“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne
Marketers hear the term “Customer Lifecycle” day in and day out. In essence, it’s the various levels that buyers experience as they connect with your brand. We’d like to throw some light on this mainstream marketing term and its adages to swear by, in our signature succinct fashion. Read on!
What is Lifecycle Marketing?
It’s no mystery that engaging existing customers for recurring business is less challenging and costs far less than acquiring new customers from scratch. Lifecycle Marketing refers to the campaigns that address and cater to your customers’ needs and preferences as they evolve over time, from being prospects to customers then, ideally, to advocates. To become a pro at the art of lifecycle marketing, it’s essential to gain an unfeigned understanding of your target audience and then work your way to retaining and growing customer value over time.
What are the Challenges of Lifecycle Marketing?
Customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue generation should be on the top of your priority list while crafting your lifecycle marketing strategy. This process is no cake walk, though. There are a few obstacles that may come your way to slow down your pace. However, an awareness of these challenges would help you to tackle them with finesse.
Defining an Uncomplicated Strategy: Aristotle said, “Well begun is half done.” Therefore, you must, first, determine a clear and simple strategy for your brand that separates it from your competitors.
Personalizing the Customer Journey: This approach to marketing could be challenging and time consuming but is tremendously fruitful. Whatever platform you reach your customer through, be it email, social media or even snail mail, you must clearly and accurately define the customer journey. This would ensure that your target audience is receiving your message at the right place and the right time.
Determining Communication Across Channels: Gone are the days when lifecycle marketing was just the process of tracking the buying stages of the customer. Now, lifecycle marketing calls for creating an effective business plan that can simplify the cross-channel communication approach. The challenge is determining the key customer journeys that align with the objectives of your brand, which in turn makes it difficult to implement the right processes to overcome it. The best practice could be to regard each channel, online or offline, as a united front of your brand, and not a separate outlet.
What is an ideal Lifecycle Marketing Framework?
The infallible lifecycle marketing mantra is “Charm-Pitch-Sell-Bowl Over”.
Charm: The objective of this stage is to get your prospects to really notice your product or service. First of all, you target your audience by their behavior, interests, location, context, demographics, etc. Second, you draw your target audience to your website with fantastic content through the means of social media, blog posts, infographics, webinars, podcasts, and eBooks. Once this happens, you collect your leads.
Pitch: Once you charm your target audience, you pitch your product or service to them. Make use of your brilliant content and be sure to personalize it as per the preference of each prospect. Use different strokes for different folks without coming across as too ‘sales-y’, and your job would be half done.
Sell: For the prospects that you’ve charmed, this stage consists of your distinctive strategy that translates your product or service into the obvious choice. Create personalized campaigns and follow-up messages with the necessary information for your prospects. Observe their past customer actions and craft a purchasing system for them so that you make them an offer that they can’t refuse. Close the sale with clear and explicit communication, skilled presence, and documentation.
Bowl Over: Deliver your product or service on time, follow through if and when it is required, and go the extra mile by delighting your customer with any additional value that you can provide them with. Be consistent with your offers by devising strategies around your product or service to help trigger recurring sales and revenue. Inspire your customers to become advocates for your brand with a “What’s in it for me?” approach. When customers and partners see some incentive for themselves, they’d be happy to refer or promote your brand.
Lifecycle marketing is an extraordinary addition to a marketer’s playbook. Like any strategy, it calls for meticulous iteration and R & D. Get as creative with it as you possibly can. Just remember to “Charm-Pitch-Sell-Bowl Over”.