There are many definitions for Relationship Marketing. Here is one that I found:

“Relationship marketing is a strategy designed to foster customer loyalty, interaction, and long-term engagement. It is designed to develop strong connections with customers or clients by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests and by promoting open communication.”

While I can agree with the above it leaves out one very important word. It kind of implies the word somewhat but does not include the actual word and it should for this word cuts right to the heart of the term itself and to the word “relationship.”

The word I am referring to is “emotion.”

The word emotion speaks to that place where few businesses and brands spend time. For just as in any relationship in life, touching on human emotions, preferably the positive emotions, is the key to any happy, healthy, and long-term relationship. How do others feel when they hear your name?

How do you define Relationship Marketing?

Relationship marketing is a business’ or brand’s ability to create an emotional connection with the buyer. How does the customer or client feel when they hear your business name? Do they want to tell others about their positive experience? People seem to talk more about their negative experiences with a business.

Is there a right way and wrong way for relationship marketing?

Absolutely. So often we see a business or a brand throwing marketing campaigns at customers or clients without putting much thought into the execution. When the campaign is not targeted or specialized for an audience it becomes just more noise. We all are inundated with enough noise already!

Branded products or services can be more than one to one relationship marketing. The customer or client can make a choice to use a product or service based upon how well the campaign is put together. It cultivates their affinity for the brand with the right strategy and execution. You have to ask yourself, “Is it quality? Is it believable? Is it reaching the right target audience?” It is your job to create a seamless campaign that extends the appropriate message.

We have worked with many businesses and find that people don’t just want a product or service, but they want a relationship to it. Whether that be with the business or a personality.

How well do people connect with your business?

The digital age has presented many new and interesting opportunities for business connections. How often do you receive a request to connect with someone that you have never met? I seem to get them every day of the week. Do you accept all requests to connect or are you building relationships?

How do people get to know you? Maybe you are like many profiles on LinkedIn that I see that gives me a resume of their work history but doesn’t tell me why they are different. Why would I want to connect with you? Tell me the results you have provided for others like me.

Being a part pf something bigger than themselves is one of the most powerful emotional connections that customers or clients can have to a business or brand. Being connected to something innovative or new in the marketplace tends to freeze time for people in general.

Relationship marketing is more important than ever to differentiate a business. The value of dozens of social posts and interactions doesn’t compare to the affinity even meaningful connection can produce.

Without building a relationship with a customer or client, they feel that they are just another sale in your quota.

What does building a relationship look like to you? What do you as a business owner or leader value that others can connect with?