Timing is everything. This is particularly true in marketing, a discipline in which you’re beholden to the timing of the audience and therefore don’t necessarily have control of what the timing should be.  As we’ve stated here numerous times, the audience is now in control of the conversation. Consequently, breakthrough marketing must fit into the audience preferences and do so on the audience’s timeframe.

This is the essence of the brand newsroom concept – the ability to think laterally, to think quickly, and to act with agility. The right idea at the right time is not easy to come by, because it requires both the right idea (more rare than you think) and a timely implementation – which means the implementers need to work hours that they might not want to be working.

Whether or not you like it, finding the right idea at the right time requires being plugged in 24/7. It takes a newsroom mentality – the understanding that news can break at any moment, and so therefore you have to always have your radar up.

Here are two examples of simple ideas that broke through, largely because the timing was exquisitely timed.

Last year, travel start-up Tripl was shut out of a prestigious Demo Day in San Francisco – a kind of speed-dating event at which investors lavish millions of dollars on young companies. From the outside looking in, Tripl’s Peter Sullivan came up with an idea – he designed and printed up hundreds of fake parking tickets that read “You have illegally been subjected to make a big investment decision based on a two-minute demo pitch,” and included a QR code for Tripl’s app. He placed the tickets on every luxury car he could find parked on the street near the Demo Day event. Soon, the prank was a trending story on tech news sites, Tripl had plenty of buzz, and the buzz led to the funding that has the company on its way.

Sullivan came up with a brilliantly simple idea. He executed it quickly so that it had maximum impact. He didn’t spend months conducting market research and he didn’t play by the rules. The right idea at the right time.

Example No. 2 is from earlier this year, and you probably remember it – Oreo’s quick-thinking Twitter ad during February’s Super Bowl Blackout. Oreo won the biggest advertising day of the year without spending $3 million for 30 seconds. The key was timing; the entire execution took a couple of minutes. They were able to execute because of the decision-makers happened to be together watching the Super Bowl. It was a great example of how a brand newsroom can operate. Unfortunately for the Oreo marketing team, it’s virtually impossible to have that high-priced group of people together all the time to react to events in the world.

However, that is what newsrooms do. A lot of a journalist’s job is showing up and hanging around, waiting for the news to occur. Fortunately, today’s connected world means that not everyone needs to be in close physical proximity. But they do need to be connected and available.

Because the right idea can occur at any time – in the shower, on a long run, or over the weekend. The question is – will you be ready to move when that idea comes along?