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What are marketing triggers?


We all have them.

Mine are: children not putting their coats on when they’ve been asked to, washing that shrinks or gets dyed, and people in call centres who say: ‘bear with me’ (they are clearly not bearing anything, sometimes they are adding to my stress! And, breathe). Just a few of the things likely to make my blood boil. To be fair I could come up with plenty more, but that’s really not the point of the post.

What you might not know is that for your business, there are likely to be marketing triggers which your buying audience are subject to, and make them suddenly, or at long last, feel a need to buy your product.

These triggers could be big events. Things like moving house, Christmas coming up, a child starting school or leaving home, taking a holiday. Or, they might be the smallest of provocations, like a broken nail, stubbing your toe for the 100th time, bursting into tears and not knowing why.

The thing is, that working out what the range of triggers might be for your customers or clients is key to developing a marketing plan that works. When you know what people do JUST before they want to work with you, you can start to market yourself in those areas.

For example. Imagine you run a removals firm. As well as all the ‘Right said Fred, have a cup of tea’ business, removals firms are known for being in demand pretty much year round – as long as the housing market stays buoyant. But, there are certain triggers that cause individuals to decide to move house, and knowing these can help shape a marketing plan for a removals firm that is losing its market share, or is a new entrant into a market.

These triggers might be:

  • Divorce
  • Bereavement
  • Moving to a new area because of a change of job.
  • Moving to a new area to get into a particular school.
  • Downsizing when children have left home.

And other, big ticket, life changing things.

So, if you were a removals firm and you decided to focus on a specific dream client of families who are moving into your area and you were aware that there was a steady stream of families arriving because of the attractiveness of one brilliant school, you might decide to place an advert for your firm into the prospectus for that school.

Similarly, you might look at the other triggers for moving and try to find a way to get to your audience when each trigger is happening.


How do you work out the marketing triggers for your business?

So, if you don’t already know what the triggers are for your business, how do you find out? Well, it’s back to good old market research I’m afraid.

  1. Make sure that you always ask anyone making a sales enquiry or buying from you how they heard about your business.
  2. Also ask them why they decided to book you. Was there a last straw moment or a key deciding factor?
  3. Go through Twitter, Mumsnet, Facebook groups, Amazon reviews, etc and look for people asking questions in your area of expertise. You might see something like: “I’m getting divorced and I need to move house, who can recommend a good removals firm?” Or: “I’ve stubbed my toes a MILLION times, where can I get a decent pair of slippers?”. From these questions you can ascertain a good range of marketing triggers for your product or service.

Once you have some indicators of the likely triggers, use them to build up a range of marketing activities. You could be looking to sniff out the life changing events, smaller sources of general annoyance or even attendance at a related event that has been the driver of an appetite for whatever you provide.

Finding this a challenge? We can help you to figure this all out. It’s part of the process that we go through during the VIP day part of our Marketing Audit & Action Plan service. Visit this page to find out more!

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