Every stage of the customer lifecycle journey is informative, but focusing on specific phases can be the key to bolstering the customer experience and creating sustainable growth.
Nothing drives marketing success more than a robust customer base. If your company can consistently generate and nurture customer loyalty, you’ll create a sustained stream of revenue with excellent growth potential.
The process of attracting and retaining customers — especially for small businesses and startups — often creates more questions than answers, however. Not only is there uncertainty about where to begin acquisition and retention efforts, but there is a need to understand how to establish and deepen relationships within a target audience already being served in a competitive market.
Fortunately, the answer to those questions can often be found in the customer lifecycle journey. As the name suggests, this is the path a customer takes toward making a purchase. At Pearl, the process involves five different customer lifecycle stages, starting at unawareness (passers-by) and culminating in becoming a loyal customer (family).
Each stage houses information that is paramount to improving the overall customer experience, something 87% of marketing professionals believe is either a “very or extremely important” aspect to businesses. While every portion of the customer lifecycle journey is informative, focusing on specific stages is a great way to bolster the customer experience and build the kind of loyalty that translates to sustained business growth.
Lifecycle Marketing Milestones
The entire customer lifecycle journey matters, but two stages tend to have the most influence over the customer experience and affect consumer opinions of brands. Those two customer lifecycle journey stages are:
• Interest Established
“Interest Established” is the customer lifecycle stage when consumers may or may not have opted into your marketing communications. At Pearl, we consider them to be “acquaintances or fans” at this stage. As such, it’s critical to walk the fine line between prompting and pestering. It’s completely acceptable to send these folks information about your business regarding a recent blog post, an email newsletter (if requested), and other relevant content.
You may even want to develop an acquisition campaign designed to convert a first purchase by offering potential customers a one-time discount in exchange for an email address. The interest is there, so provide them a more enticing deal should they “act” within a specific time frame. The goal here is to track the engagement, use the insights gained to influence a purchase, and then work diligently to build customer loyalty (their second purchase).
• Problem Acknowledged
“Problem Acknowledged” is a customer lifecycle stage that includes a mix of customers and non-customers. Some will have opted into your marketing communications (“fans”), and others may have purchased from you in the past (“friends”). Similar to the “Interest Established” stage, marketing to these customer segments should not be overdone. Daily emails will often go unread or even blocked.
It’s during this stage that you’ll want to use data collected to target your customer lifecycle marketing efforts to build the relationship beyond the first brand interaction. Customer testimonials, repurchase campaigns, whitepapers, and even e-books can be helpful in your efforts to address potential customer concerns and share relevant content that positions your company as a solution to customers’ needs or wants.
As with everything in marketing, customer and prospect data is critical for driving business decisions. It relates to everything from product production to delivery. You need data — data that is current, verified, and enriched. The quality of your data greatly affects your ability to build and activate successful marketing campaigns.
If you’d like to learn more about data’s role in customer lifecycle marketing (or what we refer to as “relationship lifecycle marketing”), schedule a demo.