Relationship Centric Marketing is the future of marketing.
The way people communicate now has gone beyond social media and moved into the realm of relationship-centric marketing.
Digital media has changed the game forever and it’s essential for businesses to step up their game in order to stay relevant.
Businesses are realizing that the same marketing strategies they’ve been using for years just don’t work anymore.
Today, people expect more than just good products or services.
They’re demanding better relationships with companies and businesses around them rather than just a quick sale.
The old ways of marketing are no longer effective.
In order for companies to succeed nowadays, they need to change their mindset and switch from transactional marketing to relationship-centric marketing.
This is the only way they’ll be able to reach and resonate with people on a deeper level, grow their business, and increase their revenue.
We are now in the ‘relationship era’ and businesses have to adapt quickly in order to stay relevant.
But how exactly do you go about doing that? How do you switch from transactional to relationship-centric marketing? What are some steps you can take to ensure your success? Where do you even start?
Today, we’re going to explore all that and more.
Firstly, we’ll begin by explaining what exactly transactional marketing is.
Next, we’ll explore how relationship-centric marketing differs from transactional and why it’s so important.
Finally, we’ll give you some actionable steps that are sure to get your business on the right track towards transforming your marketing strategy.
Marketing has always been about making a sale.
And what’s more, it used to be very transactional in nature.
People would buy a product or service, and that was it.
They didn’t care about anything else.
They just wanted to get what they needed and move on with their life.
In order to get a sale, marketers would employ various strategies such as advertisements and promotions in magazines or newspapers.
It was all about grabbing the customer’s attention and making them aware of your product or service. That was it. There wasn’t any sort of relationship.
That era was called the “Product-centric” era because people were buying things based on the product itself and its features, rather than the relationship.
However, that era is long gone now and as we pointed out earlier, customer expectation has changed drastically. But do you know what hasn’t changed dramatically?
The B2B marketing industry stayed mostly the same, which has resulted in the widespread disconnection between businesses and their customers.
The fact that transactional marketing is still the norm in B2B companies holds them back from fulfilling their true potential.
The point is that they still use the same marketing strategies from back in the day, but with one small change: the Internet.
It’s pretty much similar to how it was done before, but instead of using print or TV advertising, they’ve turned to digital marketing.
They use things like social media, email marketing, content marketing, blogging, etc.
Using them is not a problem, they should all be used (we will talk about how in a moment); the problem lies in the fact that they do all these things wrong, and everything is still very transactional.
All they care about is getting as many leads as they can and hopefully turning a small portion of those leads into customers.
This is a very short-sighted approach that leads nowhere.
People can see right through the company’s tricks and won’t trust you.
They realize that the only reason why they’re seeing what you have to offer is that you want to make a sale.
There’s no relationship and there never will be.
This might’ve worked in the past, but…
Today that’s not enough and this is where relationship-centric marketing comes into play.
Now, let’s talk about relationship-centric marketing.
The reality is that people are no longer interested in being sold to.
They’re more interested in building a relationship with people and brands they love on a deeper level, rather than just making a single purchase.
Basically, that’s what relationship-centric marketing is all about.
It’s about building more personal and meaningful relationships with your customers on a deeper level.
It’s the complete opposite of transactional marketing.
It starts with developing trust and a close rapport with your customers.
You won’t just say “Hey, I have this amazing product, here’s the link, it will be great for you!”
You actually try to understand your customer before anything else.
What are their problems? What do they need help with?
You have to try to get a better understanding of what you can offer them and how you can help them.
This is where the transformation begins.
Relationship-centric marketing requires you to be more human than ever before, and that’s why it works well.
People love companies that are transparent and they want to be a part of your journey. They don’t want you to simply sell them something. They want you to be like a friend who they can count on.
This is why relationship-centric marketing works so well because it doesn’t feel like people are being sold to. It feels more personal and that’s what people want.
You have to create a personal connection between you and your customers that goes beyond just one sale or service offered, but something more meaningful and lasting.
Building relationships with people takes time, and it’s not something you can fake or do in just one interaction.
This is why relationship-centric marketing is the future of marketing.
It is not only important for your customers, but also to you as a person and a business owner.
You need to show your customers that you care, and what’s a better way to do that than with relationship-centric marketing.
The Benefits of Relationship-Centric Marketing
Relationship-centric marketing has many benefits for your business and customers, but here we’ll talk about the 3 most important ones.
- Increased Revenue
This is probably the most obvious benefit of relationship-centric marketing.
If you have a better relationship with your customers, they will not only buy from you more often but also pay more for it.
They will see you more like a friend who they can rely on rather than just another business.
They feel like they’re building a relationship with you, not just purchasing your product or service.
This is why relationship-centric marketing helps your business grow in a meaningful way that goes beyond just one sale or service offered.
It’s about creating value for both of you and growing together as two businesses on a much deeper level.
Remember when we talked about how people don’t want to be sold to anymore?
This is why relationship-centric marketing works so well because it doesn’t feel like people are being merely sold to. It feels more personal and that’s what people really crave for.
