Timing is everything when it comes to marketing

When it comes to business, timing is everything. However, this is a factor that is often overlooked by many companies, especially those with small teams and even smaller budgets, says Louise Robinson, MD of CG Consulting.

“Companies getting ready to start a marketing campaign will generally have spent a great deal of time on content. However, one often overlooked feature is proper timing. When it comes to factors that may impact the success of the campaign, timing plays a huge role, especially when considered with other variables,” she says.

“Many marketing managers fail to see the importance of marketing for specific times of the year, instead deciding they should just push their marketing efforts throughout the entire year, and while this can work in some instances, it can also lead to little ROI for their efforts. And even if they do employ seasonal marketing, many businesses forget the impact of specific seasons and events, and are disappointed when their results slump during these periods.”

For example, she points out that Easter and Christmas are peak periods for consumer-facing companies, but that they effectively result in a business shutdown that can have a huge impact on targets. “There is a certain psychology that plays a huge role in timing for strategic marketing initiatives. Knowing what your consumer is thinking during certain times in the year can help decide what type of marketing campaign you want to launch, and what kind of results you get. There is no point in starting a business-to-business campaign in November knowing that December and January are half months,” Robinson says.

“Getting the timing of marketing right can be difficult, especially for businesses that are operating in other countries. While the end of the year is holiday season in South Africa, it’s business as usual in the rest of the world. Similarly, companies operating in the Middle East will need to keep track of religious holidays such as Eid, and avoid running campaigns during this period.”

She points out that while companies try to time their events to when people would be most interested, they neglect to do the same for the other elements of their marketing campaigns. In fact, Robinson says that too many businesses employ the same tactics they have used for years, and expect to see different results.

“Companies buy databases looking to sell to a particular audience, but often don’t time their use of that database to be as effective as it could be. In many cases, the database is blamed for a lack of results, when different timing would have resulted in much better outcomes. Instead, businesses should look at their historical data and zero in on the times that have worked best (and worst) for their marketing campaigns. Right place, right time, right consumer, in the right frame of mind – this is the key to any successful marketing.”

Robinson says that many businesses have overcome these limitations by employing the skills of a specialist consultancy. “Companies that focus on lead generation and marketing will know when the timing is good – and bad – for a particular campaign. They will be able to provide advice on which measures reach which target audience best, and when.”