It’s a harsh reality but unfortunately it’s true. For the most part, marketers can no longer control when a prospect will see a message. It seemed like it was just yesterday when the expectation of any marketing campaign was to reach and engage the right audience with the right message at precisely the right time. Sounds reasonable until you realize how - and more importantly, when - the average person chooses to access information today.

Let’s take a closer look. We now live in a world where consumers can access information however and whenever they choose – call it information on demand. Thanks to all the options for streaming video, viewers are no longer limited to watching their favorite television news, programming, or movies at a designated time. You can now simply use your DVR or any kind of streaming app to watch just about anything at any time. The same holds true in audio broadcasting with the explosion of podcasts and streamed radio channels. Meanwhile, social media can share live information as it happens in real time. The point is that marketers have much less control of the time element.

But, with careful planning, marketers can continue to create intelligent customer journeys that identify the best potential path for successfully reaching and engaging your target audience. One key is to truly understand the persona of your prospects so you can create the right message that has a stronger chance of resonating with the specific audience. Another key is to be prepared to test and track multiple versions of the message to quickly discover the right combination that works best.