What are the Customer Lifecycle Marketing stages?
The Customer Lifecycle Marketing Process is a strategic approach to your sales and marketing. A framework, which focuses on, each critical stage of the prospect/customer journey through your business. This customer journey begins well before they ever make their first purchase in your store and, continues until well after they have made an initial purchase.
Creating a sales and marketing strategy for your small business need not be daunting. You are about to discover the customer lifecycle stages that are vital to your whole business and marketing strategy. And, have access to all the tools and worksheets you’ll need to create your sales and marketing, strategic plan.
Why is it important to focus on every stage of the customer lifecycle?
We’ll get to the lifecycle marketing stages. But first, watch the video below where Scott Martineau from Infusionsoft covers the ‘typical versus ideal’ in the customer lifecycle journey. And find out:
- where to look for the lost leads that are already in your business
- and why 65% of customers that leave your business, you did not need to lose.
So, the model provides a simple framework you can use to design the strategic marketing plan that will help you focus on your customer lifecycle stages. Or their journey and experience through your business.
Once you implement the principles into your business, it will help you
- Attract more customers to your business
- to grow your sales by selling more
- and keep your customers longer by delivering an experience that wows your customers. So, they come back again and again – AND, bring their friends.
The model was developed by a team of sales and marketing experts at Infusionsoft and has helped thousands of small businesses achieve great success.
And so can you.
When put into action, the framework and process will help you grow your sales and give you more time to focus on the things you love.
3 Stages of the Framework
The goal of the Attract stage is to get the attention of the consumers you want to buy your products or service. The steps include Target, Attract Interest and Collect Leads.
- Target – Targeting is when you identify specific types of individuals then address them directly with your marketing. Most common ways to target an audience are by interests, behaviour, demographics, location, context, (targeting by topic on the page, which is matched with the corresponding message of your ad to reach and connect to an audience with an interest in your product or service), device, etc.
- Attract Interest – Attract visitors to your website with great content like ebooks, infographics, research reports, webinars, social media and blog posts.
- Collect Leads – Use a web form that includes offers, free consultations or premium content to encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.
Sell is the second phase of the model. This phase is your unique strategy that makes your product or service the primary choice when those you’ve attracted are ready to buy. Sell Phase stages are Educate, Offer and Close.
- Educate – Create a consistent campaign of useful information with automated, personalised follow-up messages.
- Offer– The best way to craft an offer is to observe past customer actions and create a buying process map, then provide an irresistible offer.
- Close – Closing the sale is more than the transaction. The close involves clear communication, right presence and written documentation.
Getting to Wow involves three key stages: Deliver and Wow, Offer More and Referral.
- Deliver and Wow – Fulfill your commitments on time, follow through when and where it is required. Offer to provide additional value that surprises and delights customers.
- Offer More – Always be developing strategies, tactics, products, and services to help generate additional sales and recurring revenue.
- Get Referrals – Encourage referrals by creating incentives for customers and partners.
Nothing to it, right? The truth is, there are no “secrets” to creating a successful marketing strategy. Many small businesses have been practising these tactics in some form for a very long time.
So, Let’s get started.
Stage 1 Attract
This first Stage solves the problem: ” I don’t have enough leads.”
The Attract Stage will help you clarify who your best customers are. And, identify what they need. Also, allow you to understand how you can connect with them.
Let’s face it. Most consumers aren’t actively looking for your company’s name. More often than not, they’re looking for a solution that satisfies a particular need or problem they have. And, they will discover you either by accident or because you have a good marketing strategy in place that attracts new visitors to your
Identify your Target Market
As an entrepreneur, you have big dreams. You want the entire world to know your products and services are available to everyone who has money to spend.
Sometimes you want success so badly that you spend vast sums of money trying to attract the world to your products and services, only to find that you’ve overspent your marketing budgets and without adding any new customers.
Attempting to reach everybody marketing your products or services is not only inefficient. But it’s also costly. Nobody can afford to target everybody.
Therefore, it’s essential to narrowly define your target market, and focus your marketing budget on the market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.
You can explicitly define your target market by taking a look at your current customer base, evaluating why they buy from you. And, segmenting them based on similar interests.
Don’t be afraid to get ultra-specific!
Once you identify your target customers, you need to find out where they are most likely to come into contact with your marketing messaging, also, where they’ll be the most receptive to it.
Think about locations, both online and in person.
- Are they on a particular social media platform?
- Do they attend local business events?
- Or, are they members of a local community or work in the neighbourhood?
After you identify the places, potential customers hang out. Or spend their time. Start to focus your marketing efforts on those places.
Perhaps you need to join the local networking group. And, open up Twitter or Facebook accounts. Also, invest some money in advertising.
Be where your customers are. And start engaging with them in an authentic, helpful and personable way.
As you attract more consumers to your business, you’ll want to make sure they don’t leave and forget about you. So, give them something to take with them in exchange for their contact information. This bribe is called a lead magnet and can be anything of value. Such as a free report, coupon, or
Once you’ve attracted the right audience, you need to either, make the sale or, get their contact information. So, you can follow up with them.
