Relationship marketing is the art of attracting customers who not only want your product, but like you as a business. It's all about making your offer as appealing as possible so that they choose you as the recipient of their repeat business. You benefit from continual income without having to attract as many new customers. And it's not that difficult to start building your relationships if you have a targeted marketing list full of customers who already find your business interesting, and learn to speak to them directly.
How does relationship marketing work?
Acquiring new customers is hard work. You have to produce marketing that catches the eye of your target audience and convince them to go from knowing little about your offer to buying your product. It's much easier to keep existing customers content. After all, they've already opted to buy from you once, so they must think you do something right.
The psychology behind relationship marketing is that customers will return to a brand they trust. Creating long-term relationships builds customer loyalty, and positions your company as a brand they can return to time and again. For you, it's not about increasing sales of a particular product or getting one off purchases, but keeping people coming back to you over time. If it works, you have an easy income stream that requires minimal encouragement.
How to start relationship marketing
For marketers, it's about honing their customer relationship management. Whether the consumer chooses to engage via social media, email or through the customer service team, building a relationship must be at the forefront of all interactions. Customer satisfaction is top priority.
1. Separate your marketing strategies
Divide your campaigns into those that target new customers, and those that maintain the relationship with existing buyers. Encouraging a stranger to your brand to dive in for the first time and convincing someone to continue buying require different styles of engagement.
An existing customer will likely know a reasonable amount about your brand already. A potential customer might need some more basic information about the industry, alongside the specifics of your product.
2. Improve your customer care
Customers who receive a response to queries they post on social media spend up to 40 per cent more with that company than those who do not, according to research by Bain and Company. Don't risk losing repeat business because buyers are frustrated with the level of customer service.
Whether they are calling to make a purchase or process a return, if your team can answer all their questions and provide them with a timely service, they'll know they can rely on you when it comes to future buys. If a customer doesn't feel valued, whatever their reason for contact, they won't bother coming back for more.
3. Use technology to learn about your customers
There are now a vast number of platforms that provide data around what your customers look at online, their journey through your site, how they find your company in the first place, and what they choose to read in your email communications. Use this information to form a detailed picture about who you are targeting and what they want from you. Then make sure you provide it.
4. Personalise your communications.
Once you know who your customers are and what they value, start targeting your marketing efforts. If your research shows that your customer base appreciates in-depth articles over lists, or that on social media most of your engagement occurs when you post about a particular topic, you know those are the tactics worth continuing.
Campaign segmentation is another valuable tool when it comes to successfully personalising communications, and is a really good reason for ensuring you have high quality marketing lists. Segmentation refers to grouping your list based on, for example, where your contacts live, so you can send them very specific information that will definitely be relevant to them. If your list only contains an email address, or has incomplete data, you won't know whether a contact is interested in offers available in Perth or Sydney.
5. Provide content they trust.
One surefire way to show that you are the expert in your industry is to create content that proves it. Create an e-book, or a series of shorter pieces showcasing your knowledge, and link it back to the product or service you provide. Consider a Q&A session with an unbiased industry authority figure to demonstrate your credibility and build the level of trust your customers place in your content.
By providing lots of information, you encourage your customers to return to you more frequently. By providing useful information, you build loyalty by showing you can be relied upon to give them what they need. Instead of only turning to you when they need to make a purchase, they will engage every time they want industry information, giving you more opportunities to encourage another sale.
For more information about how our detailed marketing lists can help you build a relationship with your customers, contact The Prospect Shop today.