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In previous blogs, we discussed what relationship-based marketing is, and why it is more important than ever in today’s business world. Today, we’re going to give you some actionable relationship marketing strategies that we hope will be successful for you and your business. While reading, be sure to be on the lookout for mentions of tools that can help you along the way!
Networking, online and off, can be a powerful relationship marketing technique. This isn’t just for job seekers! Think about the interests that you have as a business, and then join groups that share your affinities. This not only helps your brand awareness, but also expands your potential customer base. It’s a win-win. Not to mention that the only tool you’ll need for this is your brain. Pick something you like and keep in mind what people similar to you might enjoy.
2. Cherish Each Customer
Not just in the way that every company says that they do. Make sure that every interaction you have with your customers shows them that they are valued. Spontaneous recognition of your current customers can go a long way. When people feel valued, they let others know. Delight your customers with the unexpected (in a good way) and be there for them no matter what. Social monitoring tools, such as Brandwatch, can help you gauge your impact. Particularly with tying a physical campaign to digital gains.
3. Listen to Your Customers
Listen to your customers! Every business says they do, but not all follow through or apply what they’ve heard. Even listening and responding to compliments can be beneficial. People love knowing they’ve been heard. Even complaints can be a blessing in disguise. People often just want someone to share their concerns with. By listening to these concerns, you ensure that your customers feel valued. Plus, if you learn what people love and dislike about you, you can leverage the feedback to improve your business. If you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM, PowerSurvey and PowerSurveyPlus are great tools that allow you to get this kind of feedback. They also allow for anonymous responses, meaning you can survey the web!
4. Build a Brand Identity
A memorable brand will make it easy for customers to find you and your product(s). Customers will gravitate toward what they find that is memorable. If your brand resonates, they will likely remember you and you can develop the relationship further. Once you have a strong brand identity, those that wish to become a raving fan will know what you stand for and why they should care.
5. Give Your Customers Free Information
What's better than free? Not much. Your customers are seeking information about your product(s). They have questions. Give them answers! Identify the topics and interests your customers have. Then, create something cool around those topics and give it to them free access. People know that you are just trying to get their contact information to sell to them if you gate it. You can certainly generate leads this way, but you’ll want to also give away some stuff for free. Answer the people!
6. Loyalty Rewards
No, I'm not talking strictly about loyalty cards and perks programs. Though those are great, if you want to truly succeed at relationship marketing, and you should, you need to expand beyond the traditional types of programs. People love getting stuff and people love being recognized. Combine the two along with some of what we’ve been mentioning. Cherish your loyal customers and reward them! You can create the perfect loyalty program and manage it with a tool like BigDoor.
7. Communicate Often
Relationships are based on communication. Your customers and users want to communicate with you, so be sure to communicate with them often. Relationship marketing works well when you strive to be there for your customers. Social media, email, advertising, and content are all ways to communicate to your customers that want to receive messages that way. Be sure to send follow-up communications where appropriate.
8. Special Events
Holding a special event for your existing or prospective customers is a great way to build relationships. If you put on a great event about a topic that your customers care about, they will remember that experience and remember your business. Likely, they will rave about the event you held and how great it was. You can also leverage exclusivity here by holding an event for your top customers. It’s a way to add incentive, but it is also a way to simply thank your customers.
9. Face-To-Face Time
Similar to a lot of what we’ve been mentioning, it comes back to interactions. While electronic communication is great, and often preferred, having a face-to-face meeting can help the customer feel valued. Consider stopping by your customer’s place of business, or work in some face-to-face time by holding a special event. Whichever method you choose, you can be sure that it will bring a level of personalization to your relationship marketing strategy.
There you have it! Nine strategies to help you really win when it comes to relationship-based marketing. Of course, you’ll also want to tie your efforts to an ROI. Dynamics CRM can help you manage your customer relationships seamlessly, which makes it one of the most important tools for this kind of strategy. Check out these relationship-based marketing examples!