Build trust and give your prospects a reason to opt-in.
E-Books, podcasts and webinars are just a few content assets you can offer to build trust with your audience.
Make it easy to opt-in with the right lead capture tools.
So, the first two sub-stages of the attract stage of Lifecycle Marketing is all about filling your sales funnel with prospects. That’s qualified leads – potential customers who show an interest in your product. And may buy now or, much more likely sometime in the future.
How do you attract prospects to your sales funnel?
Stage 2 Sell
The Sell Stage solves the problem: “I can’t get leads to move through stages of my conversion funnel.”
Consumers have access to more information than ever before. They’re doing their research before they make decisions. And, they’re paying more attention to price and value.
Studies show that 82% of consumers research a product online before they buy.
Hence, the perception of value plays a vital role in purchase decisions
Savvy small business owners know that the experiences and interactions that consumers have with brands shape their decisions to buy. Or, to move on and keep looking.
Often, these experiences begin before a user even realises that they have a need.
One of the most active things small business owners can do is develop a marketing strategy that positions their products or services as the obvious choice when customers are ready to buy.
Consumers pay attention to brands when motivated to do so. So, the best way to earn their attention is through exceptional interactions and valuable education.
So, to create useful educational materials, you need to understand the needs and wants of your target consumers, outlined in the Attract phase.
Therefore, as you build out a content strategy, consider how your product or service serves your target customer’s basic, psychological or self-fulfilment needs. Then, build foundational content on your website, blog, social networks or other communication platforms to address those needs.
When you understand your target customer’s buying process, you can identify the optimal time for an exclusive offer.
By observing existing clients’ actions, you’ll be able to create a buying process funnel. Then, you can match your sales process to their buying process.
If you have a sales team or if you are the entire sales team. Optimise your resources so that you spend time with potential customers that are the closest to a purchase decision.
Lead scoring allows you to assign a score to a new prospect based on the actions they’ve taken. This tactic places the prospects that are the most likely to convert at the top of your watch list. Therefore, to contact first.
With your buying process funnel aligned with your sales process, you can see the best time to introduce a sales promotion to a prospect. That’s when they’re evaluating their options.
Closing the deal involves more than just an exchange of money or signed documents.
In a direct sales conversation, the close requires clear communication—also, a right presence and written documentation.
In an e-commerce business, the endpoint involves ensuring that there is a mechanism for payment collection. And, order processing.
Regardless of your business type, the close is the signal that the negotiations are complete. And, you can now begin the process of delivery.
- Make procedures easy: implement transparent and efficient systems for closing the sale. Train your sales staff on closing procedures.
- Create clear documentation: sales documents convey how “together” you are as an organisation. So, did you throw something together, or take the time to understand, customise, and prioritise the relationship?
the process: have a transparent and efficient mechanism for collecting payments. And, also processing orders. Automate the payment and fulfilment processes whenever you can.
Stage 3 Wow
The Wow Stage solves the problem: “I’m not maximising revenue from my current customer base.”
In today’s competitive economy, it takes extra effort to differentiate your business from the others in your industry. Therefore, if you want to develop your brand, it’s important to separate your product or service based on value. And, not price.
By consistently wowing your customers each time you interact with them, they will stay engaged with your business. And, refer to their friends.
Deliver and Wow
Wowing your customers is about providing more than what you promised by delivering a delightful experience.
While this may seem simple and obvious, in reality, the hustle and bustle of daily work can cause customer delights to get often overlooked.
To wow your clients, make sure that the after-sales service provides the product or service promptly. Then go above and beyond their expectations by providing additional value that leverage’s your strengths.
So, after providing an exceptional experience. You are now, in a position to offer additional products or services to your customers. Determining what to suggest and when involves a bit of strategic thinking.
Learn what related products or services will help your customers. And, then create a solution. The solution can be additional products, services, or tips and resources related to their needs. Timing and positioning are essential.
Here are three ways to tactfully increase your revenue while continuing to be helpful:
- Cross-sell: Customers aren’t always aware of the perfect product or service pairings and may be willing to purchase related items that enhance their experience.
- Up-sell: Listen to your customers and try to understand their needs. They might be willing to pay extra for special treatment, warranties or monthly programs.
- New products: Help your customers by notifying them of new goods and services that could enhance their lives or experience with your brand.
You’ll spend less money marketing to existing customers than attracting new ones. That is why it’s so crucial to wow your customers from the start.
It’s essential to anticipate their needs and deliver more than what you promised in either quality or quantity.
Or, try recommending something new that satisfies their requirements. Leverage your strengths, because that’s what will set you apart from your competition.
Referrals are one of the cheapest ways to expand your business. Incidentally, wowing your current customers is the fastest way to earn referrals.
Active referral programs are a big win for small businesses.
Why, because they help customers develop habits that include your company. Consider establishing a referral program with rewards that are easy for your customers to obtain.
Show your appreciation by providing a small gift as a thank-you. Gift cards, discounts coupon or movie tickets for referrals is a great way to receive much more of the same.
Asking and rewarding your customers for a referral completes the Wow experience and the stages of the customer lifecycle marketing process.