Reflex, Context and Reach – What Is RTM and How Can It Affect Your Online Communication with Customers?

Reflex, Context and Reach – What Is RTM and How Can It Affect Your Online Communication with Customers?

Would you like to expand your communication with customers? If so, you don’t need to invest thousands in paid campaigns. Real Time Marketing is a communication method that allows you to achieve spectacular results without significant costs. What is RTM and what to keep in mind when doing it?

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Table of contents:

Real Time Marketing – What Is It?

Real Time Marketing (RTM) is a type of dynamically created content that is developed by brands based on current events or trends.

In this process, brands benefit from news that is in line with their values. Most often, they choose short posts with catchy graphics. Such a communication style aims at promoting the company and building its recognition among current and potential customers.

What objectives can be achieved thanks to RTM?

Once you know what Real Time Marketing is, it’s time to see how it can benefit your brand. Communication with the use of RTM can be really effective. It entertains, engages, and attracts recipients for longer. It helps to build brand awareness and boosts marketing activities.

real time marketing samsung example
SAMSUNG posted this after Apple announced that their new smartphone will come without a charger. Source:

Can RTM affect your e-commerce conversions?

Yes, it can! By creating unique and witty RTMs, you can attract recipients’ attention and improve your brand recognition. Users willingly share content that evokes positive feelings. This way, you can expand the target group for free and acquire new potential customers.

A brand that is ingrained in the minds of users and appears in graphics is more recognizable. Thanks to brand recognition, potential customers may think about it when they need to buy a given product. Moreover, if a post includes a link, there are chances that some of the recipients will click it and increase your conversions.

content marketing for seo


You know what Real Time Marketing is and how it can help you. Wondering whether RTM has anything in common with SEO? We’re here to resolve your doubts.

As it’s been mentioned above, Real Time Marketing improves brand recognition and helps you reach more people which ultimately translates into better website traffic. If RTM includes a link leading to a website, you can check how the post affects the referral traffic to the page.

Even if there is no link, improved brand recognition can also translate into greater traffic. Users are likely to remember your brand and search its name online – that’s why it’s worth doing SEO for brand keywords so that people can easily reach your website. Additionally, if a product advertised in RTM is displayed high in the search results, it can also translate into improved page traffic.

what is real time marketing ikea example
IKEA RTM campaign after the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Source:

How To Do RTM Effectively? A Few Useful Tips

When doing RTM, there is one simple rule – speed. The very name of this method of communication contains the “real time” element. A post prepared on the basis of a current event is likely to become popular shortly after its publication.

It’s assumed that RTM should be done maximally 30 minutes after an event. Why? The more time passes since a piece of news is published, the more other brands can use it in their communication. If your RTM is just the second one a user sees, it’ll bring the opposite effect – instead of being something new, brilliant and fun, it’ll be perceived as the so-called “old chestnut.”

real time marketing oreo example
Oreo RTM tweet during the power outage at the Super Bowl in 2013. Source:

We’ve mentioned the time and speed needed to compete with other brands. But how to do everything in real life? How to access information and prepare RTM so quickly? Here, internet monitoring comes in handy. It’s best to observe such places where information appears immediately – forget about e.g. news portals and focus on Twitter, where you can follow trends and hashtags that correspond to your business profile. Facebook groups may also come in handy.

Tip: It’s nearly impossible to monitor the entire internet effectively, so it’s much better to focus on a specific area that relates to your brand. For example, if you run a sports store, focus on following sports news. This way, you can quickly pick up information that’s beneficial for your store, without having to check out other topics.

What to keep in mind when doing RTM?

Below you can find a shortlist with tips that should be kept in mind when doing RTM:

  • Create a brand connection – Your RTM won’t be effective if its message is completely disconnected from your brand image or your offer. Find common points and do RTM based on them.
  • Evoke emotions – Emotions are the key the to success and effectiveness of your communication. Make your RTM humorous so that the recipient laughs and thinks about positive aspects.
  • Encourage action – A message based on Real-Time Marketing can go viral, so it’s worth placing a CTA (call to action) next to such a post. It can encourage users to visit your page or react to the post.
  • Prepare graphics – Posts with graphics are seen by users and generate greater traffic. Make sure that your RTM has catchy graphics. It doesn’t have to be complex or advanced, benefit from tools like Canva or Crello.
  • Choose the right platform – RTM is the most effective when your message can quickly meet the recipient. Therefore, social media such as Facebook or Twitter are the best choice for this purpose. There, users can additionally share the post and pass it on.

