Re-focusing on Lifecycle Marketing

re-focusing on lifecycle marketingLast week, our partner released its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud 2014 State of Marketing study that polled over 2,600 mid to senior level marketing managers across all industries. The report provides some interesting insights. In particular, I was most drawn to the list of priorities for marketers in 2014.

  1. 67% of marketers want to increase sales directly attributable to digital marketing campaigns.
  2. 64% want to increase email click-through and open rates.
  3. 61% hope to increase their ROI.
  4. 35% are concerned with the lifetime customer value.

I find it amazing (and disappointing) that almost double the respondents who considered their lifetime customer value a priority this year are concerned with increasing email click-through and open rates. Opens and click-throughs are the very same statistics I based email marketing success on nearly 10 years ago! I mean, really? We’re still there?

In Christine Crandell’s article summarizing the study, she echoes my disappointment in some of the study’s findings.

The bad news, however, is that marketers still have not accepted that they need to understand their target buyers’ journey and lifecycle experience expectations in order to truly realize significant improvement in ROI and conversion.

Lifecycle marketing provides marketers with the ability to meet customers where they are in their journey with a brand, as opposed to sending the same message to every contact with no specific timing in mind. In a recent Forrester blog post, analyst Corrine Munchbach draws a clear distinction between marketing leaders who are successfully utilizing lifecycle marketing and those who need to re-focus their approach to marketing.

The companies that are making the most progress toward true customer obsession using the life cycle outstripped their peers on using data and analytics to drive marketing decisions and aligning the organization behind the customer.

Why continue to focus on open rates and click-throughs when more meaningful customer engagement exists? It’s time to leave the marketing funnel and batch and blast emails behind and move towards lifecycle marketing.

What are your marketing priorities in 2014? Are you concerned with lifetime customer value and the customer journey?