At Enchant, we believe that every customer should be viewed by businesses as an individual on their own customer journey. Marketers should look to build ongoing relationships with these individuals.
We look at 5 reasons why your digital marketing strategy should focus on the customer lifecycle:
1. Map out your customer engagement touchpoints
Too many companies take a short-sighted view when it comes to customer engagement, focusing too heavy on getting customers to the point of sale and getting conversions. The idea of looking at customers as individuals might, to some, seem like an impossible task, but if the building blocks are put in place at the strategy planning stage then marketing automation can do the legwork of targeting your different customer profiles.
Digital marketers need to take the long-view approach to their strategies. The key thing to implement is the mapping out of the touchpoints in the customer lifecycle, which are all the engagement opportunities that fit your customer needs and (in turn) your business goals.
Once you’ve mapped out the customer lifecycle, you can identify the opportunities for engagement with your customers. Even though these engagement opportunities will have your business goals and conversions in mind, they should be focused on delivering relevant content at the right times to your customers.
2. Automation drives your targeted messages
Once your strategy is taking shape and you have done extensive research and analysis around your audience behaviours and personas, you need to think about choosing the right automation platform to suit your strategy. In email marketing, marketing automation is crucial as it is the essential tool for driving your targeted and segmented content to customers, according to their behaviours, responses and individual needs. It is also key for delivering personalisation in your messaging.
In a recently webinar on marketing automation for SMEs, digital marketing expert Luke Brynley-Jones of Our Social Times said the following about automated marketing:
“Marketing automation is all about finding opportunities in the customer lifecycle that you’re currently missing or doing manually that you could be automating to improve the outcomes, both for you and your customers.”
The level of your automated marketing depends on the nature of your business, your audience and the size of your budget. However, it doesn’t cost the world to implement marketing automation and your outlay will be more than recouped by the revenues from conversions – which you should see sharply increase.
Your automated interactions can be simple at first, such as auto-responders and seasonal offers, but the more data and insights you gain the bigger the scope for automating targeted content. Enchant Agency CEO and Founder Philip Storey said of the impact of automation:
“Even if you just automate one of the processes that exists within the customer lifecycle, it can be extremely impactful on your business and valuable to your customers.”
3. Personalisation enhances customer experience
Customers want to be rewarded for brand loyalty, especially if they are subscribed to regular content, such as email marketing. So, throughout customer journeys, brands must offer customers exclusive content and incentives to stay loyal and to keep receiving content. Using personalisation in your content will not only enhance customer experience, but it will aid the nurturing process and build a closer relationship between customer and brand.
Food and drinks subscription services, such as Graze, Honest Brew and Hello Fresh, are good examples of successful customer lifecycle email marketing. Once they have hooked customers with a free trial and got them to the subsequent paid subscription, they nurture their customers well throughout the ongoing customer relationship, using a mixture of personalistion, flexible content and delivery models, customisation and incentives.
Their content is also fun and vibrant, but crucially they put the customer at the heart of their messaging and brand values. They educate and interact with customers and their customer service set-up acts like a concierge. These brands tailor their products according customer tastes, which is key to retaining customer loyalty.
Content streaming subscription services, such as Netflix and Spotify deliver intricate personalisation in their digital marketing strategies, using rich data linked to individual user streaming activities to prompt recommended content, which encourages increased engagement with the platforms and the content.
4. Putting customer needs before business goals
Once your customers are engaging with your content at the touchpoints mapped out in the customer lifecycle, your delivery of relevant content should have gained their trust and loyalty. In developing a customer-centric digital marketing strategy, putting customer needs before business goals is key. Your strategy should be focused on nurturing customer relationships with the tactics we have mentioned, then you can begin aligning your business goals to your content to optimise it for increasing conversion rates (CRO).
If you can deliver snackable, dynamic and innovative content, you should be able to optimise that content to feed into your landing pages and key content, via calls to action that will increase conversions.
5. Multichannel strategy for the customer lifecycle
Whatever channels you are using to reach your customer, you should integrated them as efficiently as possible, whilst optimising the content depending on the particular channels and audience.
Your customers should be engaging with your content across your various digital marketing channels, in a multichannel strategy that focuses on customer journeys.
You might use various social media channels to deliver bitesize or specific content with clear CTAs and offers, whilst your email marketing might be a browsable source of content with more triggers and incentives for driving traffic to different landing pages.
A multichannel strategy helps with brand awareness and with the nurturing process in your customer relationships. The content distribution channels can feed back into each other and the customer lifecycle as a whole.
No matter the aim of your business or the purpose of your chosen channels, you should explore the different forms of content distribution and engagement opportunities. However, don't dilute your content and brand reputation by spreading your marketing activities too widely. Assess suitability of different marketing channels for your audience.
Your engagement strategy needs to be regularly optimised and refined to stay focused on nurturing and meeting customer needs throughout the customer lifecycle.
To learn more about the customer lifecycle, download our guide to revolutionising the customer lifecycle with email marketing and start making waves with email!
Enchant Agency is a leading UK email marketing agency, specialising in helping brands to reach their full potential with customer lifecycle strategies. Need help with your marketing campaigns? Or perhaps you just want to discuss a project with us? Contact our email specialists and see how we can help you improve performance fast!