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When it comes to targeting, as marketers we generally like to be hyper focused on exactly who our target audience are, what they engage with and how they think.

I recently listened to a great podcast that brought my attention to there being certain points in people’s lives where consumers are more willing to break habits and can therefore be more susceptible to trying new things. In this article I will be exploring how attitudes change when people are on the cusp of entering a new decade and around buying habits and life changes.

Talk to me about 9-enders.

Heard of 9-enders? We’ve all been one at some point in our lives and when we hit 29,39,49,59 studies show that this can make us more reckless.

The attitudes people have are a little akin to new year’s resolutions but that bit extra… , when somebody’s age ends in a 9 they are more likely to search for meaning as they approach a new decade, findings show that 9-enders are more likely to:

  • Run a marathon.
  • Seek extra marital affairs.
  • Make larger purchases.

9-enders are reported of being more likely to re-assess their life and new experiences, meaning they are more open to suggestion. Less considered spending habits and an increased likelihood to splurge on larger purchases make this group the marketers dream. I would love one of our paid media team to test this theory with some targeted experiments.

Life changes and shopping sprees

In addition to significant birthdays, buying habits and attitudes can also change drastically around significant life events. Marriage, divorce, moving home, childbirth, starting a new job and retirement can destabilise our typical purchasing behaviour.

Consumers undergoing a big life change are two or three times more likely to switch brands and are more likely to make non habitual purchases. From shopping at a new supermarket, trying a new bread or indulging in a brand-new sofa… What’s a little more money, right?

Sonos’ success story

Sonos heavily based one campaign about targeting life events. They didn’t distinguish between any particular life event – they just targeted every life event ‘change.’

On Facebook, they targeted normal ads at all of these ‘life event’ consumers. And the results were:

  • 37% lift in purchase intent
  • 424% increase in people searching for Sonos.
  • 52% lift in ad recall

Incredible results considering no increase in ad spend and a small tweak to the targeting! This is another experiment I would love the paid media team to trial!

Next steps?

Watch this space, I’m going to explore what clients we might be able to test these theories on.