Many lines have been written and many words said regarding the Oreo “Power Out” tweet. But is it enough to gather our marketing and ad agency members in the same room every time there is a highly viewed national event?

Are we going to achieve more visibility for our brands if we make quick decisions and bring them to life within a few seconds or by carefully thinking through a prepared strategy that puts your brand in the right place at the right time?

The whole Oreo success was more than just a widely retweeted message and there are more things that we, as marketers should identify and learn from it.

In fact, quick decision-making and instant executions should be taken for granted. Time-consuming decision making processes and bureaucratic approval processes have no place in the social media world. Opportunities appear and are “buried” by the time the news feed page is refreshed; therefore instant and real-time reactions are a requirement.

The journey of a shareable tweet is more complicated than we think. It goes beyond instant creation of creative and catchy messages. The infographic, “The Journey of a Tweet” (see Point 2) depicts the journey of a shareable tweet in the social media space. It is a journey that is long but very fast.

There are three things that the new generation of marketers should start getting used to if they want their brands to be present in the consumers’ everyday life and their messages to survive the social media journey:

1. Give agencies and creative teams a free-pass to grab opportunities:

dunk in dark oreo

Oreo’s slam dunk.

The fact that companies have started realizing the need to give away some of their control over their brand equity to the consumer is a fact and more and more marketers have started getting used to this idea. What is really interesting is that clients are still hesitating to give away some degree of freedom to their agencies; freedom that will allow them to take advantage of more opportunities similar to the Superbowl power outage or even other, less obvious opportunities.

Agencies and clients are on the same team and marketers need to trust their “allies”. Overprotecting brand equity might sound safe, but goes hand in hand with lost opportunities. Besides, there is always some level of risk in business, and this is a risk that clients have no other choice rather than take.

2. Understand the value of social data and the obstacles for using that data:
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More and more brands are “listening” to what their customers say on social platforms and they try to take advantage of “trending issues” in order to increase visibility for their brand. According to eMarketer some marketers are also using real-time social data for strategic business decisions, such as new product developments.

Recently the marketing team of one of the most well-known table games, Monopoly, launched a social media event inviting Monopoly players to vote which existing toss they wanted to be replaced and of course which new object will replace the old one. The Monopoly marketing team decided to motivate instead of making the decision in a conference room. Marketers are starting to realize the importance of available social data that will make their marketing efforts more effective.

A survey conducted by Infogroup Targeting Solutions in 2012 showed that 53% of marketers say they planned to make greater use of real-time data in 2013, while 80% of surveyed marketers said they planned to use social media data in their broader marketing efforts (eMarketer, 2013). There are some difficulties when marketers’ use social data. The table below shows the most important obstacles that make the use of social data more challenging:

3. Consumers expectations have changed:

tweets about oreo

The Oreo Buzz continues.


Consumers are not only expecting to be able to voice their opinion online and share brand content freely without any constraint, but they also expect the brands to be active and present on social media platforms. Whenever something happens on national TV or any other platform involving a brand, consumers immediately go online to see what the brand’s reaction will be.

The Poland Spring “appearance” on the State of the Union response was an example of high consumers’ expectations. As the Poland Spring brand “appeared” on national TV, Pablo Rubio’s social media team tweeted a picture of a Poland Spring bottle.

They knew that the incident would generate massive media coverage and they wanted to make sure they would stay ahead of the game. On the other hand, consumers were also looking towards Poland Spring’s reaction, but to their disappointment there was no response until the day after. Watching Poland Spring’s reaction or better the brand’s “non-reaction”, consumers felt they were let down and they made their feelings obvious via numerous of tweets (AdWeek, 2013).

In the social media era, brands do not have the luxury of “nobody being home”. Brands should always be on their toes to grab any opportunity that will allow them to increase visibility. In order to do so, clients should trust their agencies and give them the freedom to act even without their approval, as timeliness is crucial. Giving away some power to their agencies, whom they have picked, is a risk that brands have to take. Delaying or not showing up does not only allow opportunities to fly unused, but upset consumers too.

Consumers look for their brands to be present and participating in their newsfeeds, and brands cannot afford to miss this invitation.

Photo Attribution: GCD Infographics
Original Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdsdigital/4157295889/lightbox/