Traditional one-way marketing has its place, but if you’re relying solely on these methods, you may find it hard to build up a base of loyal customers. Ads and branding will get people in the door, but winning loyalty requires a long-term relationship marketing plan.
Relationship marketing encourages two-way interactions over years, not just a few months. It requires genuine responsiveness on your part. This type of marketing can accomplish things for your business traditional marketing never can.
- Targeted communications – Your content marketing may reach its target audience, but it’s still little more than advertising unless you give people a chance to interact with the content, and you respond to your audience’s input. One way to do this is with personalized email campaigns that take into account each customer’s purchase history.
- Continual improvements – Market research can never garner the kind of accurate information you can get through candid conversations with your customers. When you’ve really been listening to your customers, you’ll have a clearer idea of what kinds of marketing campaigns will bring in sales. You’ll also get quick, honest feedback on what’s working and what isn’t.
- Strong emotional bonds – When you truly understand your customers, you can create targeted marketing messages that reach them on an emotional level. Over time, these messages, combined with genuine, open communication, allow your customers to develop an emotional connection with your company. When this happens, your buyers will be less likely to jump ship over minor inconveniences or price increases.
- More effective public relations – No matter how well organized you are, eventually something will go wrong. When you’ve invested time in building authentic relationships with customers and media contacts, you’ll have diehard fans on your side to help you maintain your good reputation when the unexpected happens.
A comprehensive relationship marketing plan helps you keep loyal customers who’ll send you referrals, confidently try your new products, and stand by you when things get tough.
Do you have a long-term relationship marketing plan or are you still relying on traditional one-way marketing? What are you doing now to encourage loyalty and open communication with your customers?
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