Life event trigger marketing is about identifying when people are going through those big events in their lives that lead to changes in their buying behaviour – and using this knowledge to communicate with them at exactly the right time, with exactly what they need. These events include moving home, getting married, sending children off to university, divorce, retirement and even getting a dog! All of these have a huge impact on what we need and none of them lasts for one day. For every single one there will be months (or even years) of planning, and the ripples of change can continue for a long time afterwards.  

In life event trigger marketing, you need to have factual data that shows you exactly where someone is on that life event journey – for instance if their house is ‘sold subject to contract’ you know that they are moving home imminently. You then also know that it is very likely they will be searching already for new furnishings, household appliances etc so they can be delivered as they move in. For a bed manufacturer, for instance, this is invaluable knowledge to decide on the timing and message of communications. And for the consumer, it means they will be receiving very useful information and offers to help them make timely decisions.

If Content Is King, Context Is Queen

Life event trigger marketing is therefore a way of understanding the context of someone’s behaviour – why they are doing what they are doing.  And this is incredibly powerful.  For example, if a department store identifies a woman aged 45-55 is searching for crockery and bedding then that’s interesting. However, if they also know they have a child heading to university then that’s much more interesting!

It means that the type of crockery and bedding they should promote needs to be low end rather than high end – plus they can identify many other cross-selling opportunities relating to this life event; from student banking deals to posters. This method of ‘marketing in the moment’ can have a massive impact on ROI. From our own experience at TwentyCi, it can not only create a return of £12-£28 for every £1 spent but also enables businesses to reach prospects weeks ahead of the competition.

Context-Led Messaging

Context provided through life event information is therefore key in creating the right messaging. Highly personalised mailings and timely display advertising focusing on trigger touchpoints can significantly increase results and develop brand loyalty making a customer feel valued and understood. For instance, in the Mother & Baby programmes TwentyCi is involved in, we identified that a large number of parents change their car before or just after having a second child. For the automotive industry a well-crafted message about the safety features or environmental benefits of their cars can engage parents at a sensitive moment.

Data & Digital Push Life Event Marketing To A New Level

For many, life event marketing isn’t a new technique but its importance in the marketing mix is undoubtedly growing. This is largely a result of the advent of Big Data to identify consumer life events in real time, as well as the rise of digital channels to complement traditional channels and enhance the ability for brands to reach consumers ‘in the moment’. This element of tracking consumers as they move through the different aspects of a life event has played a significant role in the successful growth of life event marketing.  Now marketers are able to adapt messaging and follow customers as they change their life event status – ensuring the campaign stays relevant to the individual consumer and evolves with their changing needs.

The Secrets To Success

While life event trigger marketing is unlikely to become the sole marketing approach for any brand, there are a significant number of companies who would benefit from adding it into the marketing mix to boost overall campaign effectiveness. Interestingly, it’s not just obvious sectors, such as furniture and DIY either. For instance, moving home often leads to the purchase of a holiday as people consolidate loans and book a much needed trip post-move. So for any marketer looking to bring life-events into their marketing mix, what are the three most important points to remember?

  • Data – recent data is vital and should be factual, not inferred.
  • Content – ensure communications are contextually relevant in terms of both timing and messaging.
  • Omni-channel – the consumer journey is no longer linear so you need the knowledge to target consumers when it matters most.

These factors are beneficial to any marketing strategy but should be seen as essential for a successful life event campaign. The right data crafted into emotionally relevant content can empower your company to reach consumers at the exact time when they need your services most.