1 in 12 Americans Moved Last Year. Are B2C Marketers Targeting Them?

May 25, 2022

The national mover rate has been on a fairly steady decline over the past 35-40 years to a record low, but even so, 8.4% of Americans (or about 27.1 million) moved last year, per the Census Bureau. Past research has shown that people going through life changes make attractive targets for marketers, so it’s interesting to see new research [download page] from V12 and Ascend2 delving into mover marketing adoption and tactics.

The report is based on a survey of 253 B2C marketing professionals, all of whom work at organizations with at least $100 million in annual revenues; the majority (64%) work at companies with more than $500 million in annual revenues.

The survey indicates that some enterprise organizations have mover marketing programs in place, though these programs are not widespread. Specifically, 28% indicated that they have a strategy in place and that it is measurable, while another 26% said they are currently rolling out a strategy and a further 18% that they plan to implement a strategy in the next 12 months. (Collectively, these 72% of respondents are referred to as “Mover Marketing Users.”) The remaining 27% either target new mover audiences in other programs (7%) or do not have a program and have no plans to implement one (20%).

Among Mover Marketing Adopters, 20% believe that the effectiveness of mover marketing is increasing significantly, while another 75% feel that it is increasing moderately. In fact, Mover Marketing Users are quite confident in its impact: 54% rate mover marketing a top-3 box score (on a 10-point scale) in terms of its impact on their overall marketing performance.

That impact is most commonly enjoyed in the area of customer acquisition (43%), per adopters, with many also seeing an impact on customer retention (41%) and customer experience (39%).

Personalized Messaging Paramount

Mover marketers depend on data in order to identify and target these audiences. Currently, 57% of Mover Marketing Users rely on household and contact data, while about half (49%) use consumer segments such as first-time homebuyers and active adults. Close behind, almost half employ in-market shopping indicators (45%) and property data (45%), though fewer (26%) have access to pre-move indicators.

With an array of data in hand, marketers are looking to provide personalized messages to reach and win over movers. When asked which tactics they’ve used as part of a mover marketing program, 4 clear leaders emerged:

  • Email/personalized offers (43%)
  • Direct mail (43%)
  • Personalization (42%)
  • Loyalty/rewards programs (41%)

Further down the list are areas such as paid social (26%), customer journey mapping (25%) and SEO (23%), though the report’s authors note that these are more likely to be used by mover marketing power users (the group of respondents who are Mover Marketing Users and who report having the most successful strategies).

Interestingly, while direct mail has been a mainstay of mover marketing, respondents see more benefit in their digital strategies. In fact, 55% of Mover Marketing Users strongly agree that these programs are an effective part of their digital strategy, compared to 36% who say that they’re an effective part of their direct mail strategy. And overall, Mover Marketing Users lean towards digital channels (54%) over direct channels (46%) when asked in which area they are most frequently executing mover marketing efforts.

Data Use Can Prove Challenging

Although enterprise B2C marketers are putting data to use in targeting movers, they do have some obstacles. In fact, when they were asked their greatest challenges with executing a mover marketing program, the largest proportion (47%) cited the problem of making data actionable.

Not far behind, the ever-present issue of measuring ROI (43%) shows up as a challenge, as does integrating with existing programs (41%).

Fewer (34%) say that allocating budget/resources is a critical challenge. Separately, the survey results indicate that almost half (46%) of respondents overall are allocating more than 10% of their budgets to target movers. And among those who report “best-in-class” success from their mover marketing strategies, 1 in 3 are dedicating more than one-fifth of their budgets to these programs.

Download the report here for the full results and commentary.

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