Timing is everything. Just as it goes for comedy, so it goes for marketing too. Right place, right time, right consumer in the right frame of mind – this is the key to any successful marketing
strategy. Here, we explore the timing trends and tips that will help you get a leg up on your competitors.
Remember the old nursery rhyme about Solomon Grundy? Today’s version might go something like this:
Solomon Grundy makes big decisions on a Monday,
Checks his emails on a Tuesday,
Dreams of holidays on a Wednesday,
Does grocery shopping on a Thursday,
Chills out on a Friday,
Does DIY on a Saturday,
Visits the supermarket on a Sunday.
The point is consumers are more inclined to do certain things on certain days of the week. And if you can understand those habits relevant to your business, you can make sure your campaign hits when the consumer in the right frame of mind to act, and ultimately drive a better ROI.
Take holiday marketing. Have you ever noticed how it reaches 10am on a Wednesday and you suddenly receive emails from flight and tourism brands? They don’t call it “Hump Day” for nothing; come the middle of the week, people are looking for a distraction and are dreaming of getting away from it all. So what better time to grab people’s attention with tourism offers?
Zooming out from the days of the week, consumers have certain habits according to seasons too. The key is to sit down and work out the optimum point in season to run your campaigns for the best results. For example, on the first day of winter, people switch from salad to soup. So in order to capture the market, soup brands need to forecast with exact precision the perfect time to promote their products. And it pays to be first! People are loyal to soup brands; they try it, they like it, they stick with it.
So how do you know what time’s the right time? Mostly it comes down to previous experience. Look at your historical data and zero in on the times that have worked best (and worst) for your marketing campaigns.
There are also some bigger picture trends on timing that you can apply to your own business. Here are a few that may or may not surprise you:
o Big decisions are made on Monday: If you want to get people to buy big, your letterbox advertising campaign needs to land just before Monday as it might be the best way to get the sale.
o Social media is quieter on the weekend: Even though fewer people check their social media accounts on the weekends, those who do check it are more active than they might be during the week. So there’s a great opportunity to get noticed. People are also more likely to watch longer videos and read articles. They simply have more time! Here are eight ways to raise your game on social media.
o Budget-conscious shoppers hit the shops on Thursday: Chances are this is a trend driven by the timing of payrolls and government benefits. But if you’re targeting the budget-savvy, Thursday and Friday could be the best times to hit!
o Weekends are about DIY: The big DIY brands advertise heavily from Thursday to Sunday because they want to own the weekend mindset and infiltrate the DIYers. They are also sponsor of key sporting games over the weekends (NRL and AFL), letting them tap into their male target audience at the right time.
o Sunday is supermarket day: According to the Woolworths Trolley Trends 2013 Report, Sunday is fast becoming the new Saturday for trips to the supermarket. In fact, 18% of Australians made Sunday their primary shopping day in 2013 compared to 15% in 2012.
o Weekend deliveries make an impact: When it comes to letterbox campaigns, there is naturally less mail on the weekend meaning you have more chance of grabbing the recipient’s attention. For small businesses, evidence suggests the weekend might capture consumers in a local-shopping mindset that will drive the effectiveness of a local campaign. That said, the timing of your campaign needs to fit with what your business is trying to achieve.
Time to switch channels
The right time to interact with consumers will also depend on the channel you’re using. So the timing of your social media campaign should be different from your direct mail and email marketing, and so on. For example, according to Marketing Magazine’s ‘Digital Down Under’ report, 71% of Australian consumers check their email as soon as they wake up, compared to 17% who check Facebook. And don’t just stick to one channel. Here are more multi-channel marketing tips to help you make the most of your marketing.
It’s all in the planning
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t send out your marketing campaign on the right day and expect amazing results. It’s not that simple. Targeting, message, branding and design all have a part to play. If you can nail these elements and then send your material out at the right time, you’re onto a winner.