There is no successful business without a strong customer relationship. Thus, the stronger the relationship, the deeper the level of trust, loyalty, and devotion customers will have for a brand.
The big question – what happens if your customer relationships aren’t very strong? The answer is that you will struggle to build your brand and retain your customers.
So if you are not consistently strengthening your customer relationships, you might be in big trouble. Take Apple as an example; have you imagine why fans want to be the first to get a new release of the iPhone. Of course, it's a result of a solid relationship marketing.
In this article, you’ll learn all about how you can use relationship marketing to build your brand, dominate the market, and grow your business.
Well said, right. But wait!
What is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship marketing is a business strategy used to nurture long-term customer loyalty and engagement, rather than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales.
According to Jay Deutsch, CEO of merchandise agency BDA – “I view relationship marketing as a brand’s ability to create an emotional connection with the consumer.”
The goal of relationship marketing is to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests through ongoing communications.
This means it’s all about the long-term. Consequently, customer relationship marketing is very different from more traditional transactional marketing methods.
Take pay-per-click advertising (PPC) channel as an example, they are all about money-in versus money-out. It’s short-term. It’s tactical as opposed to strategic. Hence, it doesn't allow you to make a measurable return on investment.
On the other hand, relationship marketing is focused on building things like reputation, loyalty, and customer retention.
I know you may ask why investing in relationship marketing when its extremely difficult to measure the effectiveness of your relationship marketing campaigns – there’s no reliable metric for emotions like goodwill and respect.
Now let's jump into the:
3 Fantastic Ways Relationship Marketing Can Build Your Brand
In simple words, I will say that relationship marketing is a future multiplier. A difference between making $100 today or $1,000,000 in 5 years.
Here’s how your investments in relationship marketing can compound to produce incredible results in the future:
1. Higher Retention
Don’t underestimate the power of customer retention.
To start, global management consultancy Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention by just five percent can increase company profits by a whopping 25 percent.
Plus, repeat customers spend an average of 67 percent more than new customers.
But that’s not all.
Acquiring new customers is estimated to be 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining current ones.
Okay, sure – the longer you retain customers, the more money you make and the higher your customer lifetime value.
But, that’s not even the best part.
This is: A high rate of customer retention is a superpower – one that you can use to dominate your competition.
Say that your average customer lifetime value is $50, and your competitors are $25. This means that you’ll make $25 more than your competitor on each customer you land.
Now, imagine you’re running a PPC Facebook ad campaign.
These campaigns work on a bidding system. This means that the business which bids the most wins the opportunity to place their ad in front of their target audience.
And here’s the kicker:
When you make $25 more than your competitors on each customer, you can afford to bid a lot more on your Facebook advertising campaign than your competitor.
In other words, you can buy all of their traffic.
2. Enhances Your Brand Reputation
What is a brand?
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said it best: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
The state of your customer relationships determines your brand’s reputation. And a business won’t survive for long with a poor brand reputation.
I mean, how often do you buy things from people or businesses you don’t like?
As marketer George Farris said, “We elect and buy from people we like. Likability is number one. We also need to believe they are honest and have our best interests at heart.”
So you should pay attention to the way people perceive your business’s brand.
The success of the online shoe store Zappos demonstrates the power of reputation and strong customer relationships.
Tony Hsieh, the founder, and CEO of Zappos explained the business’ success by saying, “We’re now at over $2 billion in gross merchandise sales, and the number one driver of all that growth has been repeat customers and word of mouth.”
3. Improve ROI Across the Board
Most businesses have such poor customer relationship marketing that they must work extremely hard to convince customers to purchase their products.
Truly great businesses don’t need to work at all.
For example, Apple simply announces a new product launch and the queues begin to form. No lengthy persuasion is necessary.
That’s the power of relationship marketing.
However, you can’t achieve this with logical arguments or rationale. You must connect emotionally.
In the words of poet and activist Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
As Farris puts it: “Conversation with customers will increase sales, even if the product or service is never mentioned.”
Powerful relationship marketing builds a strong foundation and sets the stage. It’s the oil in the engine: With it, everything is smooth and efficient. Without it, you’re toast.