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Timing matters

Building an audience to leverage “customer” timing

What is “customer timing”?

In my previous article (, I talked about mapping the buying journey so that, as marketers, we could better help the customer through the process of buying and making a decision by gaining a better understanding of the true buying process. Customer timing is being ready when the customer is ready, it means being engaged with them so that when they are ready you are the first choice. 

In practical terms, it means continuous engagement.

This is different from campaigns as they function at a moment in time when you, as a marketer/company, choose to execute them. Campaigns only work to a minority percentage of your target audience as the offer you make will only get to some of the audience at the right moment with just the right appeal. Although the mechanisms and technology of campaign automation can be used for continuous engagement, there is a health warning: don’t measure each execution, it won’t serve your purpose.

Continuous engagement is not “always-on” marketing. This is where you are waiting for the customer to turn up and have the offer ready for them or can configure the offer in real-time for them.

Continuous engagement is also not “content marketing” and for the purpose of this article, content marketing is creating content that optimises the search engines for you. In other words, if you are a B2C company you might create content for all the various search terms that people use the most for finding the product you sell so that your product gets found.

Continuous engagement means building an audience that learns to trust you. This takes time and being rigorously audience-centric in understanding that the ‘sell’ will happen when they are ready (customer’s timing). Done well, this is truly what “inbound marketing” is about.

When you have built sustained engagement with an audience you will learn a great deal about what their real needs are – “you are what you read”. And you can be there for them on their timetable to help them progress through the buying journey.

Aly Richards

Aly Richards is the CEO of Odyssiant. As the former Head of CRM at O2, Aly spearheaded the world’s first Customer Decision Engine, analysing customer’s data and recommending the next best decision that would most likely retain, cross sell or upsell the customer, achieving a multi-million pound increase in EBITDA. However, she then identified the challenge of accessing an engaged audience and driving them to contact her team to allow the decision engine to work. Aly joined forces with Scott McLean to develop an approach that focuses on mapping audience journeys to bridge the gap from initial audience engagement through to sales engagement and on to customer engagement and Odyssiant was born.