The Right Place AND the Right Time

A few months back I wrote a post about the power of Why. Today I was reminded of the power of another of the five Ws – When.

I just launched a Facebook ad campaign connected to Tropical Storm Isaac. Isaac is a notable guy these days. He’s getting more press than the average tropical storm because of the potential threat he poses to next week’s GOP convention in Tampa. (And the fact that he shares a name with the bartender from The Love Boat hasn’t hurt his buzz factor at all.)

Forty-five minutes after launch, this ad campaign had already generated more click thrus than a previous, similar campaign did in a week. Why?

Because of When.

Your marketing message will resonate with more people and prompt more action when it comes at the right time. With a hurricane brewing in the Carribbean, there are a lot more people interested in getting ready for bad weather than there were a few days ago.

Timeliness is the most powerful tool you’ve got for breaking through the clutter. But to take full advantage of it, you have to be nimble. In today’s world, people’s receptivity to your message can change in just a few hours. You have to be ready to strike when the opportunity presents itself.

The power of When can also come into play in more predictable ways. For example, you can connect your message to holidays and observances to make it more timely. You can post to Facebook when you know your audience is most active there. You can tweet the same content at different times of day over the course of a week (or more) to reach a broader audience. Those are all considerations of When.

If you’re looking to reach an audience, make sure you’re not just focusing on being in the right place. You’ve got to be there at the right time too.

One Response to “The Right Place AND the Right Time”

  1. Obviously the power of When has always been important. I agree about being nimble – no question. Look at thirty years ago: radio advertisers, for example, had control over choosing day parts for their pre-recorded spots. That was considered control over timing. The data I glean from Facebook Insights that informs when I post certain content on a brand page so far surpasses day parting and it sure costs less per impression.

    The way that digital allows advertisers to make their message relevant in real time (and frankly, demands it of us) makes our jobs more challenging than ever. It also allows us to be more efficient. Great power, great responsibility…

    What is the most interesting way you’ve seen this shift in responsive timeliness manifest in PR? It seems that a PR crisis is a greater threat than ever because instant response is expected; the faster you have to respond, the less time you have to vet it, spell check it, and play out potential resulting scenarios.


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