Ready! Now you know what RTM is and how to prepare it. Remember about one more thing that is very important when dealing with SEO and marketing. Monitor your activities! Once RTM is published, keep an eye on users’ reactions to ensure that they meet your expectations. By monitoring the life cycle of such a post on a regular basis, you can react quickly in case of a possible crisis, and learn about users’ likes and dislikes.

What to watch out for?

Just like any other form of communication, RTM isn’t perfect and some companies make serious mistakes. However, with knowledge of the specifics of Real Time Marketing and functioning of these messages, you can avoid certain mishaps.

Below you can see a list of three important factors to watch out for:

  • Controversial topics – Sometimes it’s better not to use controversial topics in your brand communication. Avoid political, religious, or ideological topics which may be negatively perceived by your audience.
  • Context – It’s about the context of the event you use as a reference and the context of the photo added to RTM. Being unfamiliar with the context may cause serious mistakes. Therefore, it’s always better to check the background.
  • Being late – This mistake is related to the aforementioned speed. Instead of publishing a few hours or even a day after the event the RTM is supposed to refer to, it’s better to look for a new, current topic.

Here’s an example of how you shouldn’t do real time marketing. DiGiorno Pizza jumped on the trending hashtag on Twitter without checking what was it really about. It turned out the hashtag #WhyIStayed referred to the domestic violence problem. Survivors of domestic violence used it to tell their stories, to show that it can happen to anyone at any time. Not a very good moment to promote a pizza, right? After a backlash from the online community, DiGiorno Pizza apologized, but the damage was already done.

eal time marketing bad example

Real Time Advertising examples

Here are some popular examples of Real Time Marketing to help you understand the concept and its effectiveness when communicating with customers online.

real time marketing ikea berni sanders example
IKEA RTM campaign. Source:

Ikea used a picture of senator Bernie Sanders all wrapped up during President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. The picture became a viral meme and Ikea saw an opportunity to jump on that train.

real time marketing dress example
Tide RTM campaign. Source:

Do you remember “the dress problem”? A few years back, the internet was raging about a dress that is white and navy at the same time, depending on who looked at it. Tide smartly used it to promote their products and their tweet became viral.

what is real time marketing pepsi and coca cola example
Pepsi and Coca-Cola RTM campaign war. Source:

Everyone knows that Pepsi and Coca-Cola are the biggest rivals in the industry. When Pepsi released their Halloween campaign suggesting that “dressing as a Coca-Cola can” would be a good idea for a scary costume, Coca-Cola didn’t wait with the response. They even used the same graphic only modifying it slightly, to turn this situation to their advantage. This RTM “war” was very popular back in the day.

what is real time marketing heineken squid game
Heineken RTM campaign. Source: Instagram

Heineken is well known as a real time marketing master. Here they used the popularity of the Netflix show “Squid Game” to become a part of the internet buzz.

A Brief Takeaway

After reading today’s entry you know what RTM is and how crucial it is to be quick. Real Time Marketing is a bit like gambling – you can gain a lot, but you can also lose your time devoted to preparing the post. Moreover, inappropriate activities can expose your brand to an image crisis. Why is it the case?

Internet users are surrounded by all types of content. Perhaps, your post goes viral and everybody sees it. In this case, you’re the winner who achieves the intended results.

Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping in mind that the abovementioned scenario isn’t always the case.

Your post may go unnoticed, despite interesting and brilliant content. It may also attract great attention but people can perceive it really negatively.

So, is it worth taking the risk? Of course! Act quickly, but thoughtfully – don’t make spontaneous decisions and think about users before you publish your RTM. Expand your brand communication with messages based on Real-Time Marketing and see what results it can bring to your brand.


Real-Time Marketing is a form of communication that responds to a current event or trend. Brands use it to refer to their product ranges. RTM usually takes the form of a simple graphic with or without a witty caption.

Most often, RTM communication can be found on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Although RTM is an appealing form of communication that can enrich your relationships with customers, it also has certain disadvantages. Below you can see some most popular pros and cons.

Pros of RTM:

  • The possibility to reach a lot of people without incurring any costs
  • Building brand awareness
  • Building relationships with recipients

Cons of RTM:

  • It might be hard to find a relevant topic so quickly
  • You may be unsuccessful despite preparing valuable content
  • Improper RTA can cause a brand crisis
Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

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