John St. is now pretending to be running a whole new dedicated unit called Reactvertising™, where it goes to absurd lengths to make sure its clients are clued into current events 24/7 and can react within seconds—indeed, knee-jerk-like—to breaking news
“Does your agency take hours to respond to the latest trending hashtag or celebrity death?” John St. asks. “Is your brand missing out on being part of the conversation because you’re reacting too slow?”
Of course, this rush-to-respond creates plenty of opportunities for missteps and stress, because it defies the conventional rules and advantages of advertising: the ability to plan, schedule, and co-ordinate things effectively.
When you rush to react, of course, you need to combine the practical ability to make very quick decisions with incredibly rapid creative and approval processes. Quite often, you’ll get it wrong, sometimes very wrong.
I think the challenge here is that really good and really fast responsive marketing and advertising probably should only happen when your business has trusted staff who can handle the social media postings quickly as part of their work, and when you are comfortable with the hyper-speed. Yet if your business has any level of scale, you certainly should be set up to handle a media or public relations crisis; and develop suitable contingency plans.
Maybe “reactive advertising” is way over the top. But you certainly can take heed in the humour, and be prepared for situations where you may have no choice but to react effectively.