Customers today are harder to please and have higher expectations than ever before. They want to be in charge of their own customer experience, rather than being controlled by what brands tell them to do. Moving customers through a pre-planned journey and managing the customer lifecycle may seem impossible.
You need to personalize customer experiences because that is what they expect. brands today need to focus on creating engaging and relevant experiences for their customers to win their ongoing business and loyalty.
Customer lifecycle management and customer lifecycle marketing help marketers deliver relevant customer experiences, interactions and journeys.
The first step is to determine the process customers go through as they build a relationship with your brand.
The customer lifecycle is the path that customers take as they move from awareness of a product or service to becoming its advocate. Each company has their own steps and terminology for this process, but it typically includes stages such as awareness, interest, evaluation, purchase, and post-purchase.
For some companies, the customer lifecycle starts with customers becoming aware of the company. For others, it starts when customers take some kind of action, like subscribing to an email newsletter.
After a customer makes a purchase, they enter the development stage where they have the potential to buy more items or increase the amount they spend. The next stage is retention, where the goal is to keep the customer satisfied and loyal. The customer lifecycle is ideally a continuous cycle, which is why some companies include reengagement as a step in the customer lifecycle.
Even if someone is just discovering your brand, offering them a personalized experience will make your company stand out and have a big impact. To achieve this goal, customer lifecycle management must be used.
Customer Lifecycle Management Vs. Customer Lifecycle Marketing
CLM segments the journey a customer takes into several overarching stages. For example, stages could include acquisition, growth and retention. It breaks down the stages even further into smaller steps, like onboarding, adoption, and repurchase.
CLM helps to make sure that there are no breaks in the customer experience. Additionally, it helps to build collaboration across different departments to improve communication and customer satisfaction.
The CLM system enables you to track your progress towards your business and marketing goals by linking each stage to corresponding metrics. This allows you to measure your success and identify areas that need improvement. This also provides you with the ability to more accurately gauge customer engagement and value.
Customer lifecycle marketing helps companies deliver engagement and value to their customers. It refers to marketing to potential and existing customers based on their location in the customer lifecycle, as well as their position along a journey within that cycle.
Rather than targeting customer segments, marketers who use customer lifecycle marketing can more effectively target individual customers.
Customer lifecycle marketing is a more effective way for marketers to determine what actions to take based on the customer’s individual lifecycle stage. It is most effective when it is supported by an automated personalization engine.
Managing Customer Lifecycle Marketing
This technique of personalization takes into account a customer’s individual characteristics whenever they interact with the company, whether it’s in person, online, or over the phone. This ensures that they always receive the best possible experience. As a result of being able to tailor their messaging with even more accuracy, marketers are able to more effectively sell their products.
This method is relevant and helpful because it simplifies the customer journey by being engaging and personal, which in turn increases satisfaction, drives sales, bolsters loyalty, and creates advocates.
Taking the following steps can help you launch a highly effective customer lifecycle marketing strategy:
Set the parameters
The customer lifecycle consists of four distinct stages: awareness, interest, purchase, and retention. To ensure each stage is as effective as possible, elements such as journey mapping can be used to improve the customer experience. Then, set goals and KPIs for each.
It is important not only to set goals for different stages, such as acquisition (for example, 500 new customers per month), but also to set customer-specific goals (for example, increasing a regular customer’s annual spending by a certain amount to turn them into a high-value customer).
After you’ve identified your target audience, you can begin to develop strategies and goals for your marketing campaign.
Prepare for the unexpected
As you work out the steps of your company’s perfect customer lifecycle and how you will manage it, keep in mind that a customer’s path is seldom straightforward.
Some customers might not follow all the steps, some might pause for a long time between steps, and some might even repeat them.
Get the data
Design a system that will allow you to join data from different sources and get a real-time, complete view of each customer (i.e. a “Golden Record”).
This platform can be used to automate the process of mining data, predicting and addressing a customer’s individual interests and needs at any stage of their lifecycle, and taking the next best course of action based on the customer’s most recent behavior.
Making your customer interactions more relevant will have a big impact.
Use the goals and KPIs to measure success and determine what might need to be done differently. Looking at each stage of the customer journey can help you identify areas that need to be improved.
In other words, if you gave a customer a suggestion, did they listen to it? If not, what might you need to do differently?
Engage more customers
businesses usually operate based on a meritocracy, meaning that customers who are more valuable to the business receive better treatment and perks. By creating a personalized journey for each customer, you can provide a relevant and high-touch experience at every stage of their lifecycle.
Connect the enterprise
The customer lifecycle involves many different parts of the organization, so it’s important to share data between them. For example, marketing should be aware of what sales and service are doing.
Data sharing can be automated, making it easier to predict customer needs.
Even with personalized customer lifecycle marketing, you will still need to create different campaigns that an automated system can show the customer in real-time, depending on what stage of the cycle they are in, their recent actions, and what the system predicts they will do next.
The right platform will automatically deliver marketing campaigns, allowing you to customize your customer interactions on a large scale.
1. Use data to enhance experiences
Data is the foundation that every marketer relies on. It can be difficult to decide which data to use for personalization, as customer and visitor data is always increasing.
If there is too much data for a marketing team to keep track of, they may suffer from infobesity, which is a term that refers to information overload and the consequent inability to make decisions that will help them achieve their goals. To simplify things, here are key types of data to collect for successful personalization:
This is a description of a “person object.” A person object is a collection of data points that describe a person. This can include their name, email, title, and location.
