According to Finding Time, a new study released last week by marketing consultancy Yankelovich, half of consumers across all income levels consider the lack of time a more pressing concern than a lack of money. At the height of the holiday shopping season, the study concludes, savvy marketers will recognize this and consider time saving the ultimate added value consumers are looking for.
Target Marketing talked to David Bersoff, Yankelovich’s senior vice president and author of the study, about what it all means and how marketers can take advantage of this growing consumer attitude.
Target Marketing: “Time is money” is not a new concept, especially in marketing. How important is knowing the worth potential customers put on their time?
David Bersoff: We all know that time is money, but how much money? That’s one of the questions we posed, and the answers were interesting from a marketing aspect. People put a median value on their time of $1.50 per minute. They expect to get at least that much in value for every minute they have to engage in a transaction or query. So if you have them on hold for 15 minutes, in their mind you already owe them $22.50, and you’d better be giving them something of equal or greater value.
TM: Why are consumers more time conscious now, and how can marketers use this information to increase sales?
DB: I think it’s that people have already made the easy decisions and sacrifices to save themselves as much time as possible. People skimp on sleep, hobbies, leisure and socialization, but time starvation is also about an overabundance of both “need to dos” and “want to dos.” Marketers need to be mindful of consumers’ time-saving strategies, like multitasking. At some airports, for example, the valet parking lot will wash and wax your car, and change the oil while you’re away on your trip. Anything that saves the consumer time now or in the future is a valuable premium and should be treated as such.