If you own a smartphone, chances are that you probably use a digital calendar at least once a day, whether it be to schedule work meetings, personal appointments or dates with friends and family.

In fact, in the United States alone, over two thirds of adults own a smartphone with a built in calendar app like iCal, Google or Outlook, meaning that over 200 million people are engaging with their calendar every day. Not only that, but the number of smartphone users worldwide is set to surpass 2 billion in 2016, so the number of people who are using digital calendars will continue to increase exponentially.

Key statistics:

  • According to a recent Study Of Calendar Usage In The Workplace conducted by the PPIA, 84% of people surveyed stated that calendars were either “important” or “very important” in their daily lives.

  • 76% of respondents stated that they look at their calendar between 2 and 10 times a day.  
  • Respondents also indicated that they have an average 6 calendar appointments a week and more than 10 appointments in a particularly busy week.

Given how consistent and widespread calendar usage has become, it is no surprise that calendars are quickly becoming one of the most powerful and effective ways of communicating with your audience.

CalReply’s technology allows you to leverage this tool that millions of people are already using on a daily basis, and use it to drive real-time engagement with your brand. This opens up a new marketing channel that is revolutionizing the way that TV Networks, Sporting Leagues, Publishers, Retailers and more, communicate scheduled and curated event information to their audiences.

Here's why:

1. Scheduled Events are a core part of every brand Offering

Almost every brand’s marketing strategy revolves around promoting events that are scheduled by day, date and time. TV Networks spend million of dollars promoting their programming information in the hopes that viewers will memorize these dates and tune-in when the show airs. Sporting leagues and teams promote their schedule, but ultimately rely on fans to figure out the correct time and channel information for the games they want to watch, which can be challenging when taking into account things like regional channel information, black out dates and scheduling conflicts.  Retailers and QSR’s rely on email marketing to inform consumers about sales and promotions that occur on a specific day, the majority of which end up unopened or in a consumer’s spam folder.

Given that events are a core part of every brand’s offering, the strategy of relying on consumers to commit dates to memory is not only ineffective, but inefficient. Consumers have busy lives and do not have the time or desire to memorize dates and times from advertisements.

This is where CalReply comes in. CalReply’s technology closes the loop on day/date/time marketing by enabling consumers to actually add the events to their calendar, so they can plan and schedule their day around your events. Consumers get an alert with all of the relevant information like channel number, deep links to live stream or watch online, or links to purchase a product at the perfect time, 15 minutes before the event begins. If the goal is to drive real-time engagement, there is nothing more convenient or powerful than a calendar reminder. It’s a win-win solution for every vertical.

2.  Everyone already has a calendar app

Anyone who owns a desktop computer or a smartphone, anywhere in the world, already has a calendar app built in to their device. Microsoft Office includes Outlook by default, which is an integrated email, contacts and calendaring software program. Apple computers and iphones include iCal on every new model, and all Gmail users have free access to Google Calendar. This means that over 2 billion people globally have access to and are engaging with their calendar on a regular basis.

The major advantage of the built-in calendar is the fact that consumers can use CalReply’s technology without having to download an app, which can often be a major barrier in conversion. 

                           iCal                                                       Google Calendar                                        Microsoft Outlook

3. Consumers check their calendars frequently

According to a recent study of calendar usage in the workplace conducted by the PPIA, the majority of American adults check their calendar between 2 and 10 times a day, whether it be for work events like meetings or conferences or personal events like birthdays and appointments. When an event lives in a consumer’s calendar, it makes a real and lasting impression. Consumers can plan and schedule their life around that event and seeing it multiple times ensures that it sticks in their memory.

Every time a consumer checks their calendar and sees an event, it counts as a brand impression, meaning that consumers are potentially seeing your brand 1-2 times a day, multiple times a week. That’s incredibly powerful. What other marketing strategy puts your brand in front of your consumer’s eyes that frequently?

4. Calendar Notifications grab user's attention and drive real-time engagement

Not only do calendar events live permanently in consumer calendars, but calendar notifications are a very effective way of catching consumer’s attention. Calendar alerts are generally accompanied by a vibration and/or sound effect, which stand out on a mobile device and make consumers take notice.

CalReply alerts also include a call to action in each event, which can be used to drive real-time engagement to any multimedia platform including television, in-app or a website. For example, the alert can instruct viewers to tune-in to a show or game on their TV, deep link them into an app to watch a live stream or even follow along on second screen.

By tracking click through rates, we can see that real-time traffic and engagement with the deep links spikes dramatically during the 15 minute period before and after an event begins. Anywhere from 3% to 12% of users engage with the deep links, indicating that calendar reminders drive high real-time engagement.

Summary

It's likely that calendars are probably not already part of your marketing strategy but the fact is, they should be. Calendars are quickly emerging as one of the most powerful channels there is to communicate directly with consumers, and with CalReply, you can finally use this tool to your advantage.