When you think about your favorite brands and organizations, what is it that stands out?  Usually, it’s more than just the product they sell that puts them at the top.  The experience we have and the journey we go on as a customer is a pivotal factor in our decision to buy.  And, it’s only becoming more and more crucial.  According to Salesforce, 67% of consumers and 74% of business buyers will pay more for a better experience.  And, not only will they spend more — according to Temkin, loyal customers are also 7 times more to be repeat buyers, and 4 times more likely to refer.  From improving customer interaction to offering a high-quality loyalty scheme, customer marketing puts your customers at the center of your marketing plan.  Let’s explore what customer relationship marketing is, how it can help your business and why you should embrace it as a key part of your strategy.

What is customer relationship marketing?

“We elect and buy from people we like.  Likability is number one.  We also need to believe they are honest and have our best interests at heart.” — George Farris

Relationship marketing puts customers at the heart of your brand strategy, and in the core of your marketing mix.  Your customers are your most important business asset — so they need to be treated as such!  All of your marketing efforts; everything you do, say, create or get involved with as a brand will need to consider your customers first.  This could include:

  • Lots of quality communication — from social media output to email marketing.
  • Being responsive — reply quickly, be helpful and don’t ignore complaints
  • Positioning yourselves as experts — create content that your customers will find useful
  • Rewarding loyalty — show your most loyal customers how valuable they are with schemes, rewards, and personalized content or product recommendations

To build effective customer relationships, it is crucial to include it as a part of your strategy from the outset.  Building a great brand reputation can take years — but a simple bad review or displeased customer can make it all come crashing down.  According to Zendesk, 95% of customers tell others about negative experiences, while just 87% share positive ones.  And it has to be consistent — 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience, according to Kampyle.  Recognizing its importance from the start is your first step.

Why should you include it as part of your marketing strategy

“To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.” — Patricia Fripp, Speaker and presentation skills expert

Temkin found that 65% of customers find a good experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising.  So, if great advertising is one of your marketing strategies, but improving customer experience isn’t, it may be time to go back to the drawing board.  Including a focus on customer relationship within your wider marketing strategy will ensure that everything you do as a business keeps the customers’ wants and needs in mind.  It’s not just good for your reputation either — building relationships can improve customer retention and increase opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.  It’s important to remember that it is about more than just good customer service through your online marketing mediums.  While ensuring your social media and customer-facing teams know what they’re doing is crucial, you may have to dig deeper into the business strategy to ensure you’re functioning like a well-oiled machine.

How to implement customer relationship marketing into your marketing strategy

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.” — Seth Godin, Author and business executive

The best place to start is at the beginning.  Outline your marketing objectives and then devise a marketing strategy plan to help you get there.  Each objective should work to improve your existing customer relationships and create a strong reputation among prospects — and not just focus on customer acquisition.  Think about defining your audiences through market segmentation and establishing your target market.  This way, you can create a personalized marketing approach, bearing each segment in mind when devising marketing strategies.  The more personalized the marketing communications, the more valuable the experience, and the more likely your customer is to convert.  Use SMART objectives to make sure your goals can be met, and ensure you have the resources and budget in place to reach them.  Develop key messages, select your marketing channels carefully, and monitor your success.  Request customer feedback, ensure there is a two-way communication channel, and prioritize responding, reaching out and building relationships where you can. Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way!  No strategy is perfect, so be ready to adapt if things don’t go perfectly first time.

The importance of a personal approach for your customer journey

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” — Peter Drucker, founder of Drucker Institute

Personalization can work wonders for your business.  According to Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand providing personalized experiences.  And, according to Smarter HQ, 72% of consumers will only engage with marketing messages tailored specifically to their interests.  Personalization works.  But personalized marketing materials and promotional offers are just a small part of personalized B2B marketing.  Once a prospect lands on your website, their personalized experience shouldn’t end there.  Website personalization takes customer experience to the next level by giving your website visitors an entirely unique experience.

Webeo has access to the global leading IP address database, so each user’s experiences is tailored based on the IP address they visit from.  Eliminating the need for cookies and ensuring even first-time visitors will receive an unforgettable experience, this is revolutionary for B2B organizations.  Greet brands by name, present personalized content and imagery that meets their needs.  For the ultimate in customer experience, discover Webeo today. Book your demonstration to see the power of personalization for yourself!