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Opportunity in disruption

By Jim Euchner

When you relocate from one residence to another, you are far more likely to change the brand of toothpaste that you use than at other times. The same is true of your cable TV provider, your laundry detergent, and where you buy household supplies or furniture. I learned this from Imagitas, a life event marketing company that targets advertisements to those who have recently moved. It does this by including high value advertising with the United States Postal Service (USPS) Change of Address mailings.

Why is this so effective?

When there is a major disruption in your life (a life event), your mind becomes unlocked from many of its habits and assumptions. You are willing to try new things—even a new toothpaste. Other common life events include getting married and having a child.

We are now in the midst of a major, global, shared life event—a pandemic. People are unlocked from almost all of their old habits and buying patterns.

They are trying new things out of necessity (like Zoom meetings or door-to-door grocery deliveries) or just because they have the time and are open to it (like virtual cocktail hours or online courses). User innovators in hospitals and warehouses and factories are solving problems because they have to. Barriers to trying new things, including regulatory barriers, are being swept aside.

This willingness to try new things is as true in the B2B sector as it is with consumers. Many manufacturing companies, for example, have been stalled in driving usage of their smart, connected products and remote diagnostic capabilities. Their customers just didn’t see sufficient value in them. But now customers are willing to try anything that might help to keep operations up and running while face-to-face support is restricted. Smart companies will use the time to both drive adoption and to learn from customers what they really value and what they are willing to pay for.

This willingness of customers to try new things is one reason that now is a great time to innovate. Your customers are more open to trying things. Their attitudes and habits are not set in concrete. It might be easier to get acceptance and trial of a new idea - and also easier to collaborate with customers to make your offering better.

But the time to do this is now!

How are your customers’ behaviors becoming unlocked? What might you do to take advantage of this?

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