Generally, when you hear about marketing, you think about advertisements, discount promotions, and hosting events. These aim to increase traffic, get leads, and create brand awareness. And if you are already employing these strategies, you are doing good.
However, there is one aspect of marketing that you might not be giving enough attention to. This element must be the core of every business strategy that you launch. It’s the people–your customers.
Understandably, you focus on sales and profit. After all, this is the reason why you started a business, right? However, if you want to last long in the industry, you need to step out of your sales-centered mindset. Focus on your customers, and you will reach new milestones. To do this, you need an excellent relationship marketing strategy.
What is relationship marketing?
Relationship marketing aims to create a strong connection between you and your customers. Remember that one of the criteria for a product to sell is to solve a problem that your target market has. This solution will help you make your first sale.
Now, the question is, how do you make the customer buy again? How do you earn their trust and loyalty? This is where relationship marketing should come in. It goes beyond the problem-solving criteria. You have to give your customer why they should choose you over another similar brand. You have to connect with them on a deeper level to achieve this.
The following are what relationship marketing does.
When a customer feels like a product is made for them, they love it. To achieve personalization, you must understand a customer’s pain points, interests, and needs. This tool does not only apply to the products themselves but also to the content you put out on your social media page.
This should not be too difficult since other marketing strategies also employ the tool of depersonalization. At the same time, technology like data analytics makes it easier for you to gather data on your customers.
Using positive reinforcement is a good strategy in general. You can achieve this by giving rewards to your loyal customers or first-time customers. This is why giving discount vouchers for the next purchases is effective. You can also send greeting notes on special holidays and their birthdays. If you give them a good reason to buy again, they will.
When you have loyal customers, you have to sustain your connection with them. Make them feel valued and important. Ask for their feedback on products and ways you can improve your service.
How can you do relationship marketing?
There was one time when Ikea changed the font used for its catalog. Of course, loyal customers noticed. When Ikea learned that its loyal customers did not like the change, they went back to their old font. This is just one example of a business listening to what its customers say.
- When you have a new product, choose selected customers to try it.
No one hates feeling special. If you are about to launch a new product, you can test it out by sending sample packages to your loyal customers. Tell them that as loyal customers, their feedback is important.
This is not only applicable to products. You can also do this for programs and services. For example, you are trying a new rewards scheme for your retail store; you can let your loyal customers have the first go at it for a few weeks. Throw in some special deals exclusive for them.
If you run a restaurant franchising business and have a new franchise opportunity, you can offer a massive discount to existing franchisees. Or add a few perks like 24/7 technical assistance. Or create a recipe that will only be available to franchisees who have been with you for a long time.
- Put a human face to the company.
Relationship marketing has evolved so much because of social media. You would often see small businesses posting videos on social media about packing their products or introducing the whole team. Often, you would also see a clip of how the company started to what it is now, complete with a genuine thank you clip from the CEO.
This is relationship marketing done right. When customers recognize that real humans are working behind every purchase, they somehow feel connected to the brand. Somehow, the customers feel that you understand the problems they have.
There are more ways you can do relationship marketing, like replying to each negative feedback on your social media, providing efficient customer service, and creating relatable content. Relationship marketing has to be the most fun strategy you will ever have to make for your business.