Advertising Campaign Life Cycle – It’s no secret that engaging your customers is essential to achieving ongoing sales, and it’s well known that it’s usually much easier and less expensive to get repeat business from existing customers than it is to acquire new ones from scratch. Customer relationship management (CRM) is well established as a process to try to achieve this goal, but this customer lifecycle ‘relationship’ starts with the first contact with the customer (when they are still a contact or prospect).

We believe that the best way for a company or brand to build relationships is through an always-on marketing approach designed for integrated communications across multiple digital channels.

Advertising Campaign Life Cycle

To enable this, we are fortunate today to have many martech options for marketing automation, so we can create coordinated communication strategies to engage audiences through:

The Marketing Environment

This renewed focus by marketers on prospects and customer engagement, conversion and retention has led to the emergence of a new phase in the digital marketing lexicon: Customer lifecycle marketing, or sometimes just lifecycle marketing.

Create a managed communications or relationship strategy to prioritize and integrate the full range of marketing communications channels and experiences to support prospects and customers on their path to purchase using techniques such as persuasive personalized messaging and retargeting.

McKinsey’s user decision is one example of this life cycle, but it doesn’t provide details about the channels, so here we present a visual tool to help you check the gap between the life cycle activities you can work on and the activities you are currently doing, so that you can make improvements.

The first example of customer lifecycle analysis is for retail and B2B companies. We then look at examples of how analytics can be applied to individual channels such as email marketing and social media marketing.

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If you’re looking for a marketing strategy to reach and acquire more customers, we recommend using our RACE Growth System, which helps you identify opportunities, strategies and actions to drive your business forward. The RACE Growth System can be used at all stages of growth, from startups looking to create a digital marketing plan to enterprises at all stages of digital transformation.

You will learn more about our RACE Growth System and integrated customer lifecycle tools covered in this blog. Or you can download your free guide and get started now.

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To help demonstrate the importance of understanding the customer journey when managing communications, our RACE funnel highlights some of the many online marketing channels you must integrate to get the best results from digital marketing today.

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While some channels such as social media and SEO are well-known, we find that some marketing techniques that are always active such as remarketing and influencer outreach are less widely used.

This visual – developed for use as a ‘gap analysis’ in our training and consulting workshops – shows the typical lifecycle marketing activities that retailers and e-commerce need to manage across the lifecycle and across our RACE Framework.

I have also created a life cycle summary for B2B digital marketing activities because B2B marketing is different, with content marketing more important for demand generation.

Content creation for different personas is useful as part of demand generation at the top of the funnel and then lead nurturing at the bottom of the funnel. Other marketing activities such as email retargeting, Google Ads and LinkedIn can also be integrated in B2B.

Infographic: The Life Of A Digital Ad

However, I find that when training, often businesses lose some of these activities that should be ‘always on’. It can be useful to make a ‘gap analysis of your life cycle’ comparing the full life cycle with.

Originally coined as a term to describe their services by CRM provider Infusionsoft, customer lifecycle marketing promises to help you design a marketing plan to attract customers, grow sales and deliver great experiences. They break it down into three stages: ‘attract’, ‘sell’, ‘wow’.

We think Infusionsoft’s customer lifecycle model is great for thinking about the value of your customers over a longer period, and instead of reducing everything to simple conversions per contact, it’s often quite light on details like what the different steps actually entail. We’re not complaining – Infusionsoft is a great CRM – we should know, we’ve used it (Full transparency, we’ve moved to Salesforce / Pardot) – we just thought we could add some extra insights.

In reality, lifecycle communications involve a large number of touchpoints across the customer journey to achieve different goals with different types of emails, as this visual from Kath Pay, a consultant at Holistic Email Marketing shows.

Ways To Lengthen Your Product’s Life Cycle

Looking at the full life cycle potential above shows that it is important to ‘mind the gaps’, review all contacts and think about where you can use new types of communication or improve existing ones. Kath covers best practices for this in our new resource to help businesses improve their lifecycle marketing.

The chart below also shows how different channels can be used across various stages of the buyer journey. Important to consider when designing a lifecycle marketing plan.

Lifecycle marketing, as the name implies, involves examining the entire customer journey in an integrated manner, from first contact to customer relationship management rather than focusing narrowly on specific campaigns, channels or metrics. Rather than focusing on isolated campaigns, you should use an ‘always on’ approach to look at marketing as your entire customer journey, across all devices and channels and optimize your messaging to align with the various touchpoints along that journey. Because lifecycle marketing works across platforms, it’s important that the different teams running different aspects of your marketing can work together and all move in the same direction when using a  lifecycle marketing strategy. For starters, everyone needs to be on the same page and understand exactly what customer lifecycle marketing entails. Below are some definitions of lifecycle marketing from different departments/business types.

“Lifecycle marketing combines your e-commerce and email databases to produce personalized messages for your customers” – Kath Pay, Email Marketing Expert

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“The customer lifecycle is a term used to describe the progression of steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using and maintaining loyalty to a product or service” – Margaret Rouse, Tech Target

The customer lifecycle describes things on a continuum where you: 1) Claim someone’s attention. 2) Bring them into your sphere of influence. 3) Convert them into registered and/or paying customers. 4) Keep them as customers. 5) Make them advocates for the company. – Sterne and Cutler, authors of the paper that introduced the concept of the customer life cycle in 2000

“Customer lifecycle marketing (CLM) is an approach to customer communications that recognizes that different stages on the journey to becoming a loyal and active customer require different marketing messages and strategies.” – Ometria, Customer Personalization e-commerce analytics software

The definitions differ slightly from each other because of the different angles that various writers use to attack the problem. However, almost all point to some form of personalization being key to effective customer lifecycle marketing. This is important to get right, as effective personalization brings a host of benefits that can help you increase sales and retention, which are essentially the object of any customer lifecycle marketing plan.

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One major benefit of personalizing a message is that it recognizes the customer as an individual. By marketing one way to prospects,  another way to those who have already purchased a product, and another way to high-value, long-term customers, you can make your marketing message far more engaging and effective. Customers will also appreciate the personal touch, and you’ll prevent them from driving you away by bombarding them with messages that aren’t relevant to them.

The second major benefit of personalizing messages through customer lifecycle models is that they can align with the point in the lifecycle that potential customers are currently at. Marketing messages from brands that recognize where customers are in their individual life cycles and can therefore tailor messages more effectively. Taking a SaaS business as an example, it’s not good to ask someone who just signed up to a mailing list to learn more to immediately buy your ultra-premium business-level product, and likewise it may not be worth it to turn away a customer who has already shown interest in the business product high level against your free basic trial option.

Customer lifecycle marketing applies to all areas of marketing, but it is important to consider email marketing, as email offers the unique ability to reach your customers at a specific moment with a personalized message.

When done right, personalized email messages combine all kinds of data to deliver highly relevant and useful mail to customers. Below is an example of a properly personalized email done right.

The New Product Development Process (npd)

It’s important to consider how you can optimize your email messaging at certain key touchpoints throughout the customer journey, and so taking a step back and looking at the entire customer journey is a must.

Social media is one of the most powerful digital marketing channels because it can be used throughout the customer lifecycle

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