Troy Burk, CEO and Founder of Right On Interactive, shared this thought provoking article with us, and we want to share it with you!
An introduction to Customer Lifecycle Marketing
By Troy Burk
It’s often been said it’s easier and less expensive to retain or upsell a customer than to bring on a new one. But, companies continue to allocate the majority of their marketing spend on generating more leads. If I were a VP of marketing, and I received bonuses based on the number of leads I generate, which turn into sales – then, of course, I would focus 100% of my attention on driving more leads. The million-dollar question is: how much (percentage and actual revenue) can you truly show was sourced from marketing? Reports I have read say 25% is a very high percentage, even for best-in-class B2B companies.
Let’s look at it from the VP of sales point of view. You have a field-based sales team with ten representatives. In each territory, you identify 20 ideal targets:
Your first option is to wait for marketing to put one of these folks in the funnel, qualify them and then pass to the sales team. Or you can attempt to drive your sales team to engage with each of the 20 targets through their efforts and networks. With this option, the 20 targets will go directly into the sales pipeline, bypassing the marketing funnel entirely.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing is about tracking, scoring and engaging all customers and prospects based upon where they are in their relationship with a brand. It challenges the concept that all business is generated from marketing and all leads flow through a marketing funnel before the sales team (or others in the organization) engages with them. It is a paradigm shift that places a much more important emphasis on the marketing function – not just about generating leads and passing them to the sales team. It’s about understanding the business: Identifying who your best customers are and driving engagement throughout their customer experience. Happy, satisfied and loyal customers will drive more revenue than the old school, “fill the funnel with leads” approach.
Simply put, lifecycle marketing is a different way of looking at your business – across all stages of the customer experience. Marketing plays the critical role of ensuring the right programs and campaigns (sales, marketing and client success) are all working together to drive engagement with the best prospects and customers to move them forward in the relationship, regardless of their stage.
At the end of the day, it is all about identifying ideal prospects that are interested in learning about a brand and its products and/or services. Scoring (both for leads and customers) allows sales and marketing teams the ability to maximize teams and resources, improving the prospect to conversion ratio. Think of it this way, you can prequalify leads and target ideal fit prospects when they’re receptive and ready to buy, instead of wasting time (and budget) on people who are missing either the budget, authority, need or the right timing.
CEO and Founder of Right On Interactive
Troy Burk is a recognized thought leader and speaker on the topics of lifecycle marketing, marketing automation, lead scoring and nurturing, and email marketing. Troy earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and three children where he serves on the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s Membership Marketing Committee and is involved with youth sports.