This guest post is written by Craig Tuck, UK Sales Director at RadiumOne

The recent IAB study, which showed the degree to which people use connected devices whilst watching TV, raised the concept of "switch-screening" – these devices aren't a "second screen" to TV but are now on equal billing. This reinforces the increasing importance of moment marketing, so how best can you exploit this?

Firstly, it's important to note an overlooked fact that moment marketing can relate to one moment – such as Oreo's legendary "Blackout" Tweet during the Super Bowl – or a series of moments, such as Royal Mail issuing a stamp each time a British athlete won gold during the London 2012 Olympics.

Harnessing "switch-screening"

Oreo's Tweet falls into this category but the good news is brands don't have to wait for an erroneous TV event. ITVs AdSync+ offering, for example, enables a digital ad similar to a TV ad, to be served to multiple connected devices with a similar profile to the TV audience in terms of socio-demographics and geography.

What's particularly useful here is that an additional layer of audience can be included – those likely to be interested in the ad based on the online content they share or engage with. For example, an Iceland ad could be served beyond the 'standard' demographic profile to people who've shared/received online content relating to frozen foods, cooking at Christmas or even, Peter Andre.

It's about taking a TV moment and using technology's capability to extend audience reach for an ad in real-time.

It's here I urge caution. A lot of companies – mainly ad tech – purport to aid moment marketing but the reality is they don't have the data to do so. They probably buy 3rd party data like anyone else so (1) there's no point of differentiation and (2) it's pretty useless as it won't be matched in time to be effective. So don't be afraid to ask searching questions.

Harnessing the most in-moment device

Over 80% of mobile web activity takes place in apps. So, to properly harness this moment marketing godsend, it's vital that brands gather all this in-app engagement data – be it downloads, engagement, post-install activity – in one place so it can be applied programmatically in real-time to campaigns.

O2, for one, does this. Tying everything up under one platform gives a deeper understanding of how consumers engage with marketing activity, which can then be used as a foundation for audience intelligence across other moment marketing activities, including user acquisition and re-engagement.

In other words, capturing in-app user engagement data means you can identify and target high-value consumers both within apps and beyond. It's particularly powerful when combined with cross-device ad platforms so real-time campaigns can work as effectively as possible across many screens.

Moment marketing isn't always real-time

As pointed out earlier, moment marketing isn't just about a single moment. Royal Mail's stamps for each gold medal winning Briton during London 2012 was a 'moment marketing series' in which stamps were produced the day after each win throughout the tournament (it normally takes circa 18 months). It was supported through clever real-time marketing activity to drive £21 million in stamp sales – 75% above the target – £8 million of which was from new customers. Thus, it delivered a whole new generation of stamp collectors.

In fact, sports, along with entertainment and social events are particularly conducive to this type of series activity. Thus, in an Olympic, Euro Championships and US election year, brands have an almost unrivalled opportunity to really take the moment marketing bull by the horns.

The more 'moments' you have, the more effective moment marketing is. Hence why ITVs AdSync+ is attractive to brands, as it allows for a series of moments that matter – particularly this year, through the above events happening over a period of time.

Harnessing 'dark social'

One technique to drive a moment marketing series is exploiting the content people share online through 'dark social' channels – ones that can't be measured by web analytics such as Instant Messengers like WhatsApp, email and forums.

Sharing content online indicates a degree of real-time intent which can be used to enhance real-time programmatic campaigns. However, brands are too pre-occupied with sharing activity on social networks which account for only around a quarter of sharing activity.

The best way to unlock 'dark social' is via sharing tools such as URL link shorteners and sharing widgets that appear around online articles. Team Sky, for example, discovered their target community of cycling fans share a massive 94% of content in dark social. Think of all the audience they'd miss out on if they only focused on targeting people around the Olympics based on content shared on social networks.

In a series of moment marketing activities, The Jockey Club identified and targeted 3.5 million people who regularly interacted with their content during the Cheltenham Festival, primarily in dark social, for a 12:1 marketing ROI on ticket sales.

So, don't remain in the dark by thinking moment marketing is confined to one-off situations. It can be maintained over a period of time. Think about that for a moment.