If you are not familiar, customer lifecycle marketing is the strategy of effectively mapping your marketing content and messaging to each of the different stages of the consumer’s shopping journey. This goes from initial awareness through to becoming a loyal, evangelist customer and nurturing them appropriately along the way.
The FTC has reiterated multiple times that their expectation is that the consumer experience needs to be upfront with clear disclosures and that the overall consumer shopping experience is one of informed consent and honest, transparent marketing messages.
What marketers are missing in their programs that makes customer lifecycle marketing appealing
The trend toward customer lifecycle marketing is really heating up now because of timing. There’s more data, there’s better technology, and the LUMAscape and Martech Landscape have expanded exponentially in the past few years. The depth, including the ability to build ID graphs off of device IDs, have shifted the way we approach and engage the educated consumer. Buying behavior and knowledge have changed drastically as more and more consumers are mindful of cookies, privacy controls, and retargeting ads.
As a result, consumers have raised the bar for marketers. They now expect brands to speak to them in meaningful ways throughout the stages of their shopping journeys. Facebook Lead Ads is a prime example of this, as consumers are willing to opt into ad funnels, engage with brands, and convert into customers. However, on the flip side, they are quickly turned off by getting the wrong message at the wrong time; and this can cause irreparable damage and cost your brand any future opportunity with a consumer.
Where is this topic on the hype scale?
Marketers have been talking about the consumer journey and have been practicing customer lifecycle marketing for years, especially in the area of specific vertical expertise. Marketers of lifestyle brands and products for life stage events have been especially focused on the consumer journey. From getting married to having a child to buying a home they have always been focused on understanding and optimizing messaging to the right consumer at the right time during the purchasing journey.
With that said, I believe the buzz around the customer journey has reached a new phase of the hype cycle. Likely, this has been catalyzed by the intersection of access to more data, which enabled deeper insights to account based marketing, people based marketing, technology, and awareness. Whereas customer lifecycle marketing may have been for specific brands and products or for black belt marketers, it’s now becoming accessible to all brands and marketers as an in-house focus or leveraged (and expected) via agencies and third party platforms and “stacks”.
As more marketers start tapping into the data that allows them to have insights into their consumers’ journeys, it will be interesting to see how much more effective it will be when they are providing the right messages and content at the right time for each stage of the buying journey. And of course, the question remains, how will consumers react?
Rob Rokoff, SVP Corporate Development