& Why They Matter
As you may know, new mover marketing is a big segment for Strata and an offering we’re quite proud of. We believe we do it best – not only because of our experience and skill, but because of the multiple channels we use, the data we provide and incorporate, and the digital touches we implement. We’ve had trust in, and have been executing, great new mover campaigns for several years now. It’s no wonder we have an eye on new mover trends that may arise and behaviors within this segment – but we’re not sure anyone predicted or was prepared for the shift in the new mover market that happened at and after the onset of the pandemic. Today, we’re looking at how the new mover market has changed since March of 2020, and the increased need for new mover marketing solutions that it’s caused.
Stats You Need to Know
To get started, we wanted to give you a few recent new mover statistics to take in and think on:
- A fifth of US adults moved or knew someone that did due to the pandemic.
- Over 110,000 people moved away from New York City between February and July of 2020.
- 487% more people moved out of NY in 2020 than in 2019.
- Although there was no “exodus” away from urban areas that some were claiming, people did and do seem to generally be “drifting towards the suburbs”.
- Families have mostly chosen to move to the suburbs, while those living alone have more often chosen to move to metropolitan areas (In the first half of 2021, 7 in every 10 people who moved into urban areas were those living on their own).
- 35% of moves related to Covid-19 happened because of financial hardships.
- 36% of movers in a recent study claimed their reasoning for moving to a new place was because they felt safer there.
- 10% of them indicated that they moved to places with less stringent Covid-19 restrictions.
Overall, the pandemic has shown to accelerate some moving trends that have already been underway – and also create a few new ones. This, of course, has also had an impact on the effectiveness of new mover marketing (marketing specifically targeting new residents in your area).
What’s Causing all the Movement?
There are several reasons people are moving, some of them which we stated in the statistics above – and others that we’ll get into now. First and foremost, a big reason many have moved and are moving is financial stress. Many are moving to less expensive housing and apartment living to cut costs during these financially tough times. Additionally, apartment amenities or “big city” expenses that were previously valuable became almost meaningless during the peak of Covid-19, causing apartment-dwellers to rethink their living expenses.
Due to increases in work-from-home life and more flexible working hours and situations, people are craving more space. Because of this change, many are moving to larger spaces where they can work more comfortably. Additionally, they’re moving to where they truly want to be instead of where they previously “had” to be for their in-office employment.
For some people in different areas around the country and different industries within the workforce, finding employment during the pandemic has been tough, so this has caused some to find employment elsewhere and relocate.
And lastly, throughout the pandemic, the realization or reminder of the importance and need for family support during times of crisis and distress has been prominent – so many have moved and are still moving to be closer to the ones they love.
Overall – no matter where, when, or why they’re moving, people are definitely on the move since the onset of Covid-19.
How These Numbers (And the Causes Behind Them) Make Marketing to New Movers Essential
As you can probably imagine, as people move out of your area, you lose those customers, but as people move in, the opportunity arises for new customers to replace the old. So, more movers mean more new opportunity – but not if a competitor snatches them up by getting to them first and making a good impression.
That’s why it’s so important to be the first to put your brand in front of this niche audience, and to deliver quality marketing that welcomes, attracts, and entices them. New mover marketing programs are made to keep you connected with these new residents on a consistent basis, so that you’re never missing out on a new customer that, if targeted correctly, could become a loyal, repeat one.
Strata’s program, SmartMove, is a robust, multichannel, multi-touch, new mover marketing program that helps you find the right time and place to reach your target audience, right as they move into your surrounding area. We’ll help you reach this audience throughout their customer journey to build brand loyalty and trust and turn them into long-term, devoted customers. Interested in hearing more of our thoughts on the new mover market, or ready to start your first (or next) new mover campaign? Give us a call.
