When it Comes to Marketing, Timing is Everything

September 28, 2012

Timing your marketing efforts can be the difference between success and failure.

Timing is so important in many things in life: throwing the game-winning pass, meeting the love of your life, delivering the perfect one-liner or starting a business. Few things matter more for a successful start-up than timing. Potential customers can be ready for the taking if you choose the perfect moment to launch your marketing campaign. Luck can play a big part in whether your timing is good or bad. Your product may become the hot commodity because you caught a trend perfectly, even though you might have been completely unaware of it. Equally, a guy with a new sports car in his garage won’t take much notice of a flyer offering him a great deal on a new car. But, he’s going to be much more interested if he receives that flyer a day after he’s crashed that nice car.

You can’t predict these kinds of things (unless you have either a crystal ball or a police scanner), but you can make some of your own luck by thinking hard about when to launch your marketing campaign. For some products the date for your campaign is a no-brainer: if you make pies then you want to tell the world about the great deals you have on pumpkin pies just before Halloween and Thanksgiving. But for most small businesses the question of when to launch your marketing blitz requires you to think outside the box. It could be that what you really need is to get your hands on some useful information and then make some educated guesses based on that information. At Hiscox, our recent direct mail campaign was timed to coincide with the dates when our target companies renewed their small business policies. It was our hunch that many of these firms would probably renew all their insurance policies at around the same time, so we arranged our mailing campaign to hit recipients’ desks two months before their insurance renewal dates. By carefully timing our campaign, people opened our marketing packs just at the time they were mulling over what to do about their existing insurance covers. As a result, our response rate on this specially timed email campaign was 800% higher than it was on other campaigns we sent out at randomly selected times. What did this prove to us? Timing isn’t everything in a successful campaign, but it’s an important factor to consider. You still need a good clear message creatively expressed that targets the right audience. But, choosing the right time is just as important as these other factors, if not more so. Get it right and you’ll have a better chance of seeing the new orders rolling in.