Join us at The Whalies • April 10th
Get Your Ticket
Customer Lifecycle Journey Mapping: What You Need To Know

Customer Lifecycle Journey Mapping: What You Need To Know

Last Updated:  
March 18, 2024

The lifecycle of your customer should take center place in your business strategy. With customer lifecycle journey mapping, you can use data to optimize and improve the entire customer experience from start to finish.

Buyer's journey mapping is a process that helps businesses understand how their customers move through their buying cycle. Customer lifecycle mapping takes this one step further, by tracking customers throughout their entire relationship with the company - from initial contact right up until they become loyal advocates of your brand.

In this article, we'll look at how both buyer's journey and a customer lifecycle map work together to help you better understand your customers' needs and behaviors to maximize marketing effectiveness and drive sales growth.

What are Buyer's Journey Mapping and Customer Lifecycle Mapping?

Let us break down the definitions of buyer's journey mapping and customer lifecycle management for you in a casual tone.

Buyer's journey mapping is a process of visualizing and understanding the different stages a potential customer goes through before making a purchase. It involves identifying the touchpoints or interactions the buyer has with your brand and analyzing their behavior, motivations, and pain points at each stage.

For example, let's say you run an online clothing store. The buyer's journey for a customer looking to purchase a new outfit could include the following stages:

  1. Awareness: The customer becomes aware of your brand through social media ads or recommendations from friends.
  2. Consideration: The customer visits your website, browses your products, and compares prices with other stores.
  3. Decision: The customer decides to make a purchase and adds items to their cart.
  4. Post-purchase: The customer receives their order, and you follow up with a post-purchase satisfaction survey to get feedback.

By mapping out this journey, you can better understand your customer's needs and create targeted marketing strategies that resonate with them at each stage.

On the other hand, customer journey mapping is the process of understanding and managing the customer relationships and journey with your brand from the moment they become aware of your product or service to their eventual departure. With the help of customer journey analytics, it involves identifying the different touchpoints and interactions a customer has with your brand throughout their relationship with you.

For example, the customer lifecycle for a subscription-based software company could include the following stages:

  1. Awareness: The customer learns about your software through online advertising or word-of-mouth.
  2. Acquisition: The customer signs up for a free trial or purchases a subscription.
  3. Onboarding: The customer receives guidance and support to help them set up and use your software.
  4. Retention: The customer continues to use your software and receives regular updates and new features.
  5. Advocacy: The customer becomes a brand advocate, promoting your software to others.

By mapping out the customer lifecycle, you can identify areas where you can improve the customer experience and increase customer retention. You can also create personalized marketing campaigns and communication strategies that target customers at different stages of the lifecycle.

Why Your Business Should Create a Customer Lifecycle Journey Map

Creating a customer lifecycle journey map can provide valuable insights for your business. Here are some of the benefits of creating one:

1. Increased Customer Understanding

By mapping out the customer lifecycle, you can get a better understanding of what your customers need and how they interact with your brand. This allows you to create targeted marketing and communication strategies that are tailored specifically to your customers' needs.

2. Improved Customer Retention

By understanding the customer lifecycle, you can identify areas where you can improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. This helps reduce churn and improve customer loyalty.

3. Increased Profitability

Targeting customers at different stages of the lifecycle with personalized campaigns allows you to drive more sales and increase profits for your business.

4. Improved Efficiency

Creating a customer lifecycle journey map can help your team identify areas where processes can be streamlined and made more efficient. This helps reduce costs and improve productivity.

By creating a customer lifecycle journey map, you can get valuable insights into your customers and create better strategies to maximize customer retention and profitability. With a deeper understanding of the customer journey, you can transform your data into growth.

Buyer Journey vs. Customer Lifecycle: What's the Difference?

The main difference between buyer's journey mapping and customer lifecycle mapping is the scope of their focus - buyer's journey mapping focuses on understanding a potential customer's journey prior to making a purchase, while customer lifecycle mapping focuses on understanding the entire relationship between a brand and its customers.

While both are important for understanding your customers, it is important to note that each one is best suited to different objectives. Buyer's journey mapping is best used when you need to understand how potential customers find out about your product or service and what motivates them to make a purchase. On the other hand, customer lifecycle mapping is best used when you need to understand the complete customer experience with your brand and identify areas where you can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A circle with 5 icons around the edges, depicting the 5 stages of a customer's lifecycle.

Customer Lifecycle Stages

The typical customer lifecycle consists of five distinct stages: reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty. Each stage is an important part of the customer experience, and each stage requires different approaches and strategies to ensure that customers are engaged.

