Mar 8, 2013

The strategic timing of your messaging helps to build business

The strategic timing of your messaging helps to build business
BY Peggy Nordeen

B2B | Campaign | SFBJ

Reprinted from the South Florida Business Journal

Marketers are learning that the impact of what you tell your customers about your brand or company is strongly influenced by when you tell it to them.

The television commercial that interrupts a favorite evening program or sporting event might not be nearly as well received as the drive-time radio spot that entertains in transit.

For many years, advertisers blasted away at audiences, with features or benefits of the offering, with the main goal of firing at and hitting the target as many times as possible.

Today, the concentration has shifted from “hitting” to “embracing” the target audience at moments in their daily experience when they will welcome the message. Likewise, the tone and content of the messaging must match the time and place it is delivered.

Among the most welcomed times to “embrace” potential customers is when they are traveling from place to place, waiting for something to happen and shopping in stores or online.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s winter “Good Bye Chilly, Hello Sunny Lauderdale Tour” deployed a successful example of a welcomed message encounter with its beachmobile, sporting a clear view into a glass trailer, as it drove along major thoroughfares. The trailer was filled with sand, palm trees and bikini-clad models promoting the area’s tropical destination. The CVB just completed this year’s winter tours in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, London’s Canary Wharf and Chicago’s Tribune Plaza (also known as Pioneer Court) on Michigan Avenue, creating millions of impressions and social engagements.

Led by President and CEO Nicki Grossman, the CVB team rocked these venues with the new “Hello Sunny” campaign to delight downtown audiences. Frigid commuters and shoppers were suddenly warmed by thoughts of sandy beaches.

In Chicago, a live webcam of Fort Lauderdale’s beach was projected onto a giant screen. Thousands of walkers stopped, danced to live beach music on Tribune Plaza, and got their pictures taken with bikinis frozen in ice blocks – pictures that soon flooded their friends’ Facebook news streams. The Chicago Blackhawks’ Ice Crew Girls and mascot Tommy Hawk added to the fun. And, Hockey Hall of Famer Denis Savard signed his autograph on Greater Fort Lauderdale Vacation Planner brochures. For a quick video of the event, go to These types of tours have garnered up to 2,000 times return on investment for the CVB.

Another example of embracing customers with the messaging they want at the most appropriate time is happening daily in grocery stores on mobile phones. Studies have shown that consumers value messaging on their phones that is either entertaining or helping to accomplish something.

Everyone has seen the chefs’ stands in grocery stores that offer a “little taste” to push a new product or brand. Obviously effective, the mobile phones extend this experience with the quick scan of a video that shows a recipe being made, and ends with a button to click to add all ingredients to your shopping list. The new ingredients list will tell you which items currently carry a coupon, and identify the brand of ingredient offering this incredible convenience to you exactly at the time that you need it. If you want to share the recipe with a friend, you can click another button to post on your Facebook page.

This combination of technology and messaging at the right time for the right functionality delights and embraces potential customers, leaving them with a fun and helpful experience, rather than an unnecessary interruption.

What’s more, the Facebook posts and tweeting opportunities presented by both of the examples above are brand-building impressions that create loyalty, and help garner even more customers who are friends and followers.

John Lennon sang “All You Need is Love,” and today’s marketers are just adding the right timing to a little love from the brand to build business.