• Jennifer

Life-stage events trigger predictable consumer spending

Timing is everything.

Most marketers understand their target audience and know what types of offers will trigger a purchase. But that's not enough, especially in this day and age where consumers are bombarded daily with thousands of online ads. Your message has to target the right person with the right offer at the right time. But targeting a consumer at precisely the time when they're in the buying cycle for your product or service can be difficult. You know they can afford your product or service and you know your offer is effective, but how do you know you're reaching them at a time when they have the highest propensity to buy?


Life-stage marketing is one of the most effective strategies for making sure your timing is right, because specific life-stage events trigger the most predictable spending behaviors. For example, we know for a fact that when someone moves into a new home, they buy things like furniture and accessories. The birth of a child triggers a spending spree on items like furniture, clothes, and toys. When a student is heading off to college for the first time, there's a long list of items they will need. Marketers have an opportunity to take advantage of this predictable spending if they can get the timing right. Here are some proven winners when it comes to marketing based on life-stage events.


New movers. This is a big one.Over 30 million people move every year. As a result of the move-event, these consumers will purchase furniture, electronics, accessories for their home, home improvement, appliances, services and more. According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, the move event triggers an additional $10,000 in spending in these categories. In furniture alone, new movers will have a higher average ticket and will spend more in the first 12-18 months after the move than a non-moving customer spends in years. New movers need services too. As they setting in to their new neighborhood, they'll need services like banks, doctors, grocery stores and restaurants. Target them quickly around the move event and you have a proven effective tool for customer acquisition.


Back-to-school. According to the National Retail Federation, the total back-to-school spending for K-12 and college is a whopping $82.8 billion! Back-to-college alone is expected to reach $55 billion this year.


New parents. Everything changes when a baby arrives. This is a highly predictable life-stage event in terms of consumer spending. New parents will be decorating nurseries, purchasing furniture, clothes, food, diapers, books and toys. If you sell products and services to families with children, this is a life-stage that keeps on giving. Predictable spending continues as babies become toddlers, toddlers become young children, then tweens and so on. Along the way, marketers can target relevant offers at precisely the right time.


Other life-stage events offer marketers an opportunity to get the timing right. Targeted data is available for audiences like newlyweds, empty-nesters, seniors and pre-movers.


Retailers and service businesses have a huge opportunity to be more targeted with their offers by taking advantage of the predictable spending surrounding a life-stage event. Get the timing right and you'll capture more sales from existing customers and convert more prospects to new customers.

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