take advantage of news cycles more than ever before. Scott, the author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR,” (Wiley, 3rd edition, August 2011) opened with the example of an Australian insurance company, TIO ABN, which took advantage of President Obama's recent trip Down Under. The company announced on its website and elsewhere that it had given the president free crocodile attack insurance in honor of his visit. The stunt, which Scott referred to as “newsjacking,” resulted in almost 5,000 mentions for the company by mainstream media outlets. Scott wondered how long it would take a typical public relations firm to get that amount of coverage for a client. “We're talking decades,” he said. With the rise of the Internet, marketers have been forced to generate and post more relevant content to feed search engines and attract potential customers to their websites. “On the Web,” Scott said, “you are what you publish.” Scott noted that many companies are fearful of moving quickly because of a prevailing culture of developing consensus and getting approval from legal. Quoting Yoda of the “Star Wars” series, he said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” He suggested four steps for marketers looking to take advantage of opportunities “right now.” First, he recommended appointing a “chief real-time officer.” He also said a company should develop real-time guidelines for posting on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Scott recommended implementing real-time customer relationship management systems and other tools that monitor social media, so a company can react to changes in customer or industry sentiment as soon as they happen. And, finally, he urged companies to adapt a “real-time mindset,” so that taking advantage of marketing opportunities today becomes a priority. “This is the most difficult part,” he said.
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