Lifecycle marketing is the process of providing your audience the kinds communications and experiences they need, want, or like as they move from prospects to customers and then, ideally, to advocates.
The goal is to increase the number of people who purchase, raise customer retention rates, and drive up the lifetime value of a customer.
Lifecycle marketing is not about just sending messages, or sending messages prospects or customers might like. The goal is to positively influence their behavior.
The customer lifecycle begins the moment you first catch a potential customer’s attention.
What Are The Lifecycle Marketing Stages?
The lifecycle marketing stages have been identified as:
Lifecycle Marketing Stage: Reach
This first stage is the point when first contact is made with the potential customer.
Most people will not convert to paying customers during this stage. During this stage, the goal is to make the potential customer aware of your product or service, capture their attention and to begin developing a relationship with that person.
Lifecycle Marketing Stage: Acquisition
Once you have a potential customer’s attention, they move into the acquisition stage. The goal of this stage is to get the prospect to take an action.
That action depends on your industry, communication networks being utilized and on the marketing systems that are in place or can be added.
If your industry involves a service that is needed quickly then the goal would likely be getting them to contact you. Phone, chat or texting would be good communication networks.
Otherwise offer more information to lead them to a decision. Offering helpful information in exchange for their email address can help you to follow up with prospects using email marketing. An offer of a free quote can be enticing.
Most prospects have a specific desire or need in mind. Help them to understand how your business can help them meet those needs. Have a process in place that will guide them toward choosing the solution that will help them the most.
Since most people, 98% in fact, won’t convert from prospect to customer at first, having a way to follow up is crucial to the process.
Lifecycle Marketing Stage: Conversion
This is the stage where your prospect turns into a paying customer.
The best way to convert your leads into paying customers is to focus on providing value and building the relationship. Don’t just sell your product or service. Your customer should feel welcomed and valued. If this happens, the sale will happen naturally.
Lifecycle Marketing Stage: Retention
Now that you have gained a new customer, your goal should be to figure out how to keep that person as a recurring customer.
This is very industry dependent as far as what you have available to offer them as an upsell, cross-sell or recurring product or service. If you don’t have something to offer them think about what they may need after purchasing your product or service.
You can work with companies that offer complimentary products or service.
During this stage continue to build and maintain your relationship with the customer. This means maintaining contact in some way and continuing to bring value to that person so they will think of you every time they need your product or service or a related one.
Customer retention should be a top priority for businesses as studies have shown that reducing customer turnover by merely 5 percent can increase profits by 25-125 percent.
It is much more profitable for businesses to continue to makes sales to the customers they already have than it is to find and market to new customers.
Lifecycle Marketing Stage: Loyalty
The ultimate goal of the customer lifecycle is to turn your customer into a friend who regularly buys from you and recommends your product or service to anyone who will listen.
Obviously, not all customers will reach this point but you should acquire more loyal customers with each cycle. If you aren’t reaching this point then look back to see where the system is falling short in the lifecycle stages.
Understanding the customer lifecycle and how to find and keep loyal customers is crucial to the ongoing success of any business.
It is hard to know who will turn into a repeat customer and who will make one purchase and never make another purchase from your company again. That is why it is important to have in place systems that nurture each and every prospect and customer.
Lifecycle marketing follows a cyclical pattern and it never truly ends.
The ultimate goal is to build strong brand loyalty and to create customers that will become advocates for your company, referring your product or service to their friends and family.
Achieve this by staying relevant and continuing to offer value to your customers.
High-value content and omnipresence make this easier to accomplish. It may take some brainstorming to plan out the systems, adding new communication networks and/or building out marketing systems. But if you can increase profits by 25-125 percent by reducing customer turnover by merely 5 percent, it can be very worthwhile.
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