Archive for the ‘relationship marketing’ Tag

A Timeless Truth – Listen and Learn   Leave a comment

Last week we talked about An Inconvenient Truth of marketing, Know Thyself – who you are and what you stand for. This week — a Timeless Truth that has nothing to do with the coolest new marketing idea. And everything to do with getting back to basics.

I had one of those “Aha moments” a few weeks ago when I attended a social media seminar at the swanky offices of a digital agency with high end décor and an incredibly breathtaking view of the ballpark. I went to learn new ways to engage consumers with the latest digital tools and techniques. During that hour, experts talked about ROI, social CRM and on-line clout. What stuck me most though was their common theme — an ageless fundamental.

To be successful, companies need to create connections. Build trust. And engage the customer to inspire their loyalty. You do this by listening and learning. Fostering two way conversations that matter. The tools – be they social media, direct mail, email marketing, mobile — are relevant only in that they allow that process to take place and that they best fit your target market.

Think for a moment about how your organization cultivates loyalty and generates business. Are you focused on telling and selling or are you in a meaningful dialogue that resonates with your customers? This requires asking their opinion, understanding their needs and making adjustments along the way. It also requires vision, commitment and work.

As a consumer, I don’t just want to have it my way at Burger King; I want to have it my way wherever and whenever possible. Not because I’m some high maintenance prima donna (and so what if I am?). But because I’m a busy working mom of three and if you know me and take care of me, I will love you for life.

One of the companies I love is Amazon. And not just because I love buying books. The last time I logged onto, I got a pop up of recommendations based on recent purchases or searches. Gee, thanks guys for knowing what I like and serving it up. Even if it is computer generated, you are saving for me that most precious of commodities – time. Bless you.

So when you think of loyalty marketing, think of this Timeless Truth that relationships do matter and that consumers will care more if we stick to the basics.

I read a quote recently by Irish critic, journalist and novelist Rebecca West that I think sums it all up:

“There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.”
        Rebecca West
        Irish critic, journalist, & novelist (1892 – 1983)


Promise and Deliver   1 comment

Years ago I read a book called Permission Marketing by Seth Godin. It inspired me so much, I gave it as a gift to clients and friends. Ten years later, I’m still using it as a point of reference. The reason it resonated is that it put into words my personal belief in the power of building relationships.

 The timeless message? Permission marketing is so effective when you reach people who believe that what you have to offer matters. That it provides a value and that it enhances their life in some tangible way.  It’s our job as marketers to understand what customers want, promise to provide it and then deliver. Every time.

So how do you create connections with your community of customers and deliver the value that keeps them coming back?  You’re on the right track if your marketing messages are:

  • Anticipated
  • Relevant
  • Personal
  • Consistent

In Permission Marketing, Godin suggests turning your email message into a “me-mail” message that creates a more personal interaction that’s both anticipated and meaningful.

One worthy example is Circle Buzz, the new San Diego based on-line coupon service. They send out a daily Deal of the Day email promoting local family friendly discounts targeted to parents. These discounts are downright great. The kind I love to forward to friends because they’re just too good to pass up.

It’s no surprise then that every morning when my inbox overflows with retailer emails that I promptly delete, I take the time to open and read my Circle Buzz Deal of the Day. The smart group of mompreneurs who started Circle Buzz knows that I’m interested in creative ways to explore San Diego, 3 small kids in tow and an eye on the budget. I hope they stay wise to always partner with advertisers who match the target demographic — me, me, me!! If not, it’ll feel like a letdown, a turn off, and a broken promise. And that will mean a quick hit of the delete button.

In this enlightened scenario of relationship marketing, I am rewarded for paying attention and Circle Buzz is rewarded with my business and my loyalty. Not to mention access to my network of other moms looking for a great deal. Everybody wins.

So whether you’re a start up or a multi-national, the bottom line is you have customers who make discerning choices and look for value that makes their lives better. They sign up for what you promise. They’ll stay because you deliver.

Join the conversation and tell us how you or companies you know promise and deliver. We’d love to hear your stories.

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