by Mike Reiber
Major life changes spell sales opportunities. Why? Most consumers' buying and shopping habits are based on rote behaviors.
One of the key tenets of our publicity-based marketing model is to identify those occasions when consumer behavior patterns will be disrupted. Why? Consumer shopping habits and brand loyalties are likely in flux. How do we do this? We use in-depth interviews and focus groups to identify and map the key life change events for out clients' high opportunity customer segments. The problem is that major life change events such as a home purchase or new baby quickly become a matter of public record triggering a tsunami of marketing offers.
The real key, however, is being able to predict the life change events before they happen. We typically enlist our clients' customer service staff and channel partners in this process. We work with them to mine data provided by customers and use it to predict when they may be entering the pre-purchase research process. No it's not easy. Often, we enlist outside analytics resources to help us recognize patterns that are invisible to our naked eyes. In addition, we burn the midnight oil to develop and execute programs that provide meaningful and memorable rewards to consumers during their life changes. Last, we create touch points such as enthusiast clubs which allow us to follow-up with consumers and provide reinforcement for the switch they've made.
The payoff? A new customer who has the potential to become a brand evangelist.