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(Un)Conditional Love: Relationship Marketing


freinds for life Ahhh, our pets. For most all people (myself included) that say they are bona fide cat lovers, it's nearly impossible not to be moved by the limitless loyalty unique to dogs. Cats are charming and full of feelings, but tend to share emotions much differently than Lassie. I've watched the cats seemingly stare in amazement at the behavior of our dogs. I almost can hear them say in their articulate feline fanciness; "Take a friggin' chill pill, Bella..." or, "Seriously, Reggie, have some respect for yourself!" Don't get me wrong, here -- the cats are well-loved family members, too.  We've had many warm and fuzzy moments together.  Still, enter the canine brand of unconditional love, the bouncy happiness and the heart-melting nuances only a dog can provide and you have yourself, well, a friend for life.  Cats and dogs - the best of both worlds. (And thank goodness for a good vacuum.)


Exciting and New

We know relationship marketing is a strategy designed to build and ultimately foster customer loyalty and long-term engagement. This approach is generally CRM based and focuses more on customer retention than customer acquisition.  I often wonder why more marketers don't use the loyalty factor to try and acquire customers. But how?


2 Good 2 Be 4 Gotten

For kids, the family pet is their best friend—a companion who not only provides unconditional love, but one that also teaches them about friendship, responsibility, loyalty, and empathy. I have to say for me personally, my pets teach me daily about these things in countless ways. With this powerful emotion in mind, how can we apply these feelings -- even just a small amount -- to acquiring new customers, when they have yet to feel any bond, let alone trust?


A Friend of Yours...

Is a friend of mine!  Refer-A-Friend (RAF) option is becoming more and more common as an added funtional feature in cross channel marketing campaigns. This is one dynamic and fun way to  foster the relationship (retention) and also gain new partnerships. Create a compelling offer for your customer to share her/his pleasure with you to a friend and not only does she receive a premium for doing this, but the friend (through trust and curiousity) may join and also be rewarded for that.  The friend already trusts the referrer, and all communications clearly state the who, the what and the why to prevent any confusion or skeptism. The icing on the cake is the new customer can eventually have the opportunity to refer a friend of his....the love keeps growing.


Don't Talk to Strangers

RAF (not RUFF!) is not for everyone.  Questions to consider include:

  • How clean (accurate) is your customer list?

  • Will my customers repsond well to being asked to share?

  • How healthy is my customer satisfaction?

  • Can we uniquely identify the customer (referrer) in the transaction to thank them/reward them properly?

Relationship marketing and loyalty is a limitless subject. For additional discussion please join us at our workshop, Cross Media: ROI of Relationship Building at EVOLVE 2013: Northland Mail Expo on Sept. 18th in Bloomington, MN. Here is more information for you:  EVOLVE Brochure 2013 or EVOLVE TCPCC website Hope to see you and learn from you!


Rhea (and Reggie, Bella, Sabrina and Chloe)



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