Imagine proposing on the first date. Or inviting them to meet your family? It’s out of order, but it’s often how we treat our customers.
We deliver information and offers to our customers based on our relationship goals, not theirs. So treat customer marketing like a first date that turns into a long-term relationship.
Unfortunately, marketing that “invades our customers’ space” rather than moving at their pace has long been a tradition.
So, take a look at some steps you can always follow
Imagine You’re In A Relationship
We all know that a romantic relationship begins with a kiss. Marketing is the same. Beautiful things happen when we get to know our customers and their preferences.
Let’s examine the roots of the “marketing to” versus “having a relationship” mentality that pervades many marketing organizations.
Many deeply ingrained organizational behaviors contribute to this all-company mentality:
- Quota-driven procedures and timing
- Insufficient understanding of the customer journey and preferences
- Preference for stereotypes over realistic expectations-based profiles
- Siloed teams preventing information sharing for the customer
Marketing tools, CRMs, automation gizmos and insta-apps are constantly bombarding (and blinding) departments with “customer-focused” technology.
Then there’s the marketing jargon: target audiences, channels, personas, etc. Personalizing an email or tailoring content to a specific customer does not create a relationship.
Instead, let’s look at the qualities that make our personal relationships successful.
Be at the Right Place at the Right Time
Our personal relationships show signs of greatness, mediocrity, or complete disconnection. Communication requires understanding what the other wants and when. It allows you to respond and change behavior.
This also applies to your customer service. What do you do well? What isn’t working?
Key customer indicators can track your teams’ progress. A-ha moments and new marketing opportunities arise from distributing great business intelligence to departments at the right time. Insights and hidden gems to improve your success rate.
We don’t always know if a relationship is just “hanging out” or a long-term partnership. Customers, too.
Social media conversations in content marketing can be superficial. Engagement should extend from the initial click to liking, buying, and referring. It’s a long-term commitment that requires constant attention and focus.
Together, you can build a strong relationship
A great relationship is built on years of experience and trust.
The same goes for customers. It’s up to the company to ensure teams are customer-focused.
For example, marketing initiates customer engagement, but how does your company follow up and prepare for the relationship to blossom? Long-term loyalty comes from everyday interactions across your organization.
Create memorable customer moments across the lifecycle by partnering internally. Align all departments to improve customer experience, from sales to operations, finance, and HR.
It’s not about you or your company; it’s about your customers.
Show You’re Worth the Time and Money
It takes effort to keep a long-term relationship interesting and enjoyable for both parties. Autopiloting has negative consequences. Boredom, neglect, or unhappiness only makes other partners more appealing.
In the same way, you should always strive to earn your customers’ respect and loyalty. Or else they’ll be tempted. That is, love your customers every day, not just on special occasions.
For example, measuring customer lifetime value (CLV) can help you optimize marketing activities both internally and externally. Identifying All-Star customers versus less engaged customers will help you focus. Building stronger bonds with loved ones helps you discover new ways to engage disinterested customers.
You must work hard to earn your customers’ loyalty. This will keep you in their hearts and minds, and they will keep coming back for more.