The ultimate goal for any marketer is to win over new customers while, ideally, retaining existing ones. Multiple marketing activities work together towards this goal and are backed by extensive sets of customer data.
When thinking about getting and retaining customers, many marketers look towards the marketing funnel. This important sales process shares many aspects of customer lifestyle marketing, but it’s not as in-depth of a process. With the funnel approach, the goal is more geared towards getting as many people through the funnel as possible. This approach, instead, looks more like an ever-growing spiral that keeps customers engaged.
Here’s a breakdown of what exactly customer lifestyle marketing entails, how it works, and how to start implementing it today.
What is Customer Lifestyle Marketing?
A huge chunk of customer lifestyle marketing focuses on retaining customers, which many businesses are happy to do anyway since it’s well established that keeping customers is much cheaper than gaining them. Keeping current customers interested requires an “always-on” approach. Much of which can be achieved using automated marketing.
Companies that focus on persistent (automated) marketing usually implement a combination of the following:
– Chatbots on websites and social media that are like 24/7 customer support.
– Pre-built email campaigns that diverge based on people’s data or actions, including birthday emails, product recommendations, and win-back sequences.
– Display ad retargeting based on people’s online behavior and interests.
– Outreach about abandoned shopping carts.
Keeping it Personal
Much as the “lifestyle” part of customer lifestyle marketing would imply, it’s all about tailoring the experience. People respond better when they feel important to the company. And this requires hyper-focused campaigns that are tailored to the individual. Of course, that does require at least some automation to make the process easier, like the examples mentioned above.
A Multi-Pronged Approach
In customer lifestyle marketing, every component has to work effectively together, to attain the customer and ensure repeat support. This includes in-person and offline touchpoints like billboard ads and all relevant online channels like social media, email, and web-based marketing.
Even sales or customer service over the phone has to form part of this unified experience. Many touch points across the whole customer journey need to be targeted for this process to be effective.
Omnichannel campaigns are by nature designed to provide a consistent brand experience that creates brand recognition and fosters loyalty. This approach is at the heart of customer lifestyle marketing as the brand has to meet the customer where they are. It also has to create a seamless experience and touch upon different needs and areas in their life.
How to Implement Customer Lifestyle Marketing
Most marketing campaigns are backed by research. Research informs and guides every goal and action throughout the whole process. It also won’t work to do some research at the start and then build an entire campaign around that. Because customer lifestyle marketing focuses on a personal approach, it requires constant analysis and adjustment.
Start at the Beginning
Examine all of the data, pinpoint all key stakeholders, develop audience profiles, identify all touchpoints, and create targeted experiences to draw customers. Then examine what went wrong, what could have gone better, and what worked the best. Use that information to refine the process and develop new approaches.
Every step is an important part of the process. The key here is: actually, start.
Nurture then Repeat
Use available tools like email automation to keep that link alive and drive engagement so that the brand is regularly visible. Part of nurturing is figuring out the customer’s needs and frustrations, where research once again comes in.
Why didn’t they open this email versus that one? Why did they put these items in their cart but then abandon them? Answering these questions can lead to new information that can change the conversation and result in newly converted or reconverted customers. The existing model has to be improved as time goes on to fill in newly discovered gaps and create new customer touchpoints.
It’s a lot of work and extra admin, but the results speak for themselves. It results in better word-of-mouth, increases the company’s visibility, and reduces customer churn.
The key to mastering the customer lifestyle marketing approach is studying the whole customer journey and implementing a targeted strategy at every important touchpoint. This should always be informed by accurate data and constant adjustment in approach so that the customer feels valued.