The Marketing Lifecycle is a SYSTEM that defines how to ensure you’re sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
It will be the foundation of your marketing.
Let’s start with a question…
Do you enjoy marketing or does it stress you out?
For some people, marketing causes them frustration, angst, and they would rather push it to the back burner. They’d rather focus on working in an area of their business where they’re confident and comfortable.
If that sounds like you, don’t worry. This article is here to help you turn that around.
Working on marketing can feel like there’s an endless amount of activity to do because, frankly, there could be!
There’s always “more to do” when it comes to marketing activity.
The key to knowing your goals and take all of the “stuff” you’re doing for follow up, for conversation, for lead generation… and channel that activity energy into a SYSTEM.
It’s important to have a marketing SYSTEM for your business that consistently attracts the right qualified prospects to you, and then supports converting them into lifetime clients or customers.
It’s NOT about which marketing campaign to run.
When it comes to marketing, a lot of people are just looking for the “magic bullet” that will allow them to immediately get more clients or customers
Well, I’ve got news for you… there is no one way to get you more clients. What works for one person, may not work for another.
I want you to understand the strategy behind successful marketing, and how to own and drive the SYSTEM that produces the results you need when you need them.
The purpose of this article today is to empower you to control your destiny and not be limited in your thinking about just getting short-term wins.
Let’s jump in.
An Introduction of the Marketing Lifecycle
As you will see in the list below, there are nine phases of the Lifecycle. Let’s go through them briefly one by one:
- Target Market – as you might have guessed its extremely important to be clear on who are the ideal clients or customers for your business. Some people call them your Client Avatar, others your Buyers Persona. If you are not absolutely clear on who your target client(s) are, then I suggest you block some time to work on this as I can’t stress how important it is to get this right.
- Attract Interest – is all about attracting people to either go to your website and fill out a form, pick up the phone and call you, or to just walk in to your place of business and say, “Tell me more about how you can help me. How do I sign up? What do you do?”
That’s where it all begins. That’s all part of the front-end process I call “top of funnel” to get things moving.
- Collect Leads – refers to capturing prospect’s contact information and adding them to your database so you can communicate with them consistently over time.
- Educate – nurturing is about developing a deeper relationship and engaging with a prospect so that when they’re ready to do business, they do business with you and not someone else.
- Offer – this is where you take friends, fans and “likes” and turn them into paying clients and customers that do business with you.
- Close – making the sale ☺
- Deliver and WOW – take great care of the clients and customers who trust their business with you. Deliver more value than people expect and make them feel good about doing business with you.
- Offer More – (also referred to as cross-selling) refers to additional sales that are made to a client after their initial purchase with you. When you do a great job and over deliver, clients see you as their advocate and value the support you give them. You’ll then have the opportunity to help them solve other problems and achieve more goals. This often includes professional recommendations for additional product and service offerings that are supportive.
- Get Referrals – if you do a great job, your customers will want to have the people they care about, their friends and family, experience the same benefits they have from doing business with you.
Now let’s expand on each of these different phases to make sure you fully understand what they can do for you.
Phase 1: Attracting Traffic
The world needs to know who you are and what you do.
If you’re hidden and nobody knows who you are or how to do business with you, they’re not going to find you magically.
You have to give them a reason to visit your website, check out your social media channels, and call or e-mail for more information.
The goal here is to generate awareness of you and your business through the delivery of educational, informative and engaging content that delivers on value and helps to display your expertise.
Phase 2: Capturing Leads
It’s not enough to just have people visit your website and then leave.
That’s of no value to you or to the prospective customer. When they’re on your website, you want to capture their details so you can continue the conversation through your emails.
You need to give them a good reason to give you their contact details. You want a system to capture those details and follow up with them.
That’s when you move into “The Nurturing Phase”…
Phase 3: Nurturing Prospects
Just like we water plants to help them grow, we invest time in communicating with people to grow relationships.
What do you do?
The leads that are hot to solve a problem now or get on and attack a goal, should be immediately engaged so you can convert them into clients and customers. You want to engage them in your sales process.
For the remaining leads, you want to nurture them over time so that when they’re ready to buy, they come to you and not someone else.
Let’s go over some statistics to show you why this stage is so important.
81% of sales happen after seven or more contacts.
Read that again. Seven or more contacts!
The facts are that 85% of the time, most business owners stop connecting after one or two contacts!
I remember coaching a client a few years ago who invested significant time promoting and running a workshop. They delivered great value and had a good number of people turn up.
They followed my instructions and had the attendees fill out their contact details so that they could receive the tools and handouts from the workshop. A few weeks later they were complaining that they needed more leads and our conversation went back to the leads they generated at the workshop.
I asked them how many had signed up and it transpired that this person had not followed up or sent anything to them. When he got home he simply stuffed the forms in a drawer and forgot about them!!
Don’t be that person!
Essentially you just wasted your whole marketing activity or effort because you didn’t nurture the relationship.
Just because they didn’t want to get married today doesn’t mean they’re not a candidate to date and do business with down the road.
It’s very important that you have a structured follow-up and nurture process. This is one key area I work with clients on.