Laying Out the Pros and Cons
We know it can be a long process to research, find, and decide on a marketing solutions company that achieves your objectives. We also know that the full package – good data, quality design, excellent messaging, great customer service, mailing and fulfillment, and quantifiable results – is the goal, but not always the outcome. Since we get asked about it from time to time, in this blog, we’re going to cover why you may want to choose to work with a marketing company over a CRM services company who also happens to strategize and launch campaigns. Before you make your decision, give this a quick read.
Not Always the “Path of Least Resistance”
First and foremost, although it may appear “easier” to partner with a CRM service to launch your campaigns (because they have access to CRM) – they don’t always have immediate access to other capabilities. For example, they likely don’t have in-house creative design, printing, fulfillment, and mailing, and if they do have some of them – they likely don’t have all of them to execute a turnkey campaign. The main focus of a CRM company is usually just that – customer relationship management. Their key offering is their ability to compile and supply lists – which they may be excellent at doing, but what will they provide in terms of other areas of expertise?
Because of the outsourced services they use (such as those listed above), CRM companies can’t always make campaign changes on the fly. They’re usually unable to print on-demand, have their artist make quick modifications, make last-minute changes to the mailing process, or most importantly, optimize the campaign based on results, midstream.
The Marketing Differentiators
So, what’s the alternative? Partnering with a marketing solutions company that offers expertise in everything from implementation to optimization. Marketing companies are often also connected directly to the list compiler, and even more than that, they’re usually more closely if not directly connected to everything else you’ll need and use during the campaign production process – from strategy to printing. Since many if not all of their services are in-house (including design, print production, fulfillment, and mailing), you can always make changes and improvements mid-stream and at rapid speed. They can simply call on their marketing team of strategists, artists, print production associates, and others to change gears, swiftly improving the efficiency of the program while it’s in progress and effectively increasing campaign ROI.
Additionally, marketing companies focus solely on marketing strategy and production, and the more years of experience under their belts of doing so – the better. Marketing execution is not an add-on to marketing companies. It’s what they do, day in and day out. And the right marketing company will be able to simultaneously execute concurrent campaigns, whether single-touch or many, with corresponding digital to (targeted, specified) customers and prospects. If you’re lucky or do your research, you’ll find a marketing company that also incorporates backend fulfillment, seamless management, granular personalization, and attribution, and will be a team of dedicated experts, creators, innovators, and most importantly, marketers. You get the picture we’re painting. It’s important for a marketer or marketing team to also value and provide quality execution and customer care to every client, and ensure you have the reporting, understanding, and peace of mind you need, with 1:1 attribution, automated data exchange, and a detailed dashboard.
Next time you’re debating, think through this blog first. Do you just need a simple marketing campaign with CRM first, or do you need a multi-touch, well-focused marketing campaign with accurate, up-to-date lists and quality attribution?
The Evolution, Current State, & Future of Strata
Who We Are
Strata was founded by Jeff Sammak in 1993. At first, the company’s goal was to simply provide print services to a plethora of clients. Jeff later came to realize that Strata’s true mission was to leverage emerging technology to fuse marketing processes into a streamlined, single-source workflow. Over time, we’ve evolved to offer a wide range of client-driven solutions to help customers solve complex marketing and communications challenges, and we’ve consistently been a team of many different, unique individuals – innovators, go-getters, marketing experts, sales connoisseurs, you name it. But we’re people first—and we know our clients, customers, coworkers, and industry peers are, too. For this reason, we know the best way to help businesses achieve their marketing goals is by focusing on the people who work at them.
Where We Started
When Strata began, our services were print, print, and more print. We provided print solutions like no one else, offered great customer service, and were efficient and productive – as we are today. Back then, most of our clients were within the pharmaceutical industry, and we primarily focused on print materials like postcards and mailers, with a very small amount of web portal work.
Danielle, a long-time Strata employee, remembers that the main source of revenue for the company was “creating and printing Case Report Form (CRF) Books for pharmaceutical companies. Strata even had a program created for us to be able to set these up and separate the pages to print because they were printed on NCR paper.”
