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The concept of Real-Time Marketing: An explorative study on how brands refer to topical events or topics in their brand communication.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During the last years a viral marketing method called Real-Time Marketing (RTM) by the press (Koufopoulos, 2015), has been adapted by a number of brands. This method seems to be a way for brands to capitalise on topical news, topics, or events by using it in their brand communication. Often this is done in a fast and fun way, sometimes even celebrities and politicians are being referenced to in RTM-content. This brand content is instantly communicated on social media, and if the brand has managed to create an interesting and timely content, consumers share it with their friends and it can lead to a viral outcome. If, or when, this happens, it is arguably beneficial for the brand.

From a theoretical point of view, there has been a lack of knowledge in order to be able to describe and understand the method of RTM. Also, as viral marketing in a social media context, using other types of content than videos, has been less focused on in the viral marketing research stream. Along with a call for more research on the current practice of different social media marketing methods brands are using, made RTM an interesting method to investigate. Therefore, was the aim of our study to explore how viral marketing is performed by practitioners through the method of RTM. The following research question was articulated for this thesis:

How is Real-Time Marketing performed?

In order to answer the research question, an explorative study was conducted using a qualitative research. As the study was conducted from a brand perspective, this was done through interviews with Swedish practitioners having experience of working with RTM. The respondents came from both the brand side and the marketing agency side, which provided good insights on the subject from two different perspectives.

The findings show that brands are referencing to topical events or topics, that consumers are interested in and discussing, to show a more human-like side. This can help the brand to communicate and strengthening its brand values and brand personality, while also create brand awareness. From a strategic point of view, the study indicates that brands have no specific RTM-strategies, but rather it is aligned with the overall brand strategy and the brand’s communication plan. The need to be agile was indicated to be a key aspect when working with RTM, because this type of marketing method demands that the brand can act in a fast way when an opportunity arises. Our findings further suggest that all kinds of brands are able to use RTM in their marketing.

Furthermore, working with RTM is an on-going daily process, but brands and marketing agencies do not seem to dedicate specific resources to this process. Finding relevant topics is perceived as a challenge and also to find a way to capitalise on it, especially as it has to be done in a fast manner. The actual RTM-content is crafted in a way that it stands out and gives consumers a reason to share the content, hence to stimulate eWoM, and aligned with viral marketing literature brands find strong emotions to be useful in RTM-content. Based on the findings from this study, the following definition of RTM has been suggested:

“Real-Time Marketing (RTM) is a viral marketing method used by brands to in a fast, agile, and relevant way refer to topical events or topics in their social media communication.” 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 120 p.
Keyword [en]
Real-Time Marketing, Viral Marketing, E-WOM, Social Media Marketing
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138960OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138960DiVA: diva2:1138343
Educational program
Master's Programme in Marketing
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-09-05 Created: 2017-09-05 Last updated: 2017-09-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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More languages
Output format
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