April 23, 2014

The Key to Developing a Successful Relationship Marketing Strategy

3 min read

Written by: Sierra Calabresi  |  Share:

shutterstock_144999055-[Converted]You put a lot of time into developing and nurturing relationships with your customers. Not only is it important for long-term engagement and customer satisfaction but it's also the key to developing a successful relationship marketing strategy. 

Since every business operates and markets differently, it’s essential to find the correct balance between developing new relationships and nurturing existing relationships in order to encourage repeat customers. Starting new relationships may seem like an obvious way to expand your business and increase the ROI (return on investments), but focusing more on nurturing current relationships is typically the way to go.

Not only does it cost less to market to existing customers; statistically they spend 33% more then new customers. Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that just because someone purchased from you before means they will purchase from you again. The key to an effective relationship marketing strategy is developing an emotional connection with the customer and showing them you care, over and over again!

The Emotional Disconnect

Let's say you hired an agency to redesign your website and at the start they were in touch constantly. They went above and beyond to meet deadlines and keep you involved in their process. Everything was seamless from beginning to end, but now it's a year later and you have lost touch.

Do you still feel like a valued customer? We can venture a guess to feel like this large company forgot all about you. Maybe you have ran into some technical or redirect issues. Wouldn't it have been nice if they offered comprehensive support? Or followed up with their services?

Think of it this way, when it comes time for the customer to need support on an upcoming project they may not think of the business that stopped providing customer service as soon as the project reached the finish line. After all, they no longer have that emotional connection that “sold you” to them in the first place.

Don’t Let Existing Customers Fall Through the Cracks

Although there are lots of different ways to do this, there is undoubtedly a correct way and an incorrect way to effectively develop relationship-marketing strategies. At New Breed, we are all about developing and nurturing relationships by providing them with information they need and promoting open communication. Find out what works for your business by identifying your target persona, starting small and testing the results of all your new techniques. 

Here Are Four Easy, Inexpensive Ideas to Get You Started!

1. Target your campaign effectively: This is where a well-developed target persona comes into play. Instead of sending out email blasts blindly, interrupting someone’s day and often falling privy to deaf ears; ask yourself what your typical consumer wants to know. Make sure the information you are sending out is relevant and helps solve a problem your personas face.

Maybe you also need to segment your email list into two different groups so the right messages are being sent to the right people. You won’t be clogging your contacts’ mailboxes with seemingly useless information, which will improve your click-through rate and lessen the number of people unsubscribing to your emails. And if their inbox is anything like ours, they will definitely appreciate the lightened load of useless information.

2. Use social media to nurture leads and delight current customers: First, find out what social media networks your personas are using. Start thinking of social media as a positive, helpful outlet for you to share information and not as a way to push your sales pitch. Share great content and show your readers that you have more to offer than just your business service. Educate your readers by offering eBooks, sharing relevant blog posts from your business blog and sharing information from other credible sources. 

The most unique feature of social media is that it simplifies and speeds up communication. Use this feature to your advantage and encourage engagement by asking questions and responding to comments. Social media also helps you to personify and humanize your business. It also is a two-way street; if you want followers, friends and connections to 'like' your posts, re-tweet or stay in touch then lead by example. 

3. Keep them in the loop: Your customers will appreciate that you went above and beyond to keep them updated and in the loop on new offers, product launches, and upcoming events. This is also a great opportunity to get feedback; which will not only help you to develop a stronger relationship with your customer, but it will make them feel like a valuable asset to your business (which they most certainly are).

4. Harness the power of networking: Create your own event. If this seems too overwhelming to start, consider what your brand represents and get involved in a related community event. Invite your leads and existing customers to attend with you.

Sound simple? It is! Developing a strong relationship marketing strategy will result in increased word of mouth activity about your business, repeat business and a greater willingness in your customers to provide you with feedback and information.

Leave a comment below and tell us about other techniques that have worked for you.

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[Image Source: ShutterStock]

Topics: Demand Generation

About The Author

Sierra Calabresi is a former New Breeder.

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