A more fluid model for mapping content, and a different way to look at the “Buyer’s Journey”

Critics of the concept of the Buyer’s Journey say that it leads to a truncated strategic vision in your marketing campaigns. Funnels or pyramids that terminate once someone makes their first purchase ignore the reality that, in terms of marketing spend, retaining customers is far more profitable than winning them in the first place.

  • Attracting new customers costs a company 5X more than keeping existing ones.
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by 75%.
  • Chance of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, vs 5-20% for a new prospect.

A more strategic way of looking at the relationship with prospects, buyers, and repeat buyers is to call it the Buyer’s Lifecycle, or even the Customer Experience Lifecycle.

Content designed for one stage can be used in another, ready to share at any touch point with a prospect, buyer, or brand loyalist.

  • Customer experience + prospect marketing = integrated experience
  • Consider all education and information you provide as experiences with your business
  • Cornerstone content can be parsed into smaller bites for consumption by prospects and customers alike. An infographic that’s part of a larger white paper, for example, can be shared as a linked image on social media.

Know exactly what you’ve got, and exactly who you want to share it with.

Create an index of all of your existing and planned future content into categories from “light bites” to “deep dives.”

Make sure you have enough of each type of content, and map it out to different stages of the lifecycle.

  • Identify any components that can be clipped and repurposed for different campaigns within the lifecycle.
  • You will have many more opportunities to target both prospects and existing customers with relevant, timely information.

When you see your content as serving the relationship as part of a lifecycle, rather than as a journey with a fixed beginning and end, you can break out of the old sales funnel mentality and aim your efforts at creating trust, brand loyalty, and other values that build ongoing relationships with customers, and higher sales per customer.