Alexa How Customer Lifecycle Marketing Drives Profitability For Small Businesses?

How Customer Lifecycle Marketing Drives Profitability For Small Businesses?

CRM | by Steve Conway

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.

What does Customer Lifecycle Marketing mean?

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.

Driving profitability with Customer Lifecycle Marketing

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.

Sharpening your CLM strategy

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-

  • Email Marketing- You can run drip marketing campaigns that can automatically send a series of emails on a schedule based on various customer triggers or behaviour. For example, if an existing customer hasn’t made a purchase from you or engaged with your brand for a long time then you can send an email with a discount offer to encourage him to place an order. Similarly, you can create email campaigns for various customer behavior such as those with abandoned carts, people who have just purchased and also for people who have contacted customer support to resolve any of their problems.
  • Digital Ads- Google or Facebook ads are not only helpful in introducing your brand to your target audience but also in lead conversion. You can engage with the leads who have visited your website and not placed an order through retargeting ads. Considering that 97% of shoppers who visit your website for the first time leave without buying anything, that’s a huge opportunity. Retargeting ads follow and remind your visitors of your products and services, based on their browsing history on your website, after they leave it without buying. It allows you to follow them on other websites and show them relevant ads. Google, Facebook and LinkedIn, all allow you to run retargeting campaigns.
  • Omnichannel Experience and Personalization- Majority of businesses are today online. Most of them have a website and many have mobile apps and other customer touchpoints. Today technologies allow you to offer your visitors an omnichannel and personalized experience. Omnichannel experience means providing your visitors with a seamless experience whether they are engaging with you on your website, app or visiting your brick and mortar store. Likewise, personalization has become advanced to allow your visitors to continue from where they left. You can today watch a movie or web series on ‘Netflix’ left midway from exactly where you left off the other day.
  • Mobile- Your customer’s smartphone or mobile phone is an important tool in the buying journey. She’s using her smartphone to research and shop for your products. You can directly engage with your customers on their mobile phone through text messages and push notifications if she has downloaded your app. Mobile communication creates urgency and triggers instant action such as clicking on the link to visit your website or app. You can use text and notifications for various communications like discounts and deals, product recommendations, cart abandonment reminders, and feedback etc.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing tactics

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.

Lifecycle Stage

Behaviour

Tactics

Channel

DiscoveryProspect signs up for a newsletter, downloads a content piece or registers on your websiteIntroduce 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
AcquisitionProspect places an order and is now your customerInform 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
AbandonmentProspect adds a product to her cart but leaves without buyingCheck if she’s facing problems placing an order. Follow to persuade her to complete the purchase.Retargeting ads, Emails, SMS and push notifications
Post PurchaseCustomers has not visited your store or made a purchase for a long timeAsk for feedback on the last purchase, check if she has engaged with customer support and inform her about latest discounts and dealsEmail
LoyaltyCustomer has been loyal to your brand for a long time and repeatedly made purchasesIntroduce her to your referral program and encourage her to refer her friends and family membersEmail, Social media

Here’s a quick checklist to drive your Customer Lifecycle Marketing program:

  • Measure customer loyalty by monitoring the percentage of customers that make repeat purchases from your company.
  • Encourage every prospect who visits your store or site to subscribe to your communications- email/mobile/direct mail etc. This will help you engage with them otherwise they are lost.
  • Run a weekly or a monthly newsletter and share it with all your contact lists. This will help your brand occupy the customer’s mindspace.
  • Focus on the messaging. Be helpful not salesy. Your message should be compatible with the channel and encourage visitors to visit your website or store.
  • Make your customers feel special. Loyalty programs, asking for testimonials and publishing them on their website, exclusive deals and premium content are some of the ways to show your appreciation.
  • Focus on customers contacting your customer support. Solve their problems at the earliest. Train your executives to identify signs of losing a customer or opportunities to upsell and cross sell.

Learn how to ramp up upselling and cross selling

Next steps…

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.

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