All about lifecycle marketing - what it is, why you should care, and how you can do it.
Everything in marketing seems to be changing really quickly at the moment and the buying process and how you need to communicate with your customers and prospects is no exception. The latest craze is lifecycle marketing.
What is lifecycle marketing?
Lifecycle marketing is the whole process starting with getting your customers and prospects to notice you, keeping them engaged until they buy your products and services, until finally they become your brand advocates and conduct marketing for you via word of mouth. It’s about never stopping communication; you repeat the cycles once a prospect has become a first-time buyer in order to then turn them into a fan.
It’s also about internal marketing, as without engaged employees you won’t be able to deliver on the promises that your marketing messages are making. So in the rush to generate more leads and turn them into customers, never forget that to turn them into fans you need to create the best customer experience.
How does lifecycle marketing work?
This infographic shows how it can be broken down into 5 key stages:
- Stage 1 - Lead capture
- Stage 2 - Customer Management
- Stage 3 - Customer Engagement
- Stage 4 - Selling/Business Development
- Stage 5 - Inbound Marketing
Whichever way you choose to define the lifecycle marketing stages, chances are you’re probably interested in the benefits of doing it too.
Why should I adopt lifecycle marketing?
Because the times are changing! Sales processes have changed drastically since the digital revolution and customers and prospects now need to trust you online before they’ll consider buying from from you. These statistics show that lifecycle marketing is how you remain successful in the digital age:
- 50% of qualified leads are not yet ready to buy
- Lifecycle marketing improves campaign performance by 55%
- Nurtured leads result in a 20% increase in sales opportunities and on average make 47% larger purchases
- Lifecycle marketing programs improve customer satisfaction by 54%.
Some impressive figures that should have got you champing at the bit to get started on your own lifecycle marketing programme.
How do I ‘do’ lifecycle marketing?
- Step 1 - Develop your lifecycle marketing strategy
This needs to encompass your content, social media and inbound marketing strategies as well as lead capture, nurturing and scoring processes that show when a lead becomes sales ready.
- Step 2 - Map your lifecycle marketing strategy against the customer journey
You’ll have to use the analytics from your website, marketing campaigns, CRM and colleagues’ heads for this. With all of this data you can then create a full picture of how your existing customers made the journey from being unaware of you to engaging with you and recommending your company and/or products online.
- Step 3 - Implement, watch, learn and adapt
Once you get started the results you get will show you where you need to change things and what is working well. This will change constantly so for lifecycle marketing to work you need to commit to a continual improvement process.