Updated: Sep 29, 2022
The right tools at the right time mean more leads and conversions.
Like grunion runs on Southern California beaches, timing is everything. In marketing and direct mail, timing also is critical to get maximum leads and sales response.
Grunion are silvery sardine-like fish that wait for the fullest moon, highest tides, and the largest waves to ride to the farthest part of sandy beaches to spawn, incubate eggs in 10 days, and hatch babies back to the sea with the next highest tide.
Your marketing may not have to be as precise, but the more you align your messaging with prospects’ immediate needs, the more leads you’ll catch. Here are five tips to better coordinate your marketing.
1. Decide What Results You Want
Every agency and company is different and has different marketing needs. Everybody says they need more leads and sales, but how to get them may be different for each company. Some may want more people to know about them, as in brand awareness, but others may need immediate response to fill an empty pipeline.
The best marketing takes all a company’s needs into consideration and plans to match customer needs wherever customers are in the buying process. It may be information for research or a final nudge to a decision.
You will be disappointed if you’re throwing out a big net when you really need specific bait to get the right fish. Working through why you’re doing what you’re doing helps prioritize what you need, which marketing tools to use, and how to deploy them.
The more immediate response you need, the more you need to consider marketing timing that aligns with your customers’ immediate needs, not only your pipeline.
2. Determine Tools You Will Use
Like special hooks, lures, and rigging in fishing, marketing tools are designed to accomplish specific goals at specific times. The more you apply the right tools at the right times, the more success you can expect. Direct mail, email, social media, and print advertising can all work together to create big impact.
The art of this science, though, is developing the most affordable options in the right order to get the highest responses. This usually takes some discussion and consideration that involves what you’re selling, how you sell it, and how you need to respond when leads come in.
Marketing tools are applied at different times to connect with buyers when they are in one of the stages of purchasing: discovery, research, consideration/evaluation, deciding to purchase, and deciding where and when to purchase.
Knowing where prospects are on this journey helps time your messaging and your marketing to make things easy for the customer and take them to the next decision step.
3. Think What Your Customer Needs to Know When
At each stage of a customer’s journey to purchase, there is a specific need. In the discovery stage, the need may not even be known. Is it something new or something learned? A friend may have mentioned something, or an ad may have sparked an interest. Prospects need to know benefits and value and learn how your product or service fits in their lives.
If it’s something the customer already knows, inertia and familiarity will suppress any desire to change. You must provide compelling reasons why to change.
This is where the art and science of marketing changes thinking and feeling. Depending on personalities and temperaments, getting people to consider changing to get something better requires an understanding of why your customer would put themselves through the complications and complexities of change when the status quo is just fine. They need to see the big reward in time, convenience, money, status, or other motivation.
Knowing where your customer is on these journeys is extremely valuable. Consumer data that points to specific life stages, major purchases, and other circumstances can help you find customers when they are open to buying or changing.
4. Time Your Message on a Big Clock
Like those little grunion, timing decisions and behaviors is part of a bigger clock of urgency, purpose, and need. Here are a few typical moments where decisions and behaviors are likely to change:
Seasonality: What timelines and deadlines do prospects immediately face? Are there special occasions and celebrations? Is it vacation time, party time, anniversary time?
Do you have deadlines to meet quotas or make bonuses? How do your prospects and customers fit into those timelines and what can you say to persuade customers to make a change or a decision or your schedule? Where do you both align?
Trends: What is happening in the news or community issues that will make customers take a second look? What fads and fancies are distracting people and their thinking to make them rethink their status quo?
Are there industry events, big changes, big price increases, dire warnings, or other big-picture changes on the horizon that impact your prospects and customers’ welfare? How do you solve their problems in these areas?
Deadlines: Is it tax time, IRA deadline time, interest-rate increase time? How can your product or service make things easier, quicker, more affordable. What does your customer need more than a discount?
Urgency: Is there a birth, death, college entrance exam? Will someone miss out on something if they don’t act?
5. Match the Medium with the Message
Depending on the customer situation, the media you send must reflect what your message is. Is it so urgent that you need bold colors and bright lights flashing frequently? Or do you need to offer constant reminders over time working toward a crescendo of impact? Does a customer need a letter or guide with all the facts to get to a decision?
Timing of messaging and timing of media create the results you need. Seek an opinion or advice from an experienced agency to get ideas or to manage your campaigns using the right tools and the right timing. Such insider information will save you time and money so you see quick returns on your marketing investments.
Marketing is a priority for all businesses, whether small agencies or large dealerships. Maximizing your marketing impact with knowledge, experience, and capability puts you closer to maximum leads and sales.