12/08/2013

By Bryony Thomas, Author – Watertight Marketing

No doubt you’ve been told that you need to get your marketing timing right. A glib, almost meaningless, statement… I mean ‘right’ is so dependent on what you sell and to whom. So, rather than tell you that Tuesday at 2pm is your golden moment, here are three guiding principles for working out what’s right for your buyers.

The easy stuff when it comes to marketing timing is increasing the chance of showing up when someone is looking – for this I’ve devised Three S Timing. The tough stuff is making people want to spend time with you. For this you’ll need to find ways to earn the right to a person’s time. And, lastly, I’d encourage you to slow things down

Three S Timing

This is about showing up when your potential buyer is likely to notice you. These three key considerations are useful for planning your key awareness activities:

Selectivity: a person’s attention is selective. When in a buying mood, they will suddenly notice something that has always been there. You need to structure your activities to show up often enough to increase the likelihood of being there in this moment. This means a baseline of awareness activity, a bit like a lighthouse.

Seasonality: every market has seasonal shifts. Be it the school year, the financial year, weather patterns or some other regular rhythm, there will be times of increased awareness you can tap into.

Scheduling: then there’s how they structure their time. Do they work 9-5 or at weekends? Are there days of the week, or times of day that are more effective than others? Work this out and schedule your activity accordingly.

Once you have their attention, you need to keep it…

Do you earn the right to time?

My clarion cry on this one is to stop thinking about how long it takes to explain what you do, and to work out how to explain what you do in how long your buyer wants to give you. Because, whilst everything above might help you get your initial message in front of them when they’re looking, it does very little to make people want to look for longer.

Across a buying decision, someone might spend a great deal of time considering their purchase. The riskier the decision, the longer they might spend thinking about it. But, they won’t do it all at once. If you break this down, you will see that people start by devoting a little time, a few minutes scanning search results for example, then steadily increase the time they spend as they get closer to becoming a customer.

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If you work out roughly what a reasonable time investment is for your buyers at each stage, you can then select marketing tools or techniques to suit. For example:

Awareness:

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