The Customer Lifecycle: Discover, Explore, Commit, Engage

It’s time to let go of the marketing funnel. According to a new report out from Forrester Research, modern marketing campaigns need to adapt themselves to ways in which today’s consumers now make their purchasing decisions. Instead of a linear pathway leading from awareness to purchase, modern consumers now interact with brands via various touchpoints that companies may not be able to control. The best approach for modern marketing is seeking to connect with customers by building an ongoing relationship, something Forrester calls the “customer lifecycle.” According to Forrester:

only the companies which “obsess” over customers and combine engagement via new digital channels with traditional marketing methods to create complete brand experiences will succeed in the modern customer environment.

Forrester defines the customer life cycle as a process in which customers discover a need, explore their options, commit to a purchase, and then engage with the product or service experience. Successful companies must be able to build relationships with customers across all four phases of this life cycle through all the channels customers use to communicate. As customers discover a new need, brands must be positioned to communicate how their product or service meets that need, then be prepared to show the superiority of their solution as consumers explore their options. This may mean making comparison information available in a variety of mediums or clearly identifying conversion points to stress in marketing material. When customers are ready to buy, they need to be able to complete the process with zero friction however they choose—mobile, internet, or in-store. After the purchase is complete successful companies will continue to engage customers by soliciting feedback, encouraging customers to post reviews, or helping them engage with a larger user community to find support.

Companies who are able to position themselves to reach customers holistically will be in the strongest position to connect with customers across the entire customer life-cycle. USAN can help you engage your customers across all phases of the customer life-cycle. Contact us for more information about our customer engagement, customer service, and customer communication solutions.