Marketers know that the customer journey is a multi-touch maze, not a one-size-fits-all path. After all, they’re only too aware of the dizzying amount of marketing channels customers engage with, including website, social media, email, events, ads, print, and more. So many channels, so many touchpoints, and limited ways to measure their individual impact.
Today’s consumers are digital-first with 87% of buyers wanting self-serve options and 57% making purchases without contacting the seller. The one-to-one relationship-building a salesperson would offer now falls onto marketing’s shoulders.
Winning those new customers is expensive. It can cost up to five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Not only is it less expensive, but boosting retention by 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.
So, how can you acquire customers and keep them coming back for more? Customer lifecycle marketing.
What is Customer Lifecycle Marketing?
According to Hubspot, it is the mix of strategies a company uses to positively influence customer behavior as they move through each touchpoint of the marketing cycle, from the initial attraction to becoming a brand advocate. This customer-centric marketing method helps you define what your audience needs at each stage of the customer journey.
The Three Stages of Customer Lifecycle Marketing
Your sales cycle may be long or short, simple or complex, require executive decision markers or just the user. Depending on your model you might have additional stages. However, the three main stages of customer lifecycle marketing are:
Here’s an extended version of what these might look like:
Customer Lifecycle Marketing Stage 1: Awareness
Many customers know their need and have an existing gap. That’s where inbound marketing is important. Share highly accessible content like educational blog posts, invest in SEO, and get active on social media to help customers find you.
For some solutions, there’s an educational gap. If it’s not a common budget item, you need to invest in outbound marketing to reach customers where they are and tell them why they need you.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing Stage 2: Consideration
After the customer becomes aware, they engage with your content to learn more. In today’s competitive landscape, you need to bring value. According to reports by LinkedIn, 71% of final decision-makers say that half of the content they read doesn’t provide any valuable insights.
Conversion at this stage is critical. Solution and landing pages should build trust and provide a clear path. Make it easy for prospects to understand how your offering compares. This can happen through a multi-media approach with targeted emails, webinars, demo videos, customer testimonials, sales meetings, white papers, and interactive assets like quizzes or calculators.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing Stage 3: Decision
The time to rest is not right before the finish line. At the decision stage, it’s key you make it easy for the prospect to buy. Optimize the user experience from a logistical perspective by ensuring they are fully supported. In addition to a dedicated sales representative, you might include a live chat service that can provide real-time assistance.
Once the customer has made a purchase, hooray! You won the race. While it’s important to celebrate, the real race isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning.
The Circle of (Customer) Life
That’s right. The customer journey doesn’t end when they sign. The cycle starts over. Given that 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service, if you can create delightful experiences right off the bat, you’ll increase retention and revenue.
On this never-ending customer journey, let Revenue Science and prescriptive analytics be your guide. Learn how Dealtale is helping revenue teams measure all these touchpoints and optimize customer lifecycle marketing for explosive revenue results. Schedule a demo with our team to learn more.