Relationship marketing has been around since the 1990s. This type of marketing is tough to use as a science, as recording the expenditure versus how much it brings back in revenue is tough for an accountant to justify.

Some marketers look at it ‘as an’ art‘, which I agree with to a point. I have an art degree and can see you are carving out a brand image, gradually and thoughtfully – which is a skill.

Why use social media

If you understand this, you will surely appreciate the need for social media for ‘certain‘ companies in their marketing mix. Relationship marketing and social media are both on the same pages; strangely, they both emerged simultaneously.

Relationship marketing defined

Relationship marketing defined from Adaptel from Paynecteral, 1995.

  1. Orientation to customer retention.
  2. Continuous customer contact.
  3. Focus on customer value.
  4. Long time scale.
  5. High emphasis on customer service.
  6. High commitment to customers expectations.
  7. Quality is a concern for all staff.

Mitchell (2001, p33) also defined it well, shown below:

“Relationship theory suggests that relationships add quality to marketing transactions.”

Seeing the positives

Social media and any online activities are the perfect tools for relationship marketing experiments, as you have an ideal audience to try and learn – what makes them tick.

So how does a business fully make use of the tools it has available – right now?

Possibly one way of tackling things is to weigh up your options when it comes to risks and what you’re prepared to take. Maybe choose a specific time of year when you have a high-interest rate from premium customers online.

Aim to start a relationship with your audience and possibly bring in quizzes, competitions and free booklets. You can then see what makes them tick and provokes interested. You may learn what makes them tick, such as are they very family-focused or influenced on the TV?

Exchanging values and beliefs

Traditional markets are compelling, but they also have huge limitations. Real human exchange is much richer than market exchange.

Whenever people deal with people in ‘relationships‘ or communities (rather than markets), they not only exchange money for goods. They also tend to form affections, bonds, ties of loyalty, feelings of obligation, etc.

They begin to share and exchange values and are most in tune with those around them to form stronger, most supportive bonds with other people.

The benefit of using social media is it’s a great platform to experiment with ideas without having to spend a lot of time or money. You can try a particular style of writing and see how much response it gets. You can also quickly learn about your audience; if an idea has potential, you can elaborate from that point and be more creative.

Investing in your content and marketing retention may cost, but when you look at the cost of writing up a business plan and the extra costs of market research, it doesn’t seem that bad after all.

I hope this was a thoughtful piece. I hope to add another blog entry very soon.

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