Relationship Marketing: how to create a strategy in 5 steps

Relationship marketing today is one of the best approaches in online business. Consider that using this type of marketing allows companies to build a solid relationship with customers as the foundation of their success.

But what is meant by relational marketing? Also known as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), relational marketing is a set of strategic communication activities aimed at meeting customer needs and fostering their loyalty.

Therefore, the relationship with the acquired or potential buyer is a fundamental element in achieving business objectives.

Gaining the trust of customers is not easy, and to ensure long-term benefits for both parties, the company must be capable of developing lasting relationships with its customers.

Relationship marketing operations require continuous study of the target’s needs and the ability to adapt quickly to market changes.

Continuing with the reading, you will have the opportunity to have an exhaustive explanation of relational marketing.

In particular, you will discover:

  • What does relationship marketing mean?
  • How to create a relationship marketing strategy?

There are different types of marketing, each with its strategies and techniques. In an increasingly digitalized world, the channels and tools used in relationship marketing often coincide with those used in online marketing.

That’s why I recommend attending a Digital Marketing Course Program and Online Reputation Management Course to learn how to analyze customer behavior and boost your sales.

What is Relationship Marketing

So understanding what relationship marketing is for can make the difference between you and your competitors. Through closeness to the customer, you can succeed in building loyalty.

Always keep in mind that a buyer who has deep trust in your products is synonymous with growth.

Consider that someone who leaves your physical or virtual store satisfied will:

  • Recommend your product or service to friends, family, and acquaintances;
  • Provide free advertising for your brand;
  • In case of need, purchase your products again;
  • Turn to you again for a service;
  • Even if you make a mistake once, give you another chance.

benefits of relationship marketing

Doing relational marketing means solving a user’s problem, but above all, it means understanding and guiding them effectively during the purchasing process.

Relationship Marketing vs Transactional Marketing

The main difference between relationship marketing and transactional marketing certainly concerns the communication methods. Depending on how they unfold, some aspects change.

  • The audience being addressed: in relational marketing, it is smaller to create a more limited and personalized relationship, while in transactional marketing, the audience is much broader.
  • The duration of objectives: transactional marketing aims at short-term objectives focused on generating as many sales as possible in the shortest time possible; in relational marketing, the goal is to create a lasting relationship with the customer to build loyalty, with long-term objectives.
  • The mode of achieving the goal, which in both cases is the sale, but in relational marketing, the focus is on creating a relationship with the potential customer aimed at the sale, while transactional marketing aims for quick conversion.


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How to create an effective relationship marketing strategy in 5 steps

To launch an effective relational marketing strategy, it is necessary to create a connection with future buyers. But above all, it is essential to identify the type of customer who might be interested in the brand.

As already mentioned, the goal must be the establishment of constant dialogue between the customer and the seller. The sale, on the other hand, should be a natural consequence.

With digital transformation, the communication system has also evolved, leading to forms of one-to-one marketing characterized by message personalization for each customer.

Therefore, there cannot be a single relational marketing strategy, but undoubtedly, at the core of these techniques are 5 fundamental steps that must be kept in mind to achieve final objectives.

1. Analyze your target and personalize communication

The first step in creating a relationship marketing strategy is to build a rapport with your potential customers and strengthen the one already established with those who have come into contact with you. To do this, it is necessary to analyze and understand the target audience.

Using data from advertising campaigns or information collected over time and provided by customers themselves (past orders, addresses, names, and interests) can be useful to create lists and personalize their shopping experience by segmenting them.

This means dividing customers and potential ones into categories as follows:

  • Potential customers are those who have shown interest in your product or service but have not yet made a purchase;
  • Basic customers are those who have made only one purchase;
  • Loyal customers, all those who have repeatedly made purchases from you;
  • Ambassador customers are buyers who not only make repeated purchases from you but also promote your brand.

All of this will allow you to customize communication. Through successful techniques of content marketing, you can offer different content for each target segment.

For example, a greater discount to a loyal customer compared to the discount reserved for a basic customer.


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2. Be found on multiple channels

The second point to follow for success with a relationship marketing strategy is to identify communication channels that are most suitable for reaching the highest number of online users.

Potential customers can interact with your business in dozens of different ways. Therefore, if you want to intercept them to best meet their requests and needs, you must ensure that your business is on the traffic channels most used by your potential buyers.

To make all this possible, it is necessary to:

  • Own a visually appealing, mobile-responsive, and up-to-date website;
  • Have the right social media accounts for your target audience and manage them daily;
  • Respond quickly to inquiries forwarded by customers through various channels;
  • Always answer phone calls;
  • List your business on Google Maps.

In short, you need to ensure that, besides being present on various channels, they are well-controlled, and someone is ready to respond to customer needs.

Quick, comprehensive, and friendly responses are vital for an excellent customer relationship.

3. Create one or more sales funnels

Creating a sales funnel in relationship marketing is crucial as it outlines the ideal path that the user must follow until they convert into a customer by purchasing a product or service.

There are different sales funnels based on the type of business. To customize the sales process based on the consumer, it is necessary to:

  • Study the buyer personas, trying to understand their doubts and needs;
  • Conduct lead nurturing, capturing attention to your offer through targeted communication;
  • Create sales strategies to bring the potential customer closer to your offer. For example, you can create landing pages;
  • Generate quality content, such as emails, to address the needs of prospects.

Following these best practices will make it easy to achieve the desired result, namely acquiring a new customer. Keep in mind, however, that this ideal path allows for screening potential and acquired customers.

Only those who reach the bottom of the funnel will then be retained through specific relational marketing strategies.

4. Build customer loyalty

The goal of relational marketing is to retain and create a lasting relationship with the customer.

To cultivate a long-term relationship and build brand loyalty, it is essential to continue interacting with the customer even after the purchase of a product.

  • Personalize the user experience based on their interests. For example, if a customer has purchased from your clothing ecommerce, you can show them targeted content related to their actions on the online store;
  • Do email marketing. Using a personalized newsletter can more easily lead the customer to make a second purchase;
  • Use a loyalty program with a fidelity card. With this system, the customer, driven by the possibility of enjoying additional discounts, makes multiple purchases from your brand;
  • Make the customer feel important. A good idea might be sending a personalized email on their birthday with facilitations and discounts on purchases.

5. Collect feedback regularly

Among the tools of relationship marketing is the request for feedback. To truly develop a meaningful connection with customers, it is vital to ask for their opinions.

There are various ways to seek feedback, depending on the type of business you engage in. For instance, you could:

    • Ask questions about the buyer’s experience with your products or services and what they would like to see improved;
    • Request them to write a review on your company’s online channels;
    • Outline the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service.

This information is critical to ensuring you continually improve your relationship marketing strategy and best meet the needs of your specific audience.


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As shown in this article, adopting an online relationship marketing strategy can make a difference for your business.

To implement it successfully, you need to thoroughly understand all the channels and tools that digital marketing offers.

Keep in mind, though, that gaining customer trust requires effort and, above all, time, so you’ll need to be patient to achieve a significant return on investment.

Let me give you some advice:

  • Build the foundation of your business with loyal customers and maintain them through the personalized communication I mentioned;
  • Always be kind and consider the customer as a person, not just a means of making a profit;
  • Continually nurture the positive reputation your brand has, offering something special to buyers.


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