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What Is “Lifecycle Marketing Optimization” And How Does It Affect My Marketing Strategy?

Digital marketing is like a plot diagram with an inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution; missing any part of the story creates a disjointed tale. Lifecycle Marketing Optimization takes this same concept and applies it to the journey that a customer takes from being introduced to the product to becoming a loyal brand ambassador.

For a more comprehensive definition, Dave Chaffey, CEO, and co-founder of Smart Insights explains, “Lifecycle Marketing Optimization describes an integrated, data-driven approach to improve the effectiveness of interactions with customers on different devices and in different channels.

This marks a move away from optimizing individual touchpoints such as Paid Search or Media, landing pages, emails, and conversion pages in isolation, but instead views them as a multi-step, multi-channel process.”

Infusionsoft breaks down this process even further into three bite-sized pieces to easily understand the process:

  1. Attract– Target your audience by researching their demographics, attitudes, behaviors, and favorite places to hang out, both online and in person. Next, garner interest with great online content including webinars, blogs, ebooks, etc. Finally, collect customer information to make an email list online through special offers or opportunities.
  2. The Sales Process – Educate consumers about the product, understand your customer’s buying process, and close the sale.
  3. The “Wow” Phase – Fulfill your commitments in a timely manner, develop a long-term strategy to create brand loyalty, and encourage referrals by offering incentives.
    What is “Lifecycle Marketing Optimization” and How Does it Affect My Marketing Strategy?

To create a Lifecycle Marketing Strategy from scratch or to incorporate these ideas into your existing digital marketing plan, you first need to segment your audience into the three stages listed above or the chart below. (As you can see, there are a variety of ways to interpret this plan with an additional set of labels being “Interested Potential Customer, Engaged Customer, Lapsed Customer,” “Discovery, Look, Persuade, Book,” or “Reach, Act, Convert, Engage” as seen in two examples below. Choose the one that makes the most sense to you or applies most directly to your customer base.)

Practical Examples

Lifecycle Marketing Optimization

So what does this look like for businesses in the real world? Here are some sample ideas that you can apply to your marketing strategy:

  • Stage 1: Brand Awareness – Creating an online content strategy to establish a digital footprint including on and offline advertisements or free trial emails, coupon offers, and creating an SEO list with a blog and strong website landing pages.
  • Stage 2: Making a Purchase – Increase conversion rates by improving social media interaction, building customer feedback and reviews, sending thank you emails for making a purchase, and sending shopping cart to abandon messages.
  • Stage 3: Create Brand Loyalty – Remind customers of your awesome product and service with reminders of upcoming events, by initiating special promotions for top customers and distributing surveys to re-engage lapsed customers.

The benefit of segmenting your customer list into these separate categories is that you can reach them where they are in the lifecycle. “Unsophisticated email campaigns treat every person the same, regardless of their interest level and lifecycle stage. Dividing your list into three simple lists like this can be a good first step to creating more targeted and relevant messages,” states Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop.

“By approaching your list in these fairly straightforward segments, you can create specific campaigns that target each group more effectively and with better results than would be the case if you communicated to all with the same messages.”

How Will This Affect My Marketing Strategy?

If you’ve been in business any length of time, this concept isn’t new to you. Maybe the name isn’t something you’re familiar with or the categories haven’t formally been segregated in your mind, but attracting customers, getting them to buy your product, and providing incentives to keep them coming back has been the foundation for commerce since wampum was used as currency.

Lifecycle Marketing Optimization can easily adapt to your current digital marketing plan by bridging the gaps in what you already have in place.

  • You have an email list, but are you sending the same message to all of your customers and potential customers?
  • How is your follow-up to customers who haven’t purchased anything from you in a while?
  • Have you done A/B testing on promotions or social media ads to see which has the higher return?
  • What emails are coming into your inbox and how are you responding?

Seeing what other companies are doing is a great way to brainstorm ideas for your marketing plan. The big picture is important, but Lifecycle Marketing allows you to get a microscopic view of your audience to cater to the level of relationship you’ve developed and to build upon it.

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