A Lifecycle Marketing Dating Analogy

August 12, 2019

Corey Talking to a Camera About a Lifecycle Marketing Dating Analogy
Featuring Corey Pierson, CEO and Cofounder of Custora

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Customers, we have relationships with them just like we have with our friends, with our spouses — with anyone in life, when you're getting to know someone it's a different part of the relationship than when you've been married for five years. I think it's interesting that as marketers we don't necessarily communicate with our customers with that in mind. 

What do you do in the early stages of a relationship? You communicate, "Hey, here's who I am. Here's what I know about you from our first interaction and here's other things that you might be interested in." 

Whereas, if I have known you for five years, I know your bread and butter, what you might be interested and whatnot. I should be able to tailor my communication with you much more effectively. 

But in one case, it's a Let's get to know each other and another is I know you, let me do things that make you happy. 

E-mail marketing is the first place people think of because most brands have a welcome series.

Unfortunately, for a problem that is so profound as one-time buyer conversion, —I'm going to let you in on an industry secret — you can't fix your one-time buyer program with the welcome series e-mail. It's not enough on its own. 

First of all, you can do a lot better and you can help. You could do better than just a one-size-fits-all welcome series. You can react a bit more to what the person bought and so on but fixing the one-time buyer problem actually requires more than just e-mail marketing.

It requires finding the right customers in the first place. It requires flowing information about what is happening in the early stages of customer lifecycle back to people in other departments. How about the CRM team? Which demographics are converting? Which ones aren't?

I guess a couple of different points is there are marketing challenges in the "Get to know each other and convince you to keep playing with me or hanging out with me or dating me" phase. 

There's a different set of challenges in the "Things are going well and I want to keep them that way" phase. And there's a different set of challenges in communications and tactics for "Things are starting to slip" or "Boy, do I miss you" phases. "It's been so long I want you back." 

First things first, do you have different marketing programs in each phase? And then within them — knowing what we know about the impact of one-time buyer conversion or reducing churn — are we throwing enough at them?

Is it a simple rule-based, e-mail-only tactic? You're never gonna move the needle very much. Or is it a more holistic strategy, more deeply personalized cross-channel? Are we getting more teams involved in solving those problems as well? 

I think lifecycle marketing is a known thing and right now, the industry has it set to like volume three and there's an opportunity to really crank it up to a 10 and it makes a massive difference in the quest to drive increases in LTV. 

If we get the organization aligned around those things and we leverage technology that makes customer-focused initiatives a bit more frictionless, it's actually much more within reach to do that, to crank the volume up from the 3 to the 10.

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