Financially Responsible Marketing

Relationship Marketing

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012

Relationship Marketing is a term that is often heard in modern Marketing Strategies, but what is it really, and how can you effectively incorporate Relationship Marketing techniques on a small business budget?

The objective of Relationship Marketing is to establish and maintain a profitable, long-term relationship with your consumer which includes creating loyalty, repeat business and brand ambassadors.  The focus of Relationship Marketing has evolved from the individual transaction to put a far greater emphasis on understanding the consumers’ needs and wants throughout their purchasing lifecycle, and responding accordingly to these requirements.

Here are some tips on how to incorporate Relationship Marketing into your business

  • Relationship Marketing begins and ends with Loyalty
    • Every encounter with a brand communicates something about it – from browsing an end-cap, reading about it in the news, perusing a website, to picking up the packaging or discussing it with friends.  Each of these encounters has the potential to foster or hinder loyalty to that brand – therefore loyalty can be viewed as the string that connects these various brand encounters.
    • To help develop loyalty with your brand, understand all your touch-points and plot them out along your consumers’ journey.  Each piece of the journey should lead your consumer seamlessly to a purchase decision and not leave anyone wondering how to proceed

 

  • If you can track customers’ Life-Cycles, you can begin to predict them
    • By understanding your consumers’ purchasing cycles you can target Relationship Marketing efforts at the most critical trigger points to eliminate wasted marketing spend and improve ROI
    • By using the data customers create through their interactions with your brand, a simple lifecycle model can be built.  Relationship Marketing uses this model as a timing ‘blueprint’ to target consumers at the right time with the most profitable offer.  For example, following an initial purchase a consumer receives a welcome package, a 30 day follow-up email with expert tips on how to improve their experience with your product, and a 60 day follow-up email indicating additional uses for your product with a discount offer on a second purchase.

 

  • Let your customer know you appreciate them!
    • Loyalty is a measure of a consumers’ willingness to support your brand beyond the immediate purchase, and Relationship Marketing allows your brand to recognize these efforts.  Listen to your customers to understand what additional benefits are tangible and meaningful to them when creating a rewards or loyalty program.  Whether it’s an upgrade to expedited service, a VIP customer service line or a discount package, loyalty programs create a sense of community and let your customer know that you appreciate their dedication to your brand.
    • An easily employed ‘loyalty’ program can simply focus on encouraging a consumer who has just purchased a product or service to repurchase, whether through points, badges, punch cards or any number of similar mechanisms

By developing a relationship with your consumers you will be building a loyal consumer base and ensuring success in your business beyond the immediate transaction.  Contact the experts at Imaginis Marketing to learn more about incorporating Relationship Marketing techniques into the Marketing strategy for your business.