Put Life Into Your Customers' Life Cycles

The term "closing a sale" is unfortunate. It reflects marketers' thinking that with the acquisition of a sale they can move on to something else.

Instead, the sale should be viewed as a unique opportunity to begin to engage the customer across what will hopefully be a multiyear customer life cycle.

According to a Forrester report on the customer life cycle, CMOs need to take specific life-cycle actions to win, serve, and retain customers:


Generic messaging simply is not working for consumers who expect brands to present them with experiences based on their interaction history. In addition, an Accenture study found 55% of consumers also want a personalized experience on all engagement channels.

Here are two examples of brands that are getting it right-and how.

BCBGMaxAzria: Use Automation And Dynamic PersonalizationWomen's fashion company BCBGMaxAzria has been in business for more than 25 years, but it did not have a customer life cycle marketing strategy. It did, however, understand that its customer base was divided into three different types of fashionistas, and each group required unique actions to become interested and engaged. It used marketing automation to capture customer behavior on the site to send triggered emails to the right customers at the right times.

"We had one welcome email and then maybe they bought, or maybe they didn't, and we would just batch-and-blast marketing emails to them," Tommy Lamb, manager of ecommerce marketing at BCBGMaxAxria Group, told MarketingSherpa. The company learned that generic conversations were not working, so it used automation to help achieve more personalized connections with customers.


The company reports that triggered email pushes average a 525% increase in click-through rates when compared to nontriggered sends. In addition, open rates have seen a lift of more than 220% when compared to the brand's nontriggered sends. The company is now working on customized landing pages so that when consumers click through an email, they will be taken to a page with the BCBG branding that also is dynamically populated with a personalized product assortment.

AMResorts: Use Data For Greater Understanding
AMResorts, a luxury leisure company, needed a better way to view its entire guest life cycle across its 37 upscale resorts in order to deliver more personalized guest engagement. It used a data solution to study consumer actions and gain insights that drove new tactics.

Guest data from all six AMResorts was integrated into one central data warehouse. This enabled guest segmentation to drive rules-based decisions on personalized marketing content and communications to three key life stage consumers: prospects, reservation-holders, or recent guests.

By delving deep into its data, AMResorts was better able to understand the impact of its campaigns across all digital channels. This, in turn, enabled the company to fine-tune specific messaging and actions relevant to each segment, thereby driving more personalized and meaningful communications, according to Erica Doyne, senior director of marketing of AMResorts.

In summary, customers will continue to expect greater relevance and higher quality brand experiences. The only way to keep them and deepen engagement is to provide increasing levels of relevance and value across their ongoing customer life cycle.


About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

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