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Just-in-Time Marketing: Reach the Right Customer at the Right Time

by Mark Hosbein, Rob Davis  |  
February 8, 2017

The marketing landscape has changed dramatically in recent years because of the digitization of just about everything, new consumer behaviors, and competitive pressures.

Today, more than ever, companies are looking to build and nurture personalized relationships with customers to drive increased loyalty and engagement. And although companies' intent to enhance connection points with their consumers has evolved, too often their approach has not.

As few as 18% of customers who are typically reached—even with traditional and digital tactics CMOs consider most effective—are interested in the promoted product or able to buy it, according to an Accenture survey of 500+ CMOs. That means hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually could be spent more efficiently. It's no wonder that less than half (41%) of CMOs said they were "very satisfied" with the value-for-money of their mix of marketing tactics.

The New Approach of Just-in-Time Marketing

However, our research at Accenture uncovered that some companies have taken a page from the playbook of manufacturers, developing "just-in-time" marketing strategies that dramatically reduce their marketing inventory.

They produce only the marketing that's required, at the very moment it's needed; they deliver the right message or offer that targets consumers precisely at a time of desire or latent need.

Rather than focus on mass marketing tactics, these leaders more nimbly produce an optimal amount of marketing content that results in more effective and efficient marketing spend—and positive financial results. In fact, the survey found that just-in-time marketers are three times more likely to beat their peers on revenue growth.

Interestingly, just-in-time marketing organizations are not inherently more digital, and they are not necessarily spending more on analytics. Rather, they are integrating capabilities in a more forward-looking way into their operations:

  • They are responding to direct signals of demand, empowering people closer to the "action" to make decisions.
  • And they are embedding new demand-sensing capabilities into processes.

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Mark Hosbein is a managing director of Marketing BPO, Accenture Operations, provider of marketing business process services.

LinkedIn: Mark Hosbein



Rob Davis is a managing director of digital agency network Accenture Interactive.

LinkedIn: Rob Davis

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  • by Audrey D. Mon Feb 20, 2017 via web

    I think this article is really interesting because it is focusing on the future of marketing and how we as marketers can boost revenue while simultaneously eliminating waste. They gave a metaphor in the article about switching from a flood light to a laser. This metaphor is perfect for explaining what exactly is happening in this transition and how it can be really effective if preformed correctly. This idea of "just-in-time" marketing reduces your overall cost of marketing a lot by narrowing in on the exact right time and place to be marketing your product or business. It relies on the immediate feedback of social media rather than long, quarterly feedback surveys. By receiving feedback through social channels it gives the company more time to effectively make a correction or tweak the marketing strategy before the reach the point of no return. This "just-in-time" strategy as stated before, eliminates mass marketing and hones in on specific consumers and has a focused target audience. This alone helps eliminate waste, and by targeting the right customers, it will generate more revenue than mass marketing has done in the past. This is a new, forward way of thinking that challenges the current marketing strategy. It may not work effectively all the time, but with the right product or business you are marketing, and the right audience, you will see a great amount of success when compared to the traditional marketing strategy that is widely used today. I think as social media grows even larger and becomes more popular this "just-in-time" marketing will become a no-brainer for businesses to adopt.

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