This blog post is the final in a series of four on how customer lifecycle marketing works for marketers and organizations seeking to increase revenue and grow loyal customer relationships.
Over the past few weeks, I have shared with you a marketing love story to explain the difference between the outdated marketing funnel and lifecycle marketing. We have covered the ROI Rules of Customer Attraction to explain how organizations can attract and win over new customers and the ROI Rules for Keeping Customers Happy to improve retention and customer loyalty. Now, for the final chapter in this marketing romance story, I’m excited to share with you how business organizations of all sizes can grow the right customer relationships.
We’ve addressed in the past how organizations can identify their “ideal customer.” This is not only critical during the lead acquisition stage of your customer lifecycle, but throughout the following stages as the ideal customer is the one you want to keep and grow a strong relationship with over time.
ROI’s Rules to Growing the Right Relationships
- Focus. Get to know the customer. In a B2B example, get to know the client’s senior executives, their business and clients. Create points of view about the future direction they should be taking, and how they can improve business.
- Expand the relationship. Build as many relationships with the client [and their organization] as possible. As one manager put it, “When we make a decision, I get all of my staff together, and every head must nod.” It’s no longer about just a single connection.
- Expand capabilities. Clients like to pigeon-hole their vendors, suppliers and favorite brands. (i.e., “I only wear GAP jeans.” What about their shirts, outwear and accessories?) It’s your job to demonstrate your breadth. Take the time to learn more about your clients’ projects, challenges and needs — then build trust in your ability to help address them. You can develop trust by showcasing your capabilities outside of initial expectation.
- Intensify relationship management techniques. To go from good to great with a client, you have to become much more focused and systematic about a broad set of relationship management activities. These include regular communications, formal expectations setting, and so on. In the beginning of the new customer phase, you can get away with low-key, informal relationship management—but that’s not sufficient to sustain a loyal customer relationship.
So there you have it: a marketing love story that started with the click of the mouse and hopefully never ends. By integrating some of the principles above into your client marketing efforts, you should be able to grow the right relationships, build engagement and improve revenue. While the beginning of the marketing love story is important, it’s the maintaining and improving of the relationship that results in higher levels of customer satisfaction, repeat spending, referral business and customer loyalty.
Interested in starting your own marketing love story with lifecycle marketing? Read the book on Lifecycle Marketing, written by the experts to begin your journey.