Brands have been encouraged to take advantage of the sales opportunities opened up by key life events.

According to a study by Royal Mail Data Services, a growing number of B2C and B2B organisations believe life events such as moving house, having a child, buying a new car and moving overseas offer new chances to drive engagement.

7 in 10 marketers agreed that life events can give them a reason to target a customer, while nearly half believes it gives them the opportunity to update their contact data.

But while the proportion of brands understanding the value of life event targeting campaigns has gone up significantly over the last year alone, figures showed that just a quarter of those polled are currently targeting customers in this way.

Jim Conning, Managing Director of Data Services at Royal Mail, commented: “As consumers become less loyal, brands have to work better to understand and predict what is happening to them during their lives. If you are not engaging people at the right time, it is irrelevant and consumers will see that as an annoyance rather than helping them through their lives.”

Mr Conning went on to stress that there is no point brands focusing on data segmentation, programmatic marketing or analytics unless the base data they are relying on “is as clean and as high-quality as you can make it.”

This, he said, is because a lack of high-quality ultimately means “all the smart stuff won’t make a difference.”

Interestingly, the number of marketers using first-party data – directly gathered customer information – has grown from 39 per cent to 45 per cent over the last year.

However, half of those surveyed believe this still does not provide a complete picture of a customer and are therefore using additional data from a third party to get a more rounded view.

Why marketers are failing to target consumers at key life events Marketing Week