Customer Lifecycle Stage: Awareness

The reach stage is all about getting your brand in front of potential customers.

This could include running online ads, using social media marketing, or even word-of-mouth marketing. It’s important to capture their attention at this stage so that they will remember your brand when it comes time to make a purchase.

For example, you could run online ads that feature your products or create social media posts about special discounts or new product releases. Or, you could use branded hashtag takeover TikTok ads to target potential customers.

Customer Lifecycle Stage: Acquisition

The acquisition stage is when potential customers become actual customers. This involves getting them to make a purchase or sign up for your service.

At this stage, you should focus on creating compelling offers and promotions that will encourage customers to take action. You could also use personalized emails or targeted ads to reach potential customers and remind them of your brand.

For instance, you are the marketing strategist for a vegan makeup brand targeted toward people of color. You could create personalized emails that showcase makeup looks specifically tailored to their skin tone or targeted ads on Instagram featuring influencers with similar skin tones wearing your product.

Also, you could run promotions on special occasions such as holidays or birthdays to further incentivize customers to make a purchase.

Customer Lifecycle Stage: Conversion

The conversion stage is when customers follow through with the purchase and become paying customers. At this stage, it’s important to ensure that the customer experience is seamless and enjoyable.

For example, you can offer free shipping, speedy delivery, and secure payment options so that customers have peace of mind when making their purchases. You can also create loyalty programs or discounts for repeat customers to encourage them to keep coming back.

You could also use email marketing campaigns to update your existing customers on new products and send them exclusive offers or discounts. This helps build relationships with your customers and can improve customer loyalty.

Customer Lifecycle Stage: Retention

The retention stage is about keeping existing customers engaged and satisfied so that they keep coming back for more. You can achieve this by offering personalized experiences, such as tailored product recommendations or targeted offers based on past purchases.

You could also use social media platforms to create a sense of community among your customers by hosting online events or competitions. Additionally, you could send out newsletters featuring interesting content related to your brand or industry. This will help keep customers informed and engaged with your brand.

Customer Lifecycle Stage: Advocacy

The loyalty or advocacy stage is when customers become repeat buyers who are actively recommending your products to others. It’s important to recognize and reward loyal customers for their support by offering exclusive discounts or promotions.

You could also create VIP programs that offer even more exclusive benefits, such as early access to products or a dedicated customer service representative. This will make them feel valued and appreciated, which will encourage them to remain loyal to your brand.

Not to mention, to keep your customers loyal, you need to ensure that they are satisfied with your products and services. You can do this by regularly asking for feedback and making sure that their concerns are addressed promptly.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing Strategy

The goal of customer lifecycle marketing is to turn customers into loyal, long-term customers who will keep coming back and recommending your products to others. To achieve this, you need to have a well-defined marketing strategy that takes into account each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Your strategy should include tactics to reach potential customers, convert them into paying customers, and retain them for the long term. Additionally, you should also focus on creating incentives that will encourage customers to remain loyal to your brand and recommend it to others.

Creating a customer journey lifecycle marketing strategy can be daunting, but don't worry here is an example to help ease you in the process.


To increase awareness of our brand, you can create a social media campaign targeting homeowners and renters who are looking for stylish and affordable furniture. The campaign would feature lifestyle imagery of our products in beautiful interiors and highlight our unique design and quality.


To acquire new customers, you could offer a discount code for first-time purchases and advertise it on our social media, social media, and email newsletter.


Once a customer makes a purchase, you can send a welcome email with a personalized message and provide them with information about their order status, delivery options, and assembly instructions if necessary.


Again, the goal is to retain customers. At this stage, you can create a loyalty program that rewards repeat purchases with discounts and exclusive offers. You can also send regular email newsletters with curated collections and seasonal promotions.


Finally, encourage brand advocacy by offering referral discounts to customers who refer their friends and family to our store. Also, customers can leave reviews and share their experiences on social media.

Transform Your Data Into Growth

Customer lifecycle mapping and buyer journey mapping are crucial strategies for any business that wants to turn customers into loyal, long-term prospects.

By understanding the different stages of a customer’s journey and creating an effective marketing strategy tailored to each stage, you can create more personalized experiences with your brand, drive more sales conversions, retain existing customers, and encourage loyalty in new ones. With these principles in place, it will be easier than ever to transform data into growth for your business.

To learn more about eCommerce marketing, check out our blog page. It contains helpful information and tips on how to boost your eCommerce business, grow your audience and increase your revenue.

© Triple Whale Inc.
266 N 5th Street, Columbus OH 43209