Relationship Marketing – The Secret Sauce
Do You Have a Relationship Marketing Strategy? Are you throwing money away every month still using old marketing strategies that don’t work? Many business owners are frustrated with their marketing results and don’t know what to do. Most business owners understand why it is important to build relationships with customers. Yet, you will not believe how many times I am still asked the question “Why is marketing important?”
It would appear as if that were self-explanatory now. It would seem as if everyone understood and would never ask the question, “How important is marketing to a business?” This is interesting to me because, in my work, I see the number one challenge business owners have is that every day they are wrestling with the difficulty of attracting new customers.
However, when I look underneath the question, it’s that marketing has shifted from a past traditional advertising model to or more dynamic relationship model between client and company. This has caused a lot of confusion because many businesses don’t understand the power of having a strong relationship marketing strategy or can even define relationship marketing. Thus they do not have a good relationship marketing strategy and are losing customers and money because of it. They usually think it’s simply having a social media presence and this is how they define building relationships with customers.
It is important for your business to embrace the principles of relationship marketing because it builds long-term engagement and can stabilize your brand. Also, when you don’t understand these fundamental changes, you won’t see how relationship marketing builds customer loyalty. You’ll miss out on huge opportunities for more profits. Having a customer relationship marketing strategy is so important now, that your business can no longer do without one.
The challenge is that many people still don’t understand this type of marketing and the difference it makes to their business. Competition is fierce for both on and offline businesses and many companies throw money at marketing tactics that are transactional in nature and thus keep having to spend more money getting a new lead or prospect. The difficulty of attracting new customers in this way is that it is both time consuming and costly.
The challenge with the question of “why marketing is important,” will surround the principles of relationship marketing. When we outline a relationship marketing definition it must include the customer goals of relationship marketing as well as asking the questions, “What is relationship marketing for us?” and “What is the relationship between you and your customer?
A good relationship marketing definition is a brand ability to create a heart-based emotional connection with their consumer and there is a huge distinction between this and traditional transactional marketing. A simple example of transactional marketing is pulling up to the gas station and pulling out your credit card swiping it to purchase gas and leaving, without speaking to anyone, having purchased the required amount of gas.
People have no real loyalty to a gas station. They determine which gas station has the cheapest price for gas or is the most convenient for them to use and buy gas there. There are some good relationship marketing examples that have really thought about how to build a bond between the consumer and their company and brand, but my favorite is Zappos.com. Nobody does it better than the online retailer Zappos. Their whole culture surrounds heart-based connection between employees, consumers and the company.
Zappos relationship marketing strategy helped them more than quadruple their yearly sales as they created a long-term relationship with clients. Zappos made branding and relationship marketing their success strategy and it has paid off as Amazon purchased Zappos for $1.2 Billion.
Zappos is the clear definition of relationship marketing as it has a 75% repeat business. For Zappos the concept of exchange is important to marketing because they value of having repeat business means that they have a more targeted marketing dollar and a happy consumer as well as happy employees with low turnover. They are a powerful definition of relationship marketing.