Archive for September, 2014

The 3 R’s of Relationship Marketing

Posted on September 23, 2014. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 3 R's of Relationship MarketingIn my previous post, How to Grow Your Business with Relationship Marketing, I defined Relationship Marketing as the activities involved in building a greater connection with your clients, prospects and partners.  This strong connection often leads to the sale of products or services, and also increases loyalty to your brand or company.

The benefits of using Relationship Marketing strategies in your business include the following 3 R’s:

  1. Referral Business-  Referral business can be one of the best ways to get business, because a referral basically comes with an endorsement from the person who is doing the referring.  A great source of referrals comes from current clients, partners, and even your prospects, so building a strong relationship with your clients, prospects, and partners becomes vital for your business.  In order for someone to feel comfortable referring you, they must know, like and trust you.  When you use online relationship marketing strategies including, email, blogging, social media, etc., these activities help people to get to know you, like you and trust you, which in turn gives them confidence in referring your products or services to others.  Referrals can be a great source of new business and can be a large percentage of where you get your business from, so nurturing your relationships with relationship marketing is a great way to grow your business through referrals.
  2. Repeat Business–  Once a person becomes your customer by purchasing a product or a service, your next goal should be to stay top of mind so that they will purchase that product or service again if they need it, or they will consider your company for other products or services that they may need.  That’s why conducting relationship marketing with your current customers by practicing activities to nurture the relationship and stay top of mind will help with getting repeat business from your current customers.  Some relationship marketing strategies you can use for current customers include; Customer Appreciation Events, Sending Cards on special occassions including: Birthdays, Holidays, Anniversaries, Offering VIP discounts for current customers, etc.
  3. Retain Business–  It tends to be more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain the customers that you have, so it is important to nurture the relationships that you have with your current customers to make sure that you keep their business.  Some relationship marketing strategies to retain business include, showing appreciation for their business by sending “Thank You” cards, making follow-up calls to make sure they are satisfied with the service they have received or are receiving from your company, providing an excellent customer experience.  The customer experience includes pre-purchase, during purchasing, and post purchase.  How are you making sure that each step is a good encounter for your customer?

Are you using Relationship Marketing strategies to retain business and get repeat and referral business?  What are some other relationship marketing strategies you can use to grow your business?

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How to Grow Your Business with Relationship Marketing

Posted on September 10, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Business Events, Email Marketing, Event Marketing, Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Blog Image- September 2014
Dictionary.com defines a relationship as a connection, association, or involvement.  It also defines marketing as the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer.  

My definition of Relationship Marketing is the activities involved in building a greater connection with your clients, prospects and partners.  This strong connection often leads to the sale of products or services, and also increases loyalty to your brand or company.

With that said, Relationship Marketing is a key part of your overall marketing strategy, and should occur both online and offline.

In this blog post I will mention a few activities that you should include in your Relationship Marketing:

ONLINE

In order to build a connection online with your clients, prospects, and partners, it is important to have an online presence.  Included in your online presence should be the following activities:

  • A Company Blog–  In addition to having a company website, a company blog can help to build the relationship that you have with your audience, because a blog allows you to show your expertise, knowledge and personality in ways that a website alone does not accomplish.  The key to a successful business blog is:
    1. It should be updated frequently
    2. It should contain valuable content relevant to your audience
    3. It should showcase the personality of your brand
  • A Social Media Presence–  It’s not necessary to be on all the popular social networks out there, but it is beneficially for your company to be on social networks that have a high percentage of your target market, and networks that will showcase your business well.  Social Networks are a great way to strength your connection with your clients, prospects, and partners because it allows you to create a conversation around your company, industry, products, services, values, beliefs, etc.  The key to a successful social media presence is:
    1. Know your audience
    2. Post content that is interesting to your audience
    3. Create conversations
  • An E-Newsletter or EZine–  An email publication that your company produces is a great way to strengthen the connection that you have with customers, prospects and partners.  It is a great way for your audience to get to know you and get to know what your company stands for.  The key to a successful E-Newletter is:
    1. Know your audience
    2. Give valuable information in each ezine
    3. Provide 80% valuable content and only 20% company promotions

OFFLINE

  • Events–  Plan events to show appreciation for your customers and partners.  Taking the time to host these events can build a strong connection with you and your customers and partners.  It also helps to solidify their loyalty to your company.  You can also have events to introduce your prospects to your business or your brand.  Grand Openings, Launch Parties, etc. are all great ways for people to get to know more about you, your company, and your brand.
  • One-on-One Meetings–  When possible, schedule one-on-one meetings with your clients, prospects and partners.  This is a great way to build a strong connection, and for people to get to know, like and trust you.
  • Send Cards–  It is important to send your customers, prospects and partners cards on various occasions.  This could include birthdays, anniversary, Thank You for Your Business, Thank You for Your Time, Happy Holiday cards and more.   Taking the time out to send your customers, prospects and partners cards really helps to create loyalty and build trust.

These are just a few ways you can use Relationship Marketing to GROW your business.  What other ways can you think of in which you can use Relationship Marketing to grow your business?

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