Relationship Marketing 101 – Everything You Need to Know

by | May 24, 2019 | Digital Marketing

12 Min Read. |

Have you been hearing a lot about the significance of Relationship Marketing in improving revenues? Curious to know what it is?

The first thing first, you need to know what is relationship marketing. So, without any further ado, let us delve into its definition and basics-

What is Relationship Marketing?

Just as relationship implies a long term loyal commitment, relationship marketing applies the same rules in business to cultivate the bond between a brand and customers.

Relationship marketing emphasizes establishing profound and more meaningful relationships with customers to ensure long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty.

As per the statistics, 20% of your existing customers will be responsible for 80% of your ROI.

But for this, you need to retain your customers by using relationship marketing

As compared to traditional marketing, this is less transactional.

It is used to foster loyalty, retention, effective engagement and long term interaction.

It focuses on creating long-term customer connections and regular repeat business from already existing clients rather than short term sales transactions.

If relationship marketing is done right, it can help companies to have a brand ambassador of their own.

Customers who love the company and are extremely happy with the products and services are very likely to share and promote the company on their own will and at times at very high places.

This helps in enhancing the market for the company.

Segments of Relationship Marketing

Segments of Relationship Marketing

Segments of Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing is considered to consist of the following five segments:

(i) Partner Marketing

Partner marketing basically means paying commissions to third-party firms; such as distributors, resellers, etc., for promoting leads and sales.

(ii) Employee Marketing

Employee marketing is all about self-promotion of the business to generate a positive exposure and raise awareness for the brand or company.

(iii) Referral Marketing

Referral marketing refers to the practice of promoting a product or service to new customers by the existing customers by referrals.

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(iv) Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate market refers to the transaction between the company and an individual in which customers earn commissions in exchange for promoting the brand.

(v) Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a modern take on affiliate marketing in which influential individuals mostly on social media are financially incentivized to drive a brand’s message to the larger market.

Now, as you are aware of the different segment of Relationship Marketing, let us understand the importance of relationship marketing in a more in-depth fashion-

Importance of Relationship Marketing

Importance of Relationship Marketing

Importance of Relationship Marketing

In today’s world, people have a wide range of choices in case of every product and service.

They choose from these choices on the basis of their perception, quality, services, and value. Therefore, companies need to understand the factors of customer value and satisfaction.

A major challenge for the high-performance companies is building and maintaining a feasible business in the fast-changing market.

They need to identify the key elements of the business and maintaining a feasible fit between their stakeholders, processes, resources and business capabilities and culture.

Relationship marketing plays a role here.

It helps you not only get new customers but also retain the already existing ones.

After going through the importance of Relationship Marketing, let us go through Some of the benefits of successful relationship marketing strategies:

Benefits of Relationship Marketing

Benefits of Relationship Marketing

Benefits of Relationship Marketing

Your quest of knowing what is Relationship Marketing in the most comprehensive fashion will now be leading towards some of the amazing advantages, so let us go through those straight away-

1. Improved Customer Experience

Majority of people move to different brands leaving their current brand because of the poor customer services.

Here you have to understand one crucial thing, if you have successfully earned a customer then that doesn’t mean your job is done, you have to focus on retaining them. If you are continuously losing your customers then that’s certainly not beneficial for your business.

You have to provide them with the customer service they deserve. Everybody who invests in any company’s product or service wants to get the quality customer service from that company.

Relationship marketing, by providing good customer service and responding to customer feedbacks, leaves a good impression on the customers. Thus, they may not leave their brand easily.

2. Higher Sales

Not alone you can ensure a top notch marketing of your products, you need some helping hands. If you think you will alone be able to make your products or services reach everybody out there then that’s going to be extremely difficult. But if your customers are indirectly helping you through this then it becomes an easier job.

Customers who are happy with the products or services often tell their close ones about the company and encourage them to try its products. People often trust their loved ones and if they will promote your products then mark my words you are certainly going to witness higher sales now or then.

