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Reaching Customers at the Right Place at the Right Time
Published in Hebrew in Status - Management
Thinking Magazine, November 2006
By Ari Manor, CEO of
Even if you have the right marketing strategy, a well-defined target customer population, and a clear and important advantage to offer these customers, it’s not certain that you’ll be able to reach them. Even if you found a creative and effective way to express the advantage (for example – an especially creative advertisement, or exceptional packaging) it’s not guaranteed that they will pay attention to your marketing message. It’s becoming more and more difficult to reach customers because they are inundated with thousands of marketing messages on a daily basis, from all possible directions: newspapers, billboards, radio, the Internet, email, direct mailing, television, display windows and on the shelves, on packaging and the on products themselves, and in virtually every other possible place.
In order to stand out and reach customers, you may very well need to think about ways to create a
marketing impact, meaning - to find a way to reach your customers in the best place at the best time, so that the message that you are trying to transmit will be done so successfully and sink in. The rest of the article will present a number of examples of successful marketing impact. These examples can serve as inspiration to create your own marketing impact.
1. Psychometric on the last page
It’s the beginning of the 1990’s. You’re young and fresh out of the army, planning your big trip abroad, living in the meantime in Tel Aviv and making a living from waiting tables. You’re saving money for your trip and for university. You feel like a local and are enjoying the big city. You read the local entertainment newspaper every Friday, getting the latest on what’s new, what’s happening, where’s worth going out to. Lazy Friday afternoon reading. What a pleasure.
Especially the last page. Short satiric passages. Also dubious heroes like Shalom Toksha “the man”, and (six and a half year old) Efrat Nitzan the menace. Brief, witty writing that slaughters every possible holy cow. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. You arrive at the last humorous section, where you read: “Hi Boaz, I’m now on a trip around the Annapurna. The view is amazing, but I feel sorry for my poor Nepalese porter. He’s small, skinny, and has to carry my backpack with my new yellow HighQ book”. This is a commercial advertisement for the psychometric exam preparation institute. A small and clever ad that looks just like a natural continuation of the
back page. It appears exactly in the right place where the right audience will reach it in the right mood. This ad makes HighQ a cool school. And to top it off, at a relatively low advertising cost.
2. Once cow at a time
You have been travelling around India for two months already, walking around all the vendors, tasting everything. You’ve developed a special fondness for various sweets. There’s such a huge variety here, and it’s all so tasty. You gobble up another golab jamon… mmmm… no wonder you gained 10 kilos since you left the army! Suddenly another cow passes you by. A regular cow, holy just like its other comrades in India. However, you notice a blue sign stuck to this cow. This is a perpetuating advertisement. “Look like this?” the sign asks. You don’t look like a cow just yet, but you might as well start expressing some interest in what the rest of the sign says: “Lose weight with BioSlim.” Without a doubt an outstanding way to advertise a weight loss product.
3. The urine has gone to your head
You are a Business Administration student. It’s Thursday night and you are at the hottest bar in town. You’ve already had 4 beers and are deliberating whether to order another one or to invite the girl you have been eying all evening for a drink. Meanwhile, you bladder is pressing. You merrily teeter off to the co-ed toilets. Thankfully, one of the stalls is empty. While you are standing up and urinating, you notice, through your haze of intoxication, a rectangular and lit-up sign positioned directly above the toilet. It’s meant for you, and recommends a very specific condom, and in a very direct manner. “Even if you shake really well”, the sign says, “it’s very important that you worry about the rest of the night.” There is a condom vending machine at the entrance to the bathroom. Obviously you bought two. For you and for the …
4. The sign that sold an entire neighborhood
You became quite bourgeoisie after graduation. A house, a wife, two kids. You have a coveted Product Manager position. No time for yourself. You are currently coming home from work in Tel Aviv, stuck in terrible traffic. The cars are slowly inching forward, it’s a heat wave outside, and the car air conditioner isn’t what it used to be. You just want to get home in one piece and the traffic is virtually at a standstill. The traffic light seems slower than usual. You look outside and try to see where the traffic jam ends. You suddenly notice a sign on the side of the road, which simply says: “You could have already been home by now.” This is what thousands of irritable drivers experienced every day on their way home from work. Is it a wonder that the lone sign on the side of the road succeeded in selling the entire “Ezorei Chen” project?
5. A mouth-watering ciabatta
You’ve gotten used to your new neighborhood. The minimarket in Ezorei Chen is packed with goodies. Expensive ice creams, Belgian chocolates. But your taste has changed over the years, and now you actually want to treat yourself to a freshly-baked ciabatta. You go to the bakery section of the minimarket. A store within a store. The smell is driving you crazy. You notice a series of golden bottles beside the ciabattas. Bottles of quality olive oil that would go so well with the ciabatta. Wouldn’t you buy one? It’s no wonder that this olive oil is sold 5 times as much at the bakery compared to on the shelf it was on previously, alongside other olive oils.
6. Thirst-producing sport
It’s summer and it’s hot, and you’re sick of your perpetual gut.
You’ve decided to lose weight once and for all. Your efforts include
playing basketball at the local sports center. You played well
today, you worked hard and you’re now drenched in sweat. At 11
o’clock it’s lights out. Like everyone, you make your way to the
parking lot, and your entire body is exhausted. Just then, as if by
a miracle, three babes show up and start handing out a new energy
drink to you and all the other players, for free! Exactly when you
need it most. What, wouldn’t you drink it? Wouldn’t you enjoy it?
Wouldn’t it make an impact on you? They keep coming back for an
entire week. Exactly at 11 o’clock. They know a thing or two about
7. In the business arena
You have started to internalize. You think about marketing impact in business when you are managing and marketing:
- When you advertised a local kindergarten, you handed out balloons printed with “Shlomit’s Kindergarten” to all the children at the local parks in the neighborhood during the summer holidays. You got a propagating advertisement in the entire neighborhood. You put the local café in the same neighborhood in the spotlight when you advertised a coupon for it on the back of tickets to the local theatre. Before and after the theatre lots of people tend to meet or hang out at cafés.
- When you marketed software for managing accounting offices, you joined forces with the Institute for Certified Public Accountants to distribute your product at a subsidized price, and to recommend you, in particular. It’s easier when they are your distribution channel. It’s easier when they recommend you to every new accountant that registers with them and tries to get an office organized for himself.
- When you tried to sell a luxury car, you discovered that business trips abroad are an excellent marketing opportunity. Instead of taking a taxi, you offered managers to drive in the demo car for free. You have to get to the airport anyhow, so why not have fun on the way?
- When Google made it possible to advertise smart ads alongside search results, you immediately realized you would use it. What could be better than advertising your product each time someone searches for a competing product? After all, it’s appealing to potential customers at precisely the moment they are looking for what you provide. And it also appeals to them in the right format. Very similar to a regular search result. Worth it, no?
Who are our (potential) customers? What is the marketing message that you want to convey to them? Where should this be done? What is the optimal location? When should you turn to them? At what time? When is their mood just right? When do they most require what you are marketing? How can you increase the marketing impact? You should seriously consider these questions. They may be the difference between just another product or service that failed, and a raging marketing success.
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