Here’s a marketing conundrum: Allocate resources to acquire more and more market share or press more and more towards retaining customers?
What if you could do both?
Lifecycle marketing aids you to do both at the same time, managing your marketing activities across each stage with defined and targeted initiatives.
What is Lifecycle Marketing?
Lifecycle marketing constitutes touchpoints across the customer journey to attract, convert, and retain customers comprising of 360° marketing efforts throughout all channels possible.
Why implement Lifecycle Marketing?
Lifecycle marketing is a multidisciplinary approach combining strategy, creativity, and distinct aspects of marketing (content, digital, email, etc.) The goal is to achieve the one objective of driving revenue through a customer-centric approach.
Connecting dots with lifecycle marketing is crucial for a business because:
- Retention is given as much significance as an acquisition to remain in close contact with customers, thereby increasing their effective lifetime with the organization
- If implemented properly, it can increase a customer’s lifetime value assuring a consistent flow of recurring revenue
- It optimizes customer engagement and by fixing the volume of touchpoints throughout a customer’s journey
- It has an indirect impact on revenue, positioning, brand equity, and recall value which can prove to be really helpful for the brand in the long run
- It drives the organization through customer centricity which is a proven long term and sustainable growth strategy for any business
5 stages in a customer’s lifecycle
- Attract: It is the stage where businesses are assessing a customer’s intent and trying to find prospects. Attracting revolves a lot around brand awareness
- Assess: It is the step where all the attracted crowd is assessed to filter out the prospects i.e., the people who are likely to be your customers and who would benefit from the value proposition being offered by your business
- Acquire: It is the step where the prospects turn into leads and there are different processes and approaches to transform these leads into customers. Acquisition mostly involves direct contact with leads and presents nurturing opportunities
- Retain: After conversion, a business must focus on retaining and maintaining a satisfaction level with the products and services provided. Retention not only leads to repeat revenue but also presents us with upsell and cross sell opportunities
- Referral: Loyal customers of a business are rewarded when they refer to the product/ service through someone. Referrals are not just evidence of a high-quality product or service but also help in building a network and community for the business
B2B Lifecycle Marketing
While the objectives of a B2B and a B2C business remain consistent, the ways and means of reaching those goals are quite different. The very nature of a B2B business remains the basis of the distinctiveness of how its processes vary from a typical B2C organization.
Lifecycle marketing in a B2B space is indispensable as there are very few ways and means of building a strong relationship and the environment and whole equation are highly professional.
The concept is quite different from B2C businesses in terms of:
- The size of Target Group as B2C companies usually cater to a larger audience compared to a B2B enterprise. B2C marketing is an amalgamation of mass and niche marketing, while B2B is all about highly personalized experiences
- Attributes triggering a favorable action from the TG. For example, emotions are the main marketing drivers in the case of B2C markets, whereas values take central stage in a B2B environment
- Common constituents and style of marketing vary a lot in a B2B and B2C environment. For example, a B2B marketer would focus more upon adding differentiators to product and service while the main focus of a B2C marketer would be to establish their distinctive positioning
Lifecycle Marketing strategy
4 steps to designing your ideal lifecycle marketing strategy.
Assessing and approaching the TG
This comprises of studying the target group across a myriad of characteristics, requirements, behavior, intent, journey, and pain points. Generating insights, preparing customer journey maps and customer personas that can help curate very target-specific marketing activities is the objective.
Information from various primary and secondary sources is combined to pull out interesting facts about the TG to be translated into actionable marketing efforts.
During this stage, the focus should be on increasing awareness through paid search campaigns, SEO efforts, social media campaigns, influencer outreach, and content marketing.
Conversion rate, which is the metric indicating the no. of leads converting into customers.
This step involves initiatives where customers’ consideration must be translated into a decision. Various marketing activities which need attention at this stage would include email marketing, remarketing campaigns, website optimization, curating personalized offerings, etc.
A sense of exclusivity delights everyone. Creating the same amongst the current set of customers is what every business aspires for.
Various engagement activities like constant updates and communication, newsletters, special offerings, creative campaigns, loyalty programs, personalization, building a community, etc. will qualify as are minimum for every B2B organization.
Managing lost customers
There are considerable chances that customers we lost due to some reason might want to come back. The customer acquisition cost for all the very new customers is way too high.
Thus, it only makes sense to concentrate on our existing pool of customers and put in all efforts to either retain or regain them. Initiatives like taking constructive feedback, win-back programs, remarketing techniques, maintaining constant lines of communication, etc. can help us bring down our acquisition costs.
Consistency is the key
In a competitive market like today’s, providing only quality products and services will not suffice. It is necessary to constantly keep in touch and engage with customers across their lifecycle which in turn gives an identity, personality, and image to the brand.
Brand recall is the new market equity and constantly following up with customers across their lifetime can help a brand gain more of this equity and market share.