The timing of your campaign launch can make or break it.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
These timeless lines from the Lord of the Rings are retold in one way or another by marketers and brands who regret launching campaigns or publicity stunts at an inopportune time.
Social Listening – Listen to what it has to say
You might have a revolutionary idea or a new product that your test audiences confirm will be a hit amongst the masses, but if you don’t religiously adhere to the law of social listening, your sure-fire idea will turn into a total misfire before you can even fully assess the damage to your budget and rue over the abysmal return on investment.
It’s important to not only decide months in advance when to launch your brand, but also give social listening a proactive glance on a weekly basis. If your brand has nothing to do with Game of Thrones and is planning to launch something on a Sunday or a Monday during a season, you’re likely to be buried under the rubble of discussions, outrage, reactions, reviews and memes. But, if your brand is related to merchandise, it can piggyback off the buzz to push your desired audience to purchase that specific product.
Recognizing how long and how strong a trend lasts is necessary too before you try to capitalize on it. Competitors won’t release any news about similar fantasy television shows until after the Internet has fully digested the Game of Thrones but wait till the point when the euphoria dies and the craving for something new begins, to present them with a new show to be hooked on.
“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, breaking news and some sudden events can take all the press attention away from you and towards the pressing matter at hand. On the day of and the months following 9/11, media blitzes and press conferences and interviews for several writers and other professionals were either cancelled or received next to no exposure.
“A wizard is never late. Nor is he early; he arrives precisely when he means to.”
– Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
In the post social media world, not only is time fleeting, but also our attention spans. It is increasingly more difficult to accurately gauge when someone would be willing to engage with your advertisement. Knowing when your specific audience is most likely to be active is imperative.
What’s on your mind?
People think of different things every day of the week, though often they tend to think of things other do, on the same day. Mondays are for planning, Tuesdays to catch up on all the unread messages, by Wednesday you’re wishing to be off somewhere, and so on.
Once you know where your brand fits in the grand scheme of everyday cravings and necessities of your audience, you know when to hit them with your emails and social media posts.
Be Concise and Precise
“What do you mean?” Gandalf said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1936)
Be clear, concise and precise with your message, because unlike Gandalf, your audience does not have the time to decipher or extrapolate any hidden meaning behind your message. Confusing copy runs the risk of robbing you of that chance to reach out to a potential customer again, despite having that opportune time in your pocket.
“Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east.”
– Gandalf, the Two Towers.
Additionally, it is a good idea to create anticipation about the launch of a new product or service, or the new face of a brand, by announcing the exact date and time of the launch for audiences to look forward to and make a mental note of.
Indeed, there are other key considerations that you need to be aware of, but the time has come for this tidbit to end, before you run out of time and divert your attention to something else.
At Jester, a key part of our brand strategy work is to read the trends and devise an appropriate plan for your brand and the time when it needs to interact with your target audience.