A visitor, a follower, an Internet user who accesses any website, a company forum, or is present on any of their social networks, can be just a number that is part of a series of statistical data, or it can be a name.
The difference is subtle for some, it does not exist for others, but for those who understand that it exists and is important, it can bring invaluable benefits.
Our proposal is to show how well-used Relationship Marketing can produce visitor engagement and consequently amplify the results that a company can achieve.
What is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship Marketing aims to cultivate lasting relationships, as deep as possible and meaningful with customers to ensure satisfaction and long-term brand loyalty.
It is not very different from dating, especially those in which there is a character of conquest. In these situations, the “conqueror” makes use of everything in his power to enchant, certain that as a consequence, his objective will be achieved.
Unlike many commercial initiatives and other fronts of the Marketing seen more broadly, it is not aimed at short to medium term results nor efficiency is measured by sales immediately arising from any actions. It guides its actions on its customers for the long term.
The construction of relationships through which customers feel continually and increasingly satisfied presupposes the maintenance of these same customers.
Many customers leave for competitors, not because their product does not meet their needs, desires and expectations, but because customer service is not satisfactory and service is a relationship.
Most are willing to remain as a customer, even in the face of eventual problems with the product, as long as an excellent support service is able to correct small and specific failures.
More than that, the relationship favors mutual knowledge.
Reciprocity is a keyword in the relationship.
On the part of the company, it means being more and more able to know what they want, need and expect from it, and on the part of the client, being more and more likely to indicate the company to their acquaintances, because they feel safe in doing so, because they know the company very well and what it does.
Why is Relationship Marketing important?
There are many studies and statistics that highlight the importance of customer retention, which is one of the immediate results of a job well done in Relationship Marketing.
It is known that customer retention has been as or more decisive for the company’s success than the acquisition of new ones. In fact, it can be much cheaper to retain a customer than to invest to bring in new ones.
But Relationship Marketing is not just about the dollar signs that the company saves when it does its job well.
This translates into Branding, which in turn is one of the results of Relationship Marketing.
There is a huge list of examples of brands that are referenced.
When it comes to automobiles, Ferrari is not just Top Of Mind, which already says a lot. It is a company whose brand is an icon of status, power, victory, history, refinement and an almost endless list of adjectives and yet, it is concerned with the smallest details of its relationship with its customers.
You can visit the factory to choose the materials and colors of the leathers that will cover the interior of your brand new dream and even meet the engineer responsible for assembling the engine that will equip it. Or who knows, until you get a pilot course attended by a professional pilot, depending on the model purchased.
It was not always like this and Marketing was not responsible for taking the Italian brand to the position it occupies, but today it is responsible for helping to keep it there and, if possible, expand the concept that people have of it, even in the face of an army investing literally millions to dethrone it.
A long-term and successful relationship involves emotions, identity, satisfaction and happiness with the choices that are made. Remember the courtship?
And as with personal relationships, there are subtleties that are fundamental to success. Imagine in one of the first encounters being presented with a beautiful and delicious box of the best Belgian chocolates? Lovely attitude?
Yes, it can be for most, as long as you don’t have diabetes, you’re not in the middle of a rigid diet and you don’t even like the delicacy, which, although less likely, is absolutely possible.
So that what should be a reason for trump, does not become a stumbling block, knowledge, which comes from the relationship, is fundamental.
Essentially, Relationship Marketing can help you reduce the cost of gaining new customers, whenever those who are already customers speak well about you. Basically it is free and spontaneous advertising. It’s engagement!
Relationship Marketing through the Internet
From the growth of the Internet and the possibility of wide collection and evaluation and need the data it produces, organizations have been able to use Relationship Marketing, in a much more efficient way.
The technologies available today, allow you to know much more than in the past when the first relationship concepts were put into practice in Marketing. This combination of Internet, technology, and Relationship Marketing results in what we know as customer relationship management.
The Internet makes it possible to collect, store, analyze and, from there, make decisions with collective and individual reach as desired, through the Newsletter or e-mail Marketing , Telemarketing, personalized ads, special offers and all that technology to allow.
Measuring results – even if partial – is possible in real time, and the interaction is richer.
And if at some point in the process, something doesn’t work as expected, route corrections are faster and less labor intensive. It is the dynamism that characterizes the great network.
Some websites offer customers the possibility of personalizing their products on their websites . This simple resource not only provides customers with a unique experience, making them feel exclusive, having their needs and desires better met, but also a greater attachment to the item they have customized.
