I refuse to relent.
I have old fashioned values, whereas I believe that relationships, my word and a handshake still mean something. Sticking to traditional values of honesty, integrity and hard work are imperative parameters on how I run my company. I will embrace, encourage and foster relationships in my everyday business practices. I will not relent; I will not give in to the progressing faceless, electronic and legalistic society that we’re becoming.
Therefore, relationship marketing is a key and primary focus of my business and marketing plan. I’ll argue that this concept can revolutionize your company, revitalize your bottom line and dramatically increase your customer retention rate.
Now for a marketing/history lesson…
Relationship Marketing is a marketing strategy whose objective is to establish and maintain a profitable, long-term relationship with a customer, which goes beyond the initial contact.
Relationship marketing is a form of marketing that evolved from direct response marketing; it places emphasis on building longer-term relationships with customers rather than on individual transactions. Relationship marketing involves an understanding of customers’ needs and wants through their lifecycle and providing a range of products or services accordingly.
The term relationship marketing was popularized in the 1980s when the focus of marketers started to switch from customer acquisition to customer retention.
Did you catch that…I’ll repeat? Relationship marketing is the focus on customer retention rather than customer acquisition!
In today’s sophisticated consumer environment, the focus is on customers and relationships rather than markets and products is now required.
While a growing business needs to constantly capture new customers, the focus and priority should be on pleasing your existing customer base. Companies that fail to nurture and retain their customer base ultimately fail. You will also spend twice as much to get new clients as you will in maintaining your existing customer base. You will also be limited in your ability to attract new clients if you can’t hold on to and satisfy your existing customers and clients.
The bottom line is that one of the key components in marketing and business growth is to spend the majority of your time and effort nurturing customer relationships, so that you get business from existing clients and customers. This is a strategy that will move you forward in increasing your sales by 50% without increasing your budget.
Personality makes a brand stand out from the crowd. You have to differentiate you from your competition. NEWSFLASH – you are your brand and people are buying the brand…yes; of course, they are buying said product…but, they are buying into…YOU!
How do you create the personal feel in a digital world? You create interaction and relationships with consumers that have the potential to be a customer. Consumers still buy from those they like and trust.
GET OUT THERE – Stop hiding in your office, get out there. We’ve all started to depend on electronic communication, so much so that we don’t attend events like we used to or go to networking events anymore. We have become comfortable in our retail shops and our offices. It’s time to get back out there. Consumers want to see the people that are behind the brand, this helps them to associate the brand with a personality. They will appreciate being able to put a face with a name.
Relationship marketing is one of the best forms of marketing. It benefits you and your prospects. It saves on cost. The cost of maintaining an old customer is 10% of that of marketing for new customers. When you maintain a trust within your customers, there are chances of them recommending you to others; also known as Viral Marketing. With relationship marketing there are higher conversion rates (the rate of changing a prospect into client).
Go back to the basics, get out there and be seen. Shake some hands and make it a goal of calling on your customers. If nothing else, just say…hello!
A blog by RFK