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Lifecycle Marketing: 5 steps to take customers from "suspect" to "advocates"

Jun 10, 2015

Customer brand advocate BI WORLDWIDE Latin America.


At BI WORLDWIDE, we use the principles of behavioral economics to create the best engagement strategies on the planet. We work with expert academics who advise us on the latest research on human behavior, engagement and decision-making. We use non-cash rewards and recognition to engage and motivate employees and sales teams. Check out our case study library to see how our customized and results-driven solutions have helped clients all over the world.


While transaction value is the most common measurement of a customer relationship, advocacy from a customer is marketing gold. Engagement deepens the customer relationship and creates opportunities to secure connections with new prospects in your customers’ networks.

Here is a real-life example that may inspire you to engage in deeper customer lifestyle analysis. A medical device manufacturer knows that the value of the first purchase by a clinic or hospital is $3,000. Huge, right? But for this manufacturer, data show that if the second purchase is made between 30 days and 60 days after the first, the increase in lifetime value of that customer is significant—more than $21,000 over other customers. If the second purchase occurs after the 60 days has elapsed, the future value is not there. These early second-purchase customers are also 50 percent more likely to be a customer a year later. So while a lot of effort goes into acquiring the customer, this medical device maker is investing in making sure the customer is happy, engaged and satisfied with the product immediately after the first purchase.

There’s a special high-octane fuel needed to nourish this type of lifecycle analysis and marketing program from start to finish: It’s called data.

Here’s a series of actionable steps for navigating the process:

Step 1: Data capture

Acquire and organize valuable customer data with increasing depth at each stage of the customer lifecycle. Data capture should start with the earliest, most basic terms prospects search online to collect information about products or brands in your category. At each successive step of the customer lifecycle, glean new data from various customer interactions to categorize a customer or potential customer into a particular phase on the lifecycle continuum and guide them on to the next step.

Step 2: Data manipulation and analysis

To choreograph this customer dance, you need to take a longitudinal look at your customer data. Most organizations do their financial reporting monthly or quarterly, so they tend to report on their customers the same way: How many new customers this month? What were sales last month? Customers don’t purchase or interact with your brand according to your reporting calendar. They do it according to their needs. That’s why it’s important to organize your data according to their behavior. Key off of the first purchase and create meaningful intervals to watch for subsequent purchases and interactions.

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