Well frankly it has nothing to do with a Darwinian theory of evolution or bicycles, and it’s not a new type of everlasting gobstopper. Phew, now I’ve broken the silence I’ll begin.

So, what the hell is it? Simply put, it’s just a better way to market your business.

Lifecycle Marketing is taking over the digital hemisphere, in fact, it is far more worthwhile and rewarding than just content marketing, you probably just don’t know it yet.

It goes further than the traditional marketing funnel of love. It embraces the entire customer experience process, rather than just the sale and places the customer, not just your business goalposts, at the heart of its efforts. Customer experience encompasses all of the experiences a customer has with a business. From awareness, right through to interaction, purchase and use, ending in advocacy.

However, Lifecycle Marketing isn’t all about the customers, to truly work, it is essential that staff are engaged and encouraged to deliver the best customer experience service possible, as part of a true customer retention and acquisition strategy. There are a number of ways that you can engage your employees, however, research shows that internal communications is the most rewarding.

When used successfully, Lifecycle Marketing will:

This sounds like a lot of work?

And you’d be right to think that, it does. See the thing about Lifecycle Marketing is that it represents a drastic shift in marketing, and such change is always going to take a little time. It requires thought, planning, research, a hands-on approach and a team that are just as excited about a product or service as you are. But fear not, the rewards, and there are rewards, will certainly be worth it.

So, How Does Lifecycle Marketing Work?

It’s about adapting what you say and do, and where you say and do it, to match the needs and expectations of your customers as they move through the Customer Lifecycle.

The Customer Lifecycle is made up five stages:

  1. Unaware – as the name suggests, people do not know that your company, products and services exist.
  2. Interested – people are aware of your products and services and are considering them along with other options. This stage includes almost everyone in the traditional funnel model and is where your messaging needs to be strong enough to make them choose you.
  3. First-time customers – people have chosen your products and services and entered into a relationship with you for the first time. First impressions count, so it is imperative that you get everything right at this stage.
  4. Regular customers – people are buying your products and services regularly. Time to build on those first good impressions and not let the customer experience slip.
  5. Passionate customers – people have had such an amazing experience with your company that they have become passionate advocates of your products and services. The creation of brand advocates is the holy grail of Lifecycle marketing.

The 12 Key Messaging Strategies for Lifecycle Marketing has lots of great ideas and guidance for what your marketing communications need to say and do at each stage of the Customer Lifecycle.

Once your customers reach Stage 5 of the Customer Lifecycle they become your brand advocates and will spread the news about your company using Word-of-Mouth (WOM) marketing – one of the most powerful marketing tools around. I’ll be back soon to talk about the power of word-of-mouth and fully understanding the power of lifecycle marketing.