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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reaching People Who Move

Fascinating article in the September 24, 2007 issue of AdAge by Megan McIlroy titled "Pre-Moving Targets. Study: Consumers spend big before they change residences" that got me thinking about the purchasing dynamics associated with a move.

According to the article, 40 million people move every year. Per a survey, you are better off targeting those people BEFORE they move rather than after.

Now - no surprise - the publisher of the Official Mover Savings Guide, which ERA 1, Coldwell Banker and Century 21 send out to over 2 million movers every year, conducts the survey.

The article details the following points:

+ In the 3 months before and after a move, people spend more than those not moving will spend over 5 years.

+ That represents a little over $100 billion per year, or on average approx. $10k in the first six months.

+ 40 million consumers move per year [approx. 16 to 17 million households].

+ 66% of households moving make most of their big purchase decisions BEFORE they move.

+ Approaching movers before they move is 10 to 20 times more likely to generate a purchase decision than doing so after the move.

In thinking over the information, I'm not hugely surprised, although I've never stopped and thought through the implications.

I remember behaving similarly the last time I moved: planning, preparing, measuring, anticipating, considering and buying before moving. We ordered carpet for four different rooms, a new sofa for the family room. We reupholstered existing furniture. Once we moved, it was unpacking, rearranging, organizing and identifying a few unmet needs, but very few major ones.

I suggest that these dynamics are applicable to any major life event: before you adopt a pet, don't you rush off and find carriers and beds and dishes and toys? What about before a baby is born? Isn't there a flurry of activity buying furniture, redoing a room, putting in new carpet, acquiring strollers, car carriers, accessories, toys and clothing?

Carpet and flooring decisions represent major purchase decisions, decisions that take place BEFORE a move as the soon-to-be-home-owners imagine possibilities for their new home, try ideas on for size, and make those glorious purchasing decisions to turn that piece of property into their own unique, personal statement of individual style.

How do you connect with people who move in your community - before their move? Are realtors your best friends? What about moving companies? What works best to connect with people who move?

For that matter, how do you connect with people anticipating not just a move, but any major event?

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