Relationship marketing surely isn’t a new concept, but it is one that is quickly becoming a priority for businesses of all types. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the increased importance towards building and nurturing a relationship with customers, regardless of what medium you choose to do it through.
Customers need to hear from their brands, sure, and in digital speak, you can connect with just about anyone on the planet today. The connection however is only the first step. While a connection is only a ‘click’ away, a relationship requires a commitment and it needs space and time to grow.
One way to nurture that connection is to listen into the feedback coming in from customers, a great avenue to incorporate two-way conversations in your business is through social media. If a brand is looking to launch a product, test out how a service would be received, a quick test run on social media can work wonders.
Investing in technology is another great way to retain relationships with customers, incorporating CRM programs and similar softwares to manage customers, personalize messages, and maintain communication. There is a gold mine of information that can be generated from these programs that lead to a significant amount of learning about customers which can be filtered down to personalising content and campaigns in the future.
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We saw many brands navigate towards establishing an Omnichannel presence over 2020, leading into 2021. People today are used to engaging with brands in different ways, this varies depending on gender, age, location and so on. They may visit the brand website one day and then reach out to the company via its Facebook or LinkedIn page the next day, thus making it convenient for your audience to interact with your business in the way they’re most comfortable is key.
This means having a presence on the right channels is a must and if you can incorporate a chatbot, even better.
Customer service is key! How you respond to customers, the timeliness, effectiveness and way in which they are being communicated to is quite vital to the marketing function as a whole. There are many instances of poor customer services that due to the nature of media today are shared in the open for thousands to see all in a matter of a few minutes causing great damage to a brands reputation.
Lastly, through all your efforts, the goal is to build an emotional connection, people buy into stories. Break down the barrier between you and your customers and let them in to see who you, the people behind your company, are. You can do that by posting photos of your employees on social media or arranging an interview in a credible publication, share stories of how you’re supporting the local community in your email marketing. Bring your audience along and invite them to share their stories or photos. Including them in the conversation is a great way to build a deeper and long-lasting connection.
Relationship-based marketing needs to be done mindfully, while a personalized approach, it should not come across as too invasive as that can have a negative impact on the brands overall image. So, if you feel tempted to send across a WhatsApp at 10 in the night promoting a new menu launch, maybe hold off on it, it won’t be received well by a vast majority.
Ultimately reiterate how you are able to add value to the lives of your customer without coming across as too pushy and retaining consistency in all your marketing efforts to build long-term relationships.