What are key life events and why are they so important?

Answering the first part of the question is simple: key life events are the big moments in a person’s life. For example, moving out of your parents’, getting your first job, getting married, having a child, buying a house…

The message is not new. It is a concept that has been used in marketing for years. So why am I talking about it? Why is it important to take it into account when designing digital products?

A good way to understand how important this concept is, is to think like a company. If I were a bank, would I not like to know when someone is thinking about buying a house? Then I could be waiting in the wings to offer them a mortgage. I would win a customer for 30 years!

The same goes for insurance companies. Would it not be wise for them to show up when I am looking to buy a new car, a house…?

Even without putting the big banking and insurance firms into the equation, how many things do you need to book and buy for a wedding? Would catering companies, tailor’s shops, bridal stores or wedding pages not be delighted to know when someone is fixing to get married to appear in their life?

For companies, key life events are big opportunities to get in touch with their customers. In fact, life moments are almost always emotional, and hence memorable, for customers.

A key life event is also a unique opportunity for companies as it allows them to become part of an important memory together with the consumer and creates an opportunity to create a lasting bond between the consumer and the business. This is crucial given the current promiscuity of users.

But it is not only useful as far as marketing campaigns are concerned: Knowing the life moments that customers are (or will be) living will help us to determine the message and the functionality of our digital products, and this means redefining the entire customer experience.

Thanks to digitization, it is now when the greatest advantage can be gained from key life events, when the entire customer experience can really be redefined on the basis of these moments. This is mostly possible for three reasons:

  • The massive use of digital channels users and customers make during the day has made the capacity to collect data on their activity and interests to exponentially grow.
  • The emergence of big data and machine learning technologies has added a lot more value to exploiting all the collected data and identifying, and even predicting, the life moments of customers.
  • The possibility that digital technology and channels afford in terms of customizing contents, messages and products… in short, the customization of the entire customer experience.

In this scenario, key life events are the perfect opportunity to start a conversation with users. However, certain aspects must be taken into account in order to achieve the desired effect of engagement with customers.

  • It is very important to respect the privacy of customers.
  • Users should not be overwhelmed with messages; you have to choose the right time and come up with the right message.
  • The message to be conveyed works much better when companies provide effective solutions to actual problems.
  • If you are working on designing a strategy based on key life events, it is essential for you to measure how the customization of messages, communication actions, etc. is working.

Using these moments to get in touch with customers is much more satisfying than a traditional marketing campaign. In fact, it is up to 10 times more profitable in terms of response rates.

That is why it is worth stopping to think about the above and design a strategy that takes key life events into account to be able to win the hearts of customers.

Ana María Gómez is a Telecommunication Engineer with extensive experience in the development of user applications. She started out in research projects which allowed her to obtain knowledge of different fields and programming languages. She works on frameworks such as Struts and Spring, and is part of the Paradigma Digital team. She has a keen interest in technology and is continually finding ways to improve and make things go well.

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