The Importance of Timing

Calendar_2007_SmNovember 1, 2009

I went out to get my Sunday paper (yes, I still read the paper) to find it polybagged in an advertisement for Snickers. The bag included a coupon for a bag of Snickers’ Minis.

Does anyone else find it odd that I received a coupon for snack-sized Snickers the morning after my children are waking-up from their Halloween-induced coma?

Return on investment is crucial for your marketing efforts, but some things are out of your control – like natural disasters or a surprise launch of a competitive product at the same time as yours.  However, there are some things you can control –  like timing.

A few years back I participated in Bzz Agent’s word-of-mouth marketing program where they were getting people to try Hershey’s new Take 5 chocolate candy bar.  The problem was they sent me the product in July in Georgia.  The melted glop that remained was not very appetizing.

When I brought this to Bzz Agent’s attention, they stated they had received similar complaints and would rectify the situation.  They did resend the bars – in August.

I can’t imagine Hershey’s received the return they had hoped for based on poor timing on behalf of them and BzzAgent.

Just last month, Toronto’s subway newspaper, the Metro, began running ads promoting their mobile website, suggesting that the website was so riveting it might cause car accidents. Their timing, however, was lousy, since the Toronto government had just passed legislation making it illegal to drive and use a cell phone at the same time.

There are many things not in your control when marketing, but to ensure the best possible return on investment make sure you control what you can.

Do you have any marketing disaster stories caused by poor timing?  Let us know.

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1 Comment

Filed under Marketing ROI

One response to “The Importance of Timing

  1. Jonathan Agin

    Circumstances such as you’ve shared with Snickers and Hersheys are often due to the lack of the brand and agency being on the same page for their promotions. Additionally, there are so many things wrong with Snickers couponing through the newspaper but just the cost alone is extremely inefficient. They would have been much better off reaching moms via day care centers 2 or 3 weeks before Halloween when they were getting prepared for the holiday and reaching them at a time just prior to a trip to the grocery store. As one who works with clients to strategically plan and execute shopper marketing tactics to increase brand awareness and product sales, I agree with Andy’s comments that “Timing” is a crucial variable to make your marketing executions successful.

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