Before 2003’s move to Campus Drive in Plymouth Meeting, PA, where Strata’s main office is now, the company was located on Butler Pike. Around the time of the move, the pharmaceutical industry started moving CRF books online, causing a shift in the printing industry. To stay ahead, Strata purchased an iGEN 3 digital press and began working with variable data. This led to many of our current tactics – variable postcards, mailers and more, as we continued with more web portals. This change ramped up both the marketing and productions parts of Strata’s business.
Dawn, another long-standing Strata employee, recalls that “internet ordering wasn’t even a thing when I started…but Jeff was quick to add the software and technology to build customer portals for online orders to stay ahead of the market.”
This is when we really changed from a print solutions provider, to a full-blown marketing solutions company. From then on, technology became a key driver for all of our activities.
Today, we’re always using a blend of direct and digital strategies to get the highest ROI for our clients. Our equipment has and continues to evolve, and our culture grows stronger as our company expands. Dawn says, “Jeff’s always thinking two steps ahead (or maybe more) to keep the company current. Variable printing (has) branched out to email communication and personalized landing pages, and our ability to track responses is a technology that many of our clients (and competition) don’t even know about.” Harrison, Strata’s Director of R&D, says that we’re always expanding on our strategic value, being more than just execution, and more than just technology – we’re “being invaluable.”
Mark, a Strata leader since 2007, says that today, we’re a company that’s a blend of so many components. “For certain, the way we work is different…now we operate from our homes…taking advantage of the technology that allows us to do that.” He notes that our equipment has changed and evolved significantly as well. Instead of iGen, we now use HP Indigos (a much better product) and also use multiple black and white printers, a large 6-color offset press, inserters, a UV coater, and more. We’ve improved our processing capabilities through automation, and can now produce at a higher quantity and quality than ever before. Our workforce is no longer only print and production, but – like we said – innovators, marketers, and strategists too.
Our products have expanded from just postcards and mailers to email execution, digital, large format, and more. “We’ve moved from a transactional business to one that’s driven by orders from portals, for many of our clients,” Mark says. We used to outsource a lot of our services, and now, we invest in resources to keep those services within Strata. PURL development is a great example of this. We used to have the need to outsource it, but now, we do all of the creation in-house.
“Today,” Harrison says, “everything we do is with a realistic approach. We always keep contact with our clients and continue to solve problems.”
What Makes us Best – Directly from Our Staff
“Our employees have always been hard-working, easy to get along with, dedicated, and loyal, and that’s what has kept me here so long. I still feel like I’m always learning something, which is great, because I don’t like the mundane, same-old, same-old. I feel like we’re always ahead of other companies with innovative ideas and solutions, and we’re definitely always looking for new solutions for companies and trying to make things easier for them while staying ahead of the curve. However, I feel like our core values have stayed the same.”
“We look to exceed expectations, have extensive knowledge in our field that enables us to make smart happen, and live off of technology to be efficient in all scenarios. We think like our clients and look to provide solutions within their environment, and we cast a wide net that can satisfy most client needs under our roof without outsourcing. We have an excellent client base (many of our clients have been with us for 10+ years), and employees that stay with us.
You can speak with the actual CEO here. You can’t get that just anywhere, especially when you work for a big company. Each person has a place here. Everyone’s best talent is put to work here, and we all work together.”
The Future of Strata
At Strata, we’ll always put the customer first, as we always have, and it’ll always be top priority to solve problems – not just sell our services. We plan to keep evolving digitally, with smarter, more advanced technology, and to always stay on top of the latest and greatest trends. Dawn claims that in her many, many years with Strata, she’s “always seen the company evolve with the changing times.”
No matter what the future holds, Strata will always stick to our core – to make smart happen and remain a solution-based company. Give us a call if you’d like to evolve with us and utilize our mix of print and digital services to your advantage.