In our article, “The Customer Journey – How Consumers Become Customers”, I introduced you to the concept of the customer journey and its importance for effectively converting a consumer into a customer. For today’s “always-on” marketing style, there are many factors to consider when developing impactful marketing campaigns.
Bottom line, for marketing to be truly effective in today’s omnichannel ecosystem, you need to send a message that influences behavior using Customer Lifecycle Marketing, and that is the focus of this article.
What is Customer Lifecycle Marketing
Customer Lifecycle Marketing (CLM) is a marketing strategy that focuses on addressing an audience’s implicit and explicit needs as they evolve from prospect to customer to advocate. This requires a deep understanding of the target audience’s behaviors, thoughts, and feelings as they interact with the brand across all digital and analog touch-points.
To engage a prospect requires a completely different strategy than to engage a hot lead or a customer because they are at different stages of the customer journey. This means that you need to create a managed communication strategy that prioritizes and integrates the complete range of marketing channels and experiences that prospects, customers, and advocates go through on their journey with your brand.
Personalization Influences Behavior
If your marketing message does not influence a behavior, then what is the point? The most effective way to ensure that your message is understood and influences some type of behavior is to personalize it. You want to recognize your targets as individuals. This sounds difficult because you typically target a large audience pool, however, this is all the more reason that you need to define your target audience, or more accurately stated, your targeted audience(s) before you define your marketing message(s). Since no one person likes to be communicated to in the exact same manner, why do so many organizations market to everyone with the exact same messaging?
It is important that your marketing messages also recognize where the target is in their individual marketing lifecycle, i.e. prospect, customer, or advocate. This allows you to tailor messages much more effectively. The most efficient way to achieve personalization is to use email marketing combined with marketing automation.
By mapping out the different stages of your customers’ journey, and overlaying the customer lifecycle marketing model, you can identify which types of marketing strategies make sense where and when. And as consumers engage with your various touch-points, you can track their data, behaviors, and interests, and re-use this data to tailor a messaging strategy that influences them to make a decision.
Ways To Reach Your Target Audiences
With so many marketing channels available today, it is important to understand when in the customer journey it is effective to market, with what type of channel, and which type of message. For this purpose, let’s break up the Lifecycle Marketing Model into 4 stages; Outreach, Action, Conversion, and Re-Engage. Within these stages, there are a few different audiences.
- Outreach – This stage includes consumers that are not necessarily looking for a particular brand or product. They are simply browsing the options but they do have a purpose in mind.
- Action – This stage includes consumers and customers that have engaged with a particular brand or organization. They may have made the 1st purchase, or are on the fence about making a 1st purchase.
- Conversion – This stage includes repeat customers or the indecisive consumer that needs a little push to take action.
- Re-Engage – This stage includes both loyal customers and lapsed customers. It is said that 1 repeat customer is worth 10x that of a new customer. So it is important that your strategy does not overlook this stage.
To better explain the activities that are typically found in these stages, here is a simplified table that was created by www.smartinsights.com.
|Outreach TV Radio Print Events Sponsorships Search PPC SEO Content Marketing Storefronts||Action Social Media Influencer Outreach Google Shopping Affiliates Remarketing Merchandising Marketing Automation||Conversion Omni-channel campaigns Messenger Bots Click + Collect Community Engagement||Re-Engage Personalized Loyalty Programs 1st Class Customer Service Social Customer Service Re-engage email programs|
As with any marketing strategy, and really anything that you put forth in your professional and personal life, garbage in – garbage out. So before you jump to send out that mailing, before you blast out that email to 10,000 prospects, take a step back. Remember, customers, appreciate a relationship-oriented approach from brands. You must build relationships with consumers throughout their customer lifecycle and across all touch-points. Your marketing will then show that you’re serious about your prospects and customer’s needs and can deliver on your promises to them.
By tapping into your audience’s implicit and explicit needs and behaviors, by analyzing your customers’ journey, and by mapping out your customer lifecycle marketing strategy, you will see a decrease in churn rates, an increase in conversion rates, and a more effective ROI on your marketing efforts.