A strong theme at this year’s Marketing Week Live was ‘Marketing in the Moment’. Attendees were shown the now somewhat clichéd, case studies of Oreo, Nandos and the infamous Ed Milliband’s #downgraded chancellor speech. Although they’re all great examples of how digital marketing offers marketers the unique ability to tailor campaign messages to highly relevant issues within a very short space of time.

Not only is this useful for showing off creativity (remember the recent hotly debated Nandos and Oreo ad!), it’s also essential for those advertising campaigns that depend on variables like the weather, such as Stella Artois‘ use of temperature activated outdoor advertisements to ensure their adverts are only being seen when the temperature reaches at least 22 degrees. This  type of “Marketing in the Moment” allows advertisers to be relevant to their consumers at just the right time.

How PPC can adopt “marketing in the moment”

You may think that ‘Marketing in the moment’ is ideally suited to the realm of social media, with Twitter the more obvious outlet; however PPC practioners can also take a leaf from the same book. But it does require some ingenuity – luckily we have bags of that at Receptional!

One major struggle in digital marketing is the constant quest for your content or paid ads to be relevant to a searcher’s query and search volume. This is particularly difficult for PPC advertisers who need to ensure their ad captures the target searcher’s keywords, ad text and landing page whilst at the same time overcoming the searcher’s cynicism towards adverts in their SERPs. And what better way to do this than make the advert relevant to not just the search term but also current events?

Capitalise on current affairs in paid ads

It then falls upon the shoulders of Paid Search marketers to create campaigns that are going to be relevant to current trends amongst searchers.

I’ll use an example that’s currently a hot topic in the UK – Wimbledon! A search for ‘buy tennis racket’ the day after Murray’s wins shows none of the adverts on display include anything to do with Wimbledon let alone Andy Murray! You would presume this would be the ideal time to take advantage of tennis coverage in the media.


This technique isn’t solely for brands of a similar theme to the current event, it can form a part of any PPC account. For example a client from the travel sector could take advantage of ‘Wimbledon-mania’. It’s as simple as creating a ‘Wimbledon 2013′ campaign within the AdWords account, ensuring the ad groups cover all the necessary bases, and then enabling whichever one(s) are relevant.

Here are examples of two advertisements created for either outcome (go Murray! Sorry, Djokovic – you played well)

Murray Wins

Djokovic Wins

The British Weather Wins (!)

Whilst these adverts offer a product with no direct link to Wimbledon, by offering tailored adverts to the tournament they’re are instantly more relevant and less ‘salesy’. The ads pre-empt the ‘water cooler’ talk the searcher will most probably have.

Mimic the media – quickly

Consumers expect a more tailored browsing experience, reflecting the speed and recency of a news broadcast, so why shouldn’t this also apply to the adverts displayed to them? With increasing pressure to be relevant it’s important for PPC advertisers to take current affairs into account when connecting with an audience – all within a meagre 25/35/35 character lines afforded by AdWords.

Target the multi-screener

If you consider the massive rise of multi-screening, then the relevancy of adverts reaches a new level. When better to display the above (fictional) paid adverts than just after the Wimbledon result, whilst consumers  – in the after-glow of Murray’s victory –  are watching the post-match interviews on  TV and heady with Murray-mania their purse strings begin to loosen, so they begin searching for holidays on their phone/tablet/phablet?  (NB phablets don’t exist, but I may patent this terminology)

This technique does have it’s risks…

“Marketing in the Moment” can be risky – the recent “I shop at Waitrose” Twitter campaign failure is a good example – but my top take-away from the Marketing Week Live was the 70/20/10 split in advertising spend: if you apply 70% towards what you know will work, 20% in minor adjustments and 10% in completely experimenting you’ll be able to find what actually works.

If you’re feeling brave and would like to try “Marketing in the Moment” for your paid ad activity, get in touch with Receptional today.