In the old world, marketing was transactional — ads, cold calls, direct mail.
In the new world, marketing is all about relationships — connecting with people emotionally to build trust.
The good news?
Most brands haven’t made the shift from transactional to relationship-based marketing yet.
If you do, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Here are a few things you should pay attention to.
Table of contents
1. Top-Notch Customer Service
The word “top-notch” is often misused.
People relate it to “expensive.”
But top-notch customer service doesn’t have to be expensive or luxurious. It just has to be excellent and consistent.
- Empathetic reps
- Quick response times
- Personalized solutions
In a world plagued by “me-too” products, customer service is the one thing that can set you apart.
You might be thinking:
“Well, yes, but we’re talking about marketing here, not customer service.”
And you’d be correct, but here’s the thing:
Marketing is all about building relationships, and customer service is the foundation of your relationships with your customers.
If marketing is the body, customer service is the soul.
Personalization is more than just using someone’s name in an email.
Personalization is the science of matching your communications to the customer’s worldviews and values.
It’s about understanding what makes them tick and reflecting on that in your interactions.
By using data to create tailored experiences.
For example, suppose you know a customer’s purchase history. In that case, you can send them personalized recommendations or discounts on products they might be interested in.
Or, if you know their location, you can send them relevant content or offers.
The possibilities are endless.
In today’s world, personalization is no longer optional; it’s expected.
Put your customers at the center of your business.
Understand their needs and wants and create products, services, and experiences that meet those needs.
- Listen to customer feedback and use it to improve your offerings.
- Create a seamless experience across all channels
- Provide personalized customer service
But customer-centricity goes beyond superficial changes. It’s about creating a culture of customer-centricity within your organization from the top down.
- It’s about empowering employees to make decisions in customers’ best interest.
- It’s about creating a customer feedback loop to continuously improve your offerings.
- It’s about investing in technology and processes that make it easier for customers to do business with you.
Ultimately, customer-centricity is about creating an experience for which customers love and want to come back.
4. Empowerment Through Technology
The digital age has given customers more power than ever before.
They can quickly access information, compare prices in real-time, and make decisions.
You can either embrace this empowerment or fight it.
If you’re smart, you’ll use it to your advantage and empower customers.
5. Seamless Digital Experiences
Customers hate friction.
They want a seamless experience that allows them to move quickly and easily from one step to the next.
- Identify friction points in the customer journey
- Get rid of those friction points
- Improve already-existing processes
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate
- Provide customers with the information they need quickly and easily
It all boils down to making things simple and easy for customers.
Think about the most outstanding products of the last century:
- Tesla cars
- The iPhone
What do they all have in common?
They make complex tasks simple and easy.
They identified the essential elements of the customer experience and removed all the unnecessary steps.
Customers expect this from businesses in the digital age: a seamless, frictionless experience that makes their lives easier.
6. Cross-Channel Integration
The key today is to create a seamless experience across all channels. Customers expect to be able to move quickly from one channel to the next.
For example, customers should be able to start a conversation in your online chat, continue it on their phone, and then pick it up again in-store.
You should also have a single customer profile for each customer that carries over across channels.
This makes it easier for customers to do business with you and provides invaluable insights into who your customers are and what they want.
Customers expect businesses to be transparent and open.
That means providing clear information about your products and services, offering a fair refund policy, and responding quickly to customer inquiries.
It also means being honest about the impact of your business on the environment or society at large.
For example, you run a CRM company for architects and engineering firms. Make sure you are transparent about how your product is helping to reduce waste and improve efficiency.
Also, if you store specific data about customers, make sure you are clear about how that data is being used and protected.
Organizations that practice transparency will stand out from the competition, and customers will appreciate your commitment to transparency.
8. A Focus on CLV
When it comes to marketing, many businesses focus solely on short-term gains. They forget that the most important metric is customer lifetime value—the total revenue that a single customer is expected to generate over their relationship with your business.
By taking a long-term view and focusing on customer lifetime value, you’ll be more likely to build lasting relationships.
For example, offer loyalty programs, discounts for repeat customers, or other incentives to keep customers coming back.
The key is to think beyond the immediate sale and focus on building relationships with customers that generate value over the long term.
CAC payback also helps you understand how long your company takes to get its money back after investing in a customer acquisition strategy.
These are just some metrics you can use to measure customer lifetime value.
By taking a long-term view and focusing on customer lifetime value, you’ll be better positioned to build lasting relationships and create a successful relationship-based marketing strategy.
9. Data Analysis
Data is the key to understanding your customers and improving your relationship-based marketing strategy.
Analyzing customer data can help you identify trends and insights that can inform your marketing decisions.
For example, you could use data to understand what types of customers are most likely to make purchases, how frequently they purchase, and their typical purchase size.
You can also use data to understand customer preferences, such as which products they’re most interested in or channels they prefer to use for communication.
By analyzing your customer data, you’ll gain valuable insights that can inform and improve your relationship-based marketing strategy.
That’s a Wrap!
The digital age has changed the way customers interact with businesses.
Customers expect more from the brands they interact with.
By understanding and embracing these five trends driving customer expectations in the digital age, you’ll create a better customer experience and keep customers coming back for more.