What is Relationship Marketing

Marketing is typically thought of as selling a product or service to consumers. A lot of thought goes into how to creatively advertise in order to gain consumers and increase profits. While marketing professionals are thinking about sales conversions and gaining new consumers, they often forget about building relationships with the consumers they already have. This is where relationship marketing comes into play. Relationship marketing is geared at bettering or maintaining relationships with the people that already use the product or service the company provides. 

This type of marketing can be done in many different ways, but the overall goal is always to benefit current consumers for being loyal to a brand. The formation of a strong relationship between a brand and consumer can provide benefits for both parties. Relationship marketing strives for more meaningful relationships between a brand and their consumers to create a lifetime loyalty to the brand. This process is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

marketing strategy printed on a piece of paper

Benefits of Marketing for Relationships

There are a wide variety of positive advantages that can come from relationship marketing. Firstly, it is less expensive to market toward existing customers than it is to find completely new ones. These existing customer base requires much less effort to seek out.  Customer retention can also increase a company’s revenue by more than 25 percent. This means that not only is it less expensive to market to existing consumers, they also provide more sales than new consumers would. This is because existing customers have tried and tested the products or services and they understand the importance or value of the company based on first hand experience. 

By focusing on marketing that builds relationships with consumers, a brand creates a loyal customer base. These returning customers share their love for the product with others, giving the brand an exponential amount of exposure. In the end, the loyal customers are doing most of the work to bring in new customers. A new customer is more likely to make a purchase when someone they trust has provided them with a referral. 

Choosing to create a loyal customer base will also help a brand beat out their competitors. When a consumer builds a strong relationship with a brand, they are less likely to try a competitor’s products. By creating marketing campaigns that benefit existing customers, the company gives loyal customers even more of a reason to stick around.

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Ways to Create Relationships With Consumers

Building strong relationships with consumers can be done in a variety of ways. The easiest way to impress a customer is by creating seamless interactions between the customer and the brand. One example of this is the partnership between a credit card company and an airline. When a customer uses their credit card, no matter what the purchase, they receive miles for the airline as a reward. This is a strong marketing tactic because the customers would be spending money on their credit card either way, and they are now being rewarded for it. This makes them more likely to choose this specific card over another company, which in turn benefits the credit card company.

Another way to build brand loyalty is by providing supporting documents when presenting facts. This gives the consumer time to read and think about the product on their own, after the brand has presented to them. Also, if asking for something from the consumer, for example, wanting them to purchase a product or service, it is important to remind them of the benefits they will receive. Loyal customers expect that the purchase will benefit them in some way, and not just the company. Today, people are more likely to call out brands that are inauthentically positioning themselves as a brand that cares for their customers. Social media makes this easy, which means brands that make promises to consumers must fulfill them.  

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People notice when brands listen to consumer feedback, which further builds brand trust. Consumers often give feedback through social media, which has an exponential reach. If the brand sees this, and makes changes based on what the consumer wishes to see, they are likely to receive more positive reviews. This positive feedback can also go viral through the use of social media, sending the brand to be viewed and potentially tried by new consumers.​​ The current consumer base has more trust for the brand, and shares these feelings with new potential consumers. Making small changes to increase customer satisfaction can go a long way when trying to enhance your relationships with consumers.

Who Doesn’t Love a Loyal Customer?

While all kinds of marketing are important to increase sales, relationship marketing is one of the easiest and most effective. By making customers feel heard and understood, a brand is able to boost their conversions and consumer satisfaction.