Time marketing is the research of timing in releasing a new product to the market.
In marketing there are different approaches to the introduction of a (new) product into the market. Marketers always try to create a segmentation of the market in order to focus their product offering. Segmentation can be done on demographic, behavioural or other bases. According to this segmentation, different options of differentiation vis-à-vis the competition get evaluated and implemented. This is called positioning of the product. McCarthy’s 4 marketing P’s, product, placement, promotion and pricing are repeatedly used to create good combination of product features at the right price, distributed via preferred distribution channels and combined with an appealing promotion.
One important aspect tends to be forgotten in this quadrangle: purchase timing behaviour or simply, timing aspect. Time marketing researches and gives guidelines on when to position a product in the market. Not only competition but also to absolute time frames in a consumer’s life are considered. Examples below will illustrate.
An obvious example, known for years before any research was conducted on this matter, illustrates the importance of timing aspects in marketing. A fan is a typical example of a product that goes on sale according to laws of nature and therefore timing. In summer all department stores make promotions on this product. Why? Simple, because that’s when nature, higher temperatures in this case, urges you to buy one. But in the southern hemisphere, on the other hand, things are just the other way around.
Research has found that products are bought by customers at different moments of the day and different days of the week. Approximately 80% of diaries are sold in the month of November. Then again, 75% of the diaries not being sold in November, (15% of the total market), are sold on a Monday. Regardless of the reasoning behind it - people tend to make appointments in the weekend and not being able to write down appointments for the new year in their current agenda, they go and buy a new one on Monday – it is obvious that a marketer should start his promotion campaign for his agendas on Monday.
- Allenby G, Leone R, Jen L.; 1999. "A dynamic model of purchase timing with application to direct marketing." Journal of the American Statistical Association 94(466): 365-374.
- Jain D and Vilcassim N; 1991. "Investigating household purchase timing decisions: aconditional hazard function approach." Marketing Science 10(1): 1-23.
- Chintagunta P. and Haldar S.; 1998. "Investigating purchase timing behaviour in two related product categories." Journal of Marketing Research 35: 43-53.