Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Timing - a crucial element in marketing

We get some random leaflets through our door. I've critiqued one before for various marketing fails. But this rather weird leaflet we received recently illustrates another really important point about marketing: the importance of timing.

All these dates had gone

We got this through the door on about the 20th February. All bar one of the events that were advertised had passed.

Still time to go to one...!

The only one that we could still make was 'The origins of universal knowledge', which is a real shame because clearly the one about geomagnetism and ley lines would have been the most interesting.

(Realistically I know I wouldn't have gone to any of these. I would have liked to. Crazy things like this amuse me. For £3 it would probably have been great value even though I have enough on without going along to stuff like this for a laugh.)

But the point is, because of the timing, the leaflet was useless. I'm not even sure why they bothered paying to have them delivered at all if five of the six events had gone. Maybe they got ripped off by their distribution company. Maybe they had a load of leaflets left and were desperate to get people along to the last one in the series. Who knows? But I doubt it worked.

Timing is critical in marketing - when you make the offer often determines whether people take you up on it. There's good evidence, for example, that marketing emails don't do well on a Monday or a Friday. I often question the timing of TV adverts for special offer weekends, which are broadcast after 6pm on a Sunday when all the shops are shut. Why show it then? It's just a waste of the marketing budget.

It's very easy to spend a lot of time and effort thinking about your message, just to sabotage yourself by sending it out at completely the wrong time. The only thing more useless is sending it to completely the wrong prospects. I'm going to keep an eye out for an example of that.

Other comms & marketing posts
Making communications work: Always do the 'Comms around the Comms'
What makes TV adverts memorable: Some nuggets from psychology research
Marketing b*llocks! The "Camel Balls" bubble gum branding case study

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