Understanding the Relationship Era Where the More You Sell the More You Scare | HuffPost
Evolution and Nature of Marketing across the 5 improved Eras The late s saw the beginning of the customer relationship era, in which. The New Era of Marketing – The Importance of Relationship Marketing Starbucks is great example of a successful relationship marketer. In this era, the fundamentals of marketing and sales have changed. I recently finished A quintessential example of this is Nike's, “Just Do It.”.
This is about engaging your customers where their lives matter. Consumers are consistently reading into the actions of corporations. They try to divine true motivations, beliefs, values, and purposes. Your actions must align with your motivations in tangible and perceptible ways.
Take risks to promote your values. Your starting point with the brand must be the Why behind your business activity. Why do you do what you do?
Once you have identified that, let it inspire every part of your business. If that Why is less about corporate success and money-mongering than it is about relationships, then your customers will feel better about jumping on the band wagon.
The Why should determine everything about the company. Your hiring practices, your corporate structure, your product design.
Your Why must be reflected in all that you do. Only then will the brand become synonymous with your Why, and only then will customers grow to trust it. Secret has been around since It was advertised as the first deodorant for women. Looking to pivot its brand identity, Matt Hollenkamp, Secret associate brand manager, picked up a compelling story. Olympic medalist, Diana Nyad, at years-old, was training to swim miles of open sea between Havana, Cuba and Miami, Florida.
After some negotiation, the team agreed to a sponsorship. All within one week. The agency shot three promotional videos with Diana. Then, a day before the swim, she postponed. Subsequently there were additional postponements because of hurricane season. She was forced to put off her historic effort until the following year. Counterintuitively this was a great occurrence for Secret. They shot another video with Diana, launched a unique website and received hordes of well-wishers who wanted to follow her preparations for the historic swim.
When the time came, Diana set off to the South Atlantic on what proved to be a doomed journey. She started the swim with a fleet of kayakers with shark repellant electronic technology and other protections, but none against box jellyfish.
A swarm repeatedly stung Diana. It compromised her breathing. This eventually forced her out of the water. She tried again and swam 49 miles in 40 hours before jellyfish stings put her at risk of anaphylactic shock.
Her third and final attempt had a similar fate.
The 5 Evolution Eras of Marketing | The 5 Evolution Eras of Marketing / Hive Studio
This story exemplifies the power of relationship-based marketing. Even before Diana dove into the water, Secret sales had skyrockets. Despite never finishing the race, she won the respect of millions who had followed her intently on the Secret-sponsored Facebook page and website. The brand succeeded not because of its products but because of its support of and association with someone whose struggle was inspiring to its customers. They wanted to be a part of her journey and of Secret.
Relationships Are About Membership This story and others like it show us that nowadays brands are about membership and less so about products or services. In a sense, the goods and services become secondary. There are a few questions that marketers should ask themselves when such membership opportunities come about.
Does the campaign hinge on the experience of the person s at the center of the initiative? Does the campaign gratuitously exploit the emotions of the audience? Is the association between the brand and the initiative transparently genuine and equitably transactional?
Does the campaign adhere to the stated or implicit Why of the brand? The best part is that the people who liked the page wanted to be members, and every positive interaction reifies their decision of membership. Membership in the Relationship Era goes far beyond an approval to join, however. What do I mean? The problem is that we may not quite grasp why this is positive at all.
Yes, the bottom line is to increase revenue, so you may wonder how getting a few followers and having them engage with content will help boost revenue? The answer is quite elementary. Sharing is a human need. Evolutionary psychologists tell us it is hardwired into our genes.
Theoretically, without this primitive need, complex human societies might not have developed. According to psychology professor, Samuel D. Gosling of the University of Texas, sharing is not just about action.
It is also about display. When we display sharing we tell people about ourselves, about our character, about our preferences. When we do this we both maintain and create social bonds. This has discernible evolutionary advantages. It also has marketing advantages.
Relationship marketing - Wikipedia
From a marketing perspective, the display of sharing is a form of currency. When your audience engages through shares, likes, and comments they are informing others that the content is worthwhile. There is something good here. It is so good that I interact with it.
