Sunday, September 09, 2012

Timing is Everything

I heard a funny story the other day from an acquaintance.  I’ll call her Mary in order to protect the guilty.

She was sharing that she strategically chooses the best time to slip expensive purchases past her husband.  She knows that as a principal he is really busy just before March Break and before school starts in the fall, and so that is when she zeros in to make her major purchases. 

This year she bought a brand, spanking new, stainless steel fridge.  “It was weeks before he noticed” she observed and her children joined in the fun, wondering just how long it would take for Dad to catch on that they had a new fridge.

It made me chuckle, but there is also some business truth in this too.  Timing is key when you are launching a new program or product.  Choose the wrong time and you’ve missed the boat, especially with products for the holiday season.  People start shopping earlier and earlier, and in the magazine business, think six months ahead.

It is not just the timing that you have to know, it’s your customer too.  This woman knew her husband so well that she knew when he would be distracted.  How well do you know your prospective customers?  Do you have the breakdown of when and where they are likely to purchase what you have to offer.  It would be good information to have in your back pocket. 

Of course the other trick, especially with husbands, is to make them think it was their idea in the first place.

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