Relationship marketing refers to the tactics and actions that improve communication with customers. In this type of marketing the basis is to know and maintain a good relationship with them, because unlike transactional marketing, this focuses more on customers and not on the product or the act of purchase. It could be said that the basic pillars of relationship marketing are these three:
- good customer service: customer service has to be one of the company's strongest points, i.e., once the customer has made a purchase, he/she is not abandoned, but is provided with a good after-sales service.
- Quality of service or product: No matter how good your customer service is, if you do not have a quality product or service, it will be impossible to retain your customers and establish a long-term relationship with them.
- Marketing: Content marketing or social media marketing are examples of fundamental strategies that will help you maintain and nurture relationships with your customers, although there are many more that we will now develop.
5 relationship marketing strategies
- Email marketing: This technique consists of sending mass emails to a list of contacts. Some examples are loyalty emails, recruitment emails or the well-known newsletters. Thanks to these campaigns you can be in constant contact with your customers and keep them up to date with all your news. In relationship marketing this process goes a little further. With it you ask your customers how their purchase went, if they are happy with our service, if they need help..
- Loyalty programmes: Loyalty programmes are the order of the day, such as Mango or Cinesa, which offer points for every purchase.
- Brand presence on social networks: Social media has become the perfect tool for communicating with customers. It allows you to get closer to them, establish a climate of trust, ask their opinion about a product or service, find out what they think of you or what are the weak points you need to improve, etc. This direct interaction with your customers not only creates a good and reliable relationship, but also provides tremendously important information in order to attract future potential customers and build loyalty with those who have already trusted your company.
- Surveys: Knowing if your customers feel identified with the brand, if you have met or even exceeded their expectations as a company, if the promotions or discounts are interesting and are segmented by type of customer... All this is essential to improve and get a loyal customer who falls in love with your brand. Nowadays there are many free tools to do online surveys, you can even do them easily with Instagram stories.
- Product customisation: This strategy consists of customising or creating products of your brand, for example, to have your logo on mugs, T-shirts, pens, etc. With them you will make yourself known in an easy and useful way.
Examples of successful relationship marketing strategies
- When we talk about relationship marketing strategies, we cannot fail to mention Starbucks. This company managed to become a cultural icon thanks to social media, such as Pinterest. Its social media slogan is "inspiring and nurturing the human spirit - one person, one cup, and one neighbourhood at a time". Starbucks also sends frequent emails to its customers, keeping them informed of new offers and product launches.
- Another example of successful relationship marketing (and Inbound Marketing) was with the brand Converse, thanks to the personalisation strategy. With the "Made by you" campaign, users could design and customise their own Converse. In other words, customers were able to have their own personalised footwear. Thanks to this action, Converse managed to get many users to share the action through social networks. In this way, the "Made by you" strategy went viral, reaching millions of people through social networks and, thanks to this, Converse managed to attract new customers and increase the loyalty of existing ones.
- Finally, a resounding marketing success story is Coca-Cola. In 2013, the world's most consumed beverage brand created a very effective campaign in which they included Spanish names on their cans, a campaign known as "Share a Coke". It became commonplace to see people in supermarkets looking for their names on their cans. In this way, they increased their sales, their web traffic, their followers on social networks and their reputation.
In conclusion, thanks to relationship marketing, a lasting relationship with customers is achieved and a feeling towards the brand is created. And, although sales are the main objective, good customer service, quality of service and applying a good online and offline marketing strategy are key to achieving customer loyalty and having customers committed to your business.