Think about some of the biggest companies in the world – names like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, Google, etc. will surely come up. How did these become the behemoths amidst the millions of companies that exist today?
There’s one thing that they did correctly – building solid relationships with their consumers. These companies didn’t stick to being just another means of service, but rather, started selling an experience. The whole euphoria of visiting the Apple store, buying the iPhone, showing it to your friends and family; all circles down to a company’s power to make its customers happy. However, keeping them happy and building their trust is the real deal, which decides whether you will sustain yourself in the market or not. For this, building relationships with your customers is key.
Care About Your Customers and They Will Reciprocate
“The best marketing strategy ever: CARE.” – Stated by marketing expert, entrepreneur, and speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk, this statement couldn’t be any truer, especially in today’s world. Ever since the concept of marketing was born, building relationships has been the core of it. Attracting a prospect, showing your product or service, solving their problem, and converting them into a lead, it’s all part and parcel of marketing.
Why should a customer turn to you for a need or problem? When there are thousands of options available? Because you CARE. Care is an integral pillar of any relationship, and it’s no different when it comes to marketing. To stand out from your competition, you must show the customers that you care, as no one else does. That is when they’ll begin to not just show interest, but trust as well.
Why Build Relationships?
It’s only human to want to work or be associated with someone you like. Would you like to be in a team full of people you dislike? Will that be beneficial? No.
It is the same when it comes to companies. They work endlessly to ensure that customers keep liking them, and that’s how the company sustains. Thus, building a relationship is the stepping stone to customers liking your brand. Otherwise, it will remain as a one-time thing, where the customer forgets you after purchase. While that may not sound like much, when talking about things at a grand scale, it’s a grave mistake, as you will lose out on your customer base. This is precisely why companies invest tons in marketing – to ensure that customer loyalty is not just built but is maintained and expanded.
Showing Customers Why They Need You
As a company, your main goal is to connect with the customers, to show them that you can provide a product or service, and you can improve their lives in some way. They will only turn to you when you offer something better. Marketing is all about this; marketers highlight products, company USPs, and services, just to scream “Hey! Look at us, we offer better! We’re the better choice!” – just in a better, attractive manner. Through this, marketing bridges the initial gap between any company and customer, by showing the latter, why they need the former. “Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.” – Stated Seth Godin, CEO, and Founder of Do You Zoom, this sums up the concept of marketing, perfectly.
Making Companies Personal, a Customer’s Confidante
In today’s world, everyone loves technology, and frankly, it’s hard to live without it. However, with everything available at your fingertips, technology has largely made things impersonal. Why do you hate it when your mailbox is spammed with unnecessary messages? Because you know that they aren’t for you, since they’re being sent to millions in the same way.
Customers respond positively to companies that know what they want. When they know your brand personally, a relationship blooms effortlessly, which leads to years of loyalty. However, in today’s fast-paced world, companies are often impersonal and purely commercial. Customers know when a company is inauthentic, and thus, move ahead to another one. What marketing does is effectively show customers and prospects that your company cares and improves their lives. Once that leads to the first sale, and your initial customer base is created, marketing takes it a step further, by showing them that they’re a part of the family. Tailor-made emails, messages, discounts, creative adverts, special gifts to clients, etc. are all marketing strategies for customers to know you personally, and that’s how a wonderful relationship begins.
Feedback: The Most Important of it All
As marketing propagates your message to the customers, it executes a key function, i.e. receiving a customer’s feedback. A relationship is two-way communication, so it must include your message to the customers, as well as their feedback about it. Listening to what your customers have to say doesn’t just improve your services, but also shows them that you care. This lays the foundation for a long-term relationship, where they stay loyal to your brand.
Marketing through social media is a great avenue for marketers to receive feedback quickly. A new Instagram post, a new YouTube ad, a new commercial, and how customers are responding to it through comments, likes or dislikes, emails, etc. are key to understanding how they’re receiving your message. Without marketing and getting the word out about your brand, that would be impossible.
Customers don’t usually look for one-time purchases. They seek a brand they can trust, and whose products they can choose in a second. They want to feel appreciated, to know that you care and you will pertain to their betterment for years to come. This is the bullseye that marketing aims to hit, with every strategy. As companies evolve, it is their marketing that will procure a firm relationship, which keeps customers tied with the company, for as long as possible.
Sofia Wilton is a journalist who writes blogs for Lake B2B related to current affairs. Sofia lives in New York and also writes short stories in her spare time.
Business relationships stock image by fizkes/Shutterstock