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Winning New Movers: A Door to Temporal Opportunities

I remember the day I found out we were having our first child. Within minutes, every single item we aspired to own or acquire shifted in value. Golf clubs were replaced by baby buggies; vacations by three-bedroom homes.

This kind of sudden transformation occurs to many consumers every day. Within moments, a life event alters what is important to us and our priorities change. It is called temporal relevance, and it is a key behavioral dimension that marketers can use to gain contextual understanding of consumers. I wrote about temporal relevance, along with three other key doors to relevance, in The Loyalty Leap, as well as in an earlier blog item.

Through temporal relevance, marketers identify life events that help to indicate behavior, such as a first child or a move to a new house. In fact, as life changes go, New Movers ­are a jackpot of consumer behavioral changes – thousands of dollars worth per household, according to recent research by our sister company, Epsilon.

In Epsilon’s 2012 New Mover Report, each time a consumer or family changes residence, they spend an average of $9,000 on goods and services. That is a lot of opportunity, and it is not uncommon or hard to track. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 17 percent of Americans move each year and, according to the report, households change location every five years on average.

Securing the wallet share of these New Movers means engaging them a few months before or after the move. But how do you do that? New Movers are apt to change brands – the ratio is 2:1 or higher, compared with non-movers, the report states. That presents vulnerability for some brands, but an opportunity for others.

For instance, 60 percent of New Movers change their service providers, according to the report, and in almost all product categories of the survey, at least 20 percent of New Movers change their current products and services.

As far as referrals to these new brands, may New Movers are getting it from friends or family. According to the study, 41 percent of New Movers prefer word of mouth as their information source. Roughly one-third like email; followed by direct mail (31 percent); newspapers (28percent); and social media (14 percent).

The challenge in planning an engagement strategy, though, goes beyond getting the word out. Think of the New Mover being a little like a jump ball in basketball. The move is a point where convenience-oriented purchases like groceries, pharmacy, dry cleaning and even banking could be at risk to customer switching behavior. Similarly, think about how much of that $9,000 is linked to services or to projects like painting rooms or renovating bathrooms.

Wouldn’t it be great to participate in that economy?

So it’s not just about preferred channels of communication and simply bombarding the customer with products or services. It’s got to also be about thinking through how your business participates in the “mover economy” and where you may have risks or opportunities.

Commit to this line of thought, and your welcome wagon will be hitching itself to new or improved customer engagement.

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