It’s no secret that a well-executed marketing strategy is essential for any business. But what about when you’re just starting out? How do you get your name out there and attract customers? This is where the art of lifecycle marketing comes in. Lifecycle marketing focuses on targeting each stage of the buyer’s journey with the specific marketing messages and appropriate incentives. By understanding what customers need at each stage, you can create a consistently effective marketing plan that brings in new customers, retains current ones, and incentivizes referrals from your happy clients.
Lifecycle Marketing Basics
Before you create a Lifecycle Marketing Plan, you must figure out who your avatar is so you will create content that is valuable, engaging and speaks to them. You might be wondering just what the heck an avatar is so let’s begin there.
Avatar? What the heck is an avatar? If you’re like me, you’re thinking of those blue people in the movie by James Cameron. While that is true, a customer avatar is another name for your ideal customer or your target audience. This is the person who will benefit most from whatever it is you are offering. Their demographic information, goals, values, challenges and pain points all align with your particular product or service.
Once you have defined your avatar, the next step is to figure out:
- Where do they hang out?
- Who do they follow ?
- How do they consume information?
When you are first starting out, it is helpful to also identify your negative avatar. To begin, think of a customer who was a total nightmare to work with and write down all of the things that made the relationship challenging or unsuccessful. Be sure to focus on the root cause reasons why they weren’t a good fit for your product or service and not on any personal characteristics you did not like about them. Who cares if they wear white after labor day or choose the wrong wine at dinner as long as they benefit from your product or service. Check back in with these avatars periodically to ensure you are creating content for the correct one.
Now that you have a good handle on your avatar, let’s dive into how they benefit from lifecycle marketing.
The Stages of Lifecycle Marketing
Target, Attract and Capture
In this first stage, potential customers are just becoming aware of your company and what you have to offer. The main goal of this stage is to attract clients and generate interest in order to get on their radar. Strategies specific to this stage include social media marketing and outreach, SEO, webinars, white papers, and other content marketing techniques. In this stage it is imperative that you stand out from all of your competitors. A good way to do this is to offer the consumer a free lead magnet. A lead magnet is an opt-in offer that provides value in exchange for the consumer’s contact information. This could be anything from an e-book or webinar to a coupon or discount. By providing value up front, you increase the likelihood that potential customers will want to learn more about your company and what you have to offer.
Take a moment and think of something of value you can give to your specific avatar that would be worth it for them to let you capture their information.
Engagement, Offer and Close
The second stage of this process is all about continuing to generate interest and building relationships with potential customers. This is where you build on the concept of Know-Like-Trust. In this stage, it’s important to educate and guide your customers so that they begin to think of you as a leader in your industry. As your potential customers engage with your content, you capture their data to help in your efforts to get crystal clear on what your customers’ needs are so that your offers align with their needs. These offerings could include promotional offers, coupons or discounts.
Next, you develop a simple and efficient sales process that makes it super easy for your customer to purchase from you. A method to track your entire sales process makes it easier for you to make adjustments as needed.
Deliver and Support
This last stage is my personal favorite. It’s time to shine! Delivering on your promises makes a lasting impression on your customers which in turn, creates fans who will then be happy to sing your praises. However, it is also a time when you can fall flat on your face by not delivering on those promises. Be careful not to overly commit to anything; even the simple things. If you say you are going to be publishing a blog every week, make sure you do it.
The absolute best outcome of this stage is free money. It is common knowledge that it is far cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to convert a lead to a customer. Anyone who advertises on social media knows this all too well. Every good marketer also knows that the absolute best, fastest, easiest and cost effective way to obtain a customer is through referrals and word of mouth. So, don’t be afraid to ask your current customers for referrals. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your brand will scale.
There you have it! A complete guide to lifecycle marketing, from attracting new customers all the way through to retention and referrals. By targeting each stage of the buyer’s journey with specific marketing messages and incentives, you can create a plan that is consistently effective and helps your business scale. Do you need help implementing a lifecycle marketing strategy? Our team of experts would be happy to chat with you about how we can help. Shoot us an email, check out our complete marketing system or schedule a free call today!
Speaking of Lead Magnets, click here to receive a free copy of our:
Lifecycle Marketing Workbook
Lead Magnet Ideas Infographic