What is “customer timing”?
In the article on mapping the buyer journey, we discussed what the buying decision-making process is. As marketers, we can use this structure to get a better understanding of our customers. Customer timing is being ready when the customer is ready. It means being engaged with them so that when they are ready, you are the first choice.
In practical terms, it means continuous engagement.
This differs from campaigns as they function when you, as a marketer/company, choose to execute them. Campaigns only work to a minority percentage of your target audience. The offer you make will only get to some of the audience at the right moment with just the right appeal. Although the mechanisms and technology of campaign automation can be used for continuous engagement, there is a health warning: don’t measure each execution, it won’t serve your purpose.
Continuous engagement is not “always-on” marketing. This is where you are waiting for the customer to turn up and have the offer ready for them or can configure the offer in real-time for them.
Continuous engagement is also not “content marketing” and for this article, content marketing is creating content that optimises the search engines for you.
Continuous engagement means building an audience that learns to trust you. This takes time and being rigorously audience-centric in understanding that the ‘sell’ will happen when they are ready (customer’s timing). Done well, this is truly what “inbound marketing” is about.
When you have built sustained engagement with an audience, you will learn a great deal about what their actual needs are – “you are what you read”. And you can be there for them on their timetable to help them progress through the buying journey.