“The Power of Relationship Marketing!”
With the advent of the internet, and now social media, it’s more critical than ever to “cut through the clutter” of sound bytes, banner ads, social media postings, written and video blogs–and a host of other means and media inundating people– so that your marketing message stands out and gets noticed. How do you do it? Is it by finding another way to write your advertisements to differentiate you from others in your industry? Is it a different media in which to place an ad or message? Is it to increase the number of posts in social media or more blog entries? Although these are all viable–and mostly good–ideas and actually SHOULD be implemented into your marketing plan there’s an even better way to reach your target audience. It’s new buzzword is “relationship marketing”. Because of the aforementioned blasts of messages the average person sees online every day (I don’t know the average figure, but I heard it’s in the gazillions. :-)) as well as people being more skeptical than ever about, not only your business, but your product/service as well, you need to break down the barriers to your customers’ trust. People today want to deal with people they trust and have at least a little familiarity with. Unless you’re Coke, Budweiser, Walmart or any of the other behemoth’s out there, you’re going to have to prove your worth–and trustworthiness–to the masses. And this is where relationship marketing will break down trust issues, make a person receptive to your offer, and pull out their checkbook or credit card.
One of my first marketing “gurus” used to send a daily e-mail blast to about 8000 subscribers. He would offer very solid content on business-building techniques and marketing in general. But the thing that would grab people (and keep them subscribed!) was that he shared personal information about what was happening in his life. He showed his list that he had faults, foibles and all the other things that we share as human beings. Sometimes it was lighthearted and sometimes it was dark, but it was always interesting. I remember when he shared about the day his divorce was final. You really felt for him. He was in so much pain. I remember feeling a lot of compassion for him and for his situation. Now, why was that? I had met him only once in person and hardly knew him. It was because he shared incredible marketing methods, techniques, and advice on a daily basis and I not only devoured and used the information he taught, but I also felt I “knew” him–at least, on a surface level. He made me care about him and what he was teaching. Was this an accident? A resounding NO! This was one of the things he taught: let your prospects (potential customers/clients/patients) get to know you–the REAL you! People want to do business with PEOPLE! Real, live, warts-and-all people! Again, if you work for a company in the above-mentioned category of multi-national corporations, you needn’t worry about this. First of all, they have huge marketing budgets, with huge marketing staffs. But those are faceless corporations. You, as a small business owner/private healthcare practitioner, need to get to know your customers/patients–and let them get to know you.
The best way to do this is the way my mentor did: start an e-mail list by capturing every customer’s e-mail that you can and then start marketing to them–sending regular blasts. Give them real content that will not only educate them about what you do, but whet their appetite for what you are selling. Do the same thing in your social media postings and blogs. Let your hair down a little and share some personal stories related to your posts–without going overboard. You want to maintain a professional image and not get too “familiar’”or forward with them. But you’ll soon find that they’re responding to your posts and blogs, commenting and asking questions. They want to try to get to know you. Make sure you respond to every one of their comments. This builds trust and develops into customers–some long-term. And that’s the whole ball of wax!
P.S. If you want to reach your target audience using the power of words, then check out my training page where I can present my “Words of Bizdom” training for your organization or group. In this up to 3-hour training I teach attendees how to use words in their social media posts, sales copy and video scripts to move people to take action to buy your product, get more information, etc.