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Get the Timing Right – Occasions for Marketers

We marketers talk a lot (as we should) about reach, views, impressions, engagement and frequency. But not enough about timing.

From occasions to micro-moments, timing influences our behaviour, shapes our attitude, and impacts perception.

There are different occasions throughout the year that marketers must use to their advantage to connect with their consumers.

Occasions and Behaviour

Occasions give permission for customers to act a certain way. It’s OK to behave this way or that. It’s OK to do something you wouldn’t do on any ordinary day. It’s OK to spend your money this one time a year.

Smart brands find a way to hook into that; to link what they’re about to what people are thinking about on specific occasions. You’ll give them a reason and a way to excel in the emotion of the moment.

De Beers have turned a diamond into the embodiment of eternity with their sublime catch-phrase ‘A diamond is forever’ and connected it to Valentine’s Day. They’ve linked the optimism and romance of occasions like engagements and weddings with the promise to stay together ‘till death do us part’.

Other brands known for tapping into the power of occasions or creating new ones include Hallmark, Mercedes-Benz, Hershey, Cadbury and MACY’s.

What to Look Out For

The category that your business is in will impact on the months that will have the most chance of a consumer noticing and connecting you to an occasion.

Categories like Entertainment have been using occasions and moments for years. Summer, School Holidays, End of the Year; their biggest launches and budgets are spent during this time.

If you are in the  FMCG category, you know the importance of seasonality and “gathering dates” like sports finals, Christmas and EOFY stocktakes.

Occasions marketing is the intersection opportunity of a combination of “Social Context” (Who/When/Where), “Cultural Context” (What) and “Motivations” (Why).

What can I do right now?

Plan and action.

Get to know what occasions will affect your consumers’ behaviours and start planning a promotion or branded campaign in alignment to this occasion.

With social media and Google ads being so accessible to anyone, you can be that brand that stands out next time a customer is looking for “Valentine’s ideas” or “How to save money EOFY”.  

To help you to map and plan, we have prepared an in-depth guide of Key Dates, Events and Occasions for Marketers, downloaded here for free for SMK readers.

Lucio Ribeiro, is a co-founder and lead strategist of Online Circle Digital where he works with Fortune 500 brands in developing their digital marketing strategies and execution. He is considered a thought leader on digital marketing; authoring articles in digital innovation and strategy, speaking at seminars and judging global awards.


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