Committing to implementing a lifecycle marketing strategy is just the first step. Using the below tips can help your marketing team build an outline that can be further refined not only for your specific business but also for your customers based on their needs and wants (their buyer persona) and what works to move them on their individual journey.
Create buyer personas and segment your target audience
Utilizing the buyer persona of an individual visiting your website, whether they are a potential or repeat customer, can help you tailor your marketing campaigns to that specific individual.
Building different personas that can be used to describe types of visitors is the most effective way to group customer data to help define a general customer lifecycle strategy that can potentially be modified for specific individuals. Using the same customer journey stages introduced above is one way that your marketing team can segment your target audience into persona groups.
Craft personalized marketing messages for each stage of the customer lifecycle
A key part of customer lifecycle marketing is the personalization you make depending on the relationship you have with someone visiting your site. Each stage outlined above employs a different approach to communicating with customers.
For first-time site visitors, your goal will be to create personalized messages using the very limited information you have about them, with the goal of transitioning them from a visitor to a customer.
For customers, your communications should be focused on converting them into repeat customers, and those repeat customers should be individually recognized for their commitment to using your business.
Each of the different lifecycle stages will have its own customized template for communication. That template can be further customized using customer information, either explicitly gathered through things like site registration, or inexplicitly gathered, such as pages viewed or how they came to your site.
Regardless of how much your business customizes a specific message to an individual customer, the communication methods for customers at different stages in the lifecycle need to be at least personalized to the customers at that stage.
In our digitally-connected world, marketing automation tools can make customer lifecycle marketing easier, but knowing how to use them best will ensure they are used effectively to drive business growth.
It is certainly possible to map out a customer lifecycle marketing strategy using the individual stages introduced above and build customized communication methods for customers in those stages.
However, this can be time-consuming and may not be cost-effective. Utilizing automated marketing tools can help you to collect customer information about the lifecycle stage they are in and leverage those same data to customize a unique marketing strategy for that customer.
Whether your business is new to developing marketing strategies or just new to developing lifecycle marketing strategies, marketing automation tools can simplify the process of mapping lifecycle stages.
You can use these tools to build tailored communication plans for individual groups of customers at various stages. These plans can then be further refined to market to specific customers based on moving your relationship along the customer lifecycle.
Continually test and optimize your lifecycle marketing strategy
If you are familiar with marketing strategies, you understand that you cannot just implement a plan and let it go. You will need to gather feedback data about how effective the plan is and use that data to make changes, which will be tested and refined.
All of this is a continuous optimization buying process. The process is the same for lifecycle marketing, but because of the inherent customization to individual customer lifecycle stages, the scope of optimizing the strategy is much larger.
To be successful at lifecycle marketing, your team will need to maintain a close watch on what is working at each lifecycle stage overall, and for specific customers.
Knowing that customers at different stages along the lifecycle journey will respond better to different marketing strategies is one thing.
Being able to use data to develop automated custom communications for individual customers, regardless of where they fall in the journey, is what will help ensure success.
Testing different strategies will help in refining your overall lifecycle marketing. Changing and optimizing the plan as customer and business trends change will help keep the plan relevant.
Lifecycle marketing can be a powerful way to drive business growth, especially when implemented effectively. You can use this guide as a starting point for developing a strategy for your business.
For more specific information related to ideas that may best suit your marketing needs, we can work with you directly to help create a plan that meets your business needs and customizes a lifecycle marketing strategy to drive business growth in new and exciting ways.