Relationship marketing is the way of building trust with people so that they feel secure in doing business with your company. It is a crucial part of doing business in the digital age. Digital relationship marketing involves taking care of communication involving you and your customers through the internet.
In the digital age, every business must invest in a strong online presence. Relationship marketing by keeping potential customers informed of new products and services through news updates, blogs, and other means is vital for everyone to survive this ever-changing technological world.
What Is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship marketing focuses on customer retention, satisfaction, and valuing customers. The sole purpose of this is to engage with and nurture your current customers rather than acquire new customers. Both sides are important, but I want to focus on actually retaining current customers and how this can be achieved.
Why Is Relationship Marketing So Important?
You may be thinking that as a business, you have more opportunities by reaching out to new customers and driving unique business rather than retaining existing customers. You might be right in the short term but if you’re looking at future-proofing your business, relationship marketing is the way to go.
Here are several reasons why relationship marketing is so important.
#1: A great way to build loyalty
Customers avoid shopping around if they have already had a positive experience with a specific business, and will likely go back for more if a relationship is built. This in turn builds loyalty.
#2: Price Becomes Less Important
Because loyalty has been built, and trust becomes a key factor; a customer is more focused on the value they are getting, rather than the cost of something.
#3: It’s A Word-Of-Mouth Generator
If you are successful with your relationship marketing and you have a happy repeat customer, they are going to refer your business to their friends, family, and possibly their audience.
#4: You Sell More
In the long term, relationship marketing helps you sell more. Returning customers are exactly that; returning. Not only that, but they both buy more, and buy more often.
#5: Upselling & Cross-Selling Is Much Easier
I have found it much easier to upsell or cross-sell one of my online courses to someone who has already taken part in one of my courses, than someone who hasn’t purchased from me before.
#6: Acquisition Cost Is Much Less
You’ve only had to acquire this customer once, so there are no further costs associated with this; only nurturing.
Having a successful relationship marketing strategy isn’t easy because there is a lot you need to think about. To make this easier for you, here are my 6 key elements of relationship marketing.
The 6 Key Elements Of Relationship Marketing
#1: Customer Service
Regardless of how advanced technology is, or whether Artificial Intelligence plays a huge part in communication, human interaction is still going to be a huge part of relationship marketing.
Excellent customer service is key when looking at ways to build relationships with your community online. When delivering customer service, you need to make sure that it is both engaging and personalized.
If a customer reaches out to you online about their recent order and you ignore them or give them a standard reply, they won’t feel important. As soon as they feel unimportant to a business, they decide to spend their money elsewhere.
#2: Education Through Content
A huge part of my relationship marketing strategy is writing content that not only connects with my audience but educates them in the way they want to be educated.
I know that from doing extensive research into what my audience wants that “how-to”, “why” and “top tips” are key phrases my audience looks for in content. My audience also enjoys video-based content whether this is talking about a webinar or a live stream.
Relationship marketing isn’t about promoting your business. It’s about informing your audience. Selling today means nothing if you’re not thinking about tomorrow. Build your audience for the future, and not for the “quick win”.
I have built a huge audience across multiple platforms who read the content I create regularly. Think about how you can go beyond acquisition and offer free content that is appreciated.
I run regular webinars, have free resources on my website, and write regular content for my two websites, as well as partners.
#3: Social Media
Let’s strip back all of the misconceptions around Social Media, and the negativity around it.
Take the phrase “Social Media”. It’s meant as a way to socially share media (content) that engages a specific community. It has become the number one place that your audience love to hang out, and engage so it needs to be a huge part of your relationship marketing strategy.
Don’t think that you have to be on every single social network to make your strategy a success. Do your research, find out where your audience is most engaged, and ONLY use those social networks. I always tell businesses to avoid spreading themselves too thin because this only negatively impacts a customer’s view of a business.
#4: Email Marketing
Probably the most important part of my relationship marketing strategy is email marketing. I use email marketing as one of the powerful ways in which I can nurture, personalize and engage with my audience.
To make sure I was getting the most out of my audience, I spend a lot of time finding out which email marketing tool would give me what I’m looking for. I started with MailChimp and as my business grew, I moved to ActiveCampaign. I found out that Infusionsoft catered more towards nurturing through automation so I made the move to Infusionsoft in 2017 and never looked back.
As important as it is to engage through email, you first need to understand what tool you should be using as it will have a huge impact on open rate, click-through rate, and general engagement.
