Relationship Marketing: How to Put Relationships in the Spotlight

Relationship Marketing: How to Put Relationships in the Spotlight

There are no geographical boundaries when it comes to digital communication.

On Facebook you might find an old friend, on Instagram a celebrity, or on LinkedIn a former colleague.

Relationships are not built on connections. There is a difference between them.

Connections can be made with just a click, but relationships take time and space to develop.

Although access to all has its advantages, it is also creating a culture of impatience (i.e. instant gratification). Let a relationship blossom rather than expecting results quickly when we connect.

Because of this culture, we have forgotten that behind these digital profiles are real people. It doesn’t matter if you’re in e-commerce, SaaS, B2B sales, or Direct-to-Consumer sales – these people have feelings, emotions, problems, and motivations.

Relationships are formed between people, not businesses.

People respond to your marketing efforts.

Relationship marketing: let’s discuss

Marketing relationships: what does it entail?

Building close relationships with your customers is the focus of relationship marketing.

In addition to being more cost-effective (6-7 times cheaper! ), retaining long-term customers is more profitable, since they are less likely to leave.
Rather than focusing on long-term relationships, most businesses continue to focus on transactional marketing. 

It can often lead to poor customer experiences since transactional marketing focuses on sales instead of building long-term relationships with customers.

Transactional vs Relationship Marketing


Below is a table illustrating the differences between the two marketing approaches.

The difference between transactional marketing and relationship marketing is in the way you think about your business.
We found that very few businesses invest in their customer relationships, despite it sounding like an obvious strategy.

Is there an untapped growth potential?

Is it important to your business to maintain long-term relationships with its customers?

Isn’t it important?

According to our original research, 85% of companies value long-term customer relationships.
Are those relationships being invested in by many companies?

Relationship marketing is only fully committed by 30% of companies, according to the last significant study published in 2013.
Since then, has there been much change?

2105 B2B marketers were surveyed as part of our own research study to find out.

How did it go? Relationship marketing is used in only 24% of businesses today, with 29% indicating it will be part of their strategy in 2024.

Compared to transactional marketing, relationship marketing delivers a much higher return on investment.
What are the barriers to relationship marketing for companies?

Lack of strategy is the answer!

Relationship marketing strategy: how to create one

If you offer discounts, loyalty programs, personalized services, and upselling to your customers, you are already doing relationship marketing in your business.

It’s just a matter of tactics, and tactics are plentiful.

Now let’s look at things from a different perspective.

The key to developing a lasting relationship with your customers is to bond with them, build friendships, and create feelings that can’t be replaced by price changes, marketing campaigns, or discounts.

Using relationship marketing, you can get inside your customers’ minds (and hearts) three ways: emotionally, purpose-drivenly, and through brand communities.

Each area will be discussed in more detail below.

1.     Connect with your customers on an emotional level

Apple, Tesla and Nike are typically the first brands that come to mind when you think of customer loyalty and evangelism.
It’s so hard to criticize or talk negatively about these companies without their customers defending them.

But such relationships do not exist in B2B! ”

While B2B stands for business-to-business, you still receive requests for demos from people (not businesses) who visit your website and download white papers.

It is important to remember that these people have feelings as well. A strong emotional connection can be created by tapping into these feelings. What’s the reason?

Your customers will spend more with you if they are emotionally connected to the brand.

customer checkout process
customer checkout process

How to provide great customer experience

‘What can you do to make your marketing campaigns more emotional?’

Providing a great customer experience means building trust, showing personality, inspiring confidence, and provide excellent customer service.

Build trust

At every stage of the customer journey, deliver on your promise to build trust. Is your product award-winning? Is your product getting 5-star reviews from your customers? Your website should display them if they are available. You can’t just tell customers you’re trustworthy; you have to prove it!

Show personality

We need to knock down the barriers between us and our customers so they can understand who we are behind our companies. Using social media to share photos of your employees or email marketing to share stories about how you’re supporting the local community can help you accomplish that. Share your audience’s stories or photos and invite them to participate. Building a deeper connection with them can be achieved by including them in the conversation.