Therefore, building good customer relationships result in happy customers and gaining referrals, both of which ultimately leads to more sales and revenue of the company.

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3. Better Feedback

Customer feedbacks are important for every business. It plays an important role in making or breaking a business.

People are not blindly investing in any product or service these days and they are choosing a smarter way towards their purchase. They tend to check reviews and feedbacks on the product or service before they make their final decision to purchase that.

Feedbacks are a way in which the brands and companies get to know of the thoughts and reactions of the customers. Knowing these help them improve their products and services.

It becomes a lot easier for a brand to detect the flaw in their product or service after they get a proper feedback from their customers. Developing a top-notch product is extremely difficult but you can also improve it to get to that level and that is very much possible by analysing the feedbacks.

4. Innovative Ideas

Few brands use customer ideas to create new innovative things. They take the customer feedback way too seriously.

The best example is Starbucks. It has a separate website where the customers can submit their own ideas of new drinks and if other people vote in favour of it, the company tries them out.

These kinds of things help in strengthening the relationship between the brand and the customers.

5. Relationship Marketing Strategy

If you want to keep your business going well, you need to have a good relationship marketing strategy.

To create a relationship marketing strategy you need to have a good balance of technology, tools, and hands-on interaction.

However, when the balance between these is struck, it can mean serious dividends for the long term.

To create an effective relationship marketing strategy, you need to have the following:

6. Customer Service Team

You need a good customer service team for a great customer relationship.

The members of this team need to be trained in customer interaction, especially the ones who play a role in customer experience.

No matter it’s you or I or whosoever, everyone wants to get a quality customer service from the brand they are investing into. You can never attain success with a mentality that you have sold your product and your job is done, actually it’s not yet. If there arises any problem to your customer, your customer service team has got to fix that.

The better is the interaction with the customer, the better the relationship.

7. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool helps you in storing information related to the customers, track their communications, and ensure proper follow-ups.

These tools make organizing and managing customer relationships easier. Some of the best Customer Relationship Management tools are HubSpot, Zoho, Insightly, and Nimble.

8. Comprehensive Customer-Facing Presence

Nowadays customers have a number of ways to interact with companies.

Instead of calling on the customer care number or visiting the store, they can chat on web bots, send emails to the customer care team or just tweet about it.

To satisfy these customers, irrespective of their way of contacting, you need to have complete coverage. Quick, detailed, and friendly responses are very important for a good customer relationship.

9. Details about Customers

To build a good relationship with your customers, you need to connect with them and get to know them.

You can use the information provided by the customers or the data from advertising campaigns or other marketing efforts.

Moreover, you can send them updates about sales on complementary items for the past purchases made. These things are important to show them that you care about their interests.

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Once you have the things listed above, you need to do the following in order to make your Relationship Marketing Strategy work:

10. Provide personalized, customer-centric services

Based on the information provided by the customers or the data collected from other sources, you can provide them with personalized customer-centric services.

Properly personalized contents are promoted and liked by everybody hence if you will focus on this, it will only enhance your customer relationship.

11. Engage with the customer where they are

It is important to know which platforms are the most popular among your targeted audience.

In order to reach out to them, you need to be active on all those platforms. This will also encourage other users on that platform to know about your company and interact with you.

12. Offer incentives and reward for customer loyalty

To have a good long-term relationship with the customers and to create long-lasting brand loyalty, you need to provide the existing customers with some rewards or benefits, such as additional discounts on products or some personalized recommendations according on their preferences.

13. Create valuable content that tells a compelling story

Once you have a customer you do not need to give them additional advertisements for products. Instead, you need to make them feel that your company offers valuable content irrespective of the purchase made.

14. Regularly collect customer feedbacks

Every relationship is a two-way thing. In order to develop a deeper, meaningful, and long-lasting relationship with the customers, taking their feedback is important.

This way you can tell them that you value their opinion about the products. Moreover, these pieces of information will help you to improve both your products as well as your relationship with the customers.

