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Are you timing your marketing right?

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Right people, right place, right message, right time. It’s a frequently repeated marketing mantra – but all too often the fourth and final part of the equation is overlooked. In many cases timing is thrown by the wayside as we rush to get that new campaign out the door, particularly if we are about to head away on holiday or go home for the day.

The thing is good timing acts as an amplifier. If you sell water polo goals you’re going to generate a lot more sales if you promote them in the lead-up to summer.

If you sell flowers, then your marketing needs to come into bloom in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. Sometimes holding fire on a campaign until the most opportune time, is the way to go.

Seasonality

The water polo and florist examples above are examples of seasonality – the idea that some products and services will sell better at different times of year. This is a simple yet powerful concept when it comes to getting the most out of your marketing, and it’s worth delving your own sales and leads data to see how it applies to the products and services you offer.

If you sell smartphones, is the countdown to Christmas the busiest time of year? As an accountant, do you see more enquiries for new customers at the end of the financial year?

There won’t always be a clear seasonal trend for some of your products and services, but if you can identify a trend it can provide a big clue as to when you should reach out to potential customers.

If you do all of your business in the summer, you might decide to allocate the majority of your marketing budget to the warmer months. Alternatively, you might like to look at what products or services you can offer to generate income at a different time of year.

Time of day

Another consideration is the time of the day you are sending out your marketing messages. This has always been important, but it matters that much more if you are engaging in digital marketing.

Email marketing platforms MailChimp and Campaign Monitor both report that, on average, sending marketing emails late morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays result in the best open rates. For social media, many studies suggest that marketing on Saturdays holds some merit.

As always, the right time of day to reach people depends on your target customer and the medium you are using.

If you are marketing a product to business customers, you will get more engagement if you schedule your social media, email marketing and other digital campaigns to reach your target customers in the morning or early afternoon and during the working week.

If you are marketing a consumer good, such as wine, then reaching people a bit later in the day or on the weekend may be the way to go. Not only are people more likely to be thinking about enjoying a drink at those times, but they also have the space to make that all important purchase in your online store.

The answer lies in your data

Ultimately, the key to getting your timing right is having access to the right data and insights. Your sales data will tell part of the story and you can also take some learnings from the times of year – or day – when you get the most enquiries or visits to your website.

Getting the timing right will help dictate what you market, and when. It should be a central consideration for any business that wants to maximise the return received for every marketing dollar and hour spent.

James Heffield
Director of Bay of Plenty marketing and public relations consultancy Last Word. To find out more visit www.lastwordmedia.co.nz or email james@lastwordmedia.co.nz.

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