Understanding The Customer Life Cycle

Diagram of the customer life cycle

What is the Customer Life Cycle?

The customer lifecycle outlines the steps taken by a customer as they progress through the marketing and sales funnel. It gives marketing, sales, and customer service teams a complete picture of the customer’s journey and highlights areas for improvement. 

Why it is important when it comes to Digital marketing

The Customer Lifecycle Value is basically a prediction of how much value a business will gain from the entire course of their relationship with any given customer. Because you never know how long each customer relationship will last, the customer life cycle is basically a way for businesses to estimate a customer’s monetary worth over time. The customer life cycle is important because it helps companies determine how much money they want to spend on bringing in new customers and how much repeat business they can expect to gain from certain customers.

What are the different parts of the cycle and what do they mean?

Awareness

Here is where your relationship with a customer begins. when they first become aware of the existence of your brand, product, or service. Without awareness the customer won’t have any knowledge that your product exists. The chances are that the customer has seen your post or advert multiple times before actually clicking on it too.

Research

Every customer goes through some version of this stage, whether it’s months of research and comparison or just a quick “gut check” before making a decision. One of the most effective ways to stand out from your competitors at this point is by offering robust digital self-service. Just like customers seeking support, consumers who are evaluating products or services start by trying to find the answers themselves.

Comparison

In our opinion this part is fairly similar to the research part of the cycle as customers will be comparing different products as part of their research. Retaining the customers attention during the comparison phase can be done by having the best deal, having the best quality product, being the easiest to buy from e.g. fastest delivery and much more. It’s important to consider all these factors as any drop in quality is likely to be picked up on.

Selection

Once a customer is set on using you as a company it’s important to make their potential selections very clear and understandable. Remember, just because a customer has chosen your company in the comparison phase doesn’t mean you’ll be able to retain them. Especially if your website isn’t clear and or a frustrating user experience.

Purchase

This step may seem simple, the customer buys the product and that’s it. However, there are crucial parts to the purchase phase. Having a simple process for purchasing the product is imperative as you can still lose the customer if they can’t find a fast way to purchase the product. If they have a question before purchasing you might also want to have a live chat feature so the customer doesn’t have to back out of their purchase to answer their question.

Experience

Once the product has been purchased you want the customer to receive it as fast as possible. Having a delay in the delivery can really harm your reputation and even earn you a bad review. Equally, the product has to be as it is described on the website.

Retention

Having a customer buy from you is only half the battle, you want repeat custom from that sale. To do this you can follow up purchases with an email after a set period of time. E.g. A customer has just purchased toothpaste from your online store. In 6 weeks our automated mailing list will send a follow up email asking if they’d like to purchase the product again as they’ve likely gone through the tube of toothpaste by now.

Word of Mouth

Finally comes word of mouth. After your customer has bought from you and hopefully had a good experience they should spread the word about your company. You can help speed this process up by having a good loyalty/recommendation scheme. E.g. recommend this company to a friend and if they sign up you receive a free gift/voucher.

Conclusion

Hopefully you now understand the importance of the customer life cycle. You must fully understand this cycle during a digital marketing apprenticeship in order to be a successful digital marketer. It’s important to keep up to date with any changes to this cycle. When new technologies come out the cycle can change, or be interpreted in slightly different ways.

IT sales Apprenticeships Overview

man with headphones facing computer-monitor

Technical Sales Apprenticeships

Looking at getting into IT sales? An Apprenticeship Job in IT Technical Sales could be the best way to achieve your goals. This Apprenticeship covers many bases from Data Security to Project Management. In turn, this opens up a diverse job market. Keep reading to find out more about the IT Technical sales Apprenticeship.

What does Technical sales involve?

The primary role of an IT Technical Salesperson is to sell a company’s technical products and services. They need a good knowledge and understanding of the portfolio of technologies that are available. They work to maintain good relationships with existing clients, gaining repeat business wherever possible from customers both internal and external, UK or internationally. They also approach potential customers with the aim of winning new business. They maintain a thorough understanding of existing technologies and those that are emerging.

What Jobs Can You Get With This Qualification?

Sales Associate, Sales Consultant, Sales Engineer, Entry Level Customer Support, Technical Retail Assistant, Technical Tele Sales, Junior Account Manager

What Technical Knowledge Will You Gain On This Apprenticeship?

  • Understands the basic elements and architecture of computer systems
  • Acquire a working knowledge of Cloud and Cloud Services
  • Understand the principles of secure coding
  • Acquire a working knowledge of the role IT plays within the broader context of a business strategy
  • Understand the main methodologies used for unified communications
  • Understand the basics of how data storage works and the main technical options available
  • Understand how to communicate using the appropriate language and terminology for audience and cultural awareness
  • Understand the principles and ethics of sales, recognising the importance of delivering value to the customer
  • Understand the sales life cycle, techniques & processes
  • Understand how to negotiate, handle objections and close sales
  • Understand the business product(s) they are responsible for selling including the relevant vendor product(s) as selected by the employer.

Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours Required/Acquired

  • Logical and creative thinking skills
  • The ability to interact effectively and professionally with a range of different types of customer
  • Ability to think analytically and to solve problems
  • Ability to work independently and to take responsibility
  • Can use own initiative
  • A thorough and organised approach
  • Ability to work with a range of internal and external people
  • Ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • Maintain productive, professional and secure working environment
  • Ability to operate in a secure manner

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship is recognised for entry on to the Register of IT Technicians and those completing their apprenticeships are eligible to apply for registration.

Conclusion

As you now know an IT Technical sales Apprenticeship covers quite a wide variety of specialist skills and jobs. Don’t let this put you off from applying as not every area of this apprenticeship has to interest you to make it worth while. Please follow the link below to find out more. information on this apprenticeship.

https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/it-technical-salesperson/

Digital Marketing Apprenticeships

What Does A Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Involve?

Are you interested in starting a digital marketing apprenticeship? With different levels of apprenticeship available, and the diversity within the digital marketing industry, it can be useful to have an idea of what a digital marketing role might involve. Keep reading below to find out what typical duties and responsibilities are for a digital marketing apprentice.

What Does Digital Marketing Involve?

Digital marketing is broad subject and covers a lot of different sub-topics. So, as a digital marketing apprentice your role will very much depend on the organisation you are working for, and what their requirements are.

In general, digital marketing relates to advertising and promotion done online. That could include managing a website, social media account, running ad campaigns, making sure your organisation shows up in search results, or something else. But, there are few key areas that digital marketing is often broken down into.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is an inclusive term for any marketing meant to help a website get seen in search results. This is often broken down further into two more specific areas: search engine optimisation (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC).

SEO, sometimes called organic search, is how to structure a website, write content, and generate links back to your website, which all contribute to search engine algorithms finding your website to be of high quality, authority, and trustworthiness. It’s all focused around what search algorithms rank highly in results, but that usually just means doing what is best for the user. There are hundreds of factors that go into helping a website rank highly on search engines, so this can be a very specialist area to get into.

PPC on the other hand relates to paid ads. This involves creating ads to show on search pages and bidding on which position your ads will be shown in – will they be shown at the top of the page, above organic results? Or will they be shown at the bottom, or on the second or third page of results? That’s what a PPC manager works to improve, while also keeping the cost of clicks and leads as low as possible.

Social Media

Like search, social media also has an organic aspect and a paid ads aspect. Organic social media is, simply put, publishing content that you share for free on websites such as Facebook and Instagram. Paid social media, however, involves paying those sites to show your content in front of specific audience segments that you specify. For example, you can pay for Facebook to show a post sharing a link to your blog post about Lord Of The Rings, to people that have shown an interest in Lord Of The Rings. Like PPC managers, social ads managers will work to make sure content is shown to the most relevant audiences, for the lowest cost.

Email Marketing

As a staple of online communication, email can often be overlooked as a form of marketing. However, email still boasts one of the highest click through rates of any digital medium. Email marketing is all about building an email list of people who are interested in what your business offers, and send them emails that is beneficial to them.

What Does A Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Involve?

What Will You Learn On Your Apprenticeship?

As a part of your apprenticeship, you can learn how to effectively manage campaigns for what we’ve described already. But, you will also learn how to:

  • Conduct keyword research to inform search engine marketing
  • Create a marketing plan and schedule to help you manage your campaigns
  • Write compelling copy to prompt readers to get in touch with your organisation
  • Measure and evaluate campaign performance, to highlight areas for improvement

Digital marketing is an incredibly varied field to work in, with many specialisms available. So, be sure to do your own research to find out which areas interest you.

Conclusion

As mentioned, digital marketing is a wide area to pursue. The number of specialist areas available is immense, but that does mean that some areas won’t interest you – but there are almost certainly some areas that will! Take a look at the digital apprenticeships we offer, such as the level 3 or level 4 digital marketing apprenticeship, to see what’s available to get started with your career in digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Standard

Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Standard

Drive customer acquisition, engagement and retention through digital mediums with a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Hone your skills in the digital industry by helping to develop digital campaigns over a variety of different online & social platforms. This blog focuses on skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined by the standard.

Digital Marketing Skills & Technical Competencies

Believe it or not a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship requires a good level of written communication. Having a good level of skill in writing will massively benefit you for this apprenticeship. This is important as you will need to be able to write for a range of different audiences with blog writing. The sensitivity of communication is also important for customer service; you need to be able to respond effectively to enquiries using online and social mediums.

Digital Marketing Skills & Technical Competencies

It’s important for apprentices to have a keen eye on digital advances and updates to ensure they can contribute relevant information to short and long term strategies and campaigns. This is also important as a range of technologies will need to be used to help achieve marketing goals.

Above all, the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship requires a problem solver; ideally, someone that can think on their feet. Apprentices will need to use digital tools effectively to tackle problems and issues across a variety of digital platforms.

Finally, Digital Marketers need to have to offer a level of analysis when going into campaigns to review and monitor the campaign and online activity. This data will then need to be manipulated within a basic analytical dashboard to refer back to clients.

Digital Marketing Knowledge & Understanding

When it comes to a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship it’s useful to have some basic knowledge of other related digital processes. Since you will be dealing a lot with customers it’s important to have a basic understanding of the customer lifecycle, customer relationship marketing and the basic marketing principles.

Digital Marketing Knowledge & Understanding

Alongside these skills its important to understand the principles of:

  • Coding
  • Search Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Email Marketing
  • Web Analytics & Metrics
  • Mobile Apps
  • PPC (Pay Per Click)

With these in mind, it is also imperative to follow digital etiquette with regards to the working environment and following the correct security procedures to protect data. This knowledge will be helped along with knowledge and vendor exams to ensure you are equipped with the right information to take on Digital Marketing in a real working environment.

Digital Marketing Attitudes and Behaviours

Naturally, the apprentice is preferred to have particular supporting skills that will help them when securing a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Examples of these skills include:

  • Sensible and innovative thinking skills.
  • Problem-solving skills supported with analytics.
  • The ability to initiate and asses work independently with responsibility.
  • Organised and thorough with their approach to tasks.
  • Ability to work with a range of different people, internally and externally.
  • Ability to communicate effectively to a range of different people with a variety of different situations.
  • Great work ethic with an ability to keep productive and professional.

Conclusion

A Digital Marketing Apprenticeship is a fantastic starting point to propel you into a digital career or job role. Some job roles and titles include:

  • Digital Marketing Assistant
  • Campaign Executive
  • Social Media Executive
  • Content Co-ordinator
  • Digital Marketing Co-ordinator
  • Email Marketing Assistant
  • SEO Executive
  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Analytics Executive
  • Digital Marketing Technologist

Senior management roles within this job role have the ability to earn you over £40,000 a year. The core skills applied correctly from this apprenticeship can open up so many doors! The great thing about apprenticeships is that you earn while you learn, you get the best of both worlds. It also gives you amazing progression opportunities to further your studies, one example is a Level 4 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are great to shape employees to learn and progress within a working environment, the possibilities from this apprenticeship are endless! For more details on how the apprenticeships work; read our blog on more of a deeper look into the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship.

Data Analyst occupational brief

data analyst occupational brief

One important aspect of completing the level 4 data analyst apprenticeship is to properly prepare for end-point assessment. A good training provider will share key documentation with you such as the occupational standard, assessment plan and occupational brief. It is important to understand the data analyst occupational brief as this provides the detail on what is expected at EPA. To succeed on the apprenticeship, good apprentices will ensure that they meet the minimum requirements as per the occupational brief.

This is supported by the fact that the assessment plan for the data analyst apprenticeship states that:

The completed portfolio will be assessed against the requirements summarised in the standard and set out in detail in the occupational brief.

Therefore, all good apprentices will consider the full detail outlined in the data analyst occupational brief. The occupational brief described each of the competencies in full detail and gives examples of the types of work that should be included in a portfolio. Using the competency on: Collect and compile data from different sources as an example, the occupational brief will outline the minimum requirement as follows:

Compiling data in preparation for analyses is a core part of data analysis and can involve manually compiling data from multiple sources including: databases, spreadsheets, reports

It’s this type of detail outlined in the data analyst occupational brief that an independent assessor will be looking to see in the portfolio, synoptic project and professional discussion. Our overview of the level 4 data analyst apprenticeship provides detail of the core competencies but the full detail of the occupational brief needs to be included when referencing the core competencies. The occupational brief outlines what needs to be covered for the what to achieve one of the higher grades. In addition to this, it includes the scope of what is required for the how and with whom to work towards one of the higher grades.

Below we have shared the occupational brief to download. Understanding this in relation to the competencies and the what, how and with whom is essential. Only focusing on the occupational standard would be a mistake as the assessment plan clearly outlines the need to consider the occupational brief.

Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship

data analyst apprenticeship

Does gathering, organising and analysing data to help businesses operate efficiently sound good to you? If so, read on to find out how the level 4 data analyst apprenticeship could help start a new career. Alternatively, you could change roles within your current organisation and complete the apprenticeship training.

Jobs and entry criteria for the level 4 data analyst apprenticeship

The data analyst apprenticeship provides opportunities for an apprentice to learn the skills required to perform typical data roles. These include jobs such as: Data Modeller, Data Architect or Data Manager. Data Manager salaries in the UK average at £38k proving that this can be a lucrative career choice. The data analyst apprenticeship provides an excellent opportunity for starting on a pathway that offers excellent career progression opportunities. A salary of £150k is achievable as a Data Modeller and many job opportunities are advertised in this range. It’s not all about money though and data is one of the big career growth areas. You can future proof your career by using the level 4 data analyst apprenticeship as a starting point. You may even be able to use data in the future to identify further progression opportunities!

If this all sounds too good to be true, it’s not! Although normally set by employers, the entry requirements for the data analyst apprenticeship are typically 5 or more GCSEs. Alternatively, a level 3 college course or apprenticeship or maybe even less than this. An employer may hire you regardless of your background if you are the right fit for their organisation. This gives everyone the chance to succeed on this apprenticeship! If you haven’t got up to date English and Maths certificates, you will get the opportunity to complete these if needed.

Key responsibilities of a data analyst apprentice

The primary role of a Data Analyst is to collect, organise and study data to provide business insight. Data analysts are typically involved with managing, cleansing, abstracting and aggregating data, and conducting a range of analytical studies on that data. They work across a variety of projects, providing technical data solutions to a range of stakeholders and customers. Data Analysts document and report the results of data analysis activities making recommendations to improve business performance. As an analyst you will have a good understanding of data structures, database systems and procedures. In addition to this, you will understand how to use a range of analytical tools to undertake different types of analysis.

Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship

Level 4 Data Analyst Core Competencies

As part of your job role, you will carry out duties that will satisfy a number of competencies. Some examples are:

  • identifying and collecting data from internal and external systems
  • using organisational data/information security standards and procedures when managing data
  • use database queries to extract data from multiple tables
  • perform statistical analyses
  • use techniques such as: data mining, modelling and time-series forecasting to predict trends and patterns
  • create performance dashboards and reports where needed
  • perform data cleansing and quality checking
  • use tools and techniques to summarise, present and visualise data and create reports for stakeholders

The occupational standard, assessment plan and occupational brief for the data analyst apprenticeship help you understand these and other competencies in more detail. These three documents are key to understanding what you should to do to prepare for end-point assessment.

Data analyst knowledge modules and vendor exams

As a data analyst you will need to equip yourself with the knowledge of how to manage data in a secure and professional manner. The knowledge modules and vendor exams will help you understand the following:

  • data protection legislation
  • the data life cycle
  • types of data, i.e. public or open data, research data or administrative data
  • structured and unstructured data and the difference between both
  • data structures and database systems and how to implement and maintain these
  • the domain that data is utilised in and the importance of understanding this
  • data quality issues and how to manage these
  • defining customer requirements when analysing data
  • tools and processes used for data integration
  • routine data analysis tasks and the what’s involved in carrying these out
  • using and applying industry-standard tools/methods for data analysis activities

To demonstrate that you understand the knowledge covered on the level 4 data analyst apprenticeship, you will need to complete knowledge or vendor exams. The approved knowledge exams outlined in the standard are Data Analysis Tools and Data Analysis Concepts. An apprentice must complete both these exams or the Data Analysis Tools exams can be replaced by the Dell EMC Data Science Associate vendor qualification. Update as of 25th of March, the Dell EMC is no longer a required vendor certification. The IFA updated the standard on 19/03/2020 to reflect this.

Conclusion

As you can see, the level 4 data analyst is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to pursue a career in data. The core skills covered in the apprenticeship will open up a wide range of job opportunities. In addition, you will earn while you learn and excellent progression opportunities exist to advance your career. Some examples are the Level 7 Artificial intelligence (AI) data specialist apprenticeship or the Level 6 Data scientist (integrated degree) apprenticeship. Employers are keen to use apprenticeship to shape how their employees learn and progress. The type of job roles that will open up over the coming years could be endless for anyone that commits their future to a career in data.

For a more technical look at this apprenticeship, you should check out our post on the data analyst occupational brief.

Full list of digital industries apprenticeship

As of March 2020, this is the list of the 21 approved digital apprenticeships ranging from level 3 to level 7. The range is quite varied and there are a number of progression routes from level 3 to level 7 if an employer considers how an apprentice’s role can evolve within the business.

Digital Apprenticeships:

Level 6 Creative digital design professional Apprenticeship
Level 4 Cyber intrusion analyst Apprenticeship
Level 6 Cyber security technical professional (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 4 Cyber security technologist Apprenticeship
Level 4 Data analyst Apprenticeship
Level 6 Data scientist (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 6 Digital and technology solutions professional (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 7 Digital and technology solutions specialist (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 4 Digital community manager Apprenticeship
Level 3 Digital support technician Apprenticeship
Level 6 Digital user experience (UX) professional (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 3 Infrastructure technician Apprenticeship
Level 4 IS business analyst Apprenticeship
Level 3 IT solutions technician Apprenticeship
Level 3 Network cable installer Apprenticeship
Level 4 Network engineer Apprenticeship
Level 4 Software developer Apprenticeship
Level 3 Software development technician Apprenticeship
Level 4 Software tester Apprenticeship
Level 3 Unified communications technician Apprenticeship
Level 4 Unified communications trouble shooter Apprenticeship

The slide share below was created to display these in a more visually appealing format.