Can you hack time? Daniel Pink, in his new book, WHEN, describes how the many “WHEN” decisions we consciously or unconsciously make impact performance, motivation, and mood -- even sales and stock prices.
As part of his research, Pink uncovered a study of 26,000 earnings calls from more than 2,100 public companies. He found that the timing of the calls often drove the emotional tenor of them. As a result, the stock prices of companies holding earnings calls first thing in the morning moved more positively after the call than stocks of companies holding calls in the afternoon, regardless of the news that was delivered. The reasons for it were unclear, but the very human pattern of being hopeful and positive in the morning, more subdued by afternoon, and then more positive again in the evening (a U-shaped mood curve) was consistent across the day of the week, and even in different countries and cultures.
Early on in a marketing career, you learn WHEN rules. For example, “Be there when the customer is making the purchase decision.” That’s why at Taco Bell we advertised during drive time when the heavy fast food user was deciding what to have for dinner. Or, “Be there when the customer is entering the category.” That’s why soft drink companies invested heavily in young teens, who are just beginning to make decisions on their own about what to eat and drink. The big "WHEN" for one of Yum Brand's other fast food restaurants, KFC? Mother's Day -- the highest sales day of the year.
Can YOUR business get an unfair advantage by hacking time? When does your customer FIRST feel the pain, enter the category, and look for a solution. When is the best time – lifestage, age, season, day, daypart, hour -- to reach them?