From the company’s point of view, it can better understand what each customer sees as an ideal product and have broader and, at the same time, more specific views of what each consumer wants.
The information that the customer provides through something as simple as a resource on a website, should be used in predicting trends, as well as seeing possibilities that sometimes the company does not see on its own.
As organizations use this feedback to optimize the customer experience, more and more customers are getting closer, with a consequent increase in loyalty and, in the end, more purchases.
And if selling more was not enough, these customers come back more and more, sharing their shopping experiences with people in their personal relationships, on social networks, and even doing word of mouth marketing.
A simple like or retweet is another chance to gain prominence before those who do not know you well.
The social networks favor the strengthening of communication and its customization informally, continuous, fast and direct. More than that, they favor engagement like no other means.
5 Tips on How to Use the Internet as a Relationship Marketing Tool
The following tips are as broad as possible so that any size of business or industry can be used.
More than tips, they are principles that must be observed whatever the set of actions you decide to adopt. These are attitudes that must be included in everyone within the organization that has participation and contact with the client, directly or indirectly.
It is no secret that strengthening the relationship goes through, among other things, the expansion of communication. What few people know is to distinguish communication from the information. Simply creating a website with all kinds of data about what you do, why you do it, how long you have been doing it, is not communication.
Communication is a two-way street. Do you remember the box of chocolates given without knowing the wishes and needs of the recipient, just based on what most people consider?
Suppose, it is useless and can still be dangerous. Knowing, being sure, is fundamental. For that, it is necessary to know how to listen, to interpret, to overcome interpersonal conflict and individualities.
Developing means for broad and quality communication is more than offering a chat, a helpdesk, a phone number – or many – and an email address for customers to contact.
Effective communication also involves trained people who understand their role each time they answer an email, answer a phone call, or respond on a social network.
It is necessary to have science even though different people manifest themselves in different ways. There are also those who do not do it spontaneously and for these, stimuli and motivations are needed.
When presenting to your blog visitors, or your social networks, real narratives that emphasize the solution of needs and desires, which are closely aligned with the values of both the company and its customers, this creates identification and strengthening of the personal relationship.
Most customers prefer brands that are more humanized in the content presented to them, especially if there is truth and realism in it. This type of link is especially close when customers see and identify with the content.
The storytelling, though not the only, is an important means to present to its visitors. Well-told stories highlighting the reality of the company, its brand and its products.
See Relationship Marketing as the means by which it is possible to establish an emotional bond with your customers. This is possibly the most important word for determining effective relationships – emotion.
There are superficial relationships, but as the emotional component increases, so does the intensity and depth of the relationship.
As with personal relationships, situations that trigger emotions, create experiences, memories, closeness, empathy and relevance. It is the basis of deep and important relationships and therefore, that tend to be long-lasting.
Emotional connections also create more engaged customers. The more personal values involved, the more consumers are willing to pay high prices, as well as working for you.
There are content and media formats that favor emotion. So plan carefully and with dedication how to present the contents and how to communicate through them.
It is necessary to develop a keen and analytical view of the data that your digital presence is able to provide, to know who your customers are, what they buy and what they would like to buy because they consume you and not your competitors and even the reason behind each click they give.
Why do customers come back? Why do they make the second and third purchases? Why do they buy more or less?
It is natural to assume that customers return because the company has served them well, their product is great and they have the best price on the market for what they offer. However, the reason may be only availability or delivery time.
When you see reasons incompatible with the behavior of customers, naturally the present and future actions and consequently the results will be under threat.
Only from a systemic, holistic and data-based view, that safe decisions can be made with consistent results. Therefore, it is important to have metrics for everything that is done.
It is quite easy to make a mistake here. On the other hand, anyone who knows the real meaning and breadth of the term will understand what is intended.
Who loves, just does it, without waiting for anything in return! Do for the good and happiness of the loved one.
The difficulty that companies have to put love into practice, lies in the fact that they need to deliver results. And quantifying the return on shares that do not target a number, however vague it may be, may seem utopian and meaningless.
Asking a collaborator to act with love, more than strange may sound insane and unreal.
But the rare companies that manage to transmit love in what they do and when they relate to their customers, expecting at most a sincere smile from them, are unique and special companies.
Actions with a solitary character and which demonstrate the social responsibility of companies have been an important tool for building an image and strengthening the brand and are an instrument for the materialization of love.
Instituting Relationship Marketing policies and actions using the Internet is a fundamental need if the company wants to build long-term relationships with its customers, with concrete and positive results. More than specific actions, an effective strategy requires attitudes and behavior from everyone involved.