How much have you changed since you had kids? Since you graduated from school?
We go through numerous changes during our lives as we overcome obstacles, adjust to new situations, and focus on different priorities. We spend our money in different ways. We value certain qualities over others. In some cases, we even think differently.
One of the most considerable difficulties that small business owners have is trying to target customers who are consistently evolving and changing. Even if you create a campaign that resonates with an ideal customer today, you might find yourself losing them to the competition in a year or two.
So does this mean marketing isn’t effective in the long run?
Not exactly. Instead, it tells us that because our customers don’t stay the same during their lifetime, our marketing shouldn’t either.
What Is Life Stage Transitioning?
Each of us goes through various stages in our lives. The stages vary from individual to individual, but they can typically include any of the following:
- Graduating from high school and/or college
- Entering into relationships
- Ending relationships
- Having children
- Changing jobs
- Moving to a new location
- Becoming the caretaker of a parent
There are countless other life events that your consumers may go through, and while some may experience each life stage in the list above, others may only experience a handful.
The importance of these life experiences is the way they impact consumer behavior. Consumers who have just gotten married will buy certain products more often than those going through a divorce. In the same way, losing your job could have a significant impact on what you’re willing to spend money on.
Watch this clip from the Mindstate Marketing Hour Ep. 7 to learn more.
How to Map Out Consumer Life Stage Transitions
So how can businesses adapt to meet consumers where they are, in whatever life stage they’re going through today and three years from now? Well, the best way is by mapping out their life stage transitioning.
Mapping life stage transitions involves identifying the key life stages your customers may go through and how each of these stages could impact sales.
Say your business produces eco-friendly cleaning products. To make your life stage transitioning map, you would jot down key events and determine how they influence customers. Here’s an example of what that might look like:
- Early college/right out of high school – These customers prioritize experiences, learning, and socialization. They spend more time away from home, and they’re likely living in a dorm or small apartment. This, coupled with their low budget, will make it more challenging to convince them to spend money on eco-friendly cleaning products over the cheaper options. A strategy could be to focus on the environmental impact the product makes, as people in this stage are more likely to invest money if they know they’re making a difference.
- New relationship or next step in a relationship – Many people who start a new relationship will spend more time in their home. They’re also more likely to care about how clean that house is since they’re not the only ones seeing it. While these customers still care about their environmental impact, they’re more interested in the cleaning power and fragrance of your products during this stage.
- Having children – Kids probably have one of the biggest impacts on the way consumers think and act. Now that they have little humans to take care of, they’re going to prioritize health and safety over all else. Price is also an important selling point because we all know how expensive kids can be, but consumers in this life stage will be willing to spend more for the peace of mind of knowing their product won’t make their baby sick.
Brands in every industry can create a map for life stage transitions, whether you’re B2C, B2B, or B2G. Here’s another example of how this might look in action.
The Benefit of Mapping Out Consumer Life Stage Transitioning
Mapping out life stages and applying those insights to your future marketing campaigns can take some time. So why is it worth the investment?
The biggest benefit brands will get from marketing to multiple consumer life stages is building and retaining relationships with customers.
You aren’t consistently fighting to get and keep customers in just one life stage. Instead, you’re able to find customers where they are and maintain a bond with them as they go through changes in their lives. You’re able to become a constant source of security and even a friend they can lean on when other things in life are up in the air.
Going back to the financial advisor example in the video up above, if a financial planner were to apply life stage transitioning to their marketing and sales process, they can differentiate themselves from other advisors and reduce the chances of existing clients switching to a new advisor.
Brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Building and maintaining genuine relationships with consumers is one of the only ways to keep customers—especially when the economy is uncertain and consumers swap brands without batting an eye.
Combine Life Stage Transitioning with Mindstate Marketing for the Biggest Impact
The best way to get consistent, impactful results from your marketing is to identify your consumers’ mindstates in each major life stage.
Once you have determined the subconscious motivations that drive them to purchase during the life stages, you can create highly targeted messaging and visuals that cut through the clutter and keep them engaged with your brand.
Trying to accurately apply Mindstate Marketing to your business on top of everything else on your plate can be overwhelming. That’s why I created the Mindstate Marketing Masterclass to walk you through the process step by step.
For $399.99, this digital course walks you through real-life examples of behavioral science in marketing. It also includes all the resources you need to take what you learn and immediately apply it to your business, from microlearning videos to additional behavioral science resources.
Click the link below to get started.
If you want to learn more about life stage transitioning, be sure to watch the rest of the Mindstate Marketing Hour Episode 7.