Marketing in the right time and place

3-whenwhereThings are coming together. Your ideal customers are coming to you in droves and business is booming.You’ve worked hard to figure out a marketing strategy that works for your business.

You could sit back and relax – leaving things just the way they are – content with “good.” Or you could sprint towards the finish line and go for “great.”

If you’ve already answered “Who? Why? What? & How?” in our marketing exercise, it’s now time to focus on “When? and Where?”

Timing matters

“When? and Where?” might seem like they’d be really simple concepts when it comes to marketing, but coming up with useful answers to both questions may be harder than you think.

If you’re driving people to your website with social media or a newsletter, timing becomes really important. There’s a ton of research that goes into figuring out the best time to communicate with your audience.

When will they be most receptive? Not only that, when will they have the opportunity to take action?

How often do you go back to a social media post you saw hours ago and engage with it? Probably not often. Other things have come up – the world has moved on.

The best timing will depend on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to. It should also factor in when you will actually be able to interact with customers. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen companies schedule social media updates late in the evening urging their audience to action – after everyone from the business has gone home.

If your marketing and advertising can’t be immediately acted upon, it’s going to be less effective.

Location, location, location

The geographic scope of where you should be marketing should be something that came up when you were identifying your ideal customer. If you did a good job getting specific with the qualities of an ideal customer you should have an idea of where they’re at in the world and, in turn, where you should be targeting your marketing.

But “Where?” gets a little more complex once you get past geography and start thinking more about context.

  • In what context is your marketing going to make the most impact on a potential customer?
  • What is the place your ideal customer is most likely to see your marketing?
  • Does the context of where people see your marketing influence your message?

Billboards on long, empty stretches of road advertising that the next truck stop has clean bathrooms exist for a reason.

Pay attention, follow your audience

When it comes to online marketing, picking the right places to reach out to potential customers is especially challenging because so much is out of your control. You don’t get to decide the social media updates that will be next to yours or even where customers are finding your website.

The best you can do in most cases is follow your audience and be where they’re most likely to be. But in any case, those external places where you market are all out of your control. While Facebook probably isn’t going to go away any time soon, they might make a change tomorrow that completely negates your marketing there. Your audience may also migrate elsewhere over time.

So be prepared to adapt. Use your website as the foundation of your online marketing and bring people to it. If you’ve done a good job answering “Who? Why? What? How? When? & Where?” and have let those answers inform and shape your overall marketing plan, potential customers stand a much better chance of becoming new customers no matter where they’re coming from.


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