The dream of every business is to have a loyal customer base which consistently buys its products and enthusiastically tells everyone they know to buy them, too. The world of advertising gives us lots of ways to get our message out there, but only relationship marketing lets us create true two-way communication with our customers. If you’re simply depending on your website or blog to endear customers, you’re missing out on what social media can do for your customer base.
Relationship Marketing Allows for Tailored Advertising
It’s a big world out there and a message perceived as funny to one group comes across as tacky to another. Content marketing allows you to put out a single message to everyone in hopes that the majority will either embrace it or at least not be put off by it. Relationship marketing lets you get to know people, both your customers and potential customers, so you can offer them messages to effectively meet their needs in a pleasing way.
Relationship Marketing is a Two-Way Street
Did you get less than enthusiastic results from your last marketing campaign? Even worse, did your campaign blow up in your face? All the focus groups in the world are no protection against campaigns ending like the failed Taco Bell chihuahua commercials. As it turns out, even enormously popular ads can actually lower sales. Some examples? The Energizer Bunny, California Raisins, Alka Seltzer meatballs, and Dove’s campaign for real beauty. How can you avoid these pitfalls? Relationship marketing lets you identify what’s wrong with your messages immediately and fix the problem before it translates into poor sales.
Relationship Marketing Builds Deeper Customer Bonds
The days of throwing your advertisements in customers’ faces and garnering lots of sales has passed. DVRs have killed TV ad values, satellite radio is annihilating radio ads, and the Internet is gobbling up the rest. Content marketing is better than traditional ads, but it’s still static.
Today’s consumers want dynamic messaging they can respond to. When these messages touch them, they want to share. Ever seen a funny commercial you’d like to show your friend? Yeah, with relationship marketing you can do just that. Give them a good message and they’ll like and share for eons.
Relationship Marketing is Public Relations on Steroids
Remember the poster child of successful public relations, the Tylenol incident? That was way back in 1982, but it’s still being used in college textbooks to illustrate exactly how to deal with a public relations crisis. What if Johnson & Johnson had social media then? If the company managed to endear the public and attain reputation-saving sympathy with a few TV cameras in their war room, what could they have done with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest?
Let’s look at the antithesis of Tylenol’s success: Toyota’s PR nightmare of 2010. With some effective relationship marketing, Toyota could have emerged as a victim of circumstances instead of the villain they ended up looking like.
Is relationship marketing the end-all of the advertising world? No, there’s still plenty of room for effective content marketing and other Internet, mobile, and traditional marketing efforts. But companies who learn to incorporate relationship marketing into their overall strategies are going to eat less forward-thinking companies for breakfast with a side of buttered toast.
What do you think?