Marketers have long placed an outsized emphasis on acquiring new customers through demand-gen programs when in reality, the cost to acquire a new customer is much greater than the cost to retain an existing customer.
In recent weeks, “relationship marketing” has been trending positively among brand marketers while gaining little to no traction among the agency cohort.
With the shift in customer engagement channels and the lack of physical sales interactions, the relationships we have with customers need to evolve as the world can’t help but become more transactional. Living the majority of our lives online means that you can connect with anyone on the planet, digitally speaking, but it shouldn’t come at the high cost of alienating customers.
Relationships build business, after all - so turning those relationships into successful, long-lasting partnerships through a careful orchestration of the full customer experience in the absence of conventional methods of relationship building will be the test of this generation.
To break through in 2021, marketers must invest in deeper relationships with employees, customers, and partners to improve “customer experience and engagement” – another trending topic for brands, as measured by Bombora Company Surge.
At the center of the ability to manage the experience with a customer is a core set of technology assets that enable greater understanding at the point of interaction with the customer, provide insight on why exactly the customer is engaging, and offer answers to how companies can best serve the relationship at a specific point in time. Better CX requires a customer-first mentality across planning, messaging, and execution.
Finally, “channel conflict” was a popular search terms among brands this week. This occurs when manufacturers (brands) disintermediate their channel partners, such as distributors, retailers, dealers, and sales representatives, by selling their products directly to consumers through general marketing methods and/or over the Internet.
With the dramatic leap in online sales last year (+32%, according to eMarketer), channel conflict is inevitable. And with the added pressure for companies to streamline and enhance the purchase process, inaction is not an option.
As buyers spend more time online doing their own research into products, goods, and services, having a multichannel strategy in place can ensure that you’ll benefit from these growing online markets without risking your existing channel relationships.