Big Growth from Little Tweaks

knobsWithout your customers, you don’t have a business. I think we can agree on that, right?

Right.

The simplest way to fix anything that’s wrong with your business marketing is to focus on your customer… more specifically, on the “lifecycle” of your customer.

The lifecycle of your customer has seven basic stages: Audience, Follower, Fan, Customer, Member and Evangelist.

AUDIENCE
They are aware of you. They know you exist and have an idea what you do.

FOLLOWER
Something about the message you are putting out has caused them to pay attention to you on social media

FAN
They like you. Your image or message resonate with them and they actively engage with you, sharing or commenting.

CUSTOMER
They have a need for your product or service and have decided to give you a try. Possibly more than once.

MEMBER
Your product and/or service they received surprised them. They identify on some level as a user of your product. They are loyal part of a like-minded community of other users.

EVANGELIST
They believe in your product so much they are willing to put their own reputation on the line and recommend you to their own friends and follower.

This, in a nutshell, is the lifecycle of a customer. Not all customers hit every single stage… and sometimes they drift back and forth. Someone might be a Fan, but never actually buy or use your product. But they might end up being an Evangelist anyway, just because their interaction with you has gained their trust.

Likewise, someone might buy your product never having seen you on Facebook or Pinterest. They might buy and buy and buy, but never become an evangelist.

But for the most part, it is a continuum. They hear of you, like you, trust you, give you a try, buy again and refer others.

And since each stage typically draws members from the prior stage, the population at each stage is smaller than the one before.

Let’s say 2000 people are aware of you, to make the math easy. 20% might follow you, giving you 400 followers. Of those, 10% become fans… so 40 fans. Of those, 10% might buy… so 4 customers. Of those, half (two) buy again and half of that (one) refer.

Let’s say you make a few small improvements across the whole lifecycle. Say 5% to each stage.

A five percent increase in your audience means 2100 people now know about you. And now 25% of those follow you, so you now have 525 followers. 15% of them gives you 79 fans. 15% of your fans buy, giving you 12 customers. 55% repeat (6) and half of them refer (3).

Assuming your product were $100, in the first example you have four customers who by and two who buy again for six sales. $600.

By working to get an extra 5% conversion along each stage, you now have 12 buyers, 6 who repeat, for 18 sales… or $1800. That’s thee times as many!

Do you think it would be harder to directly increase your number of customers by 300%, or to nudge an additional 5% from several different stages of the lifecycle?

Incremental growth– small tweaks to small areas– compounds to produce massive results overall. But it doesn’t happen accidentally. It takes a plan and a willingness to stick with it.

Danny Thompson is Associate Publisher and Business Marketing Specialist for H&F Media Group’s “Outdoor Lifestyle” family of magazines, Specifically, Gone Outdoors, distributed nationally and Alabama Active, the company’s first regionally targeted publication. If your market includes fit, active, affluent people– either nationwide or locally in and around Alabama– who like to travel, call Danny now. (205) 733-1343