Marketers instinctively understand the need to build prospect and customer engagement. But this cannot be done effectively using the old funnel model. The two strategies do not align. Instead, implementing marketing plans to nurture individuals or organizations over their customer lifecycle illustrates a paradigm shift in marketing strategy. It places an emphasis on marketing that goes beyond generating leads and passing them to the sales team. It recognizes that the nurturing of the relationships does not stop at the handoff; it continues past the qualification, and even past the sale.
The Customer Lifecycle Marketing approach recognizes that prospects and customers move through phases in their relationship with a brand, from initial contact to a fully engaged relationship. Marketers play a crucial role in this scenario, communicating with prospects and customers across all channels to drive engagement and movement through the lifecycle.
Forrester has framed this approach as the Customer Experience, and the role of the marketer is to define and manage the full Customer Experience. The article’s premise regarding the need to manage the Customer Lifecycle dovetails with Forrester. Point: stop thinking about funnels, and start shaping your technologies around the lifecycle.
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