Birthdays, retirements, weddings, births, graduations, anniversaries—they’re all a great reason to get together with friends and family and celebrate. But here at Hallmark Business Connections, we can’t help but ask ourselves—why don’t businesses join in on the celebration, too?
We believe that these major life milestones create opportunities for companies to engage their customers in humanized, highly effective ways. This is what we call “life event marketing.”
What is Life Event Marketing?
Life event marketing is an effective marketing technique designed to connect with a consumer on a personal and emotional level—particularly during a unique life moment—in order to trigger a response that results in higher company profits and consumer loyalty.
Unfortunately, not every business understands just how valuable life event marketing is. According to study by Royal Mail Data Services, 55% of marketers say they understand the concept of life event marketing, however, only 24% are running a life event targeting campaign. For 21% of respondents, the term is entirely new.
The life event marketing strategy is one of the best ways to forge an emotionally intelligent relationship with consumers. In fact, another study shows that it’s even more effective than demographic targeting. According to Networked Insights, people going through the same life events at the same time are more likely to have similar interests than those in the same demographic groups. So how do you appear as if your company and the customer are going through the same life events? By thoughtfully applying empathy to celebrate, mourn, encourage, and honor your customers.
The Whens, Hows, Whys and Ifs of Life Event Marketing
There’s a time and place for everything. While life event marketing is a great opportunity to interact with customers on a personal level, there are times when it isn’t always a good thing.
When to use life event marketing:
When should you actually implement a life event marketing campaign? The answer is quite simple—whenever it feels authentic. If it feels forced, it will not resonate with your customers.
How to use life event marketing:
Put a plan in place, including how individual associates will be able to easily respond to life events they hear from customers in the course of their work, and how your marketing organization will address well-known life events, such as birthdays, customer anniversaries and customer appreciation.
Why use life event marketing:
The answer is again, quite simple—it enables your company to apply emotional intelligence to gain better marketing performance and build deeper, stronger customer relationships. As part of your life event plan, know how and when you will measure success. Life event marketing changes how people feel, so make sure you measure both short- and long-term results as well as impact to customer satisfaction and brand reputation.
Deciding if the life event marketing opportunity is right:
If you found out about the life event in an inauthentic way, don’t act on the information. It not only damages your customer relationships, but erodes consumer trust. Avoid creepiness by carefully considering where you learned of the life event. Purchasing data can be creepy to some consumers. But if you found out about the life event in an authentic way (i.e., via a conversation or being connected on social media), reaching out to say, “congratulations,” “happy birthday” or “I’m sorry” is appropriate.
What do Marketers, Customers and Brands Think About Life Event Marketing?
When we help companies express their true feelings for their customers in a way that is genuine, meaningful and repeatable, customers feel recognized and appreciated. Here are what others say about the benefits of life event marketing:
Below, we’ve included a number of quotes from customers who have received Hallmark cards to recognize a major life event. Needless to say, these customers were not only pleasantly surprised, they welcomed them with open arms:
How to Start a Life Event Marketing Campaign
Hallmark Business Connections is the go-to solution for companies looking to engage consumers through life event marketing. We can help your company effectively connect with your customers in any situation—but especially during their major life events. Is it time you started connecting with your customers in new, emotionally impactful ways? Get in touch with us and learn how we can help grow your business with life event marketing.