Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Timing is Everything

Well, maybe not everything, but it is a biggie.

I was out on the Mini USA site tonight looking at the Mini Cooper. My daughter is looking for a new car and this one is on the list.

As I was touring their site, it reminded me of how important timing our marketing efforts becomes.

Car companies are desperate to sell but unless you are in the market, all their TV commercials and direct mail go totally ignored. Only when we're looking to buy something do we pay attention. Timing is one of the major "customer contest" factors we must get right.

It is one of the factors that impact the response rate performance ... 2% rates are the norm because 98% of the targeted prospects are not in the market now. Does that mean we stop trying? Of course not. Marketing is a longitudinal process; not an episodic one. We need to build relationships with prospects so that when they come into the market, our brands are in the considered set.

Working the 98% of prospects who do not respond to us is the one thing most marketers fail to do. Most follow up only on the 2%. That's a waste. Work the database. Work the market. Catch prospects when they come into the market. Our experience is that this longitudinal approach moves overall response rates up to the 50% range.

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