William Shakespeare once said, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” Which begs the question - how do we know the right time for anything? If you’ve ever waited until your boss was in a good mood to ask for a vacation day, you know the value of timing in getting what you want.
The right business strategies and creative ideas aren’t strictly a matter of their content, but the moment they’re presented. You can have the best strategy or the most creative idea, but if you do not execute it at the right moment, it can be missed entirely. Here’s a few examples of when timing counts in business.
It’s Monday, Take My Money.
Mountains of research exist on the precisely right time to serve up an ad or promotional message to an audience ... and the findings are fascinating. For instance, did you know that most people tend to make big decisions on Mondays? If you want someone to spend major money on your pricey product, the start of the week is the right time to make your pitch. Conversely, budget shoppers are best reached on Thursdays and Fridays. And if you want to deliver your message via social media? People are unsurprisingly less active during weekends, probably because they’re out living “IRL,” and not at work.
“I’m Late! I’m Late! For a Very Important Date!”
Nailing message timing can hinge on something as basic as time zones. If you’re in the Eastern Standard time zone, no one in California wants to be awakened at 4 a.m. with a notification from you, and no one in Australia is going to even pay attention at 11 p.m.—they’re binging Netflix.
Another part of timing to consider is cultural—are you paying attention to what is on the average person’s mind these days? What is the zeitgeist of your present moment? Is your message ahead of it or behind it? Rush out your message to capitalize on a trend and you can seem insincere; wait too long and you can seem behind the times. Thoughtful analysis is key here.
Homework: It’s Not Just for Students.
The biggest favor you can do yourself when considering how to time a message is by doing your homework. There are many tools and methods available to figure out what people want, and when. For instance, Google Trends can help you see what people are searching for and when. Another great tool is, of course, Nexis Newsdesk™, of course. It will help you stay atop news and other developments so you can determine the precise right time to execute your plan.
In the battle for people’s attention, be sure to avoid falling down at the finish line. Why spend hours developing the right concept and plotting the best execution if you don’t make the effort to understand precisely when to deliver it? To ignore that major step is a waste of⎯dare we say it?⎯time. The most successful initiatives are those that are informed by good data. So go get some.