Customer lifecycle marketing is a holistic approach to customer engagement that helps build strong relationships throughout the customer journey.
As per a recent report by Hubspot, “HubSpot Annual State of Service Report – 2022,”
Lifecycle marketing involves creating targeted campaigns and messaging to reach customers at the right time. This leads to better retention, increased sales, and improved CSAT.
What is Lifecycle Marketing?
Hubspot defines lifecycle marketing as:
“Lifecycle marketing is the mix of strategies a company uses to positively influence customer behavior as they move through each touchpoint of the marketing cycle, from the initial attraction to becoming a brand advocate.”
What are the Benefits of B2B Customer Lifecycle Marketing?
Marketing of this kind is helpful as it helps marketers appeal effectively to the customers at all stages of the lifecycle. Moreover, it can help attract new customers, boost sales, and retain existing customers.
Here are a few benefits-
1. Maximizes Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
Robust marketing throughout the customer lifecycle can increase the customer’s lifetime value. Customers with a high LTV bring more revenue and will likely become long-term customers.
This way, brands can build long-term customer relationships. Moreover, it helps retain them at every stage, maximizing their value to the brand. Moreover, it helps retain them at every stage, maximizing their value to the brand.
2. Minimizes Costs
Lifecycle marketing helps save costs as brands get to retain customers at every stage. Having an existing customer costs less than seeking a new one. Therefore, with effective customer retention, brands can reduce customer acquisition costs. Also, they get to use their marketing budgets in other ways to increase their campaigns’ overall strength.
3. Elevates Conversion Rates
A lifecycle marketing strategy boosts conversion rates. This is because it targets customers in specific ways that match their likings and convert them easily. This benefit applies when-
- converting prospects into customers
- converting customers into long-term customers
4. Enhances Customer Satisfaction
Marketing throughout the customer lifecycle makes communications more tailored. While this enhances CSAT, customers also feel more valued.
Such customers will be advocates for the brand, increasing brand loyalty and trust and boosting customer retention.
5. Have a Competitive Advantage
With customer lifecycle marketing, brands can intelligently analyze their customer journey. These insights help build a more durable and robust marketing strategy to help stay ahead of the competition.
What are the Challenges of B2B Customer Lifecycle Marketing and Ways to Overcome Them?
1. Bad Customer Data
One of the biggest challenges in customer lifecycle marketing is having defective customer data. Bad customer data hinders the delivery of tailored marketing efforts.
- Invest in solid data collection and management systems.
- Implement tools to obtain customer data at various touchpoints to ensure data accuracy.
- Constantly update and clean the databases to maintain top-quality data.
2. Consistent Experiences Across Channels
Maintaining consistent experiences across various marketing channels can become difficult. It can confuse customers and hamper the brand’s identity if not done properly.
- Develop a strong communication strategy that aligns branding, messaging, and customer experience (CX) across all channels
- Use customer data to tailor the content
- Ensure consistency in the tone and style of the content
3. Breaks in Customer Engagement
Customer engagement can break at various stages of the customer lifecycle. This results in reduced conversion and retention rates.
- Implement targeted re-engagement campaigns
- Determine latent customers and create attractive offers or content to relight their interest
- Use A/B testing to refine the strategies to obtain optimal results.
4. Ignoring Post Purchase Phases
B2B companies focus on the purchase and conversion phases but neglect the post-purchase stages of the customer lifecycle.
- Expand the marketing efforts to include post-purchase activities
- Nurture customer relationships via loyalty programs, personalized follow-ups, and customer support.
5. Incorrect Metrics
Without the right metrics, measuring the success of the customer lifecycle marketing efforts becomes hard.
- Define KPIs for every stage of the customer lifecycle
- Use analytics platforms to track the metrics
- Regularly analyze the data to make improvements accordingly
What are the Best Practices to Optimize the B2B Customer Lifecycle Marketing Strategy?
1. Understand Audience’s Buyer Persona
Understanding buyer personas will allow brands to efficiently address customer thoughts, concerns, and expectations. Collecting customer data from various sources is essential to build personas that represent customers effectively.
The data should have-
- Customer buying habits and frequency
- Customer’s preferred methods for receiving marketing communications
- Factors that might adversely influence the customer’s purchasing decisions
- Reliable solutions the brand offers
2. Fix Goals for Every Stage
As brands plot the lifecycle marketing process, setting clear goals for each cycle’s stages is crucial. The overall objective is to boost customer retention. However, breaking the project down into smaller and specified goals will help track the performance correctly.
3. Determine and Address Friction
Brands must determine factors in each stage that might cause friction and hinder CX’s quality. Friction can be due to.
- Inconsistent layout or functionality of the website, making it hard for customers to navigate
- The absence of accurate information that convinces potential customers to buy the product or service
- Communication gaps during the post-purchase stages
Building a customer journey map will help reduce the friction points in the strategy. These maps enable brands to visualize how customers progress through-
- Post-purchase phases
4. Deploy Marketing Automation Tools
Automating marketing tasks is an effective way to bolster efficiency and address customers’ demands. Advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing are some lifecycle marketing examples that brands can easily automate.
Lifecycle marketing automation tools-
- Enhance CXs
- Boost conversions
- Helps analyze data collected from every channel
With customer lifecycle marketing, firms can make their customers feel valued. Start by rethinking the goals set for the team. Also, ensure whether they are applied in the current lifecycle marketing approach.
This way, brands can deploy a lifecycle marketing campaign that syncs the brand’s aspects. This helps garner loyal customers and more sales.
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