Customer loyalty is a moving target

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Customer loyalty is a moving target
Customer loyalty is a moving target

Moving may be a hassle for the people changing their residence, but it's a potential boon to marketers.

According to Epsilon's 2012 New Mover Report, each time a household moves residences—every five years on average—they spend about $9,000 on various good and services. What's more, “New Movers” are highly likely to change service providers or upgrade products and services. These movers are open to email and direct mail to learn about products and services available to them.

All this translates to a lucrative opportunity for brands that can capture the wallet share of this valuable customer segment. It also means that current providers risk losing customers to new ones. Consequently, retention and loyalty are as important as new customer acquisition—especially for such providers as telecom and cable services, appliance and electronics manufacturers, banks, and insurance companies. In fact, the Epsilon study found that 60% of New Movers consider changing providers and 42% are likely to upgrade products and services when they move. In both cases, according to the study about 20% do change or upgrade their current products or services.

In terms of categories, New Movers are more likely to stay with their original appliance, electronics, and their professional service brands (e.g., bank, insurance, credit cards) than their home services brands (e.g., phone, TV, Internet). On average, 9% of respondents changed appliance brands when they moved, 10%, purchased new electronics, and 15% switched professional services brands; 25% changed home services brands.

Although moving was a primary reason for switching, it wasn't the only reason. Respondents also cited looking for a lower price/better deal and wanting or needing to replace products as other key reasons for changing products or services. Similarly, New Movers will take the opportunity to upgrade products when they move, citing a preference for additional features as a main reason for switching brands.

Reaching these movers when they're looking to buy or upgrade—a few months prior to and after their move—is essential to retaining, or grabbing, New Mover wallet share. Data modeling and predictive analytics can help to identify current customers and prospects like them whose behaviors and spending signal an impending or recent move. In terms of communicating with New Movers, word of mouth is New Movers' preferred source of information on products and services (41%), according to the Epsilon study, followed by email (34%), direct mail (31%), newspapers (28%), and social media (14%). This mix suggests that a multichannel marketing approach that encourages word of mouth among current customers will be most effective for capturing the attention of New Movers.

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