Relationship Marketing is not new, it has always been concerned with a focus on getting and keeping customers through excellent customer service delivery. Traditional out bound marketing was concerned with ‘getting’ customers and relationship marketing closed the loop to bring together customer service, perceived quality and marketing.
The real challenge of online relationship marketing in the digital age is to understand a customer segment of one like never before. Answering questions like:
- What do they believe?
- Who do they trust?
- Who do they love and what are they afraid of?
- What are they seeking?
- Who are their friends?
- What do they talk about and where online?
As a result of these answers we have a more complete view of a customer, and the opportunities for experiential marketing (both online and off-line) can be tailored for an ‘individual’ that will resonate beyond to customers just like them. These very personal experiences can be designed with the context of the customer life time value in mind.
The real challenge and opportunity for a business is whether an experience can be delivered when it counts most for the business and when it matters most for the customer.
Building a relationship and delivering an experience that matters lies in re-organising your systems, collecting the ‘relationship’ data, and in reinventing your product or service so that it becomes worth recommending. When you do that, your customers do the work of getting you more noticed through their relationships. When you produce something tailored to your ‘idealised’ customer profile, more attention leads to more conversations, which leads to more attention.
It is less about a goal of viral attention, but more about the attention by the customers that matter most; that you know matter most because you research and review your ‘soft’ metrics. You can dramatically impact your ‘brand awareness’ and improved customer relationships by investing in a tailored, targeted story that’s worth spreading.
Online marketing campaign spending is still measured through the use of hard metrics such as sales, revenue, lifetime value, and cost of acquisition. It will continue to play a role in justifying investments, but soft metrics: likes, views, URL clicks, click through rates, shares, comments, engagement, response to emails, and correlation to hard metrics will provide a complete picture of the value of the customer relationship.
The digital age provides everyone with the ability to listen, show you care about your customers and critics, but most importantly to build advocates that share and recommend your products or services.
Hope you find this article helpful? If you have any comments, please leave them below.
About the author: Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their marketing offers and brand message, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success. She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation. If you would like to request coaching online – please contact me.
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