Marketing is not just for attracting new customers. Marketing is your company’s voice and the chance to engage with your customers throughout their journey with you.
Lifecycle Marketing is the process of providing your audience the kinds of communications and experiences they need, want, or like as they move from prospects to customers then, ideally, to advocates.
Below is a graphical representation Lifecycle Marketing. You will notice that there is marketing activity at each stage of the customer’s lifecycle with your company.
Please note that this is a generalized approach and that each industry and business type will have different attributes, such as a subscription-based business vs a single-transaction based business.
This is where you’re investing heavily on creating brand awareness about your offering, identifying your target customer and deploying multiple marketing channels to reach your customers.
Demand generation, lead generation, digital presence, non-digital presence, and optimization are the main umbrella points in this phase. It is about creating a cohesive message across the various channels so that your customers, no matter where and how they receive your message, it will be the same, regardless of medium.
- Identify your ideal customer profile
- Develop your overall marketing strategy and what success looks like
- Identify the key tactical channels that will support your strategy
- Develop content for the various channels
- Execute – Measure – Adjust – Repeat
You’ve now drawn in your customers and it’s time to take action to move them along the phase.
This is requires the continued activity of reach, but it is now as a reinforcement of messaging and providing some level of value that allows you to hold your customer’s hand down the path of conversion.
You’re interacting with your customers at the next layer of relationship building and exploring what their needs are and they are at the very top of your funnel. They would be considered “suspects”.
A suspect is a potential customer that you are still determining on whether they would be the right customer for you and you are working on determining their level of engagement with you.
- Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
- Measure key performance metrics around your landing/funnel pages, product pages, social media, and top-funnel health
- Validate that the top-funnel suspects are mostly your ideal customer profile and adjust your Reach phase accordingly
- Create and execute remarketing channels
- Create content for the various remarketing channels
This is where a “suspect” becomes a “prospect”. The customer is now engaging with you and you’re follow up marketing and outreach is more personalized to their needs.
Nurturing the prospects is vital in this stage of the lifecycle. This is what actively moves the prospect closer to becoming a customer and takes them from the top of the funnel down to the bottom where a sales interaction occurs, whether it be an actual sales call or a digital purchasing process.
As you go through this phase, the qualification criteria becomes more narrow to ensure that you have a prospect that has a high intent on buying and just as important, the prospect is a customer that you want (i.e. profitable).
- Nurture, Nurture, Nurture your leads with relevant content and value-driven conversations
- Disqualify quickly so that you can focus on the high intent customers
- Actively manage the transition from mid-funnel to bottom-funnel, through nurturing
- This is for both new customers and existing customers that are about to purchase new products or about to churn
Now your prospect has become a customer! Your work isn’t finished and in fact, has just begun.
As soon as the customer reaches that buyer’s emotional high, they are on the downward of buyer’s remorse. It is a natural human roller coaster. The actions taken here are to reinforce their decision as the smart decision for buying from you.
The white glove service, the partnering on their goals, the value driven conversations & engagements, and so on and so on is what this phase is all about. This is what sets you apart from your competition.
- Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
- Create and implement a customer onboarding journey
- Create and implement a Retention Strategy
Putting it all together
Your marketing efforts should mirror the lifecycle of your customers and be in sync with their buying behaviors.
Marketing is a long-game and there is no magic bullet to make things happen immediately. The key is to be consistent and always adjusting as you go.
Start with the end in mind and work backwards. This helps ensure that your actions and channels are catered to your ideal customer.
Lastly, nurturing the customer in each phase is vital to not only successfully acquiring them, but also in keeping them.