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Why Ecommerce Brands Need Customer Lifecycle Automation

This guest post was written by John Gallagher at Vektor Strategies & Marketing. John joined the Vektor Strategies & Marketing team, looking to leverage his English writing background in a full-time digital role. His content expertise helps clients scale both organic and paid traffic acquisition through online advertisement strategies and on-page content management.

It’s an immediate concern for any of our clients, regardless of their product or provided service, location, competition or size: understanding their customers. With virtually no exceptions, we see successful clients prioritize customer understanding by identifying consumers, segmenting into lifecycle stages and offering appropriate brand touchpoints.

Not so long ago, the customer understanding process was a reactive one – diagnosing the ways that consumers interact with your touch points, and testing for ever-greater efficiency. In the humble opinion of a tested digital agency, platforms that prioritize reactive audience tracking are now, at best, a step behind. Today, top-tier customer lifecycle analysis is always proactive: forecasting lifetime customer value even before a potential purchase, subscription or conversion.

Identifying change: Where 99% of customer lifecycle tracking falls short

Here’s where we’re confident that most customer data platforms fall short: they view both customer identification and service prescription as static questions and answers. Our clients find value in adapting to changes in their consumer base, but perhaps more importantly, as their agency we see a danger in one-time customer lifecycle identification. Our clients’ customers will change. The way their customers find their services will change. The way that customers interact with their brand will change.

Businesses that habitually dedicate time and energy toward reevaluating the customer lifecycle already understand the truth behind the customer lifecycle itself: it evolves. And our clients need a customer data platform that evolves with it, wielded by an agency which understands the relationship between the two.

As an agency, we need to examine a complete, unbiased view of a client’s customer journey, to fully indicate their clearest path toward growth. We’ve learned that comprehensive customer lifecycle tracking consists of two distinct but related practices: customer identification (who are a client’s customers?) and service prescription (what does the client have that consumers need?). Customers must be identified – age, education, occupation, location, etc. – before any client can pair a product or service with their individual needs. Whether it’s an international customer’s first purchase, a repeat buyer opening a post-purchase email sequence or an at-risk consumer engaging a winback campaign, the best approach to the customer lifecycle always marries customer identity and campaign.

Customer identity, solved. Customer outreach, automated.

Once we’ve appropriately segmented client audiences and identified channels to reach them, Zaius takes over. Their customer lifecycle automation process not only identifies ideal audience segments; it goes so far as to target them for us.

Zaius allows us to achieve something for our clients that we cannot find anywhere else: complete customer transparency. The tool outlines customers according to Purchase Frequency Stages – no purchase, one purchase, repeat purchaser or loyal customer – supplementing each segment with metrics on total revenue, total revenue, average days to conversion, average customer lifetime value, average order value and more. Identify exact customer numbers, and monitor purchasers as one-purchase consumers become repeat and loyal customers.

The Zaius Activated Customer Data Platform also executes proactive customer lifecycle automation at its best. We rely on Zaius’ forecasted customer intent to help our clients better identify true shopper value and act on current interest levels. Customers are classified into categories indicative of their current intention, from at-risk to recent buyer to considering

We dive even deeper into a client’s customer base through Zaius’ detailed category views, which allows us to divide and assess consumer engagement with brand touch points according to a multitude of factors. We leverage the unique array of customer dimensions that Zaius creates – from customer device to interest category to acquisition source – to answer the hard-hitting questions our clients ask about their own purchasers.

We’ve seen the results of this Customer Data Platform help transform client performance. Clients see decreased repurchase times, with automated campaigns that target customers who haven’t purchased within a set period of time. Brands experience increased average order value, pairing first-time offers or time-sensitive deals with customers acquired through paid search. Customer lifetime value is extended, as Zaius addresses frequent consumers with exclusive post-purchase sequences. 

And if you’re an agency, already satisfied with your current email marketing or customer outreach provider, Zaius isn’t looking to force your hand. Instead, you can integrate Zaius’ Customer Data Platform into your existing marketing outreach platform, to put the power of the automated customer lifecycle to work. You can even use the Zaius CDP simply to identify audience segments, before integrating them into your current email dissemination platform.

Customer data meets metric analysis meets customer forecasting

Here’s the issue: if you’re a brand without an agency, customer lifecycle management requires considerable, regular time contributions. It requires aggregated data from analytics tools, your CMS or point-of-sale system, social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, etc. Essentially, holistic customer lifecycle identification and segmentation first requires the collection of every metric from every touchpoint between your brand and any potential customers. That in itself is already a tall order, and that’s before any time is dedicated toward making sense of so many individual metrics. An agency is the perfect solution to the time crunch, but you’re still left without a platform to collect audience data and usher it into segments for targeting.

Enter Zaius – quite honestly, the only customer data platform we’ll ever need.

Zaius is all things customer data – data collection, integration with all popular marketing platforms and comprehensive data analysis. It’s the best possible tool for customer data collection, alongside the possible tool for metric analysis, alongside the best possible tool for customer forecasting.

We depend on Zaius for its unrivaled transparency when it comes to audience identification. Zaius allows us to create audiences specific to our clients’ interests: segment potential and realized customers by intent, visited web pages, purchase rate, etc. After we’ve identified our client’s audience, we can target individual segments with SMS, email or ad campaigns from virtually any platform.

Your journey toward a more successful business landscape needs to start with a firmer grasp on your own customer base. And Zaius really can help expedite that process: learn to automate and trigger each campaign with confidence; watch audiences segment themselves appropriately as you scale; address each segment through Zaius’ easy-to-use audience dashboard. It’s assistive, proactive customer lifecycle automation at its absolute best.

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