August 13, 2020
 min read

Bringing the Lifecycle Marketing Sandwich to Work

Team Simon

Last week, we showed off our latest recipe, the Lifecycle Marketing Sandwich, which, in all seriousness, is how you should be thinking about your marketing program to design campaigns for effectiveness and efficiency.

Better customer experience through lifecycle marketing

But first, let’s acknowledge...

It isn’t easy

It’s not even easy writing about it, let alone doing it. Across the board, marketing teams face significant obstacles to developing customer loyalty, generating engagement, and even getting internal operations to work well enough to enable a successful lifecycle marketing program.Even when you wrap a successful campaign, which itself wraps a killer quarter, which ends a career-making fiscal year, you realize that there’s no war to be won, just battles. And harrowing stats — like the well-designed ones we’ve laid out below just for you — will haunt you in your sleep (or, more accurately, lack thereof).

bad news bears

Bringing the Sandwich to work

The Sandwich is essential is because it consolidates the three drivers of any business:

  1. Acquiring customers
  2. Satisfying customers
  3. Retaining and growing customers

These are not marketing-specific concerns; the entire business is accountable for each of these pieces. It might look like splitting hairs to say that satisfying customers and retaining customers are two separate goals, but it’s not. For instance, you could sell a plane ticket to someone who hates traveling but absolutely must fly this one single time. Whether that customer has a positive experience or not, you will not retain them as a customer, but you might gain them as an evangelist. Obversely, there are plenty of people who hate their banks, but because it’s tied to their credit cards, their direct deposit, their investment accounts, their savings account, etc., the switching cost is too high. They are a retained customer — an oblivious marketer might call them “loyal” — but they will certainly not evangelize on their bank’s behalf. The above are examples of customer context, which we’ll write about more in the coming weeks. The short of it is that customer context is the essential ingredient of effective marketing. And let’s agree that “satisfying” and “retaining” are two different things. Now, moving on:The Bank of Twin Peaks has determined that the best Overall Business Objective for Q2, 2021, is to increase its number of open, active checking accounts by 10%, YoY.The Marketing Department has three big levers at its disposal. They could

  1. Increase leads to increase registrations.
  2. Increase activity in dormant accounts to increase the number of accounts considered “active.”
  3. Reduce YoY attrition.

Right now, they’re just staring at spreadsheets (or staring at walls hoping the spreadsheets will go away). By adding customer context to these numbers, the Marketing Department can get a better idea of how to meet its OKR. Then they enter the Middle of the Sandwich (it’s Twin Peaks; anything is possible).

The middle of the sandwich is the best part

Twin Peaks is a small college town. Through illuminating customer context, they learn that most students move away after graduation to nearby big cities, where they open accounts with larger banks, which is where they see the vast majority of attrition, especially in Q2, which coincides with graduation. With that context, the Marketing Department now knows that they must engage account holders most likely to leave town soon (read: disloyal owners). The team’s content-level objective now centers on increasing app downloads among this segment to encourage retention. Suppose those leaving town at the end of the semester engage with the app and know that they can enjoy a seamless banking experience with The Bank of Twin Peaks no matter where they move. In that case, it dramatically reduces the likelihood of attrition. Secondary marketing objectives move into the buy more category. These objectives might include increasing the number of open savings accounts within that segment or increasing the number of customers in that segment who connect their account with Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle. The underlying objectives of these tactics are to increase usage, demonstrate convenience, and reduce attrition by improving loyalty. The Marketing Department could have focused their efforts on acquiring new customers in the form of incoming freshmen. They already have programs set up to capture this audience, but a high attrition rate may have canceled out gains in acquisition. Now that they’ve made moves to plug their leaky bucket, the Bank of Twin Peaks can look forward to a much faster path to growth. Join us next week, where we’ll dive deeper into how to better mine and put to use customer context.

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