Looking for a Love That Lasts? With Your Customers?
Creating Repeat Customers
It’s February, the month of Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. It’s that time of year when single people are made to feel bad about it. Noncoupled folks formerly content with their lifestyle are a little bit more likely to feel the tug of monogamy. In short, it’s cuffing season. So what does that have to do with your business and creating repeat customers?
I spoke about accuracy in marketing in my last blog. At that time, I mostly focused on staying up to date and making sure that you don’t post something inaccurate inadvertently. But what about intentionally misleading information?
Lying for marketing purposes is certainly not something I would do myself or recommend to any business owner. Besides the ethics of misleading a customer, which are substantial and are too obvious to spend a lot of time on, there is a less obvious disadvantage to you, the business owner.
Like the problems faced from not having up to date information, lying to your customers breaks trust and even if it gets them in your door, it all but guarantees a bad experience. And customers who’ve had bad experiences are not repeat customers.
Let’s bring it back to Valentine’s Day and cuffing season.
If you were a single person and you decided to go out into the dating world, you would be faced with a lot of choices even before you met another person.
There are a lot of dating apps available. Singles can pick from apps that tell you all about a person, encourage texting, match you algorithmically or just swipe right or left. There are dating apps that focus on people over a certain age, environmental stewards, and specific religions. But the two that probably have the least in common in are Tinder and Hinge.
Tinder is an app that has become synonymous with hook-up culture. Hinge is focused on finding a meaningful long-term relationship.
So the question a single asks before jumping into the dating scene, whether trying to find a match in the real world or apps, is whether you are looking for a date or a relationship.
If you’re looking for a relationship, you want to find people who you can get along with, have a lot in common with and most importantly, share values with.
If you are looking for a date, some less scrupulous people might just want to tell potential dates what they think they want to hear. Think of a pick-up artist or perhaps its most famous example, Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother.
Using