Since 2020, the home maintenance services market has been experiencing a pandemic boost, as people’s lives have become more focused than ever around house and home. Homeowners are expected to continue spending in the year ahead. In a recent Thumbtack survey, 30% of U.S. homeowners said they plan to invest $10,000 or more on home projects in the next 12 months, and another 22% plan to spend $5,000-$9,999.
How can you ensure your home maintenance service business or franchise is capturing its share of this booming market? And, how can you continue to connect with your best customers, even after the factors currently driving this favorable market recede?
The answer lies in more precise customer targeting. Rather than casting a big net across the massive home maintenance services market, sharpen your customer targeting strategies to zero in on consumers who are most likely to buy your specific category of services within the next 12 months.
Home Maintenance Services Customer Profile
If you are selling home maintenance services, you may be targeting prospective customers using a general home maintenance customer profile. This is a good start, but it’s not enough to ensure your marketing channels and messaging are relevant to your best customers.
Based on Vya Data research, the general profile of a home maintenance services customer is just under middle age, married or has a domestic partner, with three people in their household. They have one or more pets, have a college degree or completed some college, and earn a middle income.
A general profile like this can apply across various home maintenance services. However, using the same general profile across service categories means all targets will be treated the same – whether you’re selling HVAC or junk removal services. Your messaging is either too broad to be meaningful, or, if it’s more nuanced, it is wasted on a large portion of those included in the target profile.
For consistently successful marketing, you need to connect with the right people, at the right time, with the right message.
Bottom line, a general customer profile for home maintenance services is not specific enough to effectively market your services.
Targeting Your Best Customers
Successful marketing involves relevance. Home maintenance service businesses can achieve greater relevance through more detailed segmentation of their target market. Segmentation offers a more specific picture of your buyer, which allows you to align your marketing channels, creative, and messaging for more successful engagement.
The Vya Data team recently surveyed more than 1,000 US homeowners who purchased home maintenance services in the prior two years about their plans for using such services over the next 12 months. Our team's research encompassed 12 home maintenance services: HVAC, lawn care, plumbing, handyman, pest removal, painting, carpet/duct, maid services, gutter cleaning, window cleaning, exterior home wash and junk removal.
Knowing who currently or recently used your services category is a good first step toward targeting your best customers. But we can get even closer. Buyers of home maintenance services often use a variety of services in connection with or in succession of one another, particularly if they are adhering to a schedule of routine maintenance or they are working on a larger project. In this way, it’s helpful to understand how these 12 categories of service relate to one another.
Our team's research reveals that certain home maintenance service types cluster together within one of four service categories – necessity, niche, luxury and infrequent maintenance.
- Necessity – This category includes home maintenance services that are typically initiated on an event-triggered basis. They address issues that, if left unresolved, may result in the home becoming unlivable. Nearly half (40.4%) of those we surveyed currently or recently used services in this group. Service examples in this group include HVAC, plumbing and handyman.
- Luxury – This category of services includes those that are not necessary to keep a house running in tip-top shape, but are “nice-to-haves" to keep a home looking very clean and well maintained from a cosmetic perspective. Luxury services are currently or recently used by 18.9% of those we surveyed. Services include carpet/duct, maid services, window cleaning and exterior home washing.
- Niche – This category includes common services that are used regularly, typically on a proactive basis, by a variety of different types of customers. Among those surveyed, 29.8% currently or recently used niche services. Service categories include junk removal, pest removal and lawn care.
- Infrequent Maintenance – This category blends some essential maintenance services with nice-to-have services, but in both cases are only needed once every few years. Services in this group are currently or recently used by 11% of those we surveyed. Services include painting and gutter cleaning.
When services cluster together it indicates a similar profile of user. The further apart the services are, the less likely the same person uses those types of services. Understanding how services cluster into categories brings you closer to your best target customers.
When we look at services that are close together, trends emerge. We can make assumptions and extend findings to other adjacent services that are not among our primary 12 services. For example, garage door maintenance could be aligned with infrequent maintenance customer profiles for services like painting, gutter cleaning and junk removal.
The Power of Power Segmentation
We can get even more specific in our customer targeting by looking at emotional drivers. In analyzing our recent survey results, our team applied a proprietary segmentation system we’ve developed over years of working and analyzing millions of customer interactions with services for their homes. Thus, unlike other segmentation systems that are based on consumer lifestyles and interests, Vya’s Home Services PowerSegments allow service providers to better understand which consumers are buying which home maintenance services, and more accurately predict customer behaviors. Our six PowerSegments are:
- Astute Investors – Higher income, middle age thru retirement age, college graduate, homeowner
- Income Constrained – Lower income, younger to middle age, high school/GED
- Less-Tech Retired – Retirement age, fixed income, stable residence
- New Movers – Moved within the last 2 years
- Price Mindful – Moderate income, wide age range (working age), high school education to some college
- Young Techs – Upper mid-income, young professional, college graduate
Our team's analysis drills even deeper into the emotional drivers and psychographic needs of each PowerSegment. For example, we know that Astute Investors will spend money to save time. They prefer to hire experts for home maintenance services. They do not procrastinate. And more than any other PowerSegment, they enjoy spending time in their home.
By applying PowerSegments to the four home maintenance services categories (necessity, luxury, infrequent maintenance and niche) we can now understand the best opportunities for selling specific types of service. Our team's analysis indicates the top two segments to target within each group of services are as follows:
- Necessity – Less Tech Retired, Income Constrained
- Niche – Income Constrained, Price mindful
- Luxury – Astute Investors, Young Techs
- Infrequent Maintenance – Young Techs, New Movers
What this means, for example, is that if you are selling a necessity service, like plumbing, your best targets are likely to be less-tech retired and income constrained consumers, based on those who have used plumbing services in the recent past and those who have expressed interest in using plumbing services in the next 12 months.
Targeting specific segments enables home maintenance service businesses to reduce waste from marketing to less receptive audiences and decrease customer fatigue by delivering messaging or offers that are more relevant to your targets.
Segmentation systems specifically based on consumers’ interactions with services for their homes are particularly valuable for home services businesses. The Vya Data system can be used to match your specific home maintenance service to specific target segments. Simply identify which service group you’re in to find the best segments for your business.
Understanding how best to reach out to each of your top segments is the next step in the process. Each segment responds differently depending on the message they receive and the channels used to communicate to them. Vya can help you better understand how to most effectively market to your target segments and help you guide franchisees in marketing to those segments.
To learn more about Vya’s Home Services PowerSegments and to see how the Vya marketing portal lets you help your franchisees run smarter, more relevant campaigns request a demo today.