What is lifecycle marketing?

The process of guiding a customer through the marketing funnel, from the first engagement as a prospect all the way to the point when a customer becomes a brand advocate, is called lifecycle marketing

The length of the marketing lifecycle can be long or short, depending on the product you’re selling or the service you’re providing. 

Some items, like grocery store repeat purchases, have a shorter marketing lifecycle, meaning you purchase them over and over again in quick succession with little to no consideration. 

These companies need to attract the customer back almost immediately while other companies with longer marketing lifecycles need to nurture the relationship in order to ensure the customer will purchase again. 

For example, a subscription-based service requires continuous nurturing so that the customer will be a repeat subscriber.

What are the stages of lifecycle marketing?

  • Awareness stage: Think of the awareness stage as the first impression, it’s the point at which a potential customer first interacts with your brand, and an opportunity for you to bring them into your marketing funnel
  • Engagement stage: Once you have captured their attention, you’ll want to keep it, and this is the point in the marketing lifecycle where you’ll want to entice customers to engage with your brand. 

This can be achieved by encouraging potential customers to learn more about your brand by researching products or services on your website, signing up for a free trial or a demo, or by giving them a compelling reason to follow your brand on social media. 

“Implementing a solid customer onboarding process will help ensure your customer starts off on the right foot”

  • Evaluation stage: Next is the evaluation stage at which point your potential customer may need more information on your brand’s key features and pricing. It’s important to note that you’ll want to make this information easily accessible, so that they can find exactly what they need when it comes time to make their decision.  
  • Purchase stage: Once a prospect becomes a customer, you’ll want to ensure that they are always satisfied and you’ll need to be ready to take action to make things right when they aren’t. Satisfied customers are more likely to make a repeat purchase and tell their friends and family, so that’s why it’s just as important to demonstrate value in the post-sale phase of the marketing lifecycle as it is when you’re first wooing a customer. 

Additionally, implementing a solid customer onboarding process will help ensure your customer starts off on the right foot. 

  • Loyalty stage: Once you’ve retained a customer, you’ll want to ensure they stay engaged with your brand, hopefully for many years to come, while giving that customer reason to tell friends and colleagues what they love about your brand. 
  • Customer loyalty programs and ongoing, proactive sales and service support are popular ways of doing that because those tactics can forge relationships that are hard to break. 

At the same time you also want to upsell other products and services to your current customers that complement those they have already purchased. An upsell campaign requires education, trust, and building genuine relationships. Additionally, businesses should upsell when it makes sense for the customer, and not for the business such as when a new product launches.