Integrate a Customer Lifecycle Analysis, You Won’t Regret It!
Performing a customer lifecycle analysis is a great way to gain insight into, and help define, your customers. The Customer Lifecycle Journey can be grouped into a sequence of categories that help marketers “maximize the lifetime value of customers” in hopes to identify the chain of events in which a customer transforms from a prospect into a brand loyalist. Clearly identifying these stages of the CLC will help marketers figure out how to best assist customers throughout the journey. For example, certain incentives can be given to those that have been stuck in a certain stage to too long, in hopes that the offer will move them further along the path of becoming brand loyal.
According to RIGHTon Interactive, there are six stages of the CLC, and I believe they provide a great foundation to the study of a lifecycle analysis.
It is important to remember that the CLC is not all about getting customers to buy products. This is certainly part of the journey, but as we can see, the last stage of the journey is Advocate. To get customers to this stage of the journey involves more than feeding them offers to buy products. It involves developing an outstanding customer experience, in hopes that through the complete product offering and relationship, the customer will have no reason not to spread the word about your brand.
Performing a lifecycle analysis should also include measuring KPIs/metrics as a way to quantify the customer’s journey. According to Evolytics, metrics are useful in “Identifying relevant marketing actions that should occur to support consumer activities”. Using metrics will help a marketer understand how well they are doing at moving customers from stage to stage. For example, it would be important to pay attention to the following metrics:
- # of customers in each stage
- Churn Rate within each stage
- Average length of time a customer spends in each stage
Analyzing each of these metrics for all of the stages in the journey may provide clear answers to once complex questions about how to best reach your customers.
Right next to me on my desk is a GIANT stack of Bed Bath and Beyond (and Buy Buy Baby) coupons. Coupons of all varieties (20% off, $5 off $20 spent, etc.). I would add that my email inbox also includes coupons from BBB as well. In my opinion, something seems to be odd about the fact that I have so many of a variety of their coupons. It seems like BBB thinks that these coupons are the way to create brand loyalty; that seems reasonable, who doesn’t like coupons? Even after considering the greatness of BBB coupons, I am left to wonder why they give out so many, and why they seem to have no rhyme or reason? I have never felt like I received better coupons based on my shopping habits. I am simply receiving a random selection of coupons. The sheer fact that I am getting a coupon is not enough to make me feel like I was incentivized to perform an action, thus moving me into a different CLC stage.
Even after considering all of that, I must say that the CLC marketing strategy is completely left up to BBB to figure out. All of my speculation could mean nothing if they have a defined CLC that works perfectly for them. I can’t deny the success of these efforts; after all, I am “coupon-loyal” to BBB and will be going there soon to by a new car seat for my Daughter!