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Relationships, The Most Important Thing in Marketing


Posted by on October 15, 2008

First of all, exciting news.  I was selected to contribute to Online Marketing Connect, which is a site for marketing experts to share their ideas and knowledge.  As the site puts it:

“Online marketing for marketers is a new destination that brings together the very best minds in marketing to contribute news, ideas, strategies, commentary, insights, research and more.”

I will be contributing unique content to Online Marketing Connect once a week so be sure to check out the site.  I will also re-post my articles here so that you can read them.  Below you will find my first post on relationship building and marketing.

If you are in any way involved in marketing then you understand that the main objective of a successful marketing campaign is to build relationships with your end users. What do I mean be relationships? I’m not talking about the type of relationship where you need to go pick up your customer and take them out to dinner and a movie (although that won’t hurt either) and I’m not talking about the type of relationship where you guys chat for a few days and then never talk to each other again. I’m talking about a relationship which involves the continuous flow of information from company to end user and from end user to company.

One way information flow is easy, anyone can create a blog and then broadcast it out to the world and anyone can read a blog and send in comments/complaints. The trick is to create a conversation in which both parties are actually talking to each other, this is the most important part of marketing, this is called a relationship, and this is what you or your company needs to aim to achieve.

There are a lot of company blogs out there that accept comments but do nothing with them, they don’t respond to the comments let alone make changes that users request. Remember the my Starbucks idea campaign? This is a great example of how a large company is trying to build a relationship and a dialogue with the end users. Starbucks created a platform that allows users to share their ideas for Starbucks, the company then takes action on these ideas; the latest of which was offering WiFi in various Starbucks locations across the country.

Years ago it used to be tough to build relationships with users, there was no internet and there was no social media. The only thing a company could do was buy television and/or radio ads to reach as many people as possible. Nowadays with the ever decreasing attention spam of the human race, spam marketing is not the answer, it’s no longer about how many people you reach, it’s about how many people you can reach that care. Now, with the social media there is no excuse to not build relationships with your users. There are communities all across the web, niche communities that exist around your particular product or service.

Right now you or your company should be building relationships through (just to name a few):

  • twitter
  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • blogs
  • niche community sites
  • forum discussions
  • newsletters

There are people out there right now talking about your brand, wanting to build a relationships with you, the question is are you listening and are you acting?

Are you building relationships with your users? How?

thanks for reading

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  • http://websuccessdiva.com Maria Reyes-McDavis

    Great point about the need for two-way relationships in online marketing. It's no longer enough to just push out content :-)

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      thanks maria, absolutely. one way push is so 1990's :) no it's all about two way communication. nobody has the attention span anymore to site and listen to one way spam. it's too easy for us to click the back button, the delete button, or the power button.

      thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://www.assistu.com Stacy Brice

    Great post, Jacob, and congrats on being chosen for OMC! One thing I would add is that in that relationship with customers, transparency is key. Be real. Be there. It matters.

    S

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      thanks stacy, and of course you are correct. you have to be real or your relationship is just going to be built on a house of cards, and we all know how stable that is…

      thanks for reading and commenting!

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  • http://blog.burbary.com Ken Burbary

    I enjoyed reading this Jacob. I'd argue that at this point in the maturity of social media, it's becoming the cost of doing business to be engaging with customers in social media. Companies ignore SM at their peril!

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi ken, it certainly is starting to seem like that. building relationships and interacting with customers and users has always been important, there is simply no excuse now.

      thanks for reading and commenting ken!

  • http://blog.burbary.com Ken Burbary

    I enjoyed reading this Jacob. I'd argue that at this point in the maturity of social media, it's becoming the cost of doing business to be engaging with customers in social media. Companies ignore SM at their peril!

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    hi ken, it certainly is starting to seem like that. building relationships and interacting with customers and users has always been important, there is simply no excuse now.

    thanks for reading and commenting ken!