Mover Marketing Tip #4: Creating a Strategy

Welcome to the Movers and Shakers podcast. Join us as industry leaders and experts discuss important marketing topics and share actionable insights and unique perspectives on the latest marketing, strategies, technology, and trends.

Podcast Host: Michelle Taves

Michelle Taves serves as Group GM of Porch Marketing, leading the integrated marketing strategy of V12 and fellow Porch company, Welcome Wagon. Along with serving as the Group GM, Michelle serves as General Manager of V12, overseeing the company’s strategic direction and day-to-day operations. Following the acquisition of V12 by Porch Group, Michelle played a key role in establishing V12 as a leading product innovator in mover marketing and today is a member of the Porch Group’s senior leadership team.

With over 30 years of product, marketing, and leadership experience, Michelle has developed an in-depth knowledge of product strategy and development, operational efficiency management, omnichannel campaign execution, first-party marketing solutions, and audience development best practices including sourcing, privacy, availability, and reliability.

Podcast Guest: Luci Rainey

Luci Rainey, former SVP of Marketing at PODS and Comcast, joins us to offer her insights and real-world experience on how to overcome the challenges of mover marketing and leverage your program to its full potential.

*The following content has been adapted from V12’s Movers and Shakers Podcast

Challenge #4: Creating a Strategy

Source: The 2022 Marketer’s Perspective on Mover Marketing

Luci: Once you’ve gotten your data and made it actionable, and you started to prove out ROI, you can really start looking at a more holistic strategy. I can’t stress enough about how you need to map your customer journey to see when your customers are buying. I think you’ll find that during the move journey, there are purchases happening on some level by your customers.

By understanding how movers affect your business, you can formulate your strategy and then communicate that within the organization on a monthly basis so you can start to get traction for your strategy.

Find a place to start and build. It doesn’t have to start off as an all-encompassing, end-to-end strategy. Just start it and then you can build each year on that. When I started in 2007 at Comcast with mover marketing, it wasn’t the big, robust program that I had when I left in 2019.

As you’re thinking about a strategy, decide what kind of segment you want movers to be. Is it more of a standalone segment alongside your other segments? Or do you want to integrate movers into your other programs? There are several ways to go about it.

If you’re focused on how movers affect your business, and you’re tracking those gains and losses, you can really distill that it’s an important segment for your company.

Do you have a dedicated budget for this segment? Is your team focused on it? Without budget and focus, it’s probably not going to get a lot of traction.

Michelle: On your first point about mapping out the customer journey, of course, every business is going to have their own kind of buying and then loyalty journey.

However, we’ve done a lot of work with Porch to develop our mover product along the stages of the journey. We have the pre-move journey, for instance, parsed out into three phases. So at different points in the journey, marketers can introduce their brand to consumers or communicate to consumers as they go through the path of the move.

If it’s not obvious or intuitive where the move might fit in, we’ve done a lot of work to help marketers, at least from a mover standpoint, understand the phases of the journey, and what consumers are interested in at each phase.

Luci: For me, we spend so much money on marketing anyway, it’s about answering the question, why do we need to focus on movers? Why do we need to grow our budget to support movers?  It took time to convince leadership that this was important.

The tipping point was being able to communicate specifically how movers affected the business overall. What are the gains and losses based on the mover segment? When you can start to communicate that and spread the message that movers are important, it’s not hard to then convince your leadership team.

I think a lightbulb went off when we really were able to get specific numbers tied to business gains and losses as it related to movers. You can also show tests that you’ve done and how your ROI is better or ROAS is more effective, or maybe your cost per sales are lower. If you can get buy-in, then you can start thinking about shifting investment to support movers.

A good time to start these communications is at the beginning of the year so you can get a good six months of communication in before budget season starts. Once budgeting starts, you’ve done your communications, you’ve done some testing and you can share that with your leadership.

Michelle: At V12, we’ve really focused on creating solutions that turn mover insight into programs that are tied to outcomes in a closed loop, which I know is always the challenge.

Luci: Yes, and a lot of times, you may get buy-in but no budget and that’s the tough part.  We talked a lot before about first leveraging tactics and strategies that don’t cost a lot and using those as proof points to then start things that do cost. 

Budget and resources don’t necessarily need to mean more. It can also mean efficiency. Should you shift budget and resources to support movers?

I’m not surprised that people find getting budget and resources challenging. A lot of the stigma of mover marketing is that it is often thought of as the old direct mail program. And while direct mail is very effective for many businesses, mover marketing is much broader and really all-encompassing. It’s really a segment and not just a one-tactic program anymore.

Mover marketing is today a very sophisticated, all-in marketing segment. If you can get the right data, and make the right data actionable, you can have a lot of success with movers for either retention for your business or as a new acquisition.

If you asked Fortune 500 companies if they’re talking to movers, I would bet that all of them are marketing to movers and have really strong mover marketing programs, and all for good reason.

Michelle: Integration is also a challenge for many marketers.

Luci: This is always a popular topic for marketing teams. Where does this fit? How do we get it in? What shouldn’t I work on? 

I would advise to just start with movers as a segment and fit it into your strategy that way. And again, test your segments, which ones perform the best, what should you focus on now. That will guide your way to how things should get integrated into existing programs. 

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