Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the old school days. The 80s, a decade defined by great movies, good music, and incredible fashion. The decade was one of the best remembered by many for the great tunes, flicks, and trends we got out of it. Everything except the lack of relationship marketing.
Marketing in the 80s was a cold and cutthroat pursuit. Salesmen were generally egoistic who viewed customers as walking dollar bills and would say whatever it took to make a sale, exactly why such strategies could never survive in 2021.
Today companies must realize the importance of their customers. It’s not enough to work on acquisition alone. Retention is also a dire need if you want to flourish. And relationship marketing is exactly the way to do it. Read on below to figure out the best way to build strong and loyal bonds with your audience.
What is Relationship Marketing?
As the word suggests, relationship marketing is a form of marketing that aims to create and nurture close, emotional attachments with a brand. Companies take this marketing route to create a gild of customers that form loyal connections to the company and promise consistent interaction.
This form of marketing is a long-term strategy that is a cheaper route to enlarging your customers’ circle. It aims to go beyond merely making a one-time sale and ensures customer retention by providing high-quality customer service.
Furthermore, relationship marketing is a more effective strategy compared to other, more traditional marketing methods. It is a lot cheaper since companies save up on constant acquisition advertisement by relying on an already enamored group of consumers who will return for more services.
Traditional Marketing vs. Relationship Marketing
The easiest way to explain the details of how relationship marketing works is through a simple comparison.
Remember when we mentioned salesmen. The average salesman and how they try to coarse you into buying a product or service are not very subtle. On the contrary, they can be quite overbearing.
In essence, their mission is simply this; sell an item one way or another. This leads them to employ a rather harsh, unyielding persona whereby they think little about the consumer’s desires. A customer is merely another face in the crowd, not an individual that could lead to more business in the future.
This is where relationship marketing draws an exact parallel. Every customer is a crucial player in a company’s long-term business strategy, be it a Business-to-Business or a Small and medium-sized enterprise.
Some of the more striking differences between traditional and relationship marketing are listed below.
|Type of marketing||Traditional||Relationship|
|Goal||Sell the product.||Focus on retaining customers.|
|Customer service||Low to moderate quality of service.||High quality of service.|
|Customer contact||Seldom or infrequent.||Constant or frequen0.t|
|Basis of relationship||Coarse customers into making a purchase.||Connecting with customers to build trust.|
|Quality of product||Only producers are concerned with the quality of the product.||The entire company is concerned with quality.|
As you can see, relationship marketing is very different from the more detached and hollow traditional marketing technique.
Basically, for a company to thrive in the present time, it must reach its audience at an emotional level and forge a strong connection that should lead to many years of continued business.
The Benefits of Relationship Marketing
Done right, relationship marketing can bring you more customers that’ll outlast any you gain by traditional marketing methods. Here’s you can incorporate relationship marketing methods in your current strategy.
Investing resources to increase customer retention by as little as 5% has increased returns to a whopping 25% to 95%.
Therefore, by focusing on providing high-quality service, you are guaranteed to leave an impression on your target audience, so they remember the excellent customer service and are urged to return.
Constructive Feedback Will Help You Grow
Normally, customers will not concern themselves with providing additional ideas or feedback to every company or brand they come in contact with. However, as long-time clients who feel a sense of loyalty to a certain company, they will be inclined to providing suggestions regarding a product or service as they see fit.
No doubt, a firm religiously implementing a good relationship marketing strategy will encourage business-to-consumer contact. One method of doing so is requesting feedback, and a loyal customer at ease with your brand will come up with much-needed suggestions.
This constant feedback will allow you to stay on top of consumer needs and desires and revamp your strategies, products, and services as you go along. You may even expand your business and introduce new products and services to meet market requirements.
Create a Positive Reputation
One of the best things about customer retention is that fostering loyalty equals free publicity. Regular customers will not only return for your products and services. They are bound to discuss and recommend your company to friends and family.
Your reputation will precede you as this free word-of-mouth advertising is incredibly effective because people tend to trust their friends and family. Therefore, relationship marketing indirectly leads to increased consumer acquisition which then increases returns.
Sure-Fire Relationship Marketing Strategies
There are some fairly easy and effective ways to tweak your marketing strategy to make it more consumer-centric. Take a look to see what fits your company.
Use Social Media to Engage with Consumers
In present times, social media is an important tool that connects people, and brands can make use of these platforms to communicate with regular customers. Consequently, about 95% of adults subscribe to the social media channels that interest them.
Routinely updating posts, reaching out about new deals, and answering their question can build a steady and solid connection with customers. Accordingly, about 80% of social customer service requests come from Twitter alone.
A step further would be taking the time to put up good cheer cards and posts regarding holidays and special events wishing everyone a pleasant day alludes to consumers that there are actual people beyond their screen working at a certain brand. And these people actually care.
Send Good Cheer with Carclan
If you want to embed a sense of loyalty in your audience and form relationships with clients that go beyond mere business transactions, what better way than to remember your customers on a special occasion.
Be it the fourth of July, valentine’s day, or Christmas, send out a custom digital card via email to personally wish every customer you have. Give them a sense of belonging and importance. They are the very foundation upon which you’re able to run your business in the first place.
Furthermore, Card Clan can help you set up some custom cards that resonate with your company. You can pick out your own themes, colors, illustrations, and font to send out a personalized card that fits the event and celebrations.
AI Integration to Stay on Top of Things
Do you know the worst thing you could do when dealing with customers over social media or online platforms? Delaying a response. It’s the age of the internet, and with phones, right in our hands, 24/7, people tend to get a bit antsy when their queries aren’t answered immediately.
Naturally, we are all still human, and even the best employees may let things get by them. Needless to say, a solution is still necessary, and that may very well be AI tools. These tools allow pre-decided messages and information to reach consumers, so they never need to contact the actual company.
Using self-service AI, you can provide customers with all the basic information that often is the basis for contacting brands. Things as simple as tracking info, pricing questions, and shipping queries can be solved with zero hassle.
In fact, customers often expect such automated services that allow them a level of independence in present times. Many brands have employed chatbots that handle basic consumer interactions to take the edge off employees and allow the shopper more autonomy.
Even CardClan has implemented pre-set mailing options so companies can set up their custom designs and send them out at a certain time in the future without having to worry about messing up the times and dates.
Use Surveys to Understand Your Target Audience.
These days it doesn’t take long for a trend to grip society and then fade out soon after, only for another trend to take its place. The whole process is fairly quick and uncertain. This makes it difficult to chart exactly what fad is well-loved in which demographic. You might easily be labeled ‘lame’ if you happen to market the wrong trend to the wrong audience.
The easiest solution to this conundrum is surveying. If you are unsure about what your customers like or dislike, simply ask them. Accordingly, an article in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication states that online surveys are the best method to gain insight from a diverse population over a short period of time.
Furthermore, the method is extremely cost-effective as no physical raw materials are created for digital survey forms. Showing your clients that you care about their input will greatly appeal to their sense of loyalty.
There is no doubt that technology has made the world a less ambiguous and more transparent place. That said, there is an increased desire among consumers to know the people behind the brands and companies they are so fond of.
Indeed, Customers today tend to ignore that which they do not and cannot understand. So, less open brands suffer by holding back information. However, this error can easily be rectified by implementing our suggestions to improve your relationship marketing strategy.