A business’s data, such as the company name, industry, number of employees, annual revenue, and stage in the sales cycle.
This text reveals that there is a lot of data that can be gathered about people who visit a website or use an app. This data can include things like what pages they visit, what links they click on, how long they spend on the site, and how many times they visit.
The context of a visitor on a website or app can be related to their unique properties, such as device type, browser type, location, and time of the day.
To collect demographic and firmographic data, your visitors need to fill out and submit a form. This can involve subscribing to a newsletter, registering for a demo, completing a live chat transaction, or downloading a lead magnet.
2. Send Personalized Emails
Email marketing involves sending personalized newsletters, campaigns, and operational messages to your customers’ unique needs and interests.
If done right:
- You’re 6x more likely to get someone to click-through from an email marketing campaign;
- Achieve the highest rates of conversion, at 66%, when it comes to purchases compared to social, direct mail, and other marketing channels;
- And, potentially see an ROI of 3,800%.
Although it may be difficult, it is important to make sure that your emails are effective in order to avoid having them deleted within two seconds of being opened. But you can probably imagine why. The main reason is irrelevance.
content that is not relevant, or is pushy and salesy, or is not what the person signed up for, goes straight to the garbage can. People want emails that are helpful and offer value, not emails that spam their inboxes.
Here are a few ways you can personalize your email marketing strategy:
- Use their first names. As Dale Carnegie once said: “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
- Communicate like a human. You have the privilege to access a person’s inbox, so use a language that’s relatable to them, use a friendly tone, and break up your messages to be more scannable.
- Target content to solve a persona’s problems. Every email should be sent to a segmented list of contacts (personas) based on their interests and needs.
Including personalization in your email strategy will help you avoid the mistakes that 89% of marketers make. You have to divide your email list into sections to make a special, personalized message.
3. Create Meaningful Opt-in forms and Thank you Pages
The email address is the most important input for 96% of businesses when collecting information from a lead.
By accessing personal information about customers, you can create customized messages for opt-in forms that appear at the right time, in the right place, and to the right person. This is how you create value and get hold of email addresses.
You can use a Thank You page to personalize experiences by:
- Linking to relevant, high performing content
- Encouraging social sharing or subscribing to your social media
- Requesting them to complete a survey
- Providing a discount, promotion, or special offer
- Adding social proof to enhance credibility and trust
4. Turn Unknown Visitors Into Hot Leads
Marketing operates on the principle of reaching many people with a message, while the sales experience is focused on one-on-one interactions. Creating a sale requires earning people’s trust through personalization. consumers say that it is very important to them that they are treated like a person and not just a number or sales target If you want your sales team to treat prospects and leads more like people, you need to ensure they have access to as much information about website visitors as possible.
In this way, salespeople can more effectively recommend products and resources that fit your visitors’ interests, actions, and behaviors.
Using data from website visitors’ behavior lets you see what pages they visit, what content they’re interested in, and how their experience with your company starts.
5. Chat with Prospects in Real Time
When a website visitor interacts with your site, you need to have a salesperson who is available to talk with them. You can use live chat to achieve your goals.
Adding live chat to a website used to be difficult to do. The days when companies relied on live chat on their websites to increase conversations, conversions, and customer retention are gone.
The power of live chat gives your sales team the ability to communicate one-on-one with visitors and:
- Build stronger connections by welcoming visitors, speaking in their language, humanizing their online experience.
- Have real conversations that get close and personal, address immediate needs and objections, and get to a faster and friendlier solution than browsing a website alone.
- Achieve better results by delivering fast, more effective experiences that focus on customer satisfaction.
6. Personalized Follow-ups
The one person who is willing to buy at a first meeting is someone who has researched what they need and believes that your company can offer the best solution. They don’t need to be persuaded or convinced of anything, they just need the final details. They are making sure that your company is the right fit for them when they meet with your sales team.
The other 49 people are less prepared. Customers who are potential buyers are more likely to make a purchase when they trust the company. And that’s takes a lot of work and convincing.
Unfortunately, most sales reps give up. An average sales rep only contacts a prospect two to three times before giving up. With CRM data, you gain insights on a prospective customer’s behavior, such as the number of:
- Events they’ve registered for
- Support tickets they opened
- Product demos they requested
- Email campaigns they engaged with
- Web pages they visited (via Leadexplorer)
- Sales meetings they booked
The sales team can improve their sales rates by personalizing follow-up emails with the new insights.
7. Provide Context-Based Support
If you want your support team to be more responsive to customers, make sure they have contextual conversations.
In other words, contextual communication ensures that everyone involved in a conversation is aware of all aspects of that conversation.
Let’s say you receive a call from a customer. Your support team answers the phone and learns that the customer is asking for an update about their ticket inquiry.
Your support team knows exactly what the customer needs and the problem they are experiencing and can say how soon it can be fixed.
This type of support helps to avoid wasting time trying to figure out the context of the conversation, which is always a negative experience.
The most successful customer lifecycle marketing programs are the ones that are personalized. They take into account a customer’s interests and needs based on their specific lifecycle stage.
The efforts that are the most engaging are also the most effective. With the advancements in technology, marketers are now able to automate and personalize their campaigns to deliver more value to customers and increase their performance as a result.
Although real-time personalization across the customer lifecycle is not yet widespread, it is growing in popularity. Therefore, companies that use this approach can gain an edge over their competitors. Start now, and that advantage could be yours.