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Tapping the Present

Envisage a shopping experience where you have just purchased a few items and are walking out of the store. As you are about to exit, your phone rings and you receive a text message or a Twitter mention (in case you have checked in and tagged the store). It reads “Qualify for a Rs 500 gift voucher by spending Rs 150 more in our store!” Isn’t this tempting? But is it effective or just creepy? No matter what but this is the reality of Real-Time Marketing: An integration of mobile, location, social and big data. It is a popular trend in the west which could be effective in India. Whether it is TV, news, politics or programs, everybody is trying to do the same thing, react to the speed and change the culture, and we have no control over it.

Remember Dairy brand Amul’s playful illustrations which are published every day?  The illustrations which feature the brand’s iconic mascot with playful, sarcastic comments, with relevance to the brand on viral social topics? This is the oldest evidence of Real-Time marketing in India. Amul and Coca-Cola (digital vending machine connecting India & Pakistan) are the only few brands to implement this strategy. A number of brands try to participate in such activities on Social Media by sharing content based on current social topics. However, social media is just a small fragment of the big Real-Time World. There is plenty more to explore. Technology has given a new mold to the way people experience brands. They seek excitement in everything. One way to give such experiences to consumers could be Augmented Reality and brands today have enough potential to adapt to it. Angels falling from sky, monsters attacking a bus stop or fresh fruits rising from the cover of a tetra pack to form juice and enter the pack again – these are all the scenarios made possible by the platform of Augmented Reality. Brands need to incorporate such technologies to enthrall consumers with a different experience. Factors like high cost technology and low internet speed might act as hurdles. But with developments happening in both the sectors, such possibilities should not be rare.

Real-Time marketing and technology can build a strong team to surprise and captivate consumers with visually pleasing, engaging and advanced advertising and let’s hope that brands would soon start investing in such advancements.