THE BEST CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGES IN MARKETING
Find below the best customer life cycle stages in marketing. Learn how to plan, design and manage your customer life cycle, increase your CLTV (Customer lifetime value) get your marketing to ultimately generate loyal customers. Download and edit this top framework chart.
By Mau. Global Head of Marketing Strategy at eDigital.
THE BEST CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGES IN MARKETING
What are the customer life cycle stages in Marketing?
The customer lifecycle stages in Marketing are the process of the prospective customers becoming aware of a product, getting interested in it, making a purchase and ideally becoming loyal to your brand for a long time.
The process is generally made up of four, five or six stages.
But forget all those old frameworks. They were designed when not many insights about customer behaviour were available.
I am about to show you the latest and most useful “Customer Life Cycle stages” design framework that divides the cycle into 12 clearly defined stages.
THE BEST CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGES IN MARKETING – IMAGE
What is that fun slide about?
It is a very, very, very slippery slide.
And that’s your job as a marketer.
You should design a very slippery customer life cycle to get potential buyers into loyal customers.
Yes, that’s right!
Your boss will love that you have nailed every single step of your customer life cycle and then designed a successful customer journey mapping that is extremely slippery (make it easy for customers to love your brand) in the shortest time possible.
Top marketers working for some global brands have booked my customer journey mapping workshop which will make it easy and take the pain away from the customer journey design thinking you need to be able to complete a successful customer journey mapping.
Popular read > What is customer lifetime value and how to calculate it?
Now, it is time for you to discover each of the customer life cycle stages in marketing.
CUSTOMER ACQUISITION PHASE
1. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: NEED
Part of your marketing activities and campaigns should remind potential customers of the general existing need (the need for the category to exist).
This stage is generally activated for brands creating a new industry/vertical with no competitors.
2. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: AWARENESS
Part of your marketing activities and campaigns should promote the existence of your brand. The advertising and marketing campaigns you run for “brand awareness” are pretty much telling potential customers that your brand is an option to solve a specific customer need, desire or problem.
Marketing campaigns for brand awareness generally just promote the brand name. They do not promote brand features or benefits.
3. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: COMPARISON
There are two ways you can help the potential customer’s “comparison” stage:
- Offer transparency through key product information so potential customers can easily compare your brand with similar providers if they wish.
- Offer comparison tables or benchmarks where your brand gets compared with similar products. This is a more direct approach and a more risky one as competitors may not like it.
4. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: PREFERENCE
In the customer life cycle “preference” stage, marketers provide highly valuable experiences and/or content to build brand trust and likelihood. They may use rational or emotional reasons to be liked.
5. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: TRIAL
With your help or without, potential customers may find a way to try your brand before committing their hard-earned dollars.
Professional marketers make the “trial” stage easy by offering samples, product demonstrations, giveaways, etc.
6. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: PURCHASE
You won the potential customer and now will go into the “purchase” stage.
The potential customer is ready to buy and your job is to make the purchase process as smooth as possible.
Yes, I know. Even some of the most popular brands make it hard for people to buy the product.
But that can be part of creating early excitement.
You just imagined the lines outside a Mac store waiting for the new release of an iPhone.
Generally and for most brands, you need to ensure the customer can buy easily, fast and in many ways they could: phone, website, app, visit the store, etc.
Marketers are using > The best Go-To-Market Strategy Template
CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT PHASE
7. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: EXCITEMENT
The time between purchase and finally receiving the product is the “excitement” phase.
Your job as a marketer is to make the product delivery process predictable, on time and with no issues.
8. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: USAGE
In the customer life cycle “usage” stage, you should show effective or fun ways for those won customers to optimally use your brand. Before issues arise, you need to educate the customer about how to care for and/or maintain in good shape the product or service they are using.
Think about a lot of cool content to be shared:
- Product care tips
- Maintenance advice
- Potential bug issues
9. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: EVALUATION
Customers have used your product and are forming an opinion about it.
Make it easy for customers to evaluate, review or give feedback about your brand.
10. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: RECOMMENDATION
When customers have a fantastic experience with your brand, they will be more likely to recommend your brand.
You should offer easy ways for these customers to share your product’s unique benefits with family and friends, and – if possible – reward them for having spent their valuable time recommending your brand.
11. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: ADVOCACY
Brand advocacy is far more than just a recommendation.
You know you have built “brand advocacy” when your brand gets into trouble and there are thousands of customers who will be happy to defend your business.
The task for you – the marketer – is to transform happy customers into product evangelists making it easy and fun for them to rave about your brand.
12. CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGE: LOYALTY
This is the “Nirvana” stage.
The final and ultimate customer cycle “loyalty” stage in marketing.
Marketers killing it at this stage are the ones who have built a fantastic automation system (generally using one of the best CRMs) to nurture and reward specific customer behaviours overtime that strengthen that loyalty towards your brand:
- High purchase frequency (Buy more often)
- Premium product purchases (Buy more premium versions of a specific “hero” product)
- Bigger shopping cart size (Buy more quantities)
Exclusive > How to write the best customer service plan
SOME BAD AND GOOD NEWS
Now, I have some really bad and good news for you.
The bad news is that just knowing about the customer life cycle stages in marketing is just 5% of the job. The other job 95% – and far more important job – is to map it as top marketers do when marketing the most successful brands.
The good news is that you can use the below Customer journey mapping sheet and do it yourself or you can hire me and I help you do it successfully.
This premium sheet comes with complete instructions on how to use it. No need for guesswork.
I know what you are thinking: You could just start from scratch and make your own. but that’s painful and time-consuming. Save time, help me and get into the sheet template straight away.
I will be delighted with your support and you will love using this exclusive sheet.
And do not forget that your company should be able to reimburse you for this purchase as it is work-related.
Get immediate access to the above premium customer journey mapping sheet ready on Google Sheets. You can also download it as an Excel file or PDF file.
Marketers are reading > How to make money on Youtube
Before you start using the customer life cycle stages as part of your marketing planning, let me tell you something you probably have been turning a blind eye to…
Social media is not helping your business
- Social media platforms are “money extraction” machines. Their business model is to make money from you.
- Social media platforms’ algorithms have been deliberately designed to lower your organic reach so you have to pay for ads to reach your followers. That’s why only 5% of your followers may see your posts (If you are lucky!)
- You keep trying to build audiences you will never own on social media. Yes, that’s right, for example, you cannot transfer your hard-earned social media followers to your CRM.
- Your customer acquisition costs from social media ads are through the roof.
I can offer you marketing strategy training that will help you:
- Lower customer acquisition costs.
- Minimise dependency on paid media.
- Build a marketing engine with marketing assets and channels you fully own.
- Craft the best digital marketing plan and social media strategy that boosts sales and customer lifetime value.
You will also like > The top 10 social media marketing trends for this year
Did you like our “Customer Life Cycle Stages in Marketing” image? Get immediate access and edit it as you wish on Canva.
eDigital can help you conceptualise, plan, develop, run and optimise successful digital marketing campaigns that generate leads and sales for your brand.
Our digital marketing services include:
- Strategic planning for social media and other digital marketing channels.
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- Celebrity and influencer marketing campaign strategy.
- Brand development. Logo creation, brand personality development and design of marketing materials.
- Consumer contests/competitions/giveaways.
- Email marketing. Dip sequence design and deployment.
- Conversion rate optimisation. It is also called “path to purchase” optimisation.
Contact us today and start boosting your leads and sales.
Final note: Want to reduce customer acquisition costs and dependency on paid media? eDigital‘s marketing strategy training will unmercifully review your marketing, help you build a marketing engine with channels and assets you own, stir your team’s thinking, bring new ideas for new conversion paths and boost customer lifetime value.
THE BEST CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE STAGES CHART
Mau is one of the most popular marketing consultants offering the best marketing strategy training and the best social media training. Top marketers use Mau’s popular Digital Marketing Plan and Social Media Plan templates.