In Wendy’s article “Don’t Let Your Customer Lifecycle Spin You Out… Customer Loyalty in the Digital Age,” she discusses the challenges marketers face transitioning from the early stages of building a brand and acquiring customers to maintaining a brand and sustaining customer loyalty. Developing a strong customer lifecycle can be difficult. You need to understand your customers inside and out and keep them continuously engaged so your brand stays top of mind. Luckily, advancements in digital marketing have given businesses more ways than ever before to reach their customer base and foster brand loyalty. Here are five tips for creating a durable customer lifecycle:
- “First Year” Marketing Provides the Foundation – When we start working with a new client and are putting together a plan for the first year, we develop the basic building blocks of their brand. This includes brand elements like the logo, slogan, key messaging and website. We will also usually create a campaign to tackle their specific goals and increase their revenue. This first year is crucial as it lays down the foundation for a brand to thrive and gets their name out there. After this initial year one campaign, things start to get interesting.
- “Second Year” Marketing Creates Sustainability – After a successful first year, a client will have a strong, recognizable brand as well as an increase in customers and growth as a company. This is where the focus shifts from gaining new customers to maintaining the existing customer base by building brand loyalty. The key to this is engagement. You need to nurture your relationship with your customer base to ensure your brand stays top of mind and the customer lifecycle keeps turning. How does this occur in the digital age? With data.
- Data Is the Driver – Digital advertising is about more than just sales and ROI. It’s about acquiring and analyzing data. When you invest in any form of digital marketing – whether it be email marketing, social media advertising, paid search, display ads, etc. – you are essentially purchasing data. The analytics from your campaigns will tell you everything you need to know about your customers. You’ll be able to see what types of people are engaging and responding to your brand. You’ll be able to see in real time what types of imagery, messaging and promotional tactics resonate and which ones fall flat. Data in the digital age allows businesses to understand their customers better than ever before.
- Understand Your Customer – As you analyze the data from your marketing efforts and begin to better understand what your customers like, you should also begin to develop a good understanding of their typical lifecycle. They’ve purchased your product or service once, so how long until they may be interested in purchasing again? Do you have any other products or services they may be interested in right away? Is there anything else you can do to improve the experience of their first purchase? This can obviously vary greatly depending on your industry, but if you track your efforts and frequently analyze your data, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the typical lifecycle for your customers.
- Change Is Inevitable – One thing to always keep in mind with marketing is that nothing stays the same. What worked last year might not work this year, especially if your business has grown. You should constantly evaluate your efforts. The data will tell you what is working and what is not working. Don’t be afraid to change things up and try new things. Don’t look at unsuccessful marketing efforts as “lost money.” You didn’t lose money: You purchased data that helped you understand more about your customers and showed you what doesn’t resonate with them. You can now move on to creating something that will resonate.
If your business needs help improving your customer lifecycle, give us a call at 701-478-1111 and ask to speak with a Marketing Advisor, or visit absolutemg.com/contact. We’ll work with you to develop a strategy that will help your business create, nurture and maintain strong relationships with your customers.