A quote from Maya Angelou says, “People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.” Anyone can run a business, but what is the key to setting that business apart from others? Simple, it’s relationships! So what is relationship marketing? Let’s check it out on this #MarketingMonday.
Relationship marketing is customer-centric. It’s about putting your focus on making them FEEL valued. But how do you make them feel? This is done through any interaction that your business has with a consumer, whether that be in person or online.
Meet Your Audience Where They Are
Choose your ideal demographic. Now, meet them where they are. Let’s look at an example. Known for being the world’s top choice for action cameras, GoPro uses Instagram to advertise to its target audience. The brand account has over 16 million followers and posts at least once a day. Because they are an action camera company with a target age demographic of 18-35, it only makes sense that they advertise heavily on Instagram. It’s important to remember though, that not every business with that age demographic will want to use Instagram as their primary promotion platform. Do your research on where your target audience spends most of their web-time, meanwhile considering what product or service you are selling.
Relationships are all about personal interaction. While it’s crucial to maintain professionalism when engaging with a consumer, it is also important to treat them as a human being. Especially for the larger companies, it can be easy to see customers as just another number on a spreadsheet. The key to avoiding this lies in one-on-one conversation.
Let’s look at an example. Say I work for Nike, managing the customer service portion of their website. If someone sends in a message asking for help, there are a few different ways that I could use relationship marketing in my response. I could start the message by using the consumer’s first name, or by thanking them for reaching out. But what about in person? At some clothing stores, you will notice relationship marketing at work in the dressing room. You might be asked for your first name so that the employee can write it on the door. When they come back to check on you, they address you by that name. These are each small, but effective ways to make a customer feel valued.
Whether it be the customer that goes to Starbucks for a coffee every morning before work, or the one that will only buy Nike tennis shoes because they’re his favorite – every brand or business has a set of raving fans. Because you made that connection, these types of consumers feel attached to your brand and continue to purchase from you. That’s awesome, so what are you going to do to build this relationship? Some businesses offer rewards to repeat customers, with loyalty programs. Others send “Happy Birthday” emails or holiday coupons. Showing your current customers that you appreciate their business. This helps develop the brand loyalty you already have, as well as generating a lasting relationship.