If you stop selling and start empowering your customers with the knowledge and expertise they need, they’ll be more willing to buy from you and pay for your services because it’s something that benefits them!
- Shorter Sales Cycles
Another benefit of relationship-centric marketing is that it can shorten your sales cycles.
When people feel like they’re building a relationship with you, it’s easier for them to buy from your business.
They don’t feel pressured by a sales agent trying to sell them something, but rather they feel like it’s a relationship that develops naturally.
As we said before, people want to feel like they’re a part of your journey and relationship-centric marketing helps you accomplish that.
People don’t want to be sold to, they just want someone who understands them and knows what is best for their needs.
That’s what relationship-centric marketing does; it builds a connection between you and your customers that goes beyond just one sale or service offered.
- Lower Customer Acquisition Costs
With relationship-centric marketing, your customer acquisition costs go way down.
Because relationship-centric marketing is all about building a close connection with your customers and making them feel like you’re really there for them.
Instead of pushing your product or service to people, they will come looking for it.
This makes it much easier to attract new customers and at a lower cost because they’re seeking you out rather than the other way around.
People don’t trust brands as much as they used to anymore, but they’re willing to put their trust in people.
This is why relationship-centric marketing has the power to make a real difference in your business and why it’s the future of marketing.
Now that you know what relationship-centric marketing is all about, how it differs from the transactional one, and why it is so important, let’s see how to implement it in your own business.
In the next section, you will find out how to actually do that, what changes you need to make for your marketing to be successful, and how you can use it to grow your business and make a positive impact on people’s lives.
So, let’s go ahead and get into it!
How to Implement Relationship-Centric Marketing in Your Business?
Before you decide to get started with relationship-centric marketing, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
First of all, it requires a lot more work and effort than any typical transactional marketing.
Unlike transactional marketing, relationship-centric marketing is not just about getting as many leads as possible without considering their buying intent.
Of course, you will still want to get as many leads as possible. But it’s not just about the volume anymore — you have to make sure these leads are the right ones. And that’s not easy.
It’s a lot easier to bring in 1000 new leads with no interest in your product or service than it is to get 100 leads who are genuinely interested.
This is why relationship-centric marketing requires a lot more work and effort than transactional one.
But guess what?
The results you’ll get from relationship-centric marketing will blow you away.
Second, relationship-centric marketing is a long-term strategy, and it takes time to see results.
If you’re looking for a quick fix, this type of marketing is definitely not going to help you.
But if your goal is long-term success and you’re willing to invest more time into it, then relationship-centric marketing can definitely help your business skyrocket.
Next, it requires more skill and know-how than transactional marketing.
This is a completely different way of doing things, and it requires you to be really good at engaging your customers.
You need to be able to create content that will form a strong connection with your audience while offering them some real value.
Lastly, it takes a lot of testing to see what works best for your particular business.
Since every business is different, you can’t just follow a template and expect it to work.
You need to make sure that everything you do is customized to your business and that it actually works.
This involves lots of testing and trial-and-error, but if you’re willing to do it, relationship-centric marketing can definitely help your business grow.
Now that we’ve covered the things you need to keep in mind when getting started with relationship-centric marketing, it’s time to get into the real thing and talk about how you can actually do it.
There are a lot of different ways of implementing relationship-centric marketing in your business; however, in this article, we’ll talk about the 4 most important things you should focus on.
- Demand Generation
- Content Marketing Strategy
- Marketing and Sales Alignment
- Messaging and Differentiation
Let’s go ahead and take a look at what each of these things is all about.
Demand Generation — The Key to Relationship-Centric Marketing
The first thing you should bear in mind when getting started with relationship-centric marketing is demand generation.
This is the key to your marketing success because you can’t expect anything to happen if there is no demand for your product or service. And when it comes to demand, there are two ways you can do it — you either create demand or you tap into an existing one.
Tapping into existing demand is when there’s already been an existing need for your product or service. That means people are already aware of it and are actively looking for solutions that you can provide them with.
If this is the case, then all you have to do is find a way to get in touch with these people and make sure you stay on top of their mind when they’re ready to buy.
Creating demand, on the other hand, is when there’s no demand for your product or service and you have to create it.
This is more difficult than tapping into existing demand because people are not looking for what you have to offer, heck, they don’t even know they need it.
But this is also where the greatest opportunities may arise because it means that you’re not competing with anyone for this market.
Also, there are plenty of untapped opportunities that you can fully capitalize on and take complete advantage of.
But creating demand is not impossible, it just requires a slightly different approach.
Content Marketing Strategy — The Perfect Way of Engaging Your Audience
Content Marketing is the backbone of Relationship-Centric Marketing.
It’s basically your main strategy, and it really helps you build a connection with your
But you can’t just create any kind of content — it has to be high quality and actually helpful for your audience.
If you’re trying to build up a relationship with your customers, then it would make sense for them to expect something in return — the value.
So, make sure that everything you create is valuable for your audience. It doesn’t have to be super in-depth or long, it just has to be helpful.
