What is relationship marketing, most times people are confused what Relationship Marketing really is. Relationship marketing, in a sense, is all about connections and maintaining relationships.
The challenge for some of us to describe what relationship marketing is to break-down what it isn’t vs what it is. Here’s what I came up with:
Wayne Hurlbert says, “Relationship marketing and relationship building with blogs has long been considered a major reason for starting and maintaining a business blog. Not all business people, and indeed not all bloggers, agree on the value of blogs for creating and developing those important customer relationships.”
You’ve often heard the term relationship marketing used, but were never really certain what it meant. It does sound kind of touchy feely, doesn’t it? Really all it means, however, is building good long term customer relations. Those lasting relationships are built on developing a sense of trust; and of becoming known to your customers, present and future, as a real person.
To turn your present marketing system into relationship marketing, you have to change your outlook somewhat. Traditionally, marketers have located their target market segments, made their offer, and made the sales. It’s always been a single step process.
A multiple step marketing program is far more valuable. That’s where relationship marketing enters the picture. Instead of trying to sell the potential customer a product or service immediately, it’s a much better idea to let the person get to know and trust you first.
Naomi Dunford wrote a guest post on Copyblogger about “Relationship Marketing”..she wrote it to stir up the pot and get great SEO. I don’t agree with her synopsis, however everyone is allowed their own opinion, as everyone has one.
There are a few comments that I do agree with, like:
Matt Zucker says, “Relationship marketing, however, isn’t more about marketing than relationships. To prioritize a short-term sell and devalue the long-term relationship. It’s cynical in some helpful ways but I think it misses the point of what relationship marketing is becoming in the digital age. Relationship marketing is built on principles of bonding the right customers to your brand and sustaining that through time.”
Mark Silver said, “My parents’ retail store is an excellent example. They have all those touchy-feely relationship things going on that you were battering into the ground. My parents have known the names of their customers, and some of their customers’ children. When one of the long-term employees died (she’d been there for 30 years) customers and people in the neighborhood were coming in and bursting into tears right there in the store all week.” Here’s why: if you aren’t being authentic/transparent to a certain degree, people won’t stick around. Because they can tell you are lying. People know.<"/em>
Truth => Ultimately marketing is a tool to attract consumers, retain them and make sales either effortless, or they just happen.
Lie => Relationships do not matter. Influencing is just being effective even if we lie, deceive, or just don’t care about our customers.
Jordan says, “Brand authenticity is crucial to the success of any marketing effort. If you are not true to your brand and mislead users; they won’t trust you and won’t buy from you. Relationship marketing, in a sense, is all about connections. If a company doesn’t create and maintain their connections properly they’d be doing themselves a huge disservice.”
“Communication is the name of the game. If you don’t see the relationship building potential in a user who becomes a follower/fan/ or commentator, relationship marketing will end up being limited to brand loyalists who would buy from you regardless of your marketing efforts.”
Michael Lowenstein says: “Relationship marketing is designed to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests and by promoting open communication. This approach often results in increased word-of-mouth activity, repeat business and a willingness on the customer’s part to provide information to the organization.
Now, I hope this answered your question of “What is Relationship Marketing.”
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