What is Customer Lifecycle Marketing?
Customer Lifecycle marketing is the process of providing your audience with the kinds of communication and experiences they need, want, or like as they move from prospects to customers then, ideally, to advocates. The term lifecycle refers to the stages a user goes through as they interact with your product over time. This is also sometimes referred to as the user journey. The Customer Lifecycle Marketing approach generally builds on top of the Growth Marketing approach we discussed previously.
Why does Lifecycle Marketing matter?
According to data collected by Gartner, about 80% of a company’s future profits come from 20% of its existing customers. Customer retention is mission critical for successful growth. Marketing strategies that improve loyalty through customer lifecycle engagement increases the odds that people will understand your product (onboarding), get value (activation) and make repeat purchases (revenue).
At Massive Rocket, we also believe in Lifecycle marketing for the following reasons:
- Lifecycle Marketing extends your Product. Product and Engineering teams are becoming more integrated with Marketing teams. They are doing this in order to join product and communications to deliver more consistent customer experiences.
- Lifecycle Marketing delivers more relevant experiences to your users. It implies that you use data to 1) understand when to engage, 2) personalise your communications and 3) measure the success of your communications across channels. In theory, you should never be blasting random people with irrelevant information.
Where should you get started?
There is a ton of literature, videos, blogs, best practices, webinars, etc… and honestly, it is not always easy to know where to begin.
At Massive Rocket, we have worked on a number of these challenges of varying complexity with customers from different industries (Finance, Airlines, Energy, Media, Sports, …)
We have always found that there are actually 3 main phases that companies go through: 1) Knowing what is possible 2) Knowing what works for their customers and users 3) Having the discipline to do it every day. Each of these phases comes with its own challenges of course or this would be too easy 🙂
Phase 1: Knowing what is possible
The first phase is really about evangelising, building enthusiasm and getting your team to understand the true potential of Lifecycle Marketing for your business but also for your customers.
Challenges in Phase 1
- Understanding the technology landscape and figuring out where you could get quick wins (instead of 5 year transformation project roadmaps).
- Getting your team (Product, Marketing, Engineering) around a table and agreeing that this is something that will add value to your customers (and the company).
Phase 2: Knowing what works for you
There are a million things that are possible and a lot of great technologies available. However, in Phase 2, you will need to figure out what actually works for your business and your customers. Every business and customer base is unique. Phase 2 is about practically proving that this approach can work for your business.
Challenges in Phase 2
- Technology – you will need to design a lightweight marketing stack that allows you to reach your objectives and scale later on. However, you want to make sure that you keep this very light so that you don’t spend all of phase 2 doing integration or technology work. You need time to setup, run and measure campaigns.
- Speed – you will need to deploy the technology, plan out the use cases, run the campaign and measure the results in a very short period or time in order to prove the value of the approach to the business. Focusing on outcomes will be key in this phase.
- Defining success and scaling – a lot of things are possible but the key to getting to the next phase will be to define clear success criteria and mapping out the steps to scale out the approach in the next phase.
Phase 3: Having the discipline to do it every day
Once you run a few successful campaign, you then get to enter the next round. How do you actually scale this process? How do you get a dedicated team and set aside the time when there are so many other priorities to work on?
Challenges in Phase 3
- Getting the right skill to work on the project – very often, marketing automation skills are quite niche and will require expertise from other industries in order to scale: data, analytics, strategy, integration, engineering, design … You will need a good strategy to tap into these skill as and when needed in order to scale your Marketing efforts. (Hint: that is what Massive Rocket does 😉 )
- Conflicting initiatives and core business priorities – CRM, Marketing Automation and Lifecycle Marketing are not always considered “core business”. You will constantly need to have clear goals that are aligned with your business strategy as well as a good process for reporting on the success / impact of your efforts.
At Massive Rocket, we love these kinds of challenges and extend Marketing, Product and Engineering teams across each of these phases to help grow and accelerate the companies that we work with.
Give us a shout if you would like to have a chat with an expert from Massive Rocket about Lifecycle Marketing for your business and how to get started.