By now you should have a sense of what customer lifecycle marketing is, and the stages in a customer’s lifecycle, or journey. But why is e-commerce lifecycle marketing important, and what benefits does it present compared to other e-commerce marketing strategies, such as calendar-driven or campaign-driven marketing? Next, we'll detail how lifecycle marketing can make your business RICH - Relevant, Insight-Driven, Customer-focused and Healthy.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing is all about tailoring your marketing communication to the individual customer and where he or she is in their purchase journey. This ensures marketing touchpoints that are communicated at the right time, to the right person, using the right content: The very definition of Relevancy. As opposed to “batch & blast” email campaigns, lifecycle-based marketing emails contain content that is tailored to the individual customer, or customer segment, and is therefore more relevant and engaging.
Lifecycle marketing is based on insights pertinent to the individual customer (or customer segment): What they buy, their site behavior, the purchase frequency and so on. These insights then shape marketing decisions such as creative, timing and offerings, and allow for a personalized and relevant customer experience - one that is driven by customer behavior. A calendar-driven marketing program typically does not take into account customer behavior but rather sends out communication based on external events such as holidays, seasonal changes, store sales on so on. It misses out on the opportunity to incorporate customer data into marketing communication, thus making it less personal. Imagine talking to a friend and only commenting about the weather, the upcoming holiday or politics, without ever referring to your friend’s recent engagement or job change. Not the best way to nurture a long-term relationship.
Many businesses aspire to be “Customer Focused,” “Customer Centric” or “Customer Driven.” Employing a customer lifecycle marketing strategy puts your money where your mouth is. Your marketing goals become aligned with your overall business vision: Instead of optimizing short-term metrics like campaign revenue or marketing channel conversion, you can focus on improving metrics like customer lifetime value, customer loyalty, and retention.
By focusing on customer value vs. marketing campaign or channel performance, your business favors long-term revenue and profitability vs. short term revenue gains that sometimes come at the expense of customer experience. This is a healthier, more sustainable approach for creating long-lasting businesses. In addition, customer-focused marketing provides visibility into the health of your customer base: How many customers have not purchased yet? What is the size of the “lapsed” customer segment? How many loyal customers do you have? Knowing the overall health of your customer base, and making sure it stays healthy, is more valuable than knowing that a certain marketing channel performs well or that a certain marketing campaign brought in more revenue than last year.