Customer lifecycle marketing is a rapidly growing concept in the marketing world that generates goodwill, and, when executed properly, continues the customer journey until the customer becomes a firm supporter of a business or a service.

It aims to turn prospects into customers and customers into brand advocates – and thus turning the sales funnel into a loop.

The best way for a company or brand to build relationships and a reputation is by having a marketing strategy of integrated communication across multiple channels. A customer lifecycle marketing plan is a call to provide the target audience with the communication and experiences they need, want, or like.

This customer engagement requires collaboration, and a shared company vision to approach the customer journey focusing on customer-centric communication.

CLM is an approach to customer communication that recognizes that different stages on the journey to becoming a loyal, active customer require different marketing messages and strategies. – Ometria, Ecommerce analytics software

Table of contents

Customer Lifecycle Marketing Contact Strategy

To benefit from a customer lifecycle strategy, companies or brands must possess a genuine understanding of the target audience and be willing to work toward retaining and growing customer value over the long term. Communication is key to creating repeat business and positive customer action.

A coordinated contact strategy is needed to drive customer acquisition and engage audiences by;

lifecycle marketing - Contact Strategy

 

  • Automated email marketing sequences (welcome, nurture, win-back)
  • Display ad retargeting (e.g. Google Ads Display Network Remarketing)
  • On-site personalization (products, offers, or content)
  • Social Media retargeting (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Traditional contact channels (direct mail, phone)
  • Events and launches (virtual, hybrid, and in-person)

Collecting Customers digitally

To get the customers’ attention, businesses or brands need marketing campaigns to target, attract and capture their audience.

lifecycle marketing - Collect Leads

  • Target – Identify specific types of individuals, then address them directly through marketing messaging. Target an audience by interests, behavior, demographics, location, context.
  • Attract – Lure visitors to a website with exciting content like eBooks, infographics, research reports, webinars, social platforms, and blog posts.
  • CaptureUse a form or survey that includes special offers, free consultations, or premium content to encourage visitors to sign up for future contact.

Converting Contacts to Customers

This is a unique approach that makes the product or service the obvious choice when the contact is in the awareness stage. To convert the contact into a buyer, the tactics are to engage, offer and close the purchase.

lifecycle marketing - Contact Strategy

  • Engage – Create a consistent campaign of useful information. Accompany and follow up with automated, personalized customer communications.
  • Offer – Observe people’s past examples of buying, then provide an irresistible offer to enhance their buying experience, and encourage repeat purchases.
  • Close– The purchase stage is more than the transaction. Clear communication, good presence, and written documentation are very important to create loyal customers.
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Creating an Advocate from a Customer

For people to give product recommendations, or endorse a service, engagement campaigns should include the wow factor – superior customer service, exceptional value, and rewarding referral channels.

lifecycle marketing - Create Fans

  • Deliver– To delight clientele, companies need to honor commitments on or before time, follow-through, and offer value-adds. This phase cements buyers, or users, brand relationships.
  • Impress – Develop engaging campaigns, tactics, products, and services to help generate additional sales and customer retention.
  • Multiply – Encourage referrals by building relationships and creating incentives for people.

The customer lifecycle stages plan is the focus of the marketing team on prospects, clientele experience and engagement, conversion, and retention. People like to feel they are getting lifetime value from their chosen brand.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing Strategies

The visual below shows typical lifecycle campaign activities that need to be managed by retailers and eCommerce on the stages of the customer journey.

 

lifecycle marketing - Activities

B2B digital examples differ, with content vital to demand generation.

 

lifecycle marketing - B2B Digital Marketing

A customer lifecycles campaign is a thoughtfully crafted plan of marketing tactics that attract purchasers, grows sales, and delivers great experiences.

The customer life cycle describes the points in the continuum where you: 1) Claim someone’s attention. 2) Bring them into your sphere of influence. 3) Turn them into a registered and/or paying customer. 4) Keep them as a customer. 5) Turn them into a company advocate.” – Sterne and Cutler, authors of the paper introducing the concept of the customer lifecycle in 2000

Customer Lifecycle Email Marketing

Lifecycle communication involves many touchpoints across the stages of the consumer journey. Marketers need to review all contacts, and lifecycle stages, to work out where to use new types of communication, or improve on existing programs.

