Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Market Timing 2

I have referred on this blog before (Market Timing 1) to the importance of time/timing in making decisions. In Lacan's theory of Logical Time, there is "a moment to conclude". Lacan is one of the few thinkers who appreciates the need to explain why decisions and actions take place at a particular point in time - helping us understand, among other things, how decision-makers are affected by haste and hesitation.

Now marketing guru Seth Godin has a post on his blog on the importance of timing in marketing. He points out that the effect of a message depends on the state of the recipient when the message arrives.
"All marketing analyses that ignore time are wrong. There's a big difference between a message that arrives when I'm full and when I'm unfull. And there is a big difference between a first impression and tenth one. Even if I can't remember the first nine."
What happens when people have to make a decision on a particular day - for example an election? Some people make up their mind at the last minute. Perhaps it is not rational to commit to a candidate too early, since any candidate may say something unwise, and damaging revelations may emerge at any time before polling day. (A Republican candidate dropped out five weeks ago when inappropriate emails came to light [source: BBC News]. And after yesterday's mid-term election in the USA, the balance of power in the Senate depends on the outcome of the vote in Virginia, where the Republican incumbent was well ahead until he was caught on video uttering a racial slur [source: BBC News].)

But this is not a good example of Lacan's logical time, because an election is held according to an external schedule. What is more interesting in elections is the timing of a campaign. Seth is absolutely right to point to the importance of groundwork, but no amount of groundwork can prevent your candidate from peaking too soon.

Technorati Tags:

No comments: