The long-term goals of relationship marketing are just as important as the instant gratification of customer acquisition. Find out more…
Relationship Marketing – what is it?
This is where a business focuses on long-term issues such as customer loyalty and keeping customer engagement going for longer than just that quick sale.
The idea is that you work on creating a relationship between your customer and your brand – it could even be an emotional connection – which means that you continue to get business from them. Even better, they help to market your business through word of mouth recommendations.
Transactional marketing has a more short-term aim of increasing sales – however, in this instance, there is little or no strategy in place to ensure that the customer will return to your brand once more. It is easy to increase sales with special offers, gimmicks and discounts, but forming a strong relationship requires a very different type of marketing.
And it is one that companies are now recognising as vital to the continuity of their businesses. After all, attracting those customers took time and money – why waste it by just letting them go after one transaction?
How does it work?
Relationship marketing enables a company to stay in close contact with its clients. It allows you to ‘get under their skin’, understanding how and why they use your products or services, and identifying any needs that you have not met so far.
To make relationship marketing work, you need to use some of the elements of customer experience management (CEM), concentrating on improving your customer interactions, and increasing brand loyalty.
There’s a number of ways these interactions can take place – in person, on the phone, and of course increasingly, online, via email and social media. But don’t forget postal communications either, in a world of 24/7 digital, personalised printed matter can really make an impact.
In terms of digital, then the internet is your friend. Your future customers are already online, enjoying instant, specially tailored access to brands – and they can be to yours, too.
They can have their say on your products or service via social media and online reviews – and relationship marketing should see you making that a two-way process, where you can communicate with them, track their activity, and give them the targeted information they need.
If you sell online, your e-commerce site should be able to track customer activity so that you can build up a profile of the people buying your products/service, and allowing them to log in via social media also helps to make things easier, while automatically ensuring they are connecting with your own social media presence.
Using CRM (customer relationship management) and marketing automation software can help, and social CRM tools will help you to monitor activity and build a connection with your clients.
Do remember that small matter of the GDPR and data protection legislation when reviewing your database or CRM to identify your loyal customers!
The benefits of relationship marketing are clear: it can cut down on your advertising spend, as you are using your own customers to sell your brand for you! Marketing costs can also drop. It allows you to retain customers and build on existing sales, rather than always looking for new business. It builds customer loyalty – which in turn encourages repeat purchase and higher customer lifetime value.
Your customers become your best brand ambassadors – perfect when you have a small staff – someone else doing the work for you for free!
5 easy steps to relationship marketing
- Use social media to thank customers.
- Offer fabulous customer service that your client can’t help BUT recommend you to others
- Get feedback from customers using phone calls surveys and polls. They like to be valued!
- Offer a loyalty programme.
- Reward customers who recommend you.
You might also like to review our blog on customer journey management here.
If you would like to have a chat about your marketing requirements, please call Alison Page on tel: 07963 002065 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can of course browse our website to see what our existing clients have to say about our work.