Responsive marketing is an art form in today’s landscape, and the successful campaigns can easily go viral. The technique involves latching onto a current event or trending story to create a relevant piece of content that ties the brand to the event.

One champion brand that seems to have mastered the concept is Ikea. Over the years the company has had multiple famous responsive campaigns with the most recent reacting to the new Game of Thrones series. It was revealed that one of the characters on the show had part of the costume made out of Ikea rugs. The furniture company reacted using a picture of staff dressing up as the character using the rugs with a guide of how to achieve the same look.

In previous years Ikea has made a parody of Apples iPhone 6 announcement advert, replacing the phone with the Ikea catalogue. The video went viral in 2015 for its comedic mirroring of the original source. This responsive advert came in the wake of the always immensely popular iPhone release allowing the brand to affectively jump on the bandwagon and share some of the limelight.

Success in responsive marketing comes down to 2 main factors; Accuracy and Timing. This means, you’ve got to find the right thing to respond to and in enough time for your target to stay relevant to your consumers.

One quick-fire example is Oreo and their fast hitting Super bowl ad which aired in one of the highly sought after advert slots. The campaign was simple in stating that ‘you can always dunk in the dark’, and was devised after the lights in the stadium went dark for 34 minutes. This left connected audiences as it was a direct response to what they had just witnessed which meant the advert was almost personalised to those watching the event. This is definitely the most responsive example available and the results are still trying to be replicated each year.

Not all real time marketing campaigns succeed, as we’ve said one key factor in picking an event is accuracy, meaning the event has to be relevant. American Apparel decided to promote Hurricane Sandy in conjunction with a sale. Understandably this backfired and the brand was slated for this connection.

No matter the tone of the campaign, as long as the event is positive, the content is likely to succeed.

Responsive marketing can be a truly powerful tool for marketers, but use it with caution, or face the consequences.