NEW YORK: Purina, the pet food division of Nestlé, has yielded substantial benefits from tapping Twitter to pursue personalised, real-time marketing with members of its target audience.

Speaking at the ANA Real-Time Marketing Conference, Michael Kotick, senior brand manager at Nestlé Purina North America, discussed how it had delivered tailored communications to users of the microblog. (For more, see Warc's exclusive report from the event: Purina uses real-time marketing to take loyalty to new heights.)

Having begun its campaign in June 2013, the organisation has sent out over 20,000 tweets to pet owners, usually containing bespoke photos or links to videos that dealt with problems they had raised.

Reflecting its position as a company that loves animals, Purina has not limited this activity to its customers or influencers – rather, anyone with a passion for pets and that is likely to share its content is open to inclusion.

"This interesting tension exists between people expecting a response and being totally blown away when they get one," Kotick said.

"It has to add value to the consumer that you're engaging with … I know it seems like an incredibly elementary task, but how are you providing utility? How are you providing a service? How are you uniting with that consumer over a shared passion? And how are you doing it in a way that is increasingly relevant? And, frankly, that's where real-time comes into play for us."

In developing this campaign, Purina worked with digital shop Deep Focus to answer the question of how it could "work in social differently", and in a way that would reach enough people and impact attitudes and habits.

Despite only engaging one consumer at a time, the content produced by Purina has gone on to generate more than 42 million impressions on Twitter alone.

This material has also been spread across various other social platforms by consumers, and therefore earned millions of extra impressions on sites including Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube.

Such results demonstrate that personalised marketing can achieve the scale desired by major brands. Purina's influence on Twitter has grown, too, as have the number of mentions it receives on the site.

Deep Focus established the Moment Studio, a specialist unit to conceive and produce branded content, in late 2012, and was thus especially well-placed to assist its client in achieving such objectives.

An affiliate office for the Moment Studio is now based at Purina's offices, helping to fully serve its needs in a rapid and sustainable way.

Data sourced from Warc