I was recently asked, by the fabulous Valuable Content duo, what our most successful content of 2015 had been and why. The answer was clear. It was our simply, useful and timely Christmas Marketing Checklist. Getting your marketing timing right is so critical to getting noticed, that I’ve asked Certified Practitioner, Rachael Wheatley, to outline the key elements from Watertight Marketing methodology that is – Three S Timing – that help you to do this. ~ Bryony Thomas
Are you, and your business, showing up at the times when your customers are looking for what you sell? Of course, that sounds very sensible, why wouldn’t you? But, it’s easier said than done – at least without some thought and planning, this is Leak 10 – When in the Thirteen Touchpoint Leaks™ . The good news is that you can massively increase your chances of showing up at the right time by looking at and addressing the three elements of timing, (See also Chapter 8 of Watertight Marketing):
- Scheduling, and
Getting your marketing timing right with SEASONALITY
As it’s coming up to Christmas and in a ‘season’, this seems to be the most appropriate factor to consider first.
Whatever your market and whoever your customers are, there will be a season you can tap into. Some examples are:
- Financial year ends (though beware, lots of businesses will be hooking into this so you might need to think even more creatively to be heard),
- Industry events,
- Summer holidays,
- Coming back from summer holidays (usually with some renewed energy),
- Easter, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day,
- Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer,
- One off events such as a sporting event.
Consider a year in the life of your customer and the key events or triggers that might occur in a typical twelve months. What things happen for them, and when, that you can talk about or help with? With this in mind, plan any marketing activities you can to coincide with these events or triggers.
You could also use that season to ‘flavour’ your marketing communications – you could, for example, talk about love or relationships around Valentine’s Day, even if your product has nothing to do with love! One client I worked with sold customer relationship management software and for them one year, Valentine’s Day was a good excuse to send out, taking a light-hearted approach, some marketing around how to build relationships with existing clients using their software.
Getting your marketing timing right with SELECTIVITY
Have you noticed that when you’re in the market for a new product, you find you see it or hear about it all the time? It’s been there for a while, you just hadn’t noticed it. This is called selective attention. It has everything to do with good timing and nothing to do with luck. It’s about making sure you’re there, at the times when people are looking, frequently enough for you to increase your chances.
For instance, a one off blog or Tweet might be a drop in the ocean and the chances of being seen by your prospect at exactly the point they start thinking about buying your product are practically zero. That would be lucky!
But a regular series of blogs that are split down into bite sized pieces and your luck increases! When posted on Twitter and LinkedIn several times at different times of days over the period of a week, and then re-written and re-posted a month later on, stand much more chance of being noticed than the one off.
It only takes one of these posts to be noticed, but you need all of them working together to make sure you’re there for when your customers are looking for your particular product or service.
Getting your marketing timing right with SCHEDULING
If you look at your customers’ days and see when they might interact with you on social media or your website, or when might be a good time to receive something through the post, this will give you an idea of when to schedule your marketing.
Monday mornings tend not to be the best times for people, either because they have team meetings or first day back after the weekend stuff to sort out. And Friday afternoons can be tricky because they are winding down to the weekend. Friday afternoon might be a good time for something a bit lighter and people do look at social media or catch-up on work at certain times at the weekend so it isn’t just a case of scheduling marketing during working hours.
Businesses selling to consumers in some ways have a harder job – at least than they used to. For instance, calling them at home during working hours (unless you’re aiming at retired people) won’t work, but most people don’t like being called in the evening. This means that if you’re aiming at a consumer market, you’ll need to think about other ways to engage with them, maybe in social media, at a time when they are going to be looking and when they would be open to what you’re selling.
So, when developing your marketing plan, if you consider these three factors – seasonality, selectivity and scheduling – you’ll be going a long way to make sure you don’t suffer from Leak #10 – When. And don’t forget to review any existing marketing communications against the 3 S Timing model to tweak anything that you feel could be improved.
© Watertight Marketing Ltd
By Rachael Wheatley, Watertight Marketing Certified Practitioner. Rachael is a strategic marketing consultant in the South West with a particular strength for integrating sales and marketing for long-term commercial success. with a focus on knowledge businesses and professional services. See Rachael’s full profile