Underneath every product or service is a method to ascend visitors into loyal and active customers. Additionally, every customer has a lifetime and eventually they no longer provide value. Do you have a process that addresses the individual needs of customers throughout their lifetime with your business? The essence of Lifecycle Marketing is to define a clear path that increases revenue and satisfaction through managing prospect-to-customer stages.
E-commerce analysis platform, Custora, released an academic-grade guide to Lifecycle Marketing. It’s applied around the needs of mid-size and enterprise businesses, but it doesn’t deviate too much from Infusionsoft’s idea of Lifecycle Marketing. In it, they define Lifecycle Marketing as, “The customer lifecycle identifies milestones in a common path that most customers tend to follow over the course of their relationship with a retailer.” And I’m not knocking it — there’s a ton of useful insight packed into their site. Just, for small businesses, it might be a bit hard to swallow.
This is exactly what the Lifecycle Marketing strategy does. The seven stages of Lifecycle Marketing: Attract Interest, Capture Leads, Nurture Prospects, Convert Sales, Deliver & Satisfy, Upsell Customers and Get Referrals. Each of these distinct stages offers business value and unique benefits for prospects and customers. (You can learn more about all of these stages in our online Lifecycle Marketing Workshop.)
With that premise said, I want to talk a bit more about the feedback I hear from small businesses when I discuss Lifecycle Marketing.
“My business doesn’t have all these stages.”
The presumption here is that entrepreneurs share a belief that Lifecycle Marketing confines them to a linear process. It doesn’t. We know that today’s sales and marketing strategies are dynamic and it’s not as formulaic as it once was. Lifecycle Marketing is a strategy, a framework and a guideline for small businesses to define their processes and customer ascension path. Ultimately, it helps them scale and do it efficiently.
“I don’t want to just market and sell all day.”
Exactly. Lifecycle Marketing functions as a business strategy that allows you focus more on your product, services and additional value you provide customers. We know that for many entrepreneurs, they are incredibly protective of their customer and client experience and enjoy being small and not drowning in leads (it’s a good problem to have, but I digress). Lifecycle Marketing allows you to call the shots and bring on the right customers at the right time while still being valuable, caring and supportive of their non-customers.
“I’m not a big enough yet, so I’m not ready for Lifecycle Marketing.”
Lifecycle Marketing isn’t limited to enterprises. In fact, thousands of small businesses use Lifecycle Marketing strategies to grow aggressively. The only prerequisite to building your customer lifecycle is that you should have a proven business model. You should know (not guess) why people choose you over competitors. Lifecycle Marketing is very applicable to businesses across hundreds of industries and varying stages of maturity.
“I don’t have time to implement Lifecycle Marketing.”
As I mentioned, Lifecycle Marketing isn’t linear. If you’re doing okay with attracting interest and capturing leads, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You can easily jump to the “Deliver & Satisfy” stage with confidence that you’re working on the necessary steps in your business without spending too much time on the other stages. Tools like Gliffy and Draw.io are free applications to help you define your Lifecycle Marketing plan. Using powerful software for small businesses like Infusionsoft is one of the quickest ways to help you execute your strategy.
Lifecycle Marketing is a strategy that will last. It’s here to stay because businesses need to adapt to the needs, interests and actions of their customers so they can retain them and add more value to the bottom line. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, entrepreneurs ought to focus more on retention than customer acquisition. In Vaynerchuk’s advice, he contends that with all the platforms and data available today, businesses nail customer acquisition, but poorly serve and retain customers.
In the end, that is what Lifecycle Marketing is all about. And whether you’re a big business or a much smaller one, I think you’ll agree it’s time to map out your customer acquisition processes, provide tailored value to your customers and maximize the moments when they are happiest.
We have plenty of resources to help you learn more about Lifecycle Marketing. Including helpful webinars focused on every stage, software-specific explanations, an interactive online workshop and a quick overview.
So, dig in, attract loads of traffic, educate them and keep them happy!
How do you feel about Lifecycle Marketing? Let us know in the comments! I’d love to see how its strategy and tenets can be used to help your business succeed.
Image credits: Herman van Boeijen; Xoneca