Inspire confidence

When two people sign up for a free trial, do they get the same experience? The answer is yes. If a customer is located in a different country, how will the communication strategy differ? There is no reason for it to happen. Your branding should be consistent throughout every aspect of your company, from advertising to sales presentations to your website.

Provide excellent customer service

Customers expect more from their experiences than ever before. Customers today expect an unforgettable, emotional, and amazing experience from you. Is it possible for marketing teams to support the customer experience in a positive way?

Some simple marketing ideas are as follows:
  • Use a CRM to avoid sending one-size-fits-all campaigns to your audience.
  • Custom videos can be created to celebrate a milestone with customers, such as the launch of a new product or an anniversary of one year.
  • Get in touch with your customers. Incorporate their insights into your marketing materials by asking for their feedback and suggestions. Communicate with them as a “co-creator.”

1.     Identify your business’s purpose

The relationship you have with your customers will always be strengthened by providing value, whether it is through content, software features, or customer service.
But there’s a new way to capture your customers’ hearts by giving them a reason to care about you. Dividend sharing and revenue sharing are not the only goals.

A famous Ted Talk by Simon Sinek goes like this:
“Profits aren’t a purpose. Think of it as a result. Our actions should be of value to others if we are to have purpose.”

Several studies have found that customers would rather choose a company with a purpose-driven attribute than one with a price or value, according to Clutch.

Consumers today want to support companies that support equality and fight injustice as well as environmental concerns.
This is supported by the research.

Companies with a purpose, like these, are more likely to get customers’ budgets:
  • On a regular basis, 47% of consumers buy products from brands with good causes,
  • For 5 out of 10 consumers, a good cause is important.
  • A different brand with a similar price and quality that supports a good cause would make 91% of customers switch brands.
Your business will grow faster if you are purpose-driven.

Who are you and what do you do?

Rather than choosing a purpose for you, I can help you decide what you want to do. Consider these three questions:

  • What are you waiting for? Purpose-driven organizations invest in their mission. Your purpose requires a budget. Budgets increase with purpose.
  • What are the best ways to get your entire company on board? The CEO and management board are not the only ones responsible for being purpose-driven. The initiative is company-wide.
  • Does your brand align with your purpose? What is your customer’s perception of you today? What is your vision for the future of your brand? The perception of a brand is highly influenced by its purpose.

1.     Utilize your community’s resources

The more intimate you are with your customers, and the more purpose-driven your brand is, the more likely you are to form communities. Customer communities are vital groups of supporters and advocates for your brand.

How to utilize your community’s resources for relationship marketing

It is also important to nurture these relationships.

The steps are as follows:

Engage your community

Multiple platforms – such as your website, forums, and social media – will be used by your community. As a means to connect, share, and discuss new marketing ideas, consider bringing them together, whether in person or online.

Pay attention to what your community has to say

Prospects are less likely to read your content, use your product, or engage with your social media accounts than customers are. When your customers provide feedback on campaigns and marketing materials, you must acknowledge them.

Make your community aware of you

There is a passion in your community for your brand, so they want to spread the word, and bring their friends, family, and colleagues along for the ride. Create marketing campaigns and stories that appeal to their hearts, not just their minds, so they can spread the word.

Put them at the center of the community

There’s more to it than just you. Promoting your biggest supporters to the rest of the community will shine a light on their work. Your blog or video series can highlight their work and achievements, or you can invite them to speak at an event.

Conclusion

Growth is dependent on long-term customers, according to successful companies.
Technology has transformed our businesses, but we must also develop, nurture, and grow customer relationships over time.
In order to accomplish this, we need to think more about how users feel when they interact with your products and services. The bond between you and them is created by their feelings.

By leveraging the power of community to create an army of loyal supporters, you will appeal to their emotions, stand for a good cause (and not just profitability), and appeal to their emotions with relationship marketing strategies.

The R in CRM - the relationship - is more important than ever before.

This is because relationships are important.
In what ways does relationship marketing play a major role in your business? Comment below to let me know what you think.

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