The real-time web is getting more real by the moment, with Google introducing search-as-you-type, and now Facebook testing a system that instantly targets ads based on wall posts and status updates. It’s great stuff, a stronger focus on being attuned to you the consumer, where you are, in the now.

When the technology is sorted, the test will be for advertisers to connect with sensitivity. Real-time advertising should be more relevant, but will still miss the mark if it’s too transactional or doesn’t have a fine appreciation of a consumer’s feelings in that instant. Meet the consumer in a personal moment and you’d better be ready to interact in a way that’s intimate and emotional. Fail and you cross the line between interaction and interruption. But connect with understanding, whisper the right words and you’ll arrive at the true end-game of real-time engagement: conversation, and a relationship.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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