That alone builds credibility. If you as a brand respond on those sites and engage, then you engender care. Contingent upon what the substance of those interactions are, you can generate congruency. With those three things, in one environment, you have built trust. The point about of substance is key. The content you put out and the content that others put up tells others something about your brand.
Some will describe that as providing value. No matter the nomenclature, the heart of the content revolution is strong relationship building. When you provide high quality content, you give people more reasons to share. When you give people more reasons to share, you build stronger relationships to those people and to the people that they share with. Overtime you are associated with content that matters because more people engage with it. This is great because the content matters only as much as the people engage with it.
Slightly more complicated are the layers of engagement. There is definitely a hierarchy there. For instance, a like is not as impressive as a comment; a comment is not as impressive as a share; a share is not as impressive as a video reaction; a video reaction could be as good as a written post about the content; and so on.
As you rush along with this content revolution, make sure that what you share on your social media channels reflects your company values, beliefs, and identity. And make sure that what you share is worthwhile.
The goal should be to increase strong, relationship-building engagement and to make sure that the content people engage represents your brand identity. How to Decide What Kind of Content to Share The recipe for deciding what content a brand should share is simple enough.
Just think about how you build relationships with individual people. Is the content a reaction to customer feedback? Brands can monitor what is being said about them. Your customers will tell you what is worthwhile about the brand. Listen to them and act accordingly. Be transparent about this.
Is the content aligned with your brand identity? Much like a person has a character, your brand does too. The brand needs a social voice, a perspective, a set of values. Define those early on and stay the course. Is the content responding to customers directly or indirectly? Interact directly with your customers on social media and elsewhere. When you do so, do not act like a detached voice from up above, be a person with opinions. Tell people what you think as a company and do not be afraid.
The customers you actually want to reach will support you. Does the content promote your values? Promote your values across other media sources. Stand behind worthwhile causes. Do not be afraid to lead the charge. The brand can wield a substantial following and when you use it to promote your Why inside and outside the company, your customers will feel an affinity. Does the content inspire people to action?
When you breakdown all walls between the brand and the customer, you inspire loyalty and action. Do not be afraid to reach out to specific people with opportunities for engagement. This can take any number of forms.
Your stakeholders especially should be willing to engage and promote. You have to find ways to inspire them into action.
The 5 Evolution Eras of Marketing | Hive Studio
Does the content motivate others to join in? This is the ideal of the Relationship Era. When you succeed in building those relationships, you both become promoters. Your customers will feel connected to the brand. When that happens, reach out and give thanks. Do not let your promoters feel that they are screaming into a void: Send them tokens of appreciation, give them a platform.
When someone gives, you should too. A Call to Action for the Relationship Era I have tried my best to describe the mechanism, the spirit, and the psychology of the Relationship Era. From a social anthropological perspective, relationship marketing theory and practice can be interpreted as commodity exchange that instrumentalise features of gift exchange. This perspective on marketing opens up fertile ground for future research, where marketing theory and practice can benefit from in-depth research of the principles governing gift exchange.
According to Liam Alvey,  relationship marketing can be applied when there are competitive product alternatives for customers to choose from; and when there is an ongoing desire for the product or service. Relationship marketing revolves around the concept of gaining loyal customers.
Research conducted to developing relationship marketing suggests that firms can best do this through having one of the three value strategies; best price, best product, or best service. Firms can relay their relationship marketing message through value statements. For example, an automobile manufacturer maintaining a database of when and how repeat customers buy their products, the options they choose, the way they finance the purchase etc.
In web applications, the consumer shopping profile can be built as the person shops on the website. This information is then used to compute what can be his or her likely preferences in other categories. These predicted offerings can then be shown to the customer through cross-sell, email recommendation and other channels. Relationship marketing has also migrated back into direct mail, allowing marketers to take advantage of the technological capabilities of digital, toner-based printing presses to produce unique, personalized pieces for each recipient through a technique called " variable data printing ".
Marketers can personalize documents by any information contained in their databases, including name, address, demographics, purchase history, and dozens or even hundreds of other variables. The result is a printed piece that ideally reflects the individual needs and preferences of each recipient, increasing the relevance of the piece and increasing the response rate. Scope[ edit ] Relationship marketing has also been strongly influenced by reengineering. According to process reengineering theory, organizations should be structured according to complete tasks and processes rather than functions.
