While in Transition, People – and Cos. – Offer Fertile Marketing Opportunities

October 3, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Agency Business | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | B2B | Business of Marketing | Data-driven

Big life changes for consumers mean big opportunities for marketers, according to results from studies by Epsilon and Zillow, which show consumers to be open with their spending and loyalties while moving house. And transitional periods don’t only provide opportunities for consumer-focused marketers, they can also prove lucrative to B2B marketers, with a BizBuySell.com study finding that during a small business sale process, a significant proportion of buyers and sellers increase their spending on products and services. An opportunity for one is a risk for another, though: these changes have a negative effect on customer loyalty.

For example, the Epsilon study of 999 respondents compared the brand loyalty of those who had moved within the  prior 9 months (“movers”) to those who had not (“non-movers”), finding that on average, across 4 household categories, the former group was twice as likely as the latter to say they had changed a provider or brand. It’s not too surprising that movers were more likely to change home service providers such as satellite, cable TV, or home internet brands. But, movers were also more likely to switch electronic brands such as cell phones (16% vs. 7%), smartphones (17% vs. 14%), and HDTVs (12% vs. 9%). Moving proves to be an even more major catalyst for change in professional service providers, with movers far more likely to switch home insurance/renters insurance (21% vs. 6%), auto insurance (18% vs. 9%), and personal bank accounts (12% vs. 4%), among others.

The Zillow study, conducted by Ipsos and released in August, found similar results. Movers (who had moved in the past 12 months or were in the process of moving) were 372% more likely than non-movers to switch baby product brands, 115% more likely to switch dishwashing detergent brands, and 85% more likely to switch household cleaning product brands.

Movers Are Big Spenders

Further details from the Zillow study indicate that roughly 1 in 5 movers spend $10,000 or more on products and services owing to their move, and that movers spend an average of 7 months making moving-related purchases, split almost equally on both sides of their move (3.2 months before; 3.8 months after).

Movers are – not surprisingly – more likely than those staying put to purchase a variety of home-related items. They’re more apt to spend on a new oven (+507%), kitchen range (+402%), home theater system (+386%), dishwasher (+353%), and flat-screen TV (+117%). This suggests that not only are brand loyalties left behind with a move, but so are big-ticket items.

But, movers also are more likely to buy electronic gadgets, such as laptops (29% vs. 16%), smartphones (26% vs. 11%), digital cameras (22% vs. 12%), e-readers (18% vs. 11%), and tablets (18% vs. 7%). There is probably a correlation between these results and the Epsilon results on electronic brand loyalty. That is, as consumers move and are open to buying new electronics products, they are also ready to re-evaluate their existing brand choices.

Businesses Also Spend Big While in Transition

Consumers aren’t the only ones bitten by the spending bug while undergoing change. According to a BizBuySell.com survey released in June, 9 in 10 small business buyers experience some change in their marketing and advertising relationships and spending during the purchase process. This change can involve adding a new marketing or advertising provider or switching providers (55%), adding or switching to new marketing or advertising products (19%), or increasing the usage of existing vendors (15%).

The survey also finds that the average business buyer spends 25% more in the first year post-purchase than owners in the first year after launching a business from scratch ($95,878 vs. $76,704). In the aggregate, BizBuySell.com estimates that the business transition process translates to $4.6 billion spending on marketing and advertising services: $3.5 billion by buyers post-purchase, and $1.1 billion by sellers in preparing their businesses for sale.

Those numbers are based off survey results and US government data indicating about 500,000 businesses changing ownership in 2011.

About the Data: The Epsilon study was conducted online in May. The Zillow Mover Study results are based on an online survey of 3,000 adults.

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