I wasn’t surprised to read, in a recent Demand Gen Report article, that today’s marketers believe that customer lifecycle marketing, or catering to existing customers, is just as important as acquiring new customers.
In the study, marketers said that their top priorities are identifying the most loyal and valuable existing customers; capturing and integrating multi-channel customer data; and personalizing their communications with those valuable existing customers.
“Marketing Automation is perfect for this!” I blurted out loud as I was reading the article, and of course, great minds think alike, because as I kept reading, adopting marketing automation technology was indeed presented as the way to solve these complex issues.
Marketing automation is very helpful for customer lifecycle marketing because of the same reasons that make it so helpful in successfully acquiring new customers. After all, we’re talking about a relationship here – an existing relationship that we want to maintain. To do this, we need to have an intimate knowledge of the customer, a very clear picture of who they are, what their needs are, and what they are currently using (hey, maybe we can identify something additional that they could use).
Marketing automation is very good at giving us this information, and armed with this knowledge, we can make sure our communications with these valued customers are just right – we want to provide them with the support that they need, gently inquire if they might need something else from us (while pointing to a pain point that becomes clear when looking at their data), regularly provide them with new and interesting information, and stay top of mind for the next purchase.
Of course, we want to do all of this intelligently, without ever becoming annoying.
Marketing automation enables this because it provides that clear picture, the knowledge about each customer that we need to talk with them intelligently; it allows us to track the customers and their actions, in response to emails or on our website, and make sure that whatever we send them is relevant and timely.
I can’t think of any better way to maintain a close relationship with a valued customer than using marketing automation. After all, customer lifecycle marketing is about relationships; about focusing on the individual customer, developing their relationship with your brand and driving engagement. This is the exact opposite of older methods of batch and blast email marketing, where you couldn’t care less about the individual customer or their needs, where each blast resulted in more unsubscribes than you could probably afford.
Marketing automation is the ideal tool for identifying the highest-value customer, building a close relationship with them, communicating with them intelligently, and making sure that when the time comes for another purchase, your brand is top of mind.