Identifying the customer lifecycle is growing more and more important by the day for modern marketers. Most marketing and sales professionals can probably identify a basic brand journey for all of their prospects, clients, and everyone in between. But how is the customer lifecycle unique for each company and why does it matter for the modern marketer?
In order to apply the customer lifecycle mentality to your marketing efforts, one must consider the following points:
- It is important to understand that Customer Lifecycle Marketing is much more than an application for the marketing team; this philosophy should tie into company-wide goals and initiatives in order to drive revenue. What are some of your overall company goals for this year? In five years? Do you want to increase new customers by 20 percent? Improve customer retention rates? Maybe it is to upsell and/or cross-sell current customers? Knowing company goals will drive the identification of customer lifecycle stages. If your company goal were to acquire 10 percent more new customers this year, your stages and marketing campaign strategy would favor lead generation and lead conversion. If your company goal is to cross-sell and upsell current customers, the lifecycle stages may reflect the number and type of products that current customers are purchasing.
- The necessity of data; the power of the lifecycle approach can only be fully realized when a company has embraced the power of data and the collection of data. What is your company collecting? How does your company collect data? Lifecycle strategy must be outlined with these questions in mind. Specific data points must be used to establish the stages and in which stage a contact resides; these data points are known as “gate criteria” as a prospect or customer must pass through a “gate” in order to move from one stage to the other. This gate criterion is an important part of the customer lifecycle strategy as it ties directly into the company goals. Is your goal to increase client retention through lifecycle marketing? Your gate criteria could be product utilization, time since last purchase, or time since first purchase. The power of Customer Lifecycle Marketing increases greatly with dedication to data collection and data integrity.
- Companies must make this data actionable and apply it to marketing campaigns based on the customer lifecycle. Marketing automation is an important and necessary function when implementing the customer lifecycle way of marketing. As we apply the thinking from the company goals and data sections, we are able to begin to identify the unique campaigns that are available through the combination of lifecycle stages and automation. Examples of such campaigns include triggers for a new campaign upon movement between stages, lapsed customers, and one-time special offers dependent upon current stage relationship.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing is significantly more than a marketing buzzword or one-time fad. Customer Lifecycle Marketing is a business model that has the potential to revolutionize the company perspective in order to win, keep, and grow business.