The changing nature of the consumer requires marketers to use digital and online technologies to change how and when they deliver messages. Singh Shiv, global head of digital for PepsiCo, dove into the details of engaging in real-time marketing with real-time consumers during his closing keynote address during the first day of this week’s FutureM conference in Boston.

The session began with a little local flavor as longtime Boston sportscaster Butch Stearns took the stage to welcome attendees and introduce Shiv. However, Shiv’s presentation was anything but local, focusing on the global, real-time nature of modern marketing.

The Consumer is Changing, So Should Your Campaigns

“There is a changing consumer,” said Shiv. “They can be active anytime, anywhere and have advocacy and influence. On the customer side, there is increased use of digital catalogs and coupons. This is resulting in targeted promotions, digital innovation in stores, and sophisticated platforms for 3-D customer engagement.”

However, Shiv said these efforts only represent a fraction of how marketers can use technologies such as smartphones and social media to revolutionize the nature of campaigns. To explain the full potential of real-time marketing campaigns based on leading-edge technology, Shiv asked audience members to imagine a scene of him walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City on a beautiful Friday morning.

“All of a sudden, I see Lady Gaga waking toward me and I notice she’s drinking a Pepsi,” he said. “I take a picture and video with my iPhone and send it to corporate headquarters, where they mash it up with other advertising and publish it online to millions of people worldwide and on social media.”

In addition, Shiv said Pepsi would run an immediate promotion for everyone within a two-mile radius of Fifth Avenue to take a photo or video of Lady Gaga drinking Pepsi and send it in. He said Pepsi could also immediately create and run a TV ad.

“You’re taking a cultural moment of true relevance and converting it to a form of marketing communications and sending it to the consumer ecosystem via digital or traditional media,” said Shiv. “It will resolute 100 times more than a piece of advertising concocted a few months earlier.” 

Components of Real-Time Marketing

 On the “real-time” side of real-time marketing campaigns, Shiv said marketers must have access to real-time insights, response, content studio, co-creation, distribution and engagement. “It’s not a six- or seven-month process, but playing in the culture as shaped by consumers and celebrities,” he stated.

On the data side, Shiv said marketers need access to data types including social graph, trending, CRM, sales, Internet and digital advertising.

Shiv gave the example of Pepsi’s own consumer website, which offers the motto “Live for Now” and a real-time pop culture dashboard which is updated by the minute according to social conversations. “We partner with Twitter to influence our online stream of events,” he said.

Shiv cautioned marketers against seizing any real-time opportunity they come across. “Participate through the lens of your brand,” he said. “Know when it make sense to participate.”

However, Shiv said digital does give scale to grassroots and live events. To fully take advantage of real-time marketing’s potential, he advised organizations to “empower activation teams” and “liberate the lawyers,” who are two to three years behind developments in the digital space. “They’re just as interested and excited to build a business driven by real-time marketing,” he concluded.

Also from the FutureM conference, read: Digital Disruption Can Connect Your Core to Your Customers #futurem.