Beyond Social Media: How Relationship Marketing Creates Loyalty
Use Relationship Marketing To Build Brand Loyalty
Think about your relationships with your family, friends, and colleagues. They are built on common goals, beliefs, values, and trust.
Relationships are based on four principles: respect, understanding, acceptance, and appreciation.
— Mahatma Gandhi
The same principles that we measure and meet the people with whom we have relationships in our everyday lives can be extended to the business world.
What values do your customers hold that are important to you?
What is your why? Review your vision and mission statements. What values and principles are conveyed in them?
In identifying your target audience, who else holds these same beliefs? What else do they like or dislike? What are their dreams and aspirations?
This is the beginning of relationship marketing. Identify core beliefs and BE AUTHENTIC to your true self and then find others who believe the same as you. Socrates said, "To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom."
If you have a clear picture of who you are as a brand and your direction, you have the opportunity to be an industry expert and lead others. As difficult decisions and perhaps temptations to cut corners arise, you'll have the clarity and commitment to be true to yourself and thus your customers.
This is why Relationship Marketing is one of several key pillars that rest at the foundation of many holistic marketing strategies.
Related: Grow Your Brand With Holistic Marketing
By leveraging relationship marketing, companies can build powerful connections with their customers. These connections act as channels to the consumer audience, and these channels can be used to communicate important information about your brand and its products.
Think about it. When your most loyal customers see your marketing, they like, share, and tell their friends.
What if there was a way to supercharge this cycle, allowing you to build stronger relationships with more people than before?
A holistic marketing strategy that incorporates brand marketing is the solution.
It’s really that simple.
Yet many business leaders underestimate the importance of building brand loyalty.
What Is Brand Loyalty?
People who have a cursory knowledge of brand loyalty may assume that their customers’ level of brand loyalty is based on how much they are willing to pay for goods or services. Yet this has little, if anything, to do with brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty instead revolves around how consumers perceive your brand. If you have several consecutive promotional campaigns and each garners a more positive response than the last, you are likely steadily improving brand loyalty for your business. As more loyal customers attach themselves to your brand, your ability to sell unique products that target your niche will grow substantially.
In time, you’ll notice that regardless of what your company puts out, you can trust that your core audience will be interested. This phenomenon occurs because when people see companies that go the extra mile to develop real relationships, they perceive those companies as more dependable and potentially more competitive in the marketplace. That improved public perception encourages more sales and stronger engagement.
Brand Loyalty vs Customer Loyalty
Sometimes business professionals conflate customer loyalty and brand loyalty, but the concepts are, in fact, different. While brand loyalty relates to public perception of your brand, customer loyalty is a measure of how often your customers come back to your business to make a purchase.
Customer loyalty can be improved by doing things like lowering prices or simply increasing your marketing reach. Brand loyalty, on the other hand, is improved by implementing holistic brand marketing strategies that incorporate relationship marketing as a means of developing deep connections with consumers.
Related: Behavioral Psychology in Marketing and How to Use it for Good
What Is Relationship Marketing?
Creating real emotional connections with your customers is the primary use of relationship marketing. As these connections develop over time, your customers will grow to trust your brand more and more. Once that trust is developed, your company will be elevated above your competitors in the eyes of the customers who’ve grown to know you.
Through effective relationship marketing, you can build an active community of followers who wish for nothing more than to grow your business. This, in turn, can allow you to develop a more complex vision and mission for your company.
Relationship Marketing Is One Of Your Most Powerful Tools
A holistic marketing campaign should be hinged on the idea of using your brand’s mission to create public perception that positively influences sales, engagement, and society. If your goal is to leverage your brand’s influence as effectively as possible, you will need the trust of your audience.
The best way to get customers to trust your brand is to find out what their preferences are, then deliver on those terms. Doing this allows businesses to engage their customers with products and incentives that provide unique value to them. In doing so, they encourage new sales from customers that have bought products from them in the past.