This is one of the most effective things you can do, and most businesses underestimate the power of content.
Keep in mind that it’s not just about creating content, it’s also how you’re going to distribute that content and get in touch with your audience.
This is where your content marketing strategy comes in.
It’s a plan of action that includes everything from the type of content you’re going to create to how you’re going to distribute it. You can read more about content marketing strategy here: How to create a content strategy? (7 Steps to Successful Content Strategy)
Marketing and Sales Alignment — Getting Your Marketing and Sales Teams on the Same Page
You might be wondering what this has to do with relationship-centric marketing.
Well, the truth is that it has a lot to do with it.
You see, marketing and sales teams usually work against each other.
Marketing teams are only focused on getting as many leads as possible without considering their buying intent and sending them to sales, who are then supposed to take it from there.
Throughout this process, marketing and sales rarely communicate, and this is the point where most marketing fails.
What most businesses don’t realize is that today’s buyers don’t follow the conventional “marketing to sales to customer” funnel.
Instead, each prospect takes its own path.
One prospect may already know they want to buy your product before even speaking with a sales rep because they’ve been attracted by your Instagram account.
Another prospect, on the other hand, may first talk with a sales rep, then require additional information like webinars or blog posts before closing the deal.
And normally, when a prospect gets in contact with your sales rep after reading a number of customer reviews, they’ll have a completely different approach to a conversation from someone who has only heard of your company through a Facebook ad.
Marketing and sales teams should do everything they can to align their strategies and work together.
Each team has a different but equally important role to play.
That’s why it’s so important to define a clear strategy of how they’re going to work together.
We won’t go into details about how to align your marketing and sales teams here, because the topic is too broad, but you can read more about it in the e-book we wrote together with UserGuiding: Aligning Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success; to Unlock Maximum Revenue Potential
Messaging and Differentiation — What Makes Your Business Stand Out?
One of the most essential aspects that you need to focus on is messaging.
Your message should be clear enough to reflect your brand and what your business stands for. Your message is basically the foundation of everything you do and create, so make sure it’s clear and consistent through all the marketing channels you use.
If your messaging is confusing and inconsistent, you’ll lose the trust of your audience.
For example, if you’re a SaaS business and your website says that you offer “tools for small businesses,” but your blog is full of posts about how your product is great for big enterprises, then you’re sending mixed messages.
On the other hand, if your posts are about how your software company helps small businesses (and not enterprises), then you’re on the right path.
When you know exactly what your message is, it becomes easier to create the content that speaks directly to your audience’s pain points.
So, try to incorporate your messaging into all of the content you create, whether it’s blog posts, videos, or social media posts.
Messaging and the narrative you use are something that will really help you stand out.
As you probably know, most brands are basically telling you the same things as their competitors.
That’s why you need to find a way of differentiating yourself.
There are many ways to do this, but the best ones are usually related to the narrative, your story, and how you connect with your audience.
For example, if you talk about something that resonates deeply with your audience, it will help you stand out.
Let’s say that one of the biggest pain points for small businesses is that they can’t afford big marketing agencies which charge them hefty fees.
In this case, you could spread the message on how your product helps small businesses to market themselves without having to hire expensive agencies.
Or, you could include a personal story on how your product was developed by a small business owner who understood the struggle of other small businesses, which led him to create the product.
The second narrative is much more effective because it will touch the hearts of most small businesses reading it.
As you can see, this is a bit more complex than just coming up with the right messaging and content strategy to sell your product.
It’s all about telling a story and connecting with your audience.
Your messaging should be clear, but also memorable and different from what other brands and businesses are doing.
It has to be authentic and it should reflect your brand’s personality.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can copy what other brands are doing and expect to stand out.
It doesn’t work that way.
You have to find your voice and develop a unique narrative that resonates with your target audience.
Of course, this is easier said than done.
You’ll make mistakes along the way, but that’s fine.
The most important thing is that you keep trying, learning, and improving.
As you can see, there are many things that go into Relationship-Centric Marketing and they all depend on each other.
If you get one of these aspects wrong, it will impact the others.
But if you can get them all right, then your business will be on the path to success.
Today’s world is different from what it used to be just a few years ago.
People are more informed, they have access to more information and there’s too much noise on the Internet.
This means that you need a brand new approach to marketing.
This new approach is Relationship-Centric Marketing and it’s the future of marketing.
And, if you want to stand out, increase your revenue and grow your business, then Relationship-Centric Marketing is the way to go.
P.S. Need any help with taking your marketing strategy to a new level and growing your business? Schedule a call with us and let’s have a chat.
We are a team of marketers and business strategists with extensive experience in online marketing.
We’ve helped more than 100 companies win with compelling brand stories that drive demand, shorten sales cycles, and lower customer acquisition costs.
And because we know what it takes to help your company grow, our services are targeted towards generating results and growth.
Our process is simple.
We help you create a strategy and then we work with you every step of the way to make sure that it’s executed effectively and efficiently.
p.s. this article was previously published on the Funky Marketing blog.