In Marketing, Timing Is Everything

July 6, 2010  |  

I was recently working with a client who wanted to launch a marketing campaign. The client was extremely excited about it…a little too excited, perhaps. Why do I say that? Well, first, the client already had several things in motion when I was asked to assist with the launch and second, his time frame for launching the campaign was less than a month! That’s not the ideal predicament to be in. So, as you’re planning your marketing activities, keep these three things in mind so you don’t find yourself in a similar situation:

#1: Think Ahead

A good lead-time for small marketing efforts is three months. That gives you plenty of time for the planning and preparation of whatever is needed to successfully execute your marketing activity. It also leaves time for the unexpected. You should allow more lead-time for more complex marketing efforts.

#2: Be Timely

Timing your marketing activity to coincide with an event, time of year or current event can help potential consumers be more receptive to your marketing message. For instance, if you own a carpet cleaning company, you could technically promote a special offer at any point. However, consumers are more likely to be receptive to and / or looking for a special offer on carpet cleaning in the spring when spring cleaning is on the mind or right before the winter holidays when they’ll have lots of visitors. For small businesses, marketing in this way produces a better return than marketing without regard to timeliness.

#3: Plan

It’s easy to get overzealous when you’re excited about a new marketing idea or activity…and you should definitely stay excited. However, do not be blinded by your vision of the end product and go straight to producing that. Instead, take out a sheet of paper and brainstorm about the idea. Ask yourself “Why?” and “How?” about everything. The goal is to consider all of the logistical needs that will have to be met to execute the marketing activity. Beyond what the resulting marketing will look like and how to get there, you must also consider the budget for the marketing, vendors you’ll need to hire and time it will take for those vendors to complete the work you’ve requested. Planning is also key for creating marketing that meshes with your current branding, which your marketing should always do.

I’m happy to say that my client’s marketing activity was completed. However, it was an uphill battle. Since the client did not think ahead and failed to plan and was financially unable to re-do what was done before I was hired to get the project on the ideal track, the original vision for the activity could not be executed. Instead, the client had to go to “Plan B,” which we were forced to create on the fly. In the end, the client achieved the intended goal, which was to increase awareness of a specific product. That client was lucky, timeliness being the saving grace. My advice to you is this: Don’t rely on luck. Think ahead, be timely and plan. If you do all three, you’ll have stress-free success every time you launch a marketing activity!

As always, if you have a marketing question that you would like me to answer, send me an email at or

Tanisha Coffey is a professional writer and marketing consultant based in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. She provides her services through the strategic marketing consulting, professional copywriting and independent author services firm Scribe, Etc.

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