Life Event Marketing that is Relevant, Timely and Permission Based


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Will it play in Peoria?” It’s a timeless question with special meaning. During the heyday of American vaudeville, the answer to that question determined whether a show would be a hit or a flop. The thinking was if it wasn’t acceptable to those in the heart of America’s heartland, there was no chance it would make it anywhere else in the country. If it didn’t receive strong approval the show was rewritten, recast, or it was canceled. With that, the phrase later became associated with an initial target area for testing new products, services, and even for gathering political viewpoints. Does your organization use Peoria like focus groups as a part of your initial market research to answer important questions like:

What do customers need?
What life events drive those needs?
What media do consumers use to help them make smart buying decisions?

As it turns out, over three quarters of the usage of phone directories – like the Yellow Pages – is by people that are seeking information about businesses, and their products and services because of a major life event or change. Something is happening in their life that is out of the ordinary. It may include the immediate need for localized services such as:

• Home Repair; Plumbing, Electrical, Roofing, etc
• Financial
• Insurance
• Legal
• Automotive Services

Life events are important to marketers because consumers are uniquely open to messages that are relevant to the event at hand. And there are few advertising occasions that can capture such a high level of consumer interest as at the point of time of life event-driven shopping. Consumers come to the Yellow Pages looking for information about products or services that will meet their need, and can be satisfied by a local business. What the Yellow Pages offer marketers is the chance to communicate with a set of consumers located in their immediate trade area, that have, or are about to experience some event or change that will drive a shopping need. What the Yellow Pages offer consumers is a permission-based short and quick way to do research and gather information to help them make a smarter shopping decision.

One thing is certain, life-events happen, and that means if it will play in Peoria you can probably find it in the Yellow Pages.

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Alan See
Alan See is Principal and Chief Marketing Officer of CMO Temps, LLC. He is the American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year for Content Marketing and recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential CMO's on Social Media" by Forbes. Alan is an active blogger and frequent presenter on topics that help organizations develop marketing strategies and sales initiatives to power profitable growth. Alan holds BBA and MBA degrees from Abilene Christian University.


  1. Alan

    My own experience of event-driven marketing is entirely positive. But you have to take more into account than just the customer’s lifecycle. You also need to consider product and other lifecycles too. They all interact together. One campaign we ran for an automotive bank based on the vehicle lifecycle netted over a 30% repurchase rate through the combination of the right offer, to the right customers, at the right time.

    Graham Hill
    Customer-driven Innovator
    Follow me on Twitter

    Interested in Customer Driven Innovation? Join the Customer Driven Innovation groups on LinkedIn or Facebook to learn more.

  2. Alan:

    We capture users at a single point of entry (in a life event) and can re-target them with relevant offers that help resolve other issues caused by this single event. For example, an accident. This has allowed us to keep our consumers engaged over a 6 month+ period at We are starting to apply the same methodology for weight loss at and are seeing similar results. Our advertisers are receiving highly qualified prospects because the users are so open to their messaging on the sites and through the newsletters.

    Marcela Shine
    Brightgeist Media and


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