Each year, around 8% of the UK adult population moves home, according to the Office of National Statistics. It’s a time when existing relationships with suppliers, such as utilities, telecoms, media, insurance and financial services providers, are reviewed.
Industry estimates suggest two-thirds (65%) of these home movers will switch service providers or preferred retailers during their change of premises.
When paired with our own research findings, which reveal that UK businesses lose a fifth (20.7%) of their customers each year, it is clear that customer retention is a major challenge for marketers.
Addressing the challenge
When it comes to retaining customers during the weak point of the moving period, marketers have been held back by an over-reliance on historic, static customer data and a lack of awareness of how to tap into consumer life events.
Not any more. Now dynamic data can tell marketers when and why their customers are most in need of their products and services.
Organisations that are conducting life event marketing are seeing significant increases in their campaign response and conversion rates. So how can marketers get smarter about tracking and engaging with customers on the move?
In this article I will explain how smart marketers can marry bespoke customer data with modern marketing tactics to improve customer loyalty, and reduce churn. We will also look at organisations already using this approach to good effect.
The opportunity of the home-move period
Our research finds that recruiting new customers is the biggest challenge for 45% of marketers, while the remaining 55% struggle with reactivation, upselling, retention and cross-selling to existing customers.
The home-move period provides a good opportunity for brands to engage with existing customers as much as it presents opportunities to target new prospects.
As well as reviewing existing relationships, the home-move period is also a time when people go looking for new products and services to equip their new home. For some, it can also be a great opportunity to hone DIY and gardening skills. Others go looking for specialist services from interior designers, landscape gardeners and home improvement companies.
The home-move period is also a time when people go looking for new products and services to equip their new home.
Conservative estimates based on research from both YouGov and money.co.uk reveal that the average home-mover spends around £5,000 on move-related goods and services, and £8,000 on home improvements within 12 months of moving.
Home movers are actively in-market for products and services, and potentially receptive to relevant offers.
But organisations need the right processes in place to begin marketing successfully to home movers.
Set up internal processes
Before marketers can delve into customer data and act on it, they need the agile systems, processes and technologies to enable them to dynamically identify and act on their customers’ life events.
It is imperative that organisations have the capability and resources and tools to ensure they can handle ‘closed-loop’ life event marketing.
Marketers must also be ready to assess the effectiveness of their life event campaigns and rapidly adapt strategies when necessary.
Look for life event triggers
With internal processes in place, marketers should seek to understand where their products and services fit into their customers’ life events.
For example, we have already seen two-thirds of movers switch suppliers during a home move; this presents both a challenge and an opportunity for brands.
If a marketer can know when their customer is on the move, they can pre-emptively target them with an offer to retain them as they move to their new home. Alternatively, if marketers can identify potential or previous customers who are actively looking for a product or service, they can tailor an approach to them.
During the home move process, consumers will give off a number of indicators that they’re intending to move. This could include registering with estate agents and online home search portals, researching mortgage or loan providers, or taking out a Redirection.
To gain visibility of these triggers, marketers need direct access to up-to-date, accurate and permissioned customer data from trusted third-party providers.
Once marketers understand where a home-mover is in their relocation process they can target them with the right offer at the right time.
Home-mover data marketing in action
This data-led approach to home mover marketing is proven to work.
A leading UK retailer of upholstered furniture found that 21% of its sales were derived from home movers. The group now puts people who are moving home as a core part of its marketing strategy.
In addition, one of the leading loyalty card providers targeted home movers with a mailing which showed the location of their nearest stores along with a series of special home mover discount vouchers.
This campaign achieved a 15% redemption rate and delivered a 300% return on investment.
Maintain data quality
Data quality is the bedrock of successful marketing. Without clean and up-to-date information, marketers cannot accurately target existing or potential customers.
Therefore, organisations must have the processes to ensure customer data is cleaned and updated on a continuous, automated basis. Gathering and cleansing customer data is not a one-off job. It is only when data is properly maintained that its true potential for marketing can be realised.
How to get started in home-mover marketing
Successful home-mover marketing can help overcome multiple challenges including customer retention and acquisition, as well as reactivation; cross-selling; improving brand profile and settling final accounts.
Using just three pieces of critical information – customer address, transaction value, and purchase date – we at Royal Mail Data Services analyse marketers’ customer data against our unique home mover datasets. We can then correlate wins and losses that are directly linked to the home move process.
The results of this analysis are provided through the Life Events Analysis Report which gives brands a view of the opportunity and value for them within the home move space. It also provides guidance on where best to start, whether that’s finding new customers, retaining existing customers, re-activating lapsed ones or focusing on improving data quality.
Most importantly, the findings from this report will tell marketers when to communicate for maximum impact.
To provide further support, we have also developed the Guide to Mover Marketing. Drawing on our experience of working with many of the UK’s leading brands, this free guide is designed to help B2C marketers improve marketing performance by answering the question: “How can I anticipate what customers need before they have to ask?”
Home mover marketing is powerful. Is it time you made your move?