In today’s digital world, we rely on constant communication through social media, ads, websites, and more to connect and engage with our ideal audience and prospects. It can be a lot to juggle. Plus, constant changes to algorithms, data management, and client expectations can make it difficult to keep up with your marketing strategy to achieve the desired outcomes.
In addition, many data points show that the buyer’s journey is increasingly complex, given that prospects now have more access to information — and in the case of B2B buyers, more people are involved in decisions than ever before. This overload of information and choices can lead to decision paralysis, which is simply not taking action because doing so is overwhelming. Or it can lead to them staying with the tried and true methods and providers instead of stepping outside the box.
So how do you navigate through this landscape and continue to show up for your audience as a trusted, valuable source of solutions? Enter relationship marketing.
What Is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship marketing is an approach to business that emphasizes strengthening your relationship with existing customers by providing stellar services and a top-notch customer experience.
Many studies show customer acquisition is much more expensive than customer retention. So it makes sense that relationship marketing can help you thrive in the long run since it prioritizes long-term engagement and recurring business over acquiring new customers for shorter terms.
Relationship marketing fosters brand loyalty and can turn customers into brand evangelists — or someone so happy with your service that they advocate for it on your behalf. As you may know, word of mouth is the most effective marketing channel, with nearly 9 out of 10 people trusting a loved one’s recommendation over an ad, according to trusted sources like Nielsen and Semrush. So it goes without saying that having a loyal customer base can be a powerful boost for your growth.
Relationship marketing allows you to prioritize in your strategy, as you will have a solid foundation and clear understanding of what your prospects and clients need and where they seek it, as opposed to constantly figuring out where you need to be (or trying to be everywhere), having to guess your next steps, and focusing on attracting new prospects regularly to keep your pipeline full.
Is Account-based Marketing (Abm) The Same as Relationship Marketing?
Nope. Account-based marketing is an increasingly common B2B marketing strategy in which a brand targets a set number of high-value clients and prospects in its strategy by collecting data through their marketing (the downloads the prospect has requested, events they’ve attended, and contact with the sales team, among others).
Account-based marketing targets prospects with a high potential of closing and includes the sales team in the process with the goal of closing the deal more quickly. For example, if your organization is hosting an event, an ABM tactic could be to send personalized invitations to warm leads or invite them to a VIP after-party.
Conversely, relationship marketing is about nurturing your existing clients through services and customer experience.
How to Leverage Relationship Marketing in Your Organization
Lead With Your Purpose
Countless people are doing what you do. But few of them do it the way you do — and none do it for the same reasons as you. Regardless of whether you’re selling services to a company or an individual, a person will make the final choice.
Your purpose and values shape your work and the impact you have on the world. And your ideal clients are those who align with the same belief system. So leading with your purpose enables you to connect more deeply and expand both your impact and that of the people you serve.
Most people can smell phony from a mile away. So the secret to building lasting relationships with your clients is to be authentic and aim to be a valuable resource in their life or business with no ulterior motives. Remember, we’re all just looking to make the best of what we can. We’re caught up in our own story — and if you can come into their story and gently help them solve their pain, you’ll become a trusted partner in their success.
Use Data To Make Informed Decisions
Whether we like it or not, we live in a world ruled by data. Data is a valuable marketing and sales tool that allows you to serve your audience exactly what they need — if you’re willing to do the work.
Every interaction between you and a prospect provides you with a little piece of their puzzle and clarifies the relationship. Multiple website visits, different resource downloads, booked discovery calls, consultations, and recurring purchases are valuable behavioral cues that slowly paint the whole picture of your clients’ needs.
Some core metrics you may track when taking a relationship marketing approach include increased lifetime customer value, which is the main benefit of this marketing strategy; a lower churn rate, or fewer clients leaving you; and an increase in referred business, thus reducing your marketing spend. Other traditional marketing metrics, like web traffic, email open rates, and social media engagement, help you keep your finger on the pulse of your relationships, even if you can’t provide one-on-one services to each client.
The More You Know About Your Clients, the Better You Can Serve Them
At its core, relationship marketing is about successfully managing customer relationships. The more genuine and helpful you can be to your clients, the happier they will be. And all it takes is for you to dig into their needs and deliver the solutions they seek.
Relationship marketing is a long-term business strategy rather than a quick-fix tactic, so it pays to study your customer’s journey from first to last touch to have a full-picture view of your relationships and how they evolve. While you won’t see an instant peak in any chart, you will gradually see improvements across your organization’s performance.
If you are ready to dive into the world of relationship marketing and discover its power, schedule a discovery call now, and we will explore the possibilities in your organization.