One of the biggest challenges for any marketer this year in COVID-world has been timing.
Timing is everything. Or it was, before time didn’t really exist anymore.
Why has timing been so important?
Think about things in your personal life. Like…one of the most important times when timing mattered for me was the timing of when I got on Match.com roughly five years ago.
I had been on Match for a few months. My now-husband joined for a week. The algorithm matched us up. We started talking and we were both available to talk and I’ve been a thorn in his side ever since. <3
It’s still terrifying, in retrospect, how slim that window of timing was for me to have the happy life I have now. What if I had discontinued Match before he joined? What if I had been gone on vacation and he never showed up in my feed? What if he joined the next week, when I had decided I was going to give up on dating again for a while?
So that’s a very dramatic and really life-changing matter of timing. But now – think about in terms of marketing.
Timing and location have always been important when it comes to marketing.
Primetime (before Amazon took over mind-space for the word “prime”) has always been a very real thing. Primetime TV spots for ads have always been elevated due to the fact that previously, most people watched TV when they were done with work for the day and that’s when more eyeballs were on screens.
Radio spots tend to be pricier for some stations around meal times because that timing is critical – how to get the idea of a specific, delicious food in someone’s brain right before or right when they’re hungry.
Think about email automations – if you send a follow-up after someone has reviewed a product too soon and they haven’t even gotten their delivery yet, well, there’s a squandered opportunity. Too late, and they may have already forgotten about the product.
Not saying that timing is a perfect science. There’s definitely an art and a lot of guesstimation to it. But previously we (marketers) were all working on heuristics and baseline experience as to what goes and what doesn’t in the normal world of the US. All audiences are different, for sure – a social post at 10 pm ET on a Friday night might be the right time to reach gamers but a lot of parents are most likely asleep and shut down for the night, even in COVID-world.
So what do we do now?
Welp, with all of our benchmarks out the windows, my proposal is now for consistency.
It used to be that sending a B2B email on a weekend was a non-starter. Or even on a Friday or a Monday could result in fewer opens or clicks.
But what do weekends even matter anymore when people can’t travel or leave their homes? The game’s totally changed.
Consistency is where it needs to be now when it comes to marketing efforts. Consistency being the key because if you can become consistent and your audience begins to expect that consistency or blogs, emails, specific messages – whatever it may be at certain times, that can help create routine and familiarity at a time when we’ve lost sight of both in the world.
That and some frickin’ empathy. Empathy has always been important but as countless people are dealing with sickness, depression and more challenges than ever this year – well, maybe that “vacation giveaway extravaganza” campaign you were about to launch isn’t such a good idea right now. I’m just sayin’.