Although the growth of digital media has made life easier in a lot of ways, it has also arisen a bunch of new modern complications. We no longer know what else to do to make our businesses succeed. We are drowned in marketing strategies, sprouting out from left and right, with promising results we never get to see.
It’s overwhelming. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a marketing executive, social media marketer, digital marketer, or an old school marketer, let’s admit it: what are we doing anymore? Where do we start first? What do we focus on?
We live in the golden age of information and, although it’s as good as it sounds, there’s also a downside to it: we receive this information all at once and it can be confusing and daunting. Working with online marketing with different types of clients and businesses, I can say that, in all this time, the digital landscape has changed so rapidly that marketers either need to speed up the pace or resign to unemployment.
But what if I tell you that there’s one marketing strategy that still defies all the odds when it comes to this new marketing wave? That all of us know it, yet we pass it by? The best marketing strategy that outperforms all the new strategies is still: YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CLIENT or CUSTOMERS. Old school, I know, but it is what it is. It’s an old concept, yet people still miss it.
The need for human connection is the one thing, if anything, that has been exploited throughout all these centuries of evolution. Digital platforms have connected us more than ever, yet not enough. We are still more drawn to quality relationships and interactions, which is why it’s so important for you to give your customers more than a cold bot to welcome them to your website.
Human connection is a necessity. It’s not only the way our ancestors would ensure their survival when hunting, but it’s also decoded in our DNA. Chemically, we can feel pain or pleasure from human interactions. When we say that someone broke our hearts, it’s because the brain releases substances that actually make our whole body ache. The same happens when we are having a blast with friends. Life how we know it is founded upon social interaction, your business should be too.
The first success story that comes to my mind when I think about this basic and vital marketing strategy, is my father. He built his business without the internet, sophisticated software, and freelancers with top-notch knowledge. He focused on developing and nurturing the relationship he had with his customers, business partners, subcontractors, heads of big companies, and even the people at the bottom of the companies. It’s the connection that you build with people that makes your business grow.
People crave human connection. And the more your clients can identify with you, the more comfortable they will be. I discovered that it was so much easier for me to close a deal if I could bring to my client’s attention that we shared something in common. It worked 99% of the time.
If you want to build a solid and loyal following from scratch, you need to build a genuine relationship with your followers. Successful influencers on top of their game understand this very well. Be transparent with your clients, connect with them, and see your business thrive.
THE POWER OF REFERRALS AND WORD OF MOUTH
How do you keep clients coming back? Using relationship management. If you invest resources on clients that only do a one-time purchase, you aren’t investing, you are losing. Focus on creating connections and providing your customer with an experience so good, so real, and so full of human warmth that they will feel emotionally linked to your business. Word of mouth tends to be a voluntary and spontaneous result of this.
You can even take it one step further and use referral marketing, that targets a specific person and can be your best advertisement to reach a specific audience. Think about how many times you are encouraged by other businesses to grade their service/product and share your opinion with your peers. Universities count on their alumni commentaries to keep gaining more students, social media managers respond fast to any negative review they spot: honest referrals can increase or decrease your success.
Getting new clients, new followers, new subscribers, new members is not the biggest challenge; MAINTAINING them is the hardest part of all, as well as the one that can bring you most benefits. Don’t focus so much on the technical side of new marketing and the development of new trends that you forget the importance of creating relationships. At the end of the day, word of mouth is still one of the strongest and most truthful indicators that your business is going well.