If you have all the things needed for creating an effective relationship marketing strategy and do follow the above-listed things, you will very likely to develop a good relationship with the customers, and relationship marketing will come naturally.

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Relationship Marketing Examples

Some brands which have nailed implementation of relationship marketing are mentioned in the below given Relationship Marketing Examples, so you can understand the concept adeptly-

1. Domino’s



In the past few years, Domino’s, the famous pizza restaurant chain, has taken its rational share of risks for the sake of revolution and improvement, which includes a series of ads called ‘Pizza turnaround’.

These ads highlighted a series of negative customer reviews, read by their own employees, before promising a new and improved recipe.

By acknowledging the mistakes made by them, Domino has re-invented its brand as transparent and honest. Who would not want to be a customer of such an honest company?

These self-deprecating ads were clearly against the traditional sales playbook and that is why it worked.

It was their way of standing out from the crowd and developing a good relationship with the customers.

In addition to these, Domino’s has conducted other brilliant marketing campaigns like the Domino’s wedding registry, which allows the soon-to-be-married couples to create their own pizza registry.

Domino’s has also done a wonderful job by tapping into their digital audience.

Nowadays, 50% of their sales are through digital channels. Such adept implementation of Relationship Marketing Strategy makes it one of the most effective Relationship Marketing Examples.

2. Amazon



Amazon, the largest e-commerce company, making it to one of the best examples of relationship marketing is not a surprise. They have embedded customer centricity in their DNAs.

They believe that everyone has to be able to work at a call centre in order to have an insight into the customer’s perspective. Every year the managers of the company attend two days of call centre training and field calls periodically.

They also have ‘Customer Experience Bar Raisers’ to maintain their standards.

These practices definitely work for the company and they consistently rank among the top customer-centric companies in the world like Apple.

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3. Starbucks



Starbucks, the famous American coffee house chain, provides the finest products to the customers with a remarkable experience in order to hold its market position.

In addition to that, they keep modernizing their products from time to time and deliver high-quality drinks.

The company initially started with 8-7 categories of food and drinks, which has been increasing over time to keep up the momentum and satisfaction of the customers.

It has one of the best relationship marketing strategies. They have a website known as ‘My Starbucks Ideas’ where customers can submit their own ideas for some new drinks or share their own thoughts.

The company also tries out them out if the other customers vote in favour of it.

In addition to this, they also provide different products depending on the season. For example, frappuccino and strawberry creams in summer whereas gingerbread latte in the winters.

These little things strengthen their relationship with the customers even more and allow them to listen and develop new and innovative food and drinks.

4. Marriott International

Marriott International

Marriott International

Marriott International, the multinational hospitality company, continues to make its customers happy by the principle of the founder of Marriott, J. Willard Marriott.

They believe that it is the little things, which make bigger impact possible. Therefore, close attention is paid to every fine detail of the customers.

The company also takes good care of its employees and believes that if they take good care of their own people, they will take care of the customers in return.

Moreover, they believe that only people who always think of ways to improve the business build great companies.

The company and its employees take the above beliefs very seriously.

The company expects each of its employees, from the housekeepers to the employees handling the social media department, to take good care of their customers.

Upholding the principals of their founder has proved to pay them off really well making them a pro in relationship marketing.

5. Apple



Apple, one of the big four of technology, is very well known for their customer-provision.

They have quite a few policies and features that constantly keeps them among the top customer service oriented companies.

They read and respond to customer emails on a regular basis and take good care of all their employees. This has a marked impact on customers.

Due to these customer-centric practices, Apple is loved by its fervent fans and will continue to be for years to come.

In Conclusion…

So, this was all you need to about Relationship Marketing.

If you want to set up your own business, you should be aware of relationship marketing and try creating your own relationship marketing strategy to enhance your business.

Hope, the Relationship Marketing examples and methods listed in the article will help you develop your own amazing relationship marketing strategy and enhance your business venture.

Joining Digital Marketing Course will enable you to learn and implement practical Relationship Marketing Strategies like a pro.

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