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How Moving Housholds Create Opportunities

Broadband service providers could make sizable gains in the video services market if they appropriately target households that are moving or have recently moved, according to Parks Associates' latest research project "Households on the Move."

This survey found 45 percent of the estimated 23 million U.S. households that move every 18 months make their first service call to the local telephone service provider. In addition, most people switch pay-TV service providers only when they move into a new home.

These combined findings uncover a scenario where the telco giants could challenge cable and satellite operators in the pay-TV market by selling these potential subscribers a bundled package that includes video, as well as voice and Internet access services.

"The telcos have invested heavily in upgrading their networks, and this strategy is the best shot they have to win the market," said John Barrett, director of research for Parks Associates. "Most consumers don't have the time or inclination to do a painstaking cost-benefit analysis of television options, so you have to grab them during those rare times when they are consciously deciding on updated services for their new home."

The Parks' study provides an in-depth understanding of how moving influences purchasing decisions for consumer electronics, and subscriptions to communication and entertainment services. The project features data and analysis from a survey of over 3,000 U.S. households.

Even when consumers aren't prepared to make purchase decisions immediately about bundled service offerings, because they would prefer to study competitor alternatives, the 'try it and buy it' approach is worth consideration.

I know, from prior research, that consumers who trial products and services tend to stay as customers -- assuming, of course, that the best trial offering was presented to them in the first place. That's why needs assessment and offer customization, within the sales process, is of paramount importance.

Remember, in today's hyper competitive marketplace -- a lazy one-size-fits-all approach will be targeted at non-existent customers, and thereby produce predictably poor market penetration results. You reap what you sow.

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