Lifecycle marketing integrates your ecommerce and email databases to generate highly personalized messages for your customers – Kath Pay, Email Marketing Expert

 

lifecycle marketing - Email Programmes

The lifecycle marketing campaign applies to all fields of marketing, but email offers the unique ability to contact consumers at the right time and with a pertinent message.

When done correctly, personalized email messages combine all kinds of data to deliver emails that are extremely relevant and useful to the customer. Marketing strategies like email should be seen as a means to message customers at key stages, across the whole customer lifecycle.

Personalization

Personalized communication is vital to effective customer lifecycle marketing for a brand. Effective personalization brings a host of benefits that can help you increase sales and retention.

Google Knows Everything (#IoT) | What's The Big Data?

The benefit of personalizing messages is that it recognizes the customers as individuals. By marketing one way to prospective customers, another way to first-time purchasers, and yet another way to long-term, high-value customers, messages are far more compelling and effective. Customers respond to the personal touch and will appreciate not receiving messages which aren’t relevant to them.

Another advantage of personalizing messages via a customer lifecycle model is that they recognize where the customers are in their individual lifecycles and thus can tailor messages much more effectively. Customer experience is enhanced and a relationship can be built.

Customer life cycle is a term used to describe the progression of steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using, and maintaining loyalty to a product or service – Margaret Rouse, Tech Target

Channels in Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns

Integrated Communication for Awareness

  • Offline (TV, Print)
  • Paid (Display, AdWords
  • Owned (Social)
  • Earned (PR, SEO)

Decision Content

  • Desktop or mobile site
  • Mobile App
  • Brochure

Follow Up Remarketing Communications

  • Phone call
  • Email
  • SMS / WhatsApp
  • Display retargeting

Sales Channel

  • Desktop / Mobile Site / App
  • Instore
  • Phone

lifecycle marketing - Channels

Social Media Lifecycle Marketing

Social Media is a powerful tool. The reputation of a company can be built or destroyed by a few keystrokes. Every company wants to be seen as a trusted supplier, a credible organization, an authority in their field, and have the stature of a thought leader. A digital marketing plan is an integral part of the customer lifecycle marketing strategy.

lifecycle marketing - Social Media

As customer lifecycle is an integrated plan, there is overlap in the different types of activity in the various media through all stages. The core is the customer relationship.

Paid Media

  • Communications – influencer, experiential, and event marketing.
  • Paid-for Media – Social media adverts, boosted content, fan acquisition, lead generation, sponsored content, paid to publish.
  • Lead Generation – Email, affiliate, and inbound marketing, contests, and quizzes.

Owned Media

  • Lead Generation – Email, affiliate, and inbound marketing, contests, and quizzes.
  • Owned Media Content – Content marketing, videos and webinars, visual content, audio and podcasts, brand journalism, employee stories, customer case studies.
  • SEOSearch Engine Optimization – Voice search, domain authority, SERPS – Search Engine Result Pages.

Shared Media

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Voice search, domain authority, SERPS – Search Engine Result Pages.
  • Distribution & Promotion – Content distribution, content curation, publishing platforms.
  • Shared Media – Organic social, reviews, social forums, social monitoring, private social, media sharing sites.
  • Partnerships – Charity tie-ins, community service, CSR, Co-Branding
  • Community – Community building, engagement with detractors/ loyalists /advocates, brand ambassadors, user-generated content

Earned Media

  • Partnerships – Charity tie-ins, community service, CSR, Co-Branding.
  • Community – Community building, engagement with detractors/ loyalists /advocates, brand ambassadors, user-generated content.
  • Earned Media Relationships – Media, influencer, investor, and blogging relations, link building, word-of-mouth.
  • Communications – influencer, experiential, and event marketing

Customer Lifecycle Marketing – the future is here!

lifecycle marketing - Reach the Customer

The future is clear – customer lifecycle marketing targets the right buyer keeps people loyal and promotes advocacy. An integrated approach across multiple channels and personalized communication is the key to more-than-satisfied customers and a flourishing business.