Lifecycle marketing is about “helping prospects to identify their pain points, educate them on it, discuss solutions—and do all of this before we begin to talk about ourselves,” writes Amber Bogie, Senior Director of Global Demand Generation at Reachdesk, a data-driven gifting platform that’s all about the customer journey. Amber shared her approach to lifecycle marketing at Reachdesk with the Pulse, common mistakes and how to overcome them, and why you should “never miss a chance to reach out and reward a prospect or customer.”
Start with the right message at the right time
We start by thinking about the prospect journey from start to finish, considering each stage they will need to go through and segment out the campaigns to support their journey. While not all lifecycles are created equal (AKA linear), we need to be able to support them where they are and ensure that the focus is about them in their learning and education journey.
What does this mean? First and foremost, it means the product discussion comes at the right time.
We first start with unaware accounts. We work to identify the problem, while also creating brand recognition. This drives them to the awareness stage, where we begin to educate them on how the problems are solved and what sort of tactics and strategies they can leverage to improve this pain point.
We then move on to talking about the solutions that support these strategies, and finish with introducing the product we offer, why it's relevant to their needs, and what they can expect from us as a provider.
The job of the lifecycle is to help the prospect identify their pain, educate them on it, discuss solutions—and do all of this before we begin to talk about ourselves. The goal here is to gain their trust in us and let them choose us as a partner, as opposed to convincing them to buy us before they’ve reached the point of buyer readiness.
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Common mistakes and how to overcome them
Common mistakes I see in lifecycle marketing? Treating prospects like accounts instead of people. Assuming that all buyer journeys are the same. Forgetting that most buyers have identified their solutions and vendors before they meet with a salesperson. Not meeting prospects where they are.
We need to overcome these by working with prospects to clearly define the problems we’re solving and educating them on these. This will help us establish trust—both from a brand standpoint and a sales standpoint.
Focusing on education throughout the lifecycle will help ensure that you’re supporting your prospects (as well as marketing to them) in the right way. Leveraging tactics such as gifting and direct mail can help you forge a connection, especially if you don’t expect anything in return.
Don’t forget the post-purchase journey
Never miss a chance to reach out and reward a prospect or customer. Keep an eye out on social media platforms like LinkedIn for recent professional or personal achievements and congratulate them with a warm message and a gift.
For active users, you should be recognizing milestones wherever you can, especially in a competitive market. Your long-term customers help maintain the value of your business and are a key source of word-of-mouth marketing. When they feel like you’re with them every step of the way, they’re more likely to continue the journey!
For prospects, you should be building these relationships from day one because the journey to advocacy starts before the contract is even signed. It moves beyond just a campaign and is shaped by their interactions with sales, customer success, as well as their onboarding and support within the product and partnerships.