That is, cross-functional teams should be responsible for a whole process, from beginning to end, rather than having the work go from one functional department to another. Traditional marketing is said to use the functional or 'silo' department approach. The legacy of this can still be seen in the traditional four P's of the marketing mix.
Pricingproduct managementpromotionand placement. According to Gordonthe marketing mix approach is too limited to provide a usable framework for assessing and developing customer relationships in many industries and should be replaced by the relationship marketing alternative model where the focus is on customers, relationships and interaction over time, rather than markets and products.
In contrast, relationship marketing is cross-functional marketing. It is organized around processes that involve all aspects of the organization. In fact, some commentators prefer to call relationship marketing "relationship management" in recognition of the fact that it involves much more than that which is normally included in marketing.
Because of its broad scope, relationship marketing can be effective in many contexts.
As well as being relevant to 'for profit' businesses, research indicates that relationship marketing can be useful for organizations in the voluntary sector  and also in the public sector. Satisfaction[ edit ] Relationship marketing relies upon the communication and acquisition of consumer requirements solely from existing customers in a mutually beneficial exchange usually involving permission for contact by the customer through an " opt-in " system. Although groups targeted through relationship marketing may be large, accuracy of communication and overall relevancy to the customer remains higher than that of direct marketing, but has less potential for generating new leads than direct marketing and is limited to Viral marketing for the acquisition of further customers.
Research by John Fleming and Jim Asplund indicates that engaged customers generate 1. According to Buchanan and Gilles,  the increased profitability associated with customer retention efforts occurs because of several factors that occur once a relationship has been established with a customer.
The cost of acquisition occurs only at the beginning of a relationship, so the longer the relationship, the lower the amortized cost. Account maintenance costs decline as a percentage of total costs or as a percentage of revenue. Long-term customers tend to be less inclined to switch, and also tend to be less price sensitive. This can result in stable unit sales volume and increases in dollar-sales volume.
Long-term customers may initiate free word of mouth promotions and referrals. Long-term customers are more likely to purchase ancillary products and high margin supplemental products. Customers that stay with you tend to be satisfied with the relationship and are less likely to switch to competitors, making it difficult for competitors to enter the market or gain market share.
Regular customers tend to be less expensive to service because they are familiar with the process, require less "education", and are consistent in their order placement. Increased customer retention and loyalty makes the employees' jobs easier and more satisfying.
In turn, happy employees feed back into better customer satisfaction in a virtuous circle. Relationship marketers speak of the "relationship ladder of customer loyalty ". It groups types of customers according to their level of loyalty. The ladder's first rung consists of "prospects", that is, people that have not purchased yet but are likely to in the future. This is followed by the successive rungs of "customer", "client", "supporter", "advocate", and "partner". The relationship marketer's objective is to "help" customers get as high up the ladder as possible.
This usually involves providing more personalized service and providing service quality that exceeds expectations at each step. Customer retention efforts involve considerations such as the following: Customer valuation — Gordon describes how to value customers and categorize them according to their financial and strategic value so that companies can decide where to invest for deeper relationships and which relationships need to be served differently or even terminated.
Customer retention measurement — Dawkins and Reichheld calculated a company's "customer retention rate". This is simply the percentage of customers at the beginning of the year that are still customers by the end of the year. This ratio can be used to make comparisons between products, between market segments, and over time.
Determine reasons for defection — Look for the root causes, not mere symptoms.
Understanding the Relationship Era Where the More You Sell the More You Scare
This involves probing for details when talking to former customers. Other techniques include the analysis of customers' complaints and competitive benchmarking see competitor analysis. Develop and implement a corrective plan — This could involve actions to improve employee practices, using benchmarking to determine best corrective practices, visible endorsement of top management, adjustments to the company's reward and recognition systems, and the use of "recovery teams" to eliminate the causes of defections.
A technique to calculate the value to a firm of a sustained customer relationship has been developed. This calculation is typically called customer lifetime value. Retention strategies may also include building barriers to customer switching.