The old marketing mix of four Ps: product, price, placement, and promotion has now become obsolete in itself.
The new marketing mix has two Es- engagement and experience- along with the four Ps mentioned above. And the two Es today have much more influence than the 4Ps. Why? Because customers are willing to pay more for outstanding experiences.
Take the example of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix is more expensive than Amazon Prime. But, according to USAtoday, Netflix has over 200 million subscribers and Amazon Prime has more than 150 million subscribers worldwide. Netflix scores over Prime in experience and engagement and is today the preferred choice of viewers.
Your customer too has changed. She’s more informed, demanding and fickle. Marketing to the ‘new customer’ through the classic sales funnel is also obsolete. Because it stops at customer purchase and tells you little about customer needs to drive experience and engagement. What about her post-purchase journey? What about getting repeat business from her?
If you too, like many other small business owners and marketers are worried about how to impress and influence the ‘new customer’ then you need to add Customer Lifecycle Marketing to your core business strategy.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing may look like a strategy suited to enterprises but it is equally helpful to small businesses. Also, the barriers to adopting CLM (Customer Lifecycle Marketing) such as costs, infrastructure and expertise has greatly reduced over the years, due to availability of technologies, making it suitable for small businesses. Today any SMB can use CLM and greatly benefit from it.
Let’s begin by understanding the customer lifecycle. The lifecycle starts the first time your customer engages with the brand and continues till she stays with you. The lifecycle can be broken down into 5 stages- Reach, Acquisition, Conversion, Retention and Loyalty.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing is to interact, engage and provide positive experiences to the customers at the various stages of her journey. Your customer will have different needs at different stages and your marketing and business needs to cater to those needs. This focus on lead engagement, conversion, retention and loyalty is Customer Lifecycle Marketing or Client Lifecycle Marketing.
The graphic below beautifully explains the marketing response at various stages of customer lifecycle.
Customer retention is mission-critical for business growth. CLM improves loyalty through engagement and increases the odds that your customers will make repeat purchases.
Loyal customers not only buy more but are actually your brand ambassadors. They promote your brand to their friends, family and others in their network. In short, they are precious to your company. And the more loyal customers you have the better it is for your business.
How do you effectively do lifecycle marketing? The best way to approach customer lifecycle marketing is to track your customer’s behavior and react in real-time. Focussing on a customer’s behaviour is simply the most effective way to drive customer experiences and drive conversions. To enable this, your business today has plenty of choice in marketing technologies. These can help you create an integrated marketing strategy to engage audiences through personalized messaging leveraging various channels-
Your Customer Lifecycle Marketing tactics will vary depending on the lifecycle stage and customer behavior. It is recommended to use the CLM tactics to encourage your customers to move to the next stage. For example, every tactic targeted towards prospects should be to turn them into customers and the tactics targeted towards existing customers must encourage them to buy more.
|Discovery||Prospect signs up for a newsletter, downloads a content piece or registers on your website||Introduce her to your brand, tell her the problem you are solving and how to make a purchase. Also inform her about any discounts.||Welcome email, SMS and push notifications|
|Acquisition||Prospect places an order and is now your customer||Inform her about delivery timeline, order details, return policy and post-sales service. Also try upselling and cross selling other products.||Email, SMS and push Notifications|
|Abandonment||Prospect adds a product to her cart but leaves without buying||Check if she’s facing problems placing an order. Follow to persuade her to complete the purchase.||Retargeting ads, Emails, SMS and push notifications|
|Post Purchase||Customers has not visited your store or made a purchase for a long time||Ask for feedback on the last purchase, check if she has engaged with customer support and inform her about latest discounts and deals|
|Loyalty||Customer has been loyal to your brand for a long time and repeatedly made purchases||Introduce her to your referral program and encourage her to refer her friends and family members||Email, Social media|
Here’s a quick checklist to drive your Customer Lifecycle Marketing program:
In order to properly plan and execute your CLM strategies, you would need a Customer Lifecycle Management software that helps you monitor a customer’s behaviour at various stages of her lifecycle and intervene when required. A single platform instead of a stack of tools will help you run customer lifecycle marketing campaigns more effectively by centralizing your customer data, extracting intelligence from it and then driving personalized engagements.
ConvergeHub is a powerful Customer Lifecycle Management CRM that helps you run your entire lifecycle marketing from one platform. The platform allows you to manage your entire business including Sales, Marketing, Customer Support and Invoice from one place. This helps you track your customers’ behavior across her lifecycle and then reach out to him with the right messaging. ConvergeHub supports several digital channels to help you engage your customers in a variety of ways. To know more about ConvergeHub, click here.