Large companies do something called lifecycle marketing. It’s something you can do as a small business to gain a competitive edge and profitably grow your business whether you sell to consumers or other businesses.
Lifecycle marketing starts with the customer and their needs. The goal of lifecycle marketing is to build loyal, long-term customers. How? By using data about a customer and their behavior (what they buy, when they buy, how they buy, along with what else they look at and share) as a way to determine and trigger what information will be relevant and valued by them at each stage of their purchase cycle and over their lifetime as a customer.
Lifecycle marketing is about delivering the right message, at the right time, through the right channel (text message, email, phone call, printed mailer, invitation). It's about helping a customer learn to use a new product or service and helping them to prevent problems. It's about recommending relevant information, products and services and troubleshooting problems. It's marketing that considers the 360 degree customer experience: pre-sales, sales and post-sales support.
Lifecycle marketing uses software tools and smart people to replicate the experience a customer might have had long ago at a small town general store where the owner knew the customer personally and helped them with relevant information, tips and recommendations throughout their lifetime.
Lifecycle marketing to consumers is generally "reminder marketing" to get people to repurchase and to create awareness about new relevant new products or services. It’s also used to increase customer use of and satisfaction with a product or service.
For B2B marketers, lifecycle marketing is typically developed to increase renewal or repurchase rates or to increase customer/client spending or reduce pre/post sales costs.
What's involved to make lifecycle marketing work? A shift in thinking from "run a campaign" through mass marketing to more personalized 1:1 marketing enabled by technology.