Real-time marketing is a hot topic for marketers right now, offering opportunities to interact with consumers in more meaningful and relevant ways.

In their May 2013 white paper Real-time Marketing: Speeding up the Creative Process eMarketer reported that consumers exposed to real-time marketing were significantly more likely to take action on the same day.

But while marketers have begun to master using the immediacy of social media, adoption of applying real-time data in advertising is coming along more slowly.

If the benefits of real-time intrigue you, here are some applications of real-time information you can use to improve advertising performance.

Real-time Bidding

Probably the most-common way real-time data is being used in advertising today, RTB-based spending will account for 27% of total US display ad sales in 2015 (up from 10% in 2011).

Media planners enjoy buying ads in real-time because it allows them to update campaigns on the fly based on performance, not to mention securing a competitive market price for the impressions.

Real-time Targeting Based on Weather

Weather-based targeting is also on the rise. By combining location and weather targeting on mobile devices especially, advertisers are seeing a lot of potential, and it’s easy to see why.

Food brands and restaurants can show off warm food when it’s cold, and refreshing food when it’s warm. Clothing retailers and fashion brands can advertise items that correspond to the day’s climate. Travel advertisers can highlight how much nicer conditions are at their destination.

As advertisers experience success with these types of campaigns, it’s likely partnerships with weather providers to provide real-time targeting will see more widespread adoption.

Real-time Creative

Streaming social and RSS feeds directly into ads is also becoming more commonplace. By streaming content into ads, advertisers can leverage existing real-time content across the reach of paid media.

Ads with dynamic creative, such as retargeted ads that follow shoppers around the net with items they didn't finish purchasing are another option, attempting to prevent cart abandonment directly after a site visit.

Real-Time Performance Optimization

Watching real-time data while a campaign goes live can enable an advertiser to spot and fix potential problems before too many impressions are served. The result is a performance boost for an entire ad campaign.

Such was the case recently with Wikia, a major video game, entertainment and lifestyle publisher. While watching real-time data during the launch of a video ad unit, Wikia noticed something wasn't quite right. The team made a quick change to the creative and pushed out the new version of the ad, resulting in 11x increase in video plays.

While not every launch optimization will have such huge consequences, the process of watching an ad launch in real-time is a key strategy for any performance-oriented team.