What is Relationship Marketing?

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According to Gartner,  personalization remains a priority for digital marketing leaders. Relevant & timely messaging is key to educating customers, minimizing friction and building purchase consideration. We’ve all seen personalization gone wrong, whether it’s irrelevant content like “you might like” recommendations that miss the mark, failure to recognize consumer’s previous purchases, unsurfacing sensitive information about consumers, or messages being sent at the wrong cadence and in the wrong channels.

All of this points to the importance of engaging with consumers on an individual level. This human approach to personalization is critical in this day and age, where consumers will easily switch providers if they don’t receive the experience they were hoping for. In order to maintain their customers and continue to grow, brands need to foster personalized relationships through showing empathy and an understanding of likes, interests, history, and preferences and deliver in the right moments.

Technology has evolved at a rapid pace to facilitate this mass customization. I call this innovation “Hyper-Personalization”. Some of our largest customers such as Starbucks leverage this approach to deliver real-time immersive moments to consumers across channels and touchpoints. At Signals21 you will hear the story of many of our customers, such as The North Face, Del Taco, Vans, Salling Group, COBS Bread, Arsenal Football Club and Pure Archery Group who are leading the way in providing a next generation approach to personalized experiences, across stores, mobile devices, emails, and much more.

In order to deliver on the next generation of personalization, brands need to establish three key imperatives which will unlock value across the entire customer lifecycle:

1. Understand customers with a B2C CRM

The goal to ‘know all that is knowable’ about the customer for marketing engagement can be achieved through a B2C CRM. Unlike traditional B2B CRM systems or even CDPs, B2C CRMs are for marketers like you, and are all about capturing insight around individuals and creating a unique value exchange at every touchpoint.

2. Activate insights with ML and Orchestration

Once we have access to all of this great data, what can we do with it? There is a world of use cases you can leverage using AI and machine learning to generate the next best action, the best offer, and the next best experience all in real-time. You can automate and orchestrate all of the touchpoints and ensure the left hand and the right hand are coordinated in all customer engagement strategies, and data is available to all channels. The ability to do this at scale and in real-time is what sets this strategy apart.

3. Engage across channels in real-time

Then it’s about delivering the last mile experience, ensuring your applications and solutions support you in customer engagement, whether that be in mobile, social, email, direct mail, POS, ads, loyalty programs, or some combination of these areas. Tapping into the collective wisdom of the platform and machine learning insights to deliver distinct value for customers at each step of the customer lifecycle, from acquisition to engagement, to retention is what will help you win hearts and minds, and drive revenue and customer satisfaction. 

Addressing these three imperatives is something we call Relationship Marketing. In this day and age, it’s all about establishing long lasting relationships, with data, insights, and delivering on them in the right moments that matter. 

Relationship Marketing is like inviting your customers to your home. It’s about having them meet your family and join you for a great home-cooked meal. It’s akin to saying “You are always welcome to visit, the door is always open”. It’s ensuring you take great care of the things that matter most to them, and leverage that knowledge and insight for good, and to help strengthen that relationship over time.

Next-gen Relationship Marketing bridges the gap between data and execution, and ensures that brands can easily and fluidly understand the customer, activate insights, and deliver personalized experiences across all channels in touchpoints, in real-time.

Relationship Marketing goes beyond the expense and effort of trying to acquire new customers, and establishes a true value exchange with existing customers across the customer lifecycle. It focuses on customer lifetime value, facilitated through loyalty promotions, intelligent offers, and emotional loyalty experiences.

To learn more about Relationship Marketing concepts, check out Bill Ingram’s Kickoff Session at Signals21, and Manoj Goyal’s Platform Vision session. 

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