The #1 goal of any marketing strategy is to get a business in front of their target audience.
Companies spend no shortage of time, energy, and money to do so. And who can blame them? At its core, marketing’s function is to communicate the value of goods & services to consumers so they want to buy.
But..what if it was more?
What if marketing connected a business to an audience beyond the transaction? What if it showed exactly how a brand shows up & serves clients in a way that’s much more meaningful?
To put it simply, what if marketing was about building relationships?
So…What is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on cultivating deeper, more meaningful connections with customers to ensure long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty.
It’s a shift in focus from the current numbers-heavy, ROI-based marketing tactics.
Yes, measuring returns is important, but the key to relationship marketing is that it goes beyond generating sales & revenue. A good relationship marketing strategy places emphasis equally on the relationship a business has with its customers and the customer’s experience with a brand.
Meaningful connection is the goal.
Once a business begins to create connections, they begin to build community. A community of clients who know, like, trust, and refer business to you (…and maybe even each other). This has a long-term impact of creating more loyal, Raving Fans.
Create Raving Fans
“Happy customers are your biggest advocates and can become your most successful sales team.”
Creating Raving Fans goes hand in hand with an amazing customer experience & increased client retention.
The more a client knows, likes, and trusts your business, the more likely they are to:
- Refer friends and family to you.
- Share your goods and services on their social media channels.
- Write online reviews for your brand.
And online reviews from clients who trust & believe in your services can skyrocket your brand. In fact, reviews are so helpful that 85% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
When you go above & beyond for your clients you can not only increase their LTV, you can also increase the chance of them using word-of-mouth to get you more customers.
Increase the Lifetime Value of Your Clients
The lifetime value (LTV) or a customer is, roughly, the estimate of how much they will spend with a business over their lifetime.
Let’s say you’re a financial advisor…
You meet a newly married couple interested in investing. When they decide to do business with you and become a client, you are successfully beginning to build a relationship with them. As time goes on, and new milestones are met in their lives, like the birth of a child, who are they going to go to for establishing an education fund?
If you’ve been maintaining a positive relationship through key retention strategies, like annual review, birthday and anniversary cards, and so many other ideas…then your financial firm is at the top of their mind each time a new life milestone requires financial planning.
The LTV of this client is the sum of every service you can provide across their lifetime with you.
In order to increase this value, creating & maintaining relationships with your clients needs to be your highest priority.
Build Great Client Relationships
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.”
You don’t get increased client retention & Raving Fans without relationship marketing. And at the core of a great relationship marketing strategy, is the customer experience.
If you are providing a stellar customer experience backed by your experience and attention to their needs, you are on the right path with your relationship marketing strategy.
Here are a few ways to provide the kind of customer experience that keeps clients coming back for more!
1. Delight & Surprise Outside of the Inbox
Once you’ve gained a new client or made a sale, show your appreciation early & often with some goodies delivered to their office (or home). A follow-up or thank you gift that is personalized to them can be such a delightful surprise. When you stand out beyond their inbox, that simple card with sweet treat lasts a little longer than the email note you also send. For business owners who operate primarily online (coaches, consultants, course creators), adding a mailbox thank you gift will make an even bigger impact.
If you want to learn how to set up a system for sending customized gifts to your clients, check out the Banner Season automation system.
2. Get Personal
Speaking of personalization, using it, especially when it comes to automation is a great way to build relationships. People connect with people. Don’t be afraid to show up with a little more of your personal story and why you appreciate your clients being a part of it. Connecting what you do with why you do it makes people love you even more!
Don’t forget to personalize your communications…even when you are leveraging the power of automation. Marketing platforms today make it easy for you to customize more than just your greeting line in emails or landing pages. Be sure you’re segmenting your audience to give both prospects and consumers the value they deserve.
3. Be Transparent
Now, more than ever, it’s important to communicate who you are and what you stand for to your customers. 63% of consumers prefer to purchase from purpose-driven brands. Transparency on the values, mission, and vision of your business can help increase loyalty as customers want to align with brands that share their values.
4. Ask for Feedback
This works two-fold. On one hand, you can receive valuable insight into your customers and how they view your business. With this feedback, you can tighten up any areas where your team may be lacking. On the other hand, asking for client feedback is a great way to make them feel included in upcoming business decisions. Polling your audience on what services they enjoy or want to see more of can build excitement for future launches.
5. Automate a White Glove Experience
Believe it or not…authentic automation is a great way to build and nurture client relationships.
Chatbots can answer client questions quickly (from your website or your fan page).
Automated emails can be set up to create a client onboarding or welcome series that walks someone through getting to know you and your business in a genuine way.
Backend operational systems can notify you and your clients when purchases are made, contracts signed, and invoices are due. Plus…automation can create internal efficiencies in your business that keep you focused on what you do best…serving your clients!
Quick Note: The trick with using automation is to do so authentically. Sorry…canned responses won’t cut it! So take the time to map those moments that matter before you dive headfirst into automating your business.
Streamline Your Marketing Strategy with SGD
Building great relationships with your clients starts with a great strategy grounded by showing up with great service. At Smart Girl, we can help you gain clarity on your current marketing plans and refine them to attract, convert, and retain more customers – and turn them into Raving Fans.
If you’d like help with your Digital Marketing Strategy…Schedule a Free Digital Discovery Session today to see how we can help you build a smart relationship marketing strategy.