Loyalty Marketing: Customer life cycle & How to build your strategy

Boris Helleman & Mariëtta Robbé Groskamp for Younikorn Marketing Blog – June 2020.


You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn Loyalty day-by-day”

Jeffrey Gitomer


In our last Blog you have read about Loyalty Marketing and the 5 ways to stand out. One of our recommendations to start with is to: start with the customer life cycle in mind and build your strategy around that. In this blog, we show you how to create the right strategy and make your (loyalty) marketing campaign a success! 

What is Customer Life cycle Marketing? 

Simple! All Marketing activities that you do within the customer life cycle. You can split the Customer life cycle in 5 areas: Reach, Acquisition, Conversion, Retention and off course Loyalty. Customer life cycle marketing is a strategy that encourages your customers to do repeatedly business with your company again and again. 

Something to keep in mind: a customer life cycle never ends! 

As you know even great products don’t sell themselves. A brand stands or falls on the customer base it can build. This is why you need to think about traction early and often, and build your company’s goals around achieving that traction. The most effective strategies involve trying multiple traction channels and being open to change. Each of these traction channels have proven effective for different companies, but which is the best for you? Well, it’s important to keep an open mind – don’t rule anything out in the very beginning.  


Ready to take notes from the 5 helpful tips? Those tips will help you to let your customer fall in love with you even more.

Did you know that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your existing customers? And It costs five times more to acquire new clients than to keep existing ones.  

1) Build a strategy around the customer life cycle 

Before you start building the strategy you must know your audience. It might help to split the (potential) customer base in different segments. Once the segments are known, you can also differentiate on behavior and value. Which will provide you with more knowledge and insights about your audience. Once you defined your audience, you can build the loyalty marketing strategy. You can create ambassadors for your brand and a build a model to predict potential behavior. 

Some brands wish to focus on the most profitable customers and engage in a special relationship through a high-end loyalty program. You can decide to give the best customers a higher quality of communication, offers and or services – which will help with a truly sustainable relationship between the company and the customers. Please keep in mind that a non-committed customer can climb up the stairs in becoming a brand promoter. Therefore, don’t just focus on one particular audiences and build a growth plan to get the customer from stage A to stage B. 

2) Celebrate it all the way 

 Start building your campaigns over the next 12 months. Map out known events such as special bank holidays, celebrations, product/service road-maps and so on. Jump into special dates that fits your brand. Such as; “World Candy” day if you represent a brand in candy. In general, you can also think of Valentine’s day, Christmas and other common but also interesting days. Once you complete the campaign calendar, this plan will provide a full end-to-end integrated marketing approach by theme and will become the basis for your content strategy. 

With the campaign calendar you can set up a targeted annual plan and equal split your communication to make sure that you are always in top of mind of the customer – even if they are not in purchase mode.  

Did you know: Birthday Campaigns generating transaction rates that are almost 5x higher than those of regular promotional mailings. 

3) Kill your darlings 

There are multiple channels nowadays to communicate with your customers. Email, for example, is still a powerful traction channel for reaching customers. However, it’s important to prevent that your message become spam. Find legitimate ways to communicate with your customer which will improve their connection with your brand and improving your traction!  

Part of this is that you have to kill your “campaign” darlings if they cause an overkill of communication.


“Measure what can be measured, and make measurable what cannot be measured”

Galileo Galilei 


4) Measure what can be measured 

Defining key performance (KPI’s) which will allow monitoring the effectiveness of the loyalty program/campaign. It’s very important to start with a control group of 10%. Besides the ROI calculations, the control group insights could be – in most cases – a real added value.  

A few KPI’s to keep in mind when you are analyzing your performance are churn or the average customer lifetime value. The spend and usage per stage in each life cycle moment and also take a look to your (potential) brand awareness. By following the results of the analysis and the collected data, you will be able to continually improve the performance of your loyalty marketing strategy. 

5) Show your true colors   

Make your brand stand out. This isn’t always easy. One of the things you can start with directly is to show your brand voice, dare to show your true colors. Get in touch with your customers, building trust and giving them a reason to believe you are best suited to help them or you are the best brand to identify yourself with.  

A recent example where a company shows their brand voice is Nike. They released an ad (created by Wieden + Kennedy) ask people to join the fight against racism in America following the death of George Floyd. “Nike has a long history of standing against bigotry, hatred and inequality in all forms,” Nike said in a statement. “We hope that by sharing this film we can serve as a catalyst to inspire action against a deep issue in our society and encourage people to help shape a better future.”

We believe that this ad is one of the best ways to speak out. As you know Nike’s slogan is: “Just Do It” because of this horrible incident and continuing racism they have changed their slogan to: “For Once, Don’t Do It”. Even their competitor Adidas reacted with a strong message, by retweeting this video and adding a powerful message! Representing what true collaboration vs competition is by sharing Nike’s ad. Together is how we move forward. Together is how we make change.  

In our next article we will provide you with more loyalty marketing insights. We are curious about your opinion, let us know in the comment section below.



Boris Helleman – Marketing Manager | T-Mobile Netherlands

Boris is the creative mind behind T-Mobile PrePaid. His experience with CVM campaigns based on AI, loyalty program “PrePaid Surprise” and the development of propositions allows him to focus on the customers needs without losing commercial momentum.  

He has been nominated by Adformatie, Nima Amsterdam and Platform Innovation in Marketing (PIM) for the award of Marketing Talent of the year 2020. Adformatie also included him in the list of Top 100 Best Marketers in The Netherlands 2020. 

Marhiëtta Robbé Groskamp – Country Director Netherlands | Velti 

Mariëtta has an international marketing and sales background and has worked for Microsoft, Dell, Orange, T-Mobile and several international start-ups. She also shares a lot of her knowledge online in her personal Blog. She works for Velti, a leading global player in innovative, mobile marketing, customer retention and loyalty based solutions trusted by hundreds of mobile operators, media groups and brands such as Coca Cola. 

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