As marketers, we focus on the customer purchase journey and the importance of providing relevant information to them at each point in the decision-making process. Typically, that journey starts when the customer first looks for a solution and ends when a purchase is made. But of course, that shouldn’t be the end of the relationship.
If we want to create life-long customers — and we do — we must interact long after the point of purchase. We need to create relevant relationships that last not just through the customer purchase journey, but through their entire life journeys.
A Typical Customer Purchase Journey – and Why It Sometimes Fails
Several years ago, a young couple bought inexpensive home furnishings from a retailer. Since then, the retailer periodically remarketed to them based on information from the their initial purchases. In the interim, however, the couple’s income doubled and they moved to a much larger home. Although the retailer sells higher end products, it continued to market budget-friendly ones to them, but those messages were no longer relevant. In time, the couple ignored the offerings, eventually unsubscribed from the retailer’s mailing list, and went to a competitor to buy higher-end home furnishings.
Imagine if the first retailer had access to up-to-date information about the couple’s identity and lifestyle and created timely, appropriate information and offerings that addressed their evolving needs? Instead of being ignored, the retailer could have become a trusted “go to” source.
A Customer in Hand
You’ve heard the old adage of “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush?” The same goes with customers. It is much easier to keep one than to acquire a new one and it’s easier to get a current customer to buy again than it is to get a prospect to make an initial purchase. Loyal customers are the foundation of the business — just 20 percent of loyal customers provide 80 percent of your revenue.
Keeping customers beyond their purchase journey and throughout their life journey can provide significant benefits for your brand. The question is, how do you know what meaningful messages to send your customers if they haven’t shopped with you in months or years?