From Moving Season to Moving Targets – the Data Tells a Story

My family recently moved into a new home. After 11 years, three kids, one dog, and years of debating a move, we finally made it happen. While moving a mere half mile away led us to larger pastures, the amount of time I spent researching, planning, gathering, preparing, packing, and unpacking was substantial. Knowing how much work it would be was one of the reasons we held off, but the main reason was that we wanted to make sure we had all the data and were making the right decision.

According to the USPS, approximately one out of every six families moves each year, with 17 percent of Americans changing their address annually. With moving season in full force, this is yet another data point for marketers to consider as part of the overall customer experience, and not just for welcome offers from surrounding retailers, insurance companies, credit card issuers, home monitoring services, and landscapers, etc. Data-driven marketing opportunities are consistently evolving and fluid as new data sets and customer experiences emerge, and as the journey continues to evolve and be redefined.

A recently published book, Zillow Talk, offers consumers an inside look at valuable data points around buying, selling, renting, and financing real estate – even down to specifics and historical trends on the value of property by purchase prices ending in a certain digit or the name of the street. Who knew if you live on Main Street, your home is on average worth 44 percent less than the average home nationwide? You can check out your street here. It is amazing the insight data can reveal when looking at the trends.

Data is valuable and powerful, and consumers of all types of products are more empowered now than ever. Every purchase requires an investment of time and money. Current trends demonstrate customers’ willingness to dedicate time to research options prior to or even during a purchase in an effort to save money and future time, as well as to provide piece of mind that they made a sound investment.

Not only do consumers want full transparency into what they are buying, but they also expect brands to provide a customer experience that acknowledges their needs and preferences based on how they engage and know what drivers can prompt them to reengage. So what data do we prioritize when looking at trends to tell us about our customers? The data means nothing unless there is substance and context behind the quest. Once you clearly understand your business objectives, your core audience segments, and your brand, start asking what drives your customers and how they interact across devices.

Consumers are becoming savvy to marketing tactics. I recently had a friend (not in the industry) tell me that she holds items to purchase in her online cart to get an additional sweetener to encourage the purchase, or uses an app at the store for a price comparison. Again, consumers’ behaviors are evolving, but are we evolving our strategy enough or are we simply conditioning them to hold off on purchasing unless there is a 40 percent off sale?

My family had been ready for a new house for a long time, but got comfortable and it was a lot of overwhelming work to move. In the same way, marketers can get comfortable with the way they have always looked at their customers, without doing the hard work to re-evaluate their assumptions and gather new types of data. Change can be difficult, but you know what? It really pays off in the end.

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