Few marketers are ever confronted with a situation where they need to react quickly to a difficult situation. For instance, most companies never face a product recall that generates significant customer backlash or receive a flood of criticism for a particular marketing decision (e.g., EpiPen pricing). Even though most marketers will never have to respond to something that negatively impacts their brand, it is still a good idea to have a marketing emergency plan ready to go. And, for many marketers, key elements of that plan are employing real-time marketing techniques including using social media.
Social media is a powerful communication medium that can spread news about a brand with lightning speed. And if this news is negative, marketers need to know how to respond to protect their product. A good example of using social media to address a potentially damaging situation is discussed in this story from ClickZ. It explains how candy manufacturer Mars responded to a recent controversy impacting its Skittles brand. The story shows how the company made the decision to jump on the issue right away using Twitter.
However, as the story points out, while making such a bold decision worked out well for Mars, marketers need to be careful when using such “real-time marketing” techniques. Again, having a marketing emergency plan in place would help marketers know the risks they may face.
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