Brands are being urged to make their marketing in the 'here and now' by responding to current events and engaging with consumers because, in an always-connected digital world, brands that use such 'moment marketing' are more able to take part in the consumer conversation, according to Adam Rock, managing director for content marketing specialist TAN Media. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

Tesco.com international director Frans Falise spoke about moment marketing at 2013 Festival of Media Global, where he said the idea of personalisation is set to become "extremely important in everything we do". Promotions in future will be individually targeted to customers according to which items they are likely to buy, he said, which will increase the chances of consumers making a purchase.

This is where engaging with consumers comes in, he explained, where savvy brands get involved in ongoing stories or other topical events sometimes by communicating with consumers in real time as they unfold.

Rock also highlighted the importance of PR and marketing being in the here and now: "If a company has newsworthy and relevant content, then people are more likely to take notice of it. Brands that fail to do so run the risk of appearing out of touch with the consumer."

Various companies such as Unilever, Nestle, Nando's and Visa are said to be using the technique as part of their digital marketing efforts. Stewart Dryburgh, global marketing head for Nestle brand, Kit Kat, said it is this real-time quality of social media that can make it stand apart from the time-limited value of a one-off big campaign. Although TV still has its place as an important medium, social media platforms provide brands with the opportunity to "be there day in and day out", he argued. "You have to think about it in two ways: what is the big campaign and what is the daily conversation? Confectionery has low loyalty. People have an average of five chocolate brands that they buy, so for us it's not all about loyalty, it's about being top of mind and being engaged," he explained.

Dryburgh says the brand has a budget that is allocated to moment marketing so that it can get involved in topical stories in a timely and relevant way. "This fits in with the buying patterns for chocolate bars, which tend to be impulsive," he said. However, he concluded that this is less about the "ambush marketing" favoured by some brands and more about focusing on "enhancing a moment that is happening".