Back in 2009, I wrote a piece about failing to communicate and how an abundance of information creates a scarcity of information. I wrote back then:
So we do we do in a world where we have an abundance of information and a scarcity of attention? Create just in time marketing that allows us to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time. When I'm shopping for a car, I want all of the car information I can find. Once I've actually bought a car, I don't want any more car information.
I believe that just-in-time marketing creates a huge opportunity, especially for placed-based media (like at retail), that we haven't even begun to explore. This is not just digital networks running content we don't really pay attention to, this is creating ways to give people the information they need to make a purchase decision when they want to and how they want it.
But that takes a lot of work and really, for the most part, I think that too often we don't really think it's worth the effort. We've got to find the balance between the abundance of information and a scarcity of attention. That's why I believe in just-in-time communication. Get people the information when they want and you'll find that people will give you the attention you want.
Today, people talk about real time marketing, but the mainly talk about reacting in real time to what's happening in the world, which seemed to really take off with Oreo's very funny tweet when the power went out during the Super Bowl. That was well done (and I'm a huge eater of Oreos!), but did it help people with their decision about whether or not to eat Oreos?
See I think the more powerful version of real time marketing is actually delivering information when and how people need it. I'd love to see more brands doing that.
Image via flickr