It is often said that timing is everything. I’m not comfortable making such a sweeping statement, but I do agree that proper timing is one of the most important ingredients in successful marketing campaigns. As I was reviewing the BTS Health Blog, I noticed I haven’t given proper timing for marketing campaigns its due.
First, let me say that marketing at any time is better than not marketing at all. A saying by Steuart Henderson Britt comes to mind; “doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”
So how do we get the timing right? For some marketing campaigns, it can be as simple as using a health awareness calendar as a guide because certain medical conditions start trending at certain times. For example, February was American Heart Month, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and April is IBS Awareness Month among many other health conditions. So, if you sell a drug, a diagnostic test, or a medical device used for colon cancer patients, this would be a good time to launch a new marketing campaign. A hospital may send out information about the importance of colorectal screening and FDA guidelines. A device manufacturer may tout the superiority of its imaging or surgical equipment.
Keywords and Timing
An underused tool is Google Trends which shows how frequently particular keywords are entered into its search engine in proportion to the total search volume in a particular geography during a certain period of time. Use Google Trends for comparative keyword research and to unearth spikes in keyword search volume after a certain marketing initiative. All a marketer needs to do is search for a desired term and get information about search frequency over a defined period of time in different locations. If you discover that people in the last few years tend to search for related products in early fall, you can plan ahead to time your marketing campaign accordingly. On the negative side, when search terms related to your industry are trending, increased competition would drive up cost per click in Google Ads which would mean allocating a higher budget for ads to appear in desirable positions.
An important tool for marketing campaign content optimization is TextOptimizer. It helps you optimize your content for better rankings in Google. It aligns your copy to keywords Google users search most often when they are looking for related products and services. In other words, what you are doing is adding and deleting phrases to match your site users’ expectations. It is a simple and efficient technique to develop search-engine discoverable content in less than 10 minutes. It is estimated that 70% of the optimized pages achieved a higher ranking in 5 weeks.
Common cold, flu, and sore throats are more prevalent in winter months, April showers bring misery to people allergic to pollen. There is a 46% increase in musculoskeletal extremity injuries in school children during summer relative to winter. Open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act is from mid-November through mid-December. So, it’s a good idea for a company selling anti-histamines to boost their marketing campaign efforts in the spring, a hospital to run radio spots about their orthopedic services in the summer, and a health insurer becoming ubiquitous towards the end of the year. If there is a seasonal component to what you offer, it should guide your marketing campaign strategy.
Healthcare professionals have varied work schedules; some work in the morning, some at night. There is really no single best time to reach them but there are some guidelines. Keep these tendencies in mind if e-mail blasts are your preferred marketing tactic. According to a meta-analysis by CoSchedule, Tuesdays appear to be the best day to send an e-mail, followed by Thursdays, and then Wednesdays. Avoid Mondays, Fridays, and weekends for e-mail marketing. This analysis also found that the best open times are 10 a.m. EST, followed by 8 p.m. to midnight EST, and then 2 p.m. EST. Frequency is also important. One to four e-mails a month is ideal.
Age and Response Time
According to a University of South Carolina study, age matters as well. People aged 20 to 35 responded in 16 minutes, those aged 35 to 50 in 24 minutes, while the older cohort responded in 47 minutes after opening an email. This means that if you want to target the older demographic, it might be a good idea to send e-mails a bit earlier so they can respond before the end of the day or before they go to bed. The likelihood of a response dwindles as e-mails age. If someone doesn’t respond within 48 hours, they probably won’t.
The important message here is that learning what to do and how to do it is not sufficient. We have to provide content to our audience when they are more receptive to it. A marketing strategy which incorporates the what, the how, and the when elements into their marketing campaign initiatives has a greater probability to succeed.
I’d love to hear your experiences with proper timing and successes it has brought you in your work.
— Brad Saeed, firstname.lastname@example.org