It’s About Time
Whether it’s all about the chocolate eggs for you or has more to do with the bank holiday bonanza that kick starts the DIY season, the run up to Easter has been hard to avoid over the past few weeks. It’s been on every supermarket shelf, every other TV advert and even the snow hasn’t been able to keep the daffodils from popping out everywhere. That kind of awareness doesn’t happen by accident. The supermarkets plan their campaigns months in advance just as the DIY stores must make their buying decisions and plan staffing levels to be ready for the big sales push. While the business-to-business market may not be governed by a calendar of significant consumer events like this, timing of marketing campaigns can be just as critical to their success.
In essence, all that consumer events like Easter do for the retailer is prompt them to take advantage of an opportunity to sell when the customer is pre-disposed to buy. Those opportunities also occur in the business-to-business world. For example, those who routinely supply the public sector will know that public sector organizations are likely to spend any excess budget before the end of the financial year in order to justify budget proposals for the following year; while those who service the industrial sector should be aware that new equipment installation will often be timed to co-ordinate with a maintenance shut down in the summer.
In any form of marketing, timing is critical; whether it involves launching a new campaign, a new brand identity or co-ordinating a mix of materials and channels. While many organisations decide on a project and then work on it until it’s finished, a more effective approach is to identify the best timing for project delivery, assess how much time it will take and work backwards from there. Assessing the delivery period is often the tricky bit but if you factor in knowledge of your organisation along with reliable marketing suppliers that you can trust, a workable timetable should be achievable.
Here are our top tips for getting the timing right and delivering projects on time:
- Look for patterns in your sales figures over the past few years and use them to identify sales peaks that you can exploit
- Work with a creative marketing partner to help devise campaigns that will communicate with your target audiences through the most effective channels
- Agree the timing for project delivery and campaign launch and work backwards to create a program that is realistic
- Ensure responsibility is assigned for approving materials to ensure that decisions are made quickly and avoid delays ‘by committee’
- Align other business functions such as sales, purchasing logistics etc to the timing of your marketing campaign to ensure your business is ready to follow through with excellent service levels