I want to impress upon you that most sales happen after some time has passed. I remember when I was a personal trainer I was taking a prospect through a sales consultation.
Because of the answers, she had given me, I could tell she wasn’t ready to commit. She was clinically obese and needed to take urgent action for the sake of her health. Her husband and her mother had arranged for her to chat with me but it was clear that she wasn’t ready.
She wanted to do it for them but not for her. I told her that I would not be taking her on as a client at that time because I wanted her to want it. I gave her some things to do at home and a meal plan for her to follow and a subscription to my email newsletter. She burst into tears because she felt that at last someone was listening to her wants.
18 months later she reconnected with me having lost a lot of weight and had found a lot more confidence. She was a client for 4 years (until I moved away) and referred 5 more people to me.
The point of this story is to reinforce the fact that you have to nurture and invest in that relationship and give value early on to be successful. But it can take time.
This is VERY important, and one of the best tools I recommend you invest in if you haven’t already is a CRM platform such as Active Campaign, Convertkit, Drip or Infusionsoft. These tools are all geared up to help you automate your marketing.
I’m not going to go into great depth in this in this article. When it comes to nurturing, you can set a great process in place for what I call indoctrination.
It’s all about getting people to know you, like you, trust you enough to make them want to move forward in the next step in learning about you, speaking with you face-to-face and coming in for a sales consult, etc.
Here’s an example…
When people fill out your web form, they get plugged into a sequence which consists of automated emails and follow up phone calls so you can follow up with them, communicate with them, and convert them over time.
Phase 4: Converting Sales
This is where the magic happens, where you take all the work you did to attract traffic, capture leads, nurture them, and now finally you get the opportunity to engage them in your sales process to convert a prospect into a customer.
Phase 5: Deliver and Satisfy
Here is a formula I was taught a few years ago for delivering value…
CE + R + R = V
Client Experience + Relationship + Results = VALUE
Value is the sum of the experience that people have in doing business with you (in everything from visiting you at your place of business, calling you on the phone, communicating with you in different channels, e-mail, etc.) to the relationships they build with you, with your staff, with the other clients of the business and the results they get.
Investing and then proving every one of those, the Client Experience, the Relationship, and the Results will deliver more value to your clients and customers. That’s the key.
The more value you deliver, the more valuable you become, the more you can charge, and the more indispensable you are in their lives because you become a critical part of their life.
They’re not just getting a great service from you, they have made friends with other staff and clients, and when they become bonded to you.. they feel like an important part of your community.
Think about the products or services you deliver. How are you working with people? How are you delivering the results they seek? The community you create and the relationships you build are ALL part of delivering and satisfying.
When you crush that, when you have a great product, a great experience and service for the people you serve, your business is going to prosper and be successful for a long time to come.
Phase 6: Upsell
Upselling (or cross-selling) customers is really where you get the opportunity to help them more.
If they came in to solve a problem, you’ve delivered tremendous value in that experience, they love you and they want more, you created what’s called hyper-responsive clients.
They’re open to following your professional recommendations regarding other products or additional services that you may recommend that compliment or enhance their original purchase.
Phase 7: Get Referrals
The same hyper-responsive clients will also be an incredible source of referrals.
Referrals can come from current clients or customers, former customers, unconverted prospects, and partners.
Referrals can come from all sources but you will want to grow your business from the inside out and grow the referral network that you have. You do that in this stage.
Where to Start on your Marketing Lifecycle (it’s not what you think)
Now that you understand all of the phases of the Marketing Lifecycle, it’s time to start making progress with your marketing.
You might think, “Great. This all starts with traffic, right? That’s the first stage and until I generate some good amounts of traffic nothing else matters?”
Actually, that’s wrong.
Good marketing starts with well-defined sales targets.
Before you start engaging a marketing activity, you have to know the results you want to produce. You need to have a target that you’re going to focus on and go hit.
That means getting really clear about the number of leads that you need in your pipeline and nailing down a number of qualified consults you need to hit your sales targets and goals.
Know your targets.
Let me give you an example here…
Let’s start with a sales goal of eight new clients and your close rate is let’s say, at 80% with your sales process. You want to determine how many qualified consults you need.
You know the sales goal, eight clients, times 100, divided by the close rate of 80% equals the number of qualified consults – so you need 10 qualified leads to get the eight new clients that you want to hit for the business to be successful and hit the client target goal we have for the month with your sales process.
The value of marketing is really to support your sales process.
You have to connect those two together, and get really clear on the outcome and the number you need to achieve so that you can focus and hone in your strategy and your creative pieces (i.e. your marketing materials) to make sure you’re hitting that number.
So there you have it, an overview of the Marketing Lifecycle. I hope you have found this useful.
Andrew Wallis is a business consultant whose primary focus is helping fitness business owners see the wood for the trees. He is LifeStyle180’s marketing expert specialising in building, creating and integrating solid marketing strategies and tactics into his client businesses. He loves to stick his head under the bonnet of their business to make sure it runs efficiently and effectively. Prior to running his own PT business in the UK and Australia, he spent 20 years in the offshore finance industry managing property and investment portfolios of the rich and famous. When he’s not at work, he enjoys traveling the globe.