The marketing scene has changed. Drastically.

Things aren’t as they were a couple of decades ago.

And, that’s a good thing.

While we’re tempted to wax lyrical about the rise of internet marketing, social media, and Google, we simply can’t ignore the common factor here, the relationship factor aspect.

More than ever, brands are looking to connect with customers on a personal level.

Relationship marketing represents everything about the contemporary marketing world.

Importantly, showing emotion is right at the heart of building relationships.

If you want to breathe the same rarefied air the top brands and advertisers inhale, then, keep reading and get to learn how you can get better at relationship marketing.

What is relationship marketing?

Relationship marketing puts more emphasis on developing deep-lying, meaningful relationship with customers for the long haul.

It usually helps keep clients loyal to a brand in a way that other sales transaction don’t.

When done right, relationship marketing can spawn new brand ambassadors. These are usually customers who enjoy your services so much, that they’re willing to disseminate information about the brand. The appreciation for the product is at times so high that they may be willing to market it out of their own volition.

Relationship marketing vs. Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing is more focused on closing a sale.

In contrast, relationship marketing is not myopic. It’s all about the long game. Since it’s not transactional in nature, salespersons take time to develop relationship marketing strategies that work.

The more invested you are in building a stronger relationship with existing customers, the more likely they’ll come back as repeat business.

Relationship marketing usually consists of 5 segments:

  • Referral marketing – here, businesses use incentives to motivate advocates and customers to refer willing clients to their brand
  • Affiliate marketing – this involves a transaction between an enterprise and an entity with a passive, financially-focused relationship. In essence, the business gets leads after financial rewards are exchanged
  • Influencer marketing – this is a current take on affiliate marketing. Individuals with a large following in particular niches are usually given incentives with the goal of promoting awareness an generating more revenue for brands
  • Employee advocacy – this refers to the practice of a business to use its own personnel to boost awareness of their brand
  • Partner marketing – businesses make use of resellers, distributors, agencies and other third parties to get more leads and close sales

Developing a relationship marketing strategy

To create a good relationship between your brand and your customers, you need to go the distance. This means making investments in tech, tools, and human personnel. Once you’re able to blend these in harmony, you’ll be well placed to reap the benefits.

Here’s our guide on what’s really necessary for you to develop an efficacious relationship marketing strategy.

1. A fantastic customer service team

Having a great customer service team can work wonders for your business. A team well-versed in enhancing the customer experience is a surefire way for you to be in good books with clients.

Ideally, your customer service team should have a strong presence on various platforms. This means that they should be reachable not just on social media platforms, but also over the phone, and in person.

As you work on developing solutions, you want to ensure that they’re well trained in handling customer interactions.

2. An amazing CRM tool

With a CRM tool as part of your arsenal, you’ll find it easier to store data about your clientele. Having a solid database in place also allows you to monitor conversations and make follow-ups in good time.

You’re sure to have an easy time managing your customer relationships if you have a CRM tool to assist you. Some of the popular CRM solutions in the market include: Insightly, Nimble, Zoho, and HubSpot.

While heavy automation is not recommended, you don’t need to manually handle all the tasks. Automation tools like CRM allow you a degree of flexibility when handling a large client base. Since human labor is susceptible to injury, sickness, and tiredness, automation tools allow you to keep your clients contented irrespective of what’s going on at the place of work.

A good way to approach the entire scenario is to envision CRM tools are supplements to your existing strategy.

If you’re able to implement it alongside your customer service team, you’re bound to not the difference. Not only will tasks get performed quicker, but customer satisfaction is also likely to shoot through the roof.

3. A comprehensive presence

In the digital world we live in, customers can interact with you in a number of ways. The options include emails, calling, chats with web bots, form submission, and through social media.

If you’re looking to meet the demands of customers irrespective of how they contact you, you need to strive to have a comprehensive presence.

For that to happen, you need to ensure that there’s someone keeping tabs on all customer correspondence. With proper planning and resource allocation, you can branch out and have people monitoring different platforms for any chatter.

Quick responses to queries can help you gain an edge in the ever-competitive marketing scene.

4. Leverage the power of data

To build strong relationships with customers, you need to understand them. By this, we mean more than just their worries and problems. An understanding of who they are, what drives them, and their wishes and aspirations is also important.

Since getting all this information in one sitting is nigh impossible, you need to have a great data collection system.

You can source data from previous marketing campaigns and what clients have freely shared with you. The addresses, names, past orders, job titles, and interests listed will go a long way in informing your strategy.

You can personalize your correspondence from there.

Not only will you win points whenever you put their names in emails, but it will also go a long way in showing that you truly care about them.


There you have it, a guide to get you up and running as you think about developing a relationship marketing strategy.

Ultimately, the success of your business will be measured by how you’re able to retain your old customers. While the longevity of your customers can get stale with time, it’s necessary to have the right tricks up your sleeve to enhance the customer experience to ensure they stick around long enough.

Having highlighted the various benefits and the essence of feedback in building relationships, we’re confident you’re better prepared at handling customer retention.

Which relationship marketing strategy is more plausible for your line of work?

Why do you think an open line of communication is necessary?

Share with us your take on the subject in the comments below!


Having spent 18 years either running his own agency or an agency for others, Jason has strong expertise in both B2B and retail marketing, and has been working with large clients on how to bring campaigns to market.

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