‘Lifecycle Marketing’ is the new hot, buzz worthy phrase in the marketing world. There is so much hype coming from every angle around lifecycle marketing but the question people most frequently ask me is, “What is Lifecycle Marketing?” Lifecycle Marketing, or Customer Lifecycle Marketing as I like to call it, is about the entire journey a customer takes with your brand. It is the journey from the first encounter (or exposure to your brand) to brand loyal, raving or even lapsed customer. This definition is true Lifecycle Marketing.
In today’s market landscape the focus has shifted. A company can no longer operate singularly focused on demand generation or inbound lead generation. Consumers are getting more sophisticated and they feel the real value is in the full customer journey.
According to the New York Times, 65% of new business comes from referrals. So why are so many marketing departments focused strictly on leads that are generated from marketing efforts? Typically, a referral is sent directly to the sales team and is not considered marketing sourced. What happens in your organization once a prospect purchases? Are you done marketing to them? Do they just fall off a cliff? Are you talking to prospects at the first touch the same way you talk to your brand loyal customers? If you are, you’ll be in trouble soon (if you aren’t already).
So lets get back to Customer Lifecycle Marketing. Everyone says they do lifecycle marketing, but do they? Really? Remember lifecycle is the full journey from start to finish. A campaign is only a piece of that journey. A campaign fits into the lifecycle. There is not, and I repeat, THERE IS NOT A LIFECYCLE CAMPAIGN IN LIFECYCLE MARKETING. That phrase is a brilliant marketing spin designed to pull the wool over your eyes as vendors attempt to join the party.
Remember, lifecycle is the entire journey someone takes with your brand from first touch to raving fan. A campaign is a series of tactics, or touches, in a period of that lifecycle. To have true Lifecycle Marketing you need to map out what your organization’s unique customer journey looks like (and no two companies are really the same). It’s not a templatized process but a true exercise in business strategy. Next, you can create campaigns to engage your customers at every stage (from lead generation, referrals, lapsed or even disgruntled customers).
Lifecycle is about getting better at engaging the customer, enhancing their journey with your brand so you can win new business, keep the business you currently have, and grow the right relationships!
According to Nielsen, an information-gathering company, you are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. So with all the choices for software tools today, are you really getting a Customer Lifecycle Marketing solution or just an ordinary campaign builder?
Make sure you ask the right questions when evaluating a Customer Lifecycle Marketing platform.
Download our whitepaper, 5 Questions Marketers Need To Ask, today!