What Is Lifecycle Marketing?

lifecycle marketing

The conventional wisdom is that attracting a new customer costs five times more than retaining an existing one.

That means that every person who prematurely exits your sales funnel is not only a lost sale, they’re actively costing your small business money.

The problem is that in a sales funnel, movement tends to be linear. The potential customer starts at the top and (hopefully) makes it all the way to the bottom. But what if the process was more fluid? What if your potential customer could enter at any stage in the game, rather than starting at the top? What if they could easily re-enter a stage that they’d previously quit, rather than having to go through the entire process again?

That’s lifecycle marketing. Instead of an expressway that leads to a single destination, lifecycle marketing functions more like a roundabout with multiple entrances and exits. And done correctly, it can help you retain existing customers, win back those who have exited too early, and seamlessly merge new people in, too!

The Four Stages of Lifecycle Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute’s Julia McCoy lays out the four basic stages of lifecycle marketing: Awareness, Interest and Intent, Decision, and Loyalty.

  • Awareness is, unsurprisingly, making people aware of your brand. It’s the Google ad, the Facebook post, the friend who says “Hey, you have to check this place out!”
  • Interest and Intent is where you grab a potential customer’s attention. You’ve dropped the hook and they’re circling it, trying to decide if your bait is better than the competitors.
  • Decision is where the action happens. The customer has decided that your worm is the most attractive in the pond after all and they’re ready to seal the deal.
  • Loyalty comes after the sale. And it’s a step that many small businesses skip, often to their detriment. In this stage, you’re actively trying to earn their repeat business and even encouraging them to become an ambassador of your brand.

Content for Every Stage of the Lifecycle

Now that we’ve defined the stages of lifecycle marketing, it’s time to talk about what type of content works for each step of the process. Someone who has never heard of your small business is unlikely to download a jargon-heavy whitepaper, for instance – they’re just not at that step yet.

  • Awareness: In this stage, it’s all about sharing your story, building trust and getting your brand in front of people. Create informative blog posts and engaging social media content. Make sure your website is up to date. Share kudos from your existing customers. All this will help on the “getting to know you” front.
  • Interest and Intent: Once people learn the basics about your small business, they’ll move naturally into the interest and intent stage. This is where the content can get a bit more specific. Potential customers might appreciate things like product reviews or demos, whitepapers and infographics. Offer them the information they need to move on to the next stage without overwhelming them.
  • Decision: We’ve reached make-or-break time. Now is the time to ramp up your in-person efforts – live video chats, webinars, face-to-face conversations, etc. Selling the human connection along with the product works well here.
  • Loyalty: The loyalty stage occurs after the sale has been made. Your goal here is to keep the customer coming back for more. Send out thank-you correspondence. Hook your customer up with a coupon for their next purchase. Make sure they’re the first to know about new products and services. Actively work to show your customers that they weren’t forgotten as soon as money changed hands!

Lifecycle Marketing Reimagines the Marketing Funnel!

The traditional marketing funnel still works well for many small businesses. The downside is that when people inevitably get lost, they stay lost. Lifecycle marketing makes it easy to pick the wanderers up and get them back in the process right where they left off!

Mischa Communications is ready to meet you wherever you are in the lifecycle. We’re just a click away!