Don't Automate Relationships--Everything Else is Just Raisins on the Matzah

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on March 20
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Life is About Relationships--Everything Else is Just Raisins on the Matzah relationship-marketing-b2b-marketscale.jpg

The reference to matzah is proverbial Yiddish wisdom. (What's matzah? Here's a link.) The relationship part should be familiar.  And when it comes to the latter, it's helpful to remember the limits of automation. Don't get me wrong--I'm no luddite.  I love technology--perhaps too much.  And the benefits of automated marketing tools provide much-needed relief from the dull redunancy of repititive tasks--like the posting of individual blogs to each of multiple channels.  Automated marketing helps maintain brand consistency across multiple channels; it saves time, money, and essential brain power required for more essential tasks--like wordsmithing!

But, as anyone who's every seen a sci-fi movie likely knows, over-reliance on automation can go bad fast.  The danger extends to marketing tools.  Marketing, like life, is built on relationships. And, in a world of long-distant-screen interaction, over-automation can mean missing out on opportunities to build relationships and make the real human connections that actually power the best kind of business growth.  To that end, here's some tips (or reminders) for how to cultivate better relationships in your marketing:


1. Communicate with readers of your content: An important relationship marketing strategy for bloggers.  Your customers or readers are your boss and not the other way round. The biggest mistake we as bloggers do is to underestimate the power of a single reader. We might think a single reader is not that important but the reality is a single reader has the ability to break or build a business empire.

2. Don't write lazy content: Remember, consistent, useful content marketing builds trust and credibility in the minds of readers.  Lazy content suggests you're look for clicks rates, not relationships.

3. Write for Audience Needs: This one's an extension of the second point (actually, all of these points are extensions of one another): Writing content that can help the readers does not mean keyword stuffing. If you really want to produce content that aims at serving the base audience of your niche, you have to take care of searcher intent which in a way is writing content according to the demand of your audience. You optimize your content on behalf of how the reader wants it and not the other way round.

5. Think of content in terms of building a communication-based relationship:  Irrespective of your position in the field in inbound marketing, you need to produce content that continuously strives to be the best value for the time of readers. Your content should aim at developing a communication relationship that brings the audience a little closer than they were prior to reading that. Your content should depict your simplicity and generosity.

5. Ask for Feedback on the quality of your content: It's just a matter of asking, "How are we doing?"  Following up is always an inseparable part of relationship marketing strategies. You gotta follow up on how your posts have helped your reader. This is a win-win strategy because it not only helps you to know customer reaction for your product; it makes the customers feel valued too. If there are chances of improvement or any dissatisfaction accumulating in your buyers’ hearts do everything you can to turn the frown to a smile.

6. Put Care into Your Use of Social Media: While social media is considered an easy and working relationship marketing approach, it isn’t quite a bed of roses. You need to take care to be in the right platform in order to interact and build a relationship with the right audience. Proper market research about key customer preferences is also a part of social media approach of relationship building. The biggest relationship marketing tip on social media is to be yourself. You cannot ride it long wearing someone else’s shoes. Here is how to be honest and real on social media.

Help your connections: Social Media is of no use once you don’t aim at adding value to the conversation. Try to boost engagement by helping people out of their problems. It is the most potent relationship marketing strategy for bloggers. If people in your reach are talking about an issue try to solve it even if it doesn’t belong to the niche you deal with.

7. Transactional marketing and relational marketing are poles apart.Relationship marketing is all about reaching out, helping every human around you and building an organic rapport. Do not get caught into transactional marketing which aims at building relationships as an after sales process. 

Also, stay away from (or at least minimize) interruption marketing which is nothing but the annoying version of traditional relationship marketing strategies. Interruption marketing actually leads you to piss off your potential lead by bombing him with promotional emails, telemarketing (in an aggressive manner) and even spamming.

8. Build Business on Real Referrals: Have conversations with exits clients about other possible prospects. A conversation is more personal. Referral marketing is a highly personal interaction. We only refer others when we’re confident they’ll take care of our connections just as we would. If you don't know referral sources well enough to call them, you don’t know these people well enough to ask for referrals.

9. A conversation yields more information. Speaking with referral sources provides an opportunity to explain why you're requesting introductions and outline the results that the prospects they refer can expect. You can also find out how well referral sources actually know the prospects. (Just because two people are connected on social media doesn’t mean they have a real relationship.) And you get insights from referral sources about the decision-makers you need to meet—their goals, their challenges, their personalities, and what triggers their decisions.

10. A conversation is a chance to reconnect. Asking for referrals is a great reason for to reach out and nurture relationships with referral sources. When requesting introductions, you should also ask how you can help the referral sources.

Questions?  Comments? Get in touch!  Just click that big, orange button down there.  Or connect with me on LinkedIn!   We're all about conversations.

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Topics: Marketing Services, Content, inbound, B2B Marketing, B2B Content, B2B Social Selling

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