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Timing is Everything

This week I have been fortunate enough to spend some time in Yorkshire. If you’re reading this sometime after this week you probably won’t know that we have had a fair deal of snow across the country. On Tuesday, the south of England was hit by snowfall, whereas up here, the snow didn’t arrive until today, Thursday.

So, Tuesday morning, the day after we’d had sleet and hail up here and the day of the southern snowfall found me at Bolton Abbey ruins on the Duke of Devonshire Estate. A stunning day as you can see by the picture here, with perfect weather. Now today, we have the snow up here as promised. I had the perfect window for my visit.

I’d struck lucky.

Timing it appears, really is everything.

Life is all about timing. Carl Lewis (US Athlete)

As professional marketers, we are well aware of the importance of getting our message in front of the right audience at the right time.

However, we often overlook the role of timing in the success of our campaigns. In today's fast-paced world, timing can make all the difference in the effectiveness of marketing.

Good timing means knowing when to make a move. But good timing only appears as such after the event, when we've seen how coincidence and chance have had an opportunity to collide. I remember sending a promotional proposal on spec, many years ago, to Warner Lambert. It was a promotional proposal for

their Arm and Hammer toothpaste brand. I've had a deal of experience in the category and looking at the brand thought, with a free afternoon ahead of me, that I draught a full proposal to share with them. This was a year or two before e-mail and so rather than wait for the post to deliver my proposal to the prospective client I thought I'd seize the moment, and I sent it by fax. The one and only time I've ever sent a proposal cold by fax. What was incredible was within half an hour I received a return fax by way of reply from the brand manager. It simply said “WOW”. I then worked with that brand manager throughout his time in that role. Serendipity? The collision of opportunity and chance? Or just good timing?

Timing is everything. When we built the Hacienda it was too soon. When we built the Factory offices it was too late. It did however have a zinc roof which was very cool. Tony Wilson (Haçienda and Factory Records, Co-founder)

One factor that affects timing is the type of product or service that we are marketing. If your product is seasonal, such as swimsuits or winter jackets, timing is of the essence. Likewise, the success of Cadbury’s Easter chocolate campaigns, perennial award winners all, are pretty much dependent on the existence of Easter and the giving of chocolate. I say pretty much but I mean totally.

We all need to make sure that our marketing efforts are in line with the season or else we risk missing out on the opportunity to sell product.

Timing is everything. In life and in golf. Arnold Palmer (US Golfer)

Another important factor to consider is the time of day. Depending on the product and the audience, certain times may be more effective for reaching potential customers. For example, if we are selling a product to parents, we may want to target our marketing efforts during the afternoon when they are more likely to be checking their email or browsing social media. It sounds obvious but so many times (there’s that word again) this is the last thing marketers think of.

We know businesses experience peaks and troughs in sales throughout the year, and it's important to understand these patterns before launching any marketing campaign.

For example, if you own a retail store, the Christmas period is likely to be your busiest time of year, so it may make some sense to increase your marketing efforts during this period.

Finally, timing is a key factor in the success of social media marketing. Social media platforms have their own unique rhythms and patterns, and it's important to understand these when planning your campaigns. For example, Twitter tends to be most active during the morning and early afternoon, while Instagram is busiest in the evenings.

Better three hours too soon than a minute late. William Shakespeare

We need to remember the primacy of timing as a crucial factor in the success of marketing campaigns. Whether understanding the seasonality of our product or targeting our marketing campaigns to specific times of day, the right timing can make all the difference in reaching our target audience and driving sales.

As professional marketers, it's essential that we pay close attention to timing and use it to our advantage in our campaigns.One final thought, while we say timing is everything, let's not forget that we also often say, there's never a perfect time for anything. Sometimes, whatever needs to be done just needs to be done now.

Right now, I’m out for a walk in the snow.

Timing isn't the main thing. It's the only thing. Miles Davis (US Musician)

Afterword: Back from the walk and can confirm it is snowing.

Whether that's good timing or bad timing I don't know.

Sometimes things just are what they are.



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