Strategies and tips for building a customer Lifecycle
Before you create a new customer marketing Lifecycle in BlueConic, it's helpful to map out a plan, clarify your goals, decide which customers to include, outline the stages they will pass through on their journey, and decide what constitutes a successful outcome.
Key points: Designing a lifecycle
Here are key questions to answer as you design a marketing lifecycle:
- What are your main goals for using Lifecycles?
- How many lifecycles will you create? That is, how granular will your lifecycles be? Will you create an overarching lifecycle from acquisition to retention or multiple lifecycles within acquisition?
- How will you define the criteria that determine which profiles are eligible for a lifecycle or a stage?
- What data points are already captured in BlueConic that will serve as criteria? Which connections will import or export necessary data to and from your marketing systems?
- How do you define when a profile moves from one stage to the next?
- What defines a profile that has completed the lifecycle? What is the ultimate goal? (For example, convert prospects to customers, renew subscription, customer makes an up-sell purchase, etc.)
Mapping a customer marketing lifecycle
As you map out your lifecycle parameters, you need to establish these items that determine which profiles enter the lifecycle, how they move through stages, the interactions for each stage, and finally, the criteria that determine when a profile is counted as completing the lifecycle.
- Lifecycle criteria: When you establish the initial Lifecycle criteria, you specify the segments, profile properties, group properties, and objectives that serve as entry criteria for a profile to join the lifecycle. Note that lifecycle criteria are applied to all stages.
- Stage criteria: Which segments, profile properties, group properties, and objectives should serve as entry criteria for profiles entering a stage? Each lifecycle contains a default stage that contains profiles eligible for the lifecycle but not part of any stage. You provide a name and entry criteria for each subsequent stage. Note that stages are mutually exclusive: In each lifecycle, a profile can be a member of only one stage at a time.
- Touchpoints: Which marketing interactions should be associated with each stage? This might include dialogues -- are they already set up or will you create new ones? For connections, where does this data exist? Are there connection goals that already map to lifecycle stages (e.g. to add profiles to an email subscription list)? Or do you need to create new connection goals? For connections, it's helpful to consider systems in your marketing tech stack that handle interactions with customers and need to be configured to appropriately map to lifecycles or stages, if desired. Will you set frequency caps, or stage thresholds, to limit how many touchpoints affect each profile in a week/month/quarter period?
- Completion criteria: How will you determine when profiles successfully complete and exit the lifecycle?
For example, say your goal is to increase your current customer retention. You will configure the lifecycle for customers due for renewal in the next 60 days. Mapping out stages and touchpoints in a lifecycle, you can target messages and touchpoints to different stages in the renewal flow based on days left in their subscription or, by specific behaviors. Lifecycles is flexible and will allow you to configure how you want to target these customers across channels.
Once you have mapped out a plan for your Lifecycle, you're ready to create and build a marketing Lifecycle in BlueConic.