Do you have different marketing strategies for interacting with customers at each phase of the customer lifecycle? Most businesses don’t, but they should. The cost of acquiring a new customer can be quite high– think of traditional metrics like CPM, CPC or less traditional ones like the time spent making unfruitful sales calls and writing proposals. However, the cost of keeping a customer is usually much less. (Additionally, the cost for getting referrals from your customers is often nothing.)
There are many different customer lifecycle models, but I like Steve Yastrow’s. In fact, he wrote a great article about the topic, “Most Companies Stop Marketing.” Here’s his model:
As illustrated, most businesses focus their marketing on helping customers learn about them, then slack off when it comes to purchasing and the ongoing customer relationship. Think of it like the cable TV, wireless phone provider or car insurance model: reel customers in with a great deal, then see how much hassle you can get them to put up with before a competitor entices them with a better deal. Most businesses aren’t quite as blatant as this, but the result is the same– customers get upset or bored with them and move to a competitor.
Your business will have an incredible competitive advantage if you develop and implement marketing strategies for keeping your customers. When competitors lose their customers, those customers will come to you. And these customers will stay with you, breaking the cycle of fickleness.