#5: Loyalty/Referral Program
There are several different ways that I like to reward my audience members when it comes to their undivided loyalty. This could be through a competition or giveaway but usually, through discounts and offers.
If a member of my community has purchased a course of mine already, I will always offer a discount for the next course they take. I will also allow them to offer a course to friends/colleagues for a heavily discounted price too.
It costs me next to nothing to do this, and I get such a high ROE (return on engagement) and ROI (return on investment) because I am both securing a new customer, and keeping a return customer happy.
#6: Surveys & Questionnaires
To make a strategy work, your customers need to be on board. The only way to make this truly happen is to ask them. You want to help your customers and solve their pain, and to do this; you need to know what pain needs solving.
This may be quite hard in the beginning and you may find that your questionnaires aren’t being answered but give it time. Customers are much more willing to give feedback once they like and trust you as a business.
Feedback doesn’t have to be limited to surveys and questionnaires. It could be about running a Twitter poll, a Facebook Poll, or an Instagram Stories Poll. Wherever your audience is most engaged with you is where you should ask for feedback.
After reading all of the above, have you understood the importance of relationship marketing in the digital age? What changes are you going to make to your strategy so that you are retaining customers successfully?
More Realization of Digital Marketing Importance
People around the world are obsessed with the Internet. It doesn’t matter if they are young or old. Billions of people are interested in the Internet in one fashion or another. According to Statista.com, 2.48 billion people worldwide used social media platforms in 2017. This site also states that 243.6 million people in the United States used the Internet in 2018, and 257.4 million people in the US are expected to use social media sites in a few years.
Having said this, it will behoove any company to take full advantage of social media platforms. Even Bear Newman from Bear Fox Marketing says that because the majority of consumers do brand research before making a purchase, it is important for your brand to be on relevant social media platforms. So, when you utilize digital marketing for your company, make sure to use social media sites that will reach your target audience and even hire the top New Jersey Digital Marketing Agency, Radiant Elephant.
Effectively Strategizing Digital Marketing
When it comes to social media marketing, you can check with various services to determine your target audience. Sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, have algorithms that can match your type of business to individuals/companies you are providing services or products to. Also, social media platforms can present your promotion to possible leads by taking what you typed in your tagline to what you typed concerning how many companies or people you want to reach when setting up your marketing campaign on those social media sites.
Knowing your target market is always vital when it comes to reaching your audience. Regardless, of it is the digital age or not, you must know how to reach your audience. If you don’t research your target audience, you will most likely waste your marketing budget. You most likely won’t get a good ROI. Just because marketing is done mainly on this type of technology doesn’t necessarily mean you will be successful in your marketing efforts. So, marketers must understand the demographics, consumers’ norms, and their shared beliefs to have success in reaching them.
Search engines are another major digital marketing tool to use. Google, Bing, MSN, and Yahoo are among the most used search engines among users. However, most of these users only check the first few pages. Because of this, you must work on having your site on the first page or very close to the first page. To achieve this, you must use various SEO techniques, but you must beware of the ever-changing rules and algorithms that Google uses as well.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
One of the benefits of digital marketing is having easier access to your target market right under the tips of your fingers. Other benefits include:
Businesses can easily obtain feedback from customers
With analytical tools built-in on social media sites and search engines, companies can easily check on the number of visitors, sales, and even consumers’ comments. They also can check on other sites, such as HootSuite, Yelp, and online consumer reports about their products and services. You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money doing surveys anymore.
More affordable prices than other forms of marketing
Advertising on the radio or TV is still very expensive. However, you can advertise for a very small fee or an enormous amount. It all depends on your budget and goals.-
Marketing can start immediately.
It only takes a few minutes to get your marketing campaign together for social media sites, GoogleAds, Yelp, etc.-
A broad array of marketing tools is available.
There are various ways to market online. Besides SEO, SMO, YouTube, Yelp, GoogleAds, you can use other forms of digital marketing, including email marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and text marketing.
The digital age is here to stay, and businesses should take full advantage of digital platforms to reach the masses. If they don’t, they will lag while their competition will soar.
With the fact that most people are online to find information, pay bills, and even shop online for different services and products, companies must market digitally. Traditional marketing forms are mostly a thing from the past.
In today’s digital age, the word ‘relationship’ is associated more with friendship and social networking sites. Whether it is a relationship through blood ties or a business connection, we all would agree that maintaining a healthy and long-term relationship improves your quality of life.