One of the first things I ask my clients, before putting together a marketing strategy, is how are you currently communicating with your audience? More often than not, I get a response that includes information about where they put ads on Google and the latest batch of emails that were a hit. And that’s great. Really, I’m not against Google Adwords or email marketing when it’s appropriate. However, besides telling them about your latest deals and trying to get their attention with ads, how are you communicating with them? How are you developing a relationship with them? Or don’t you want one?
The problem is, a lot of business owners still look at their customers and clients as a business transaction that puts money in their pocket to help sustain their livelihood, etc. So marketing becomes about getting them to make another transaction. And they’re not wrong. However, there’s so much more to the story that is being missed out on because you won’t open up to what your customers and clients should really mean to you. Whoever first said, “Don’t worry, it’s just business!” got it all wrong. It is not just business. It is not just another transaction. It absolutely is a BIG deal to me if you choose a competitor over me because I strive every day to do the best job at whatever I lay my hands to that I can possibly do and when you choose a competitor over me I want to know why so I can fix the problem.
Here’s the deal. If you’re just looking to get new customers and don’t care beyond the transaction, then you’re always going to be looking and hustling for new customers. What would happen if you chose to achieve a relationship with your current customers that was so strong, and made them so happy, that they, in turn, brought new customers to you? No, that’s not a joke. It’s a real thing. It’s called turning your customers into evangelists and it’s one of the best ways you’ll ever spend your marketing dollars.
To put it simply, make your customers or clients love you so much – that they tell EVERYONE they know about how awesome you are. I don’t care if you sell conveyor belts. Do you think manufacturers don’t know other manufacturers? Sure they do. And if you focus your efforts on building relationship with them and giving them the best possible conveyor belts you can, in the most thoughtful helpful way you can, they’re going to share that information with someone else. That is the cheapest and yet most effective marketing out there.
Now for some of us, that’s going to be a bit easier than for others. Things that offer quick satisfaction and reward make it easier for businesses to give their audience a remarkable experience and begin creating a relationship. However, the rule of building relationship is across the board no matter what you’re selling. The only issue is how long it takes to build that loyalty up. So how do you get started? That takes me back to communication.
Here’s a nonspecific scenario that will help you see the big picture a little easier. Let’s say you own a company that manufactures and sells blow dryers to the general public. You want to build relationship with Customer Jill so she buys blow dryers from you whenever she may need another, in addition to telling all of her friends and family what a great company you are so they will buy blow dryers from you also. Let’s look at how you can communicate all of them.
Customer Jill needs a blow dryer because her old one broke. She begins to look on the internet and types in “best blow dryers.” Here’s what she finds:
An article titled: 5 Things all the Best Blow Dryers Have
A DIY Page titled: Even the Best Blow Dryers Break. Here’s 3 Tricks to Fix Them.
Another page titled: Compare the Features of the Top 6 Best Blow Dryers
Which of the three articles above do you think are the best way to communicate with Customer Jill? The answer? ALL OF THE ABOVE!! You’ve not only helped Jill learn about features she should look for in a blow dryer, you’ve also helped her try to fix her blow dryer so she might save money and you’ve also helped her compare blow dryers for when it’s time to make the purchase.
See, effective communication that builds relationship is all about being a thought leader and an absolute help to your target audience. The same goes for any company. Think of the pain point they are facing as it relates to your product. Then go out of your way to provide them with helpful information, quick tips and tricks or something that helps reduce their workload. When you do, you’ll find someone ready to thank you with their business on the other side.
Now take this philosophy of being helpful and let it bleed into every aspect, every department, and every single that works with or for you. Let the shipping department that boxes up the blow dryers and ships them find a way to make the packaging helpful. Find the accounts receivables department find a way to be helpful and thoughtful. It’s there – trust me.
If you’re a member of the Dollar Shave Club, then you know that every single shipment comes with the Bathroom Minutes inside the box. Whoever thought of that is a creative genius! I mean, it’s shaving blades. Where do you shave? In the bathroom. What else do you do in the bathroom? It just got a lot more interesting because someone was thoughtful enough to give you something to read! Seriously – that type of marketing is what will make your company stand out.