If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? This age old question can be used to provoke thoughts into a myriad of things, and one of those is advertising. We as advertisers face the challenge of proper timing – the money spent on media space as well as the design, copy writing and production of your ad can literally be worthless with a bad media buy if your target consumer is not present during the ad’s exposure.

So, how can you determine where your customers will be, and more importantly, when? Below are four steps to take to when identifying which media to buy for your product or service to ensure you’re getting in front of your target audience when it counts.

Step 1: Identify Target Market(s)

There are many different factors that come into play, and it gets a little more complicated than marketing candy to kids during Halloween. Each product or service being marketed comes with a certain set of demographics, which in turn determines the place and timing of all of the pieces of the media mix. So, the very first step in making sure your ads are noticed by your consumers is figuring out exactly who they are.

Step 2: Understand Seasonality

How do you know which season, or time of year to advertise your product or service? If your product relies on seasonality, such as hiking in New England, advertising volume and frequency should be significantly increased leading up to and during the springtime, coinciding with demand. On the other hand you should likely pause your spend during the winter months when your consumers having hiking the furthest from their mind.

Step 3: Know the Decision Day

Let’s take a look at the day of the week. An advertisement involving a fashion item for purchase has the best success on a Thursday. All products that involve travel, like hotels, B&Bs, airlines, etc., experience the highest traffic during the beginning of the week – people want to plan their next vacation when they’re looking forward to the next time they can get away, be it a case of the Mondays, or a Tuesday that seems to drag on forever… you get the idea. Or let’s say you’re having an event over the weekend. You want to remind people leading up to, and even the day of, the event so it won’t slip their mind.

Step 4: Focus on the Hour

Next, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What’s the best time of day to reach your target audience? Consumers tend to engage with social media during the week, mostly between 12-4pm. Same goes for eBlasts – emails sent out at once to a mailing list. If your product is targeting mothers with newborns, a banner ad displayed around 7am would probably go unseen, considering any said mother is probably rushing around, trying to get her family fed, and out the door.

At Primary Design, we take all of these steps in order to deliver our Clients ads at the most opportune times. With a little research and introspection into your target audience, you can plan accordingly and have a better chance at capturing their attention. Need some help figuring all of this out? Get in touch.