It’s not a buzzword, it’s an essential element of our marketing strategy – personalisation. We have to talk to customers on their level. We have to engage with them in a way that is meaningful to them. We use our brand language, but we communicate in ways that relate to our audience. That’s why we segment. We tailor our message according to the types of customers.
Many marketers, brand managers and SME owners follow the segmentation of their sales funnel. There are different variations, but the sales funnel indicates the stage at which your customer is, the stages are:
Awareness – they know of your company
Discovery – they become familiar with who you are as a brand and resonate with that message
Intent – they see a value in your product or service and feel that you solve a need that they have
Purchase – they spend their money with you for the first time
Engagement – they continue to interact with you and become a repeat customer
Loyalty – they are now one of your advocates, they recommend you because of what you stand for, what you offer, and how you’ve influenced them
But modern marketers are re-prioritising. Since many modern customers crave a personal connection, we are focussing on their Lifecycle after purchase, evaluating and acting on current relationships and spending less time on the customers in the beginning stages of the sales funnel.
So, we’re re-purposing a section of the sales funnel into Customer Lifecycle Stages and building creative ways to market to those customers. We can further segment those stages this way:
Fresh – those who have just made a purchase
Steady – they keep coming back for more
Hovering – they always bring good business but haven’t made a purchase in a while
Gloaming – those who have lost interest
This is a method of segmenting your customers that could lead to newer and more effective marketing strategies which can be achieved by creating campaigns specifically concentrated on customers based on the stage of the Customer Lifecycle they are in.
Your Fresh customers need to be entertained. They need an engaging experience after purchase. Marketing campaigns to Fresh customers must focus on making the customer feel bliss around the purchase of your product. They must feel as if they made the right decision and know that you are grateful for their engagement and are thrilled to be going on a journey with them. Tell them about all the upcoming special occasions that they can involve your product in and how sharing the experience they’ve had with you with their closest friends and beloved family will bring even more joy. Invite them into a special and close-knit community.
Your Steady customers are your loyal brand ambassadors. Everything that you invite your Fresh customers to experience and engage in your Steady customers already do with glee! So, you need to reward them with exclusive offers. Really connect with them, make them feel special and ensure they know how valuable they are to you.
Your Hovering customers are those at risk of not making more purchases, but you want to keep them in the community because they used to frequently engage or invested the most in your brand, product or service. Here you can take elements from the strategies for Fresh and Steady customers. For Hovering customers remind them of the community. Some may have forgotten about the benefits, while others may have connected so strongly with your brand core that they might not have even joined. Mailing lists, exclusive social media groups, vouchers and special offers are all acts of value that can pull Hovering customers closer to you.
Gloaming customers are experiencing the sunset of their relationship with you. Here is where you evaluate your priorities. Nurturing the relationships with your Fresh, Steady and Hovering customers could be much more fruitful than spending the same amount of time on Gloaming customers. Depending on what else needs to be done to elevate the brand and engage with those who are already interested in interacting with you Gloaming customers could respond to an incentive, like the exclusive offers you offer your Steadies, but if they don’t bite then it’s time to close that chapter.
Remember today’s consumer is looking for a personal connection, and if you are true to your brand core, living the persona that your brand is committed to, it’s not possible for you to connect with everyone. Being authentic means that true engagement will be limited, but that exclusive group will be such strong advocates, and the value you find in each other will be so rich and deep.