Think Customer Lifecycle
Why think about implementing a lifecycle programme? Because communicating with your customers is essential. A structured programme based on transactions, service, digital viewing and other behaviours is a great way to increase engagement and prove marketing ROI. Timely and relevant communications will keep customers, help them choose you instead of your competition and grow your business.
There are 2 things that every marketeer should be thinking about, the customer lifecycle and the use of personalisation.
The design and continuous development of lifecycle programmes can add huge value, it helps to develop the lifetime value of your customers. It is an area of marketing where the customer is at the absolute centre of what you are doing, a pure focus on your customer. Understand more about their journey and how they behave and it gives a huge amount of insight into what your customers need and want from you.
Developing your customer lifecycle can be a lot of fun as well as adding a huge amount of value to your organisation. From our perspective it is hard not to get excited, you are bringing together all your customer data, their transactional behaviour, all your survey research, the market research, focus group feedback, digital engagement with everything you know about your organisation and what it has to offer.
It develops a deep understanding of what is going on across your customer base, what you are to your customers and what they are to you. We believe that a great lifecycle programme is one of the most powerful ways in which a Marketing function can add value to their organisation.
You understand the journey that a customer takes with your organisation, how they negotiate the early days of your relationship, how they choose to spend with you, the ways they interact with you and ultimately, what they use you for.
You know what they are worth, but more importantly than that, you know what the good, the bad and the ugly looks like. You learn what you should be doing to help your customers in their relationship with your organisation. You learn what they want from your organisation.
You also know that not all customers are the same, so you communicate with them accordingly. You talk to the customer at the right time, in a way that suits them, showing that you understand them, that you value them.
Personalisation is central to a good customer lifecycle programme. A lot of time has passed since personalisation appeared as the gimmicky ‘name in the sand’ that everyone saw on those calendars that almost every desk had.
Think of personalisation, not as using personal data (such as the person’s name) but as using insight and intelligence to deliver the right message. If your campaign is about delivering footfall, highlight stores and distributors, if it is about engaging customers from different industries then adjust your copy and terminology to fit that customer’s industry.
We all tune in when hearing our own name, so there is a place for that as long as it is appropriate, but we also tune in to key words and context that is from our own world.
All of this leads to strong customer relationships and loyalty building. It builds your own business understanding and (some might say) most importantly, it builds your sales and profit.
Marketers are often accused of being fluffy and not particularly commercial. A great lifecycle programme not only informs and educates the business but shows a consistent contribution to the bottom line.
A lifecycle programme opens up a massive amount of opportunity to test and develop the campaigns you produce and the way you engage your customers. Every bit of new knowledge, from campaign analysis or research, can be integrated with the programme, with an incremental benefit from each improvement.
This is being accountable in marketing, constant monitoring of your spend, continuously adjusting to increase the ROI, putting your money into the right areas. You are developing your customer base, while being accountable for the £s.
In a great lifecycle the material you send out gives you the flexibility to target commercial objectives in the organisation, clearing stock and hitting product turnover targets through the programmes communication pieces, with the right offers going to the right customers.
Customers will love you too. You are establishing what you want from them but helping them navigate your organisation to get what they need, and maybe a bit of what they want too. Really personal communications show you understand them. You talk to them about something relevant when they want to hear it.
All of which is constantly delivering to the bottom line and improving the knowledge and understanding in your organisation.