With this in mind, it should be clear that all businesses can benefit from some form of relationship marketing.
Which Companies Benefit Most From Relationship Marketing?
By now, you should see that relationship marketing is an effective tool that can be applied by any growth-oriented company, but you may be curious about which companies benefit most from a strategy that involves relationship marketing.
The answer is clear—
Businesses with evergreen products and services benefit most from relationship marketing.
To be evergreen, a product or service must remain relevant over long periods of time. Products that you can buy once and never buy again are hard to sell through relationship marketing because, in most cases, your customers may engage with you, but if they’ve already made a purchase, they likely won’t need to buy more. Of course, they may still recommend your products to the people they are close to, but you won’t be able to fully capitalize on your relationship marketing strategy.
Businesses with repeatable products and services are in a much better position to benefit from relationship marketing. The brand loyalty that can be built by such businesses is highly valuable because customers need these products and they will buy them anyway. The purchase will happen either way, but relationship marketing makes it more likely that you will achieve a sale because as long as the services being offered are equal, people are bound to choose the company that they already have a relationship with, rather than its competitors
The Types of Relationship Marketing and How to Perform Each
Relationship marketing is a complex business process that is best approached on a step-by-step basis. If you are curious about how your company can integrate relationship marketing into its marketing operations, here’s some more detail about the different stages and types of relationship marketing.
Step 1: Create Awareness
Before you can build relationships, you must reach potential customers. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is begin acquiring customers. As you acquire new customers and guide them through the purchasing process, you will have ample opportunity to set the groundwork for a mutually beneficial consumer-business relationship.
Step 2: Reactive Marketing
Once you have customers responding to your marketing efforts, you can begin reacting to their engagement. Whether this means responding to comments on social media or offering incentives based on customer habits, you will need to provide your customers with some amount of feedback. Through these interactions, you can begin communicating your intent to customers as soon as possible.
Step 3: Accountable Marketing
This stage of the relationship marketing process goes a slight bit further than reactive marketing. Accountable marketing involves taking responsibility for any suggestions or feedback given to you by your customers. To be successful in this step of your relationship marketing plan, you must actively respond to the problems of your customers using marketing.
Step 4: Proactive Marketing
Once you’ve built a reasonable audience and used their feedback to gather data, it’s time to improve your products and services using the feedback you’ve received. In doing so, you can prevent future customers from facing the same issues as past customers, and encourage returning customers to buy your latest products.
Once you’ve learned how to set up a proactive marketing campaign, you will start seeing far greater results from your relationship marketing efforts. Through innovation and optimization, businesses like yours can build a unique company culture and product catalog that’s built based on the precise interests of your core customers.
Step 5: Partnership Marketing
The final step of relationship marketing typically involves developing partnerships with other businesses to improve the experience of both companies’ customers. This has the potential to enhance customer satisfaction and improve brand loyalty immensely.
To find brands and businesses that are a good fit for collaborations, you should work with a brand marketing agency. Their team of professional markets should be able to identify several businesses in your niche that have a similar audience to yours.
Related: Hiring a Holistic Marketing Agency Vs. In House Employees
Implement a Comprehensive Relationship Marketing Strategy, Seamlessly
It takes significant expertise to execute a relationship marketing strategy that maximizes brand loyalty and customer engagement. Even companies that have a full marketing department may struggle to implement an effective relationship marketing strategy quickly.
If you want to increase loyalty to your brand as soon as possible, it might be time to consider hiring a digital marketing agency.
BeNatural Marketing is a leading brand marketing agency that offers a suite of unique marketing services that your company can leverage to build brand loyalty while also increasing brand awareness. We prioritize transparency in our approach, and our team is focused on nurturing fruitful relationships with our many clients
We believe that our holistic marketing services are best suited for purpose-driven brands that offer products that their customers use routinely. If you want to find out more about whether our services are a good match for your business, get in touch with one of our consultants today.
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