Alright. So we’ve talked about how Inbound Marketing is the best marketing strategy for consistently captivating your clients while empowering active growth in a recent blog. Now, we’re going to go one step further and dive into lifecycle stages!Missed the first blog in the [The Inbound Method] series? Here's the link!
To begin with, how about we get the undeniable question out of the way:
What are lifecycles?
Lifecycles are ways of defining where your client or customer is on their buyer’s journey.
The whole idea behind lifecycle stages is to comprehend the questions your potential client is asking at each step in the buyer's journey, and then provide answers to those inquiries at each stage.
As you probably are starting to see, the buyer's journey and lifecycle stages go hand in hand, and your job as a marketer is to lead your clients through their buyer's decision journey. The most productive path to execute this is by understanding lifecycle stages.
Time to utilize some marketing muscles!
"Lifecycle stages allow you to give the right people the right content at the right time."
Now, we'll clarify this idea more indepth through an example of the lifecycles in the context of a designer aiming to reach a follower.
Someone that knows about your brand on a surface level. Perhaps they saw some of your pieces when scrolling through instagram or were told to look you up via a friend.
The question: Who is this designer? Do I like them?
This could be an email subscriber or someone that follows you on social media.
The question: How do I get more in contact with this designer?
This is someone that has communicated enthusiasm in a more tangible way. Maybe they’ve opened a certain specific of emails or reached out on social media.
The question: What does this designer stand for? Do I concur with their branding/message?
Marketing Qualified Lead
This is someone that has been reacting well to marketing activities and is viewed as an active follower.
The question: I’m tuned in. This designer evidently is talented. But are they worth my well deserved cash?
Sales Qualified Lead
This individual has communicated enough interest to meet all requirements for special sales initiatives. Maybe you include these individuals as a segment in your mailing list and offer them a limited time, exclusive item or a special discount, and so forth.
The question: Ok, this designer is worth my money… yet, I don’t exactly know what I want/need. What are my choices?
Let's assume you offered the sales qualified lead above. In this example this would be the limited time, exclusive item or a special discount, and they clicked through the email but ultimately didn’t buy. This would be an opportunity! They are terribly close to a sale.
The question: I’ve decided I want an exclusive piece by my new, favorite designer! What’s the least demanding way to get this?
Awesome! This individual just purchased your exclusive item and is now a legitimate customer. Now, keep on engaging this individual through email marketing and promotions to lead them to the next stage.
The question: Did I like what I bought over the long haul? Will I purchase from this designer again?
Now the individual is officially a client and an active follower. This individual is sharing your brand to the masses and is glad to do it. When you need customers to lead marketing efforts, these are the individuals to give exclusive deals to or even VIP perks so that you can boost the chatter about your brand through your supporters.
The question: How do I get more individuals to know about this designer? What reward do I get for persisting to spread the word?
Remember, you can utilize this for whatever sort of business you run.
What does a Sales Qualified Lead look like to you? Who is a Lead for you? The key is to define your lifecycle stages for YOUR business.
How to utilize this Information...
All things considered, if you can accurately define your followers or customers with explicitly defined qualifications at each stage, what does that allow? You guessed it, lifecycle stages permit you to give the right people the right content at the right time.
This is the key!
In the event that you can accurately define your customers by stage, you can know precisely which followers are actual customers or even brand evangelist. This is the optimal sales demographic, and your marketing efforts will be a great deal more powerful when targeting these specific individuals.
And how do you track this information?
There isn't any one way, but there are a lot of useful tools:
Facebook Audience Pixels - Gather information about your website visitors and optimize Facebook’s algorithms for effective ad campaigns.
Hubspot - The leader of Inbound marketing. This is the king of Inbound platforms.
LeadIn - Track how users interact on your site.
Mailchimp - Because it’s our favorite email marketing software. Utilize forms, surveys, and segments for the best results. Here's an email segmentation blog to get you started!
Segment - Collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere. Stream data to every marketing integration your team needs.
SumAll - High level fan trends.
There you have it! Chat with us below if you have any thoughts or inquiries, and be sure to read part one of [The Inbound Methond] series!
Ready for more? Check out the third part of [The Inbound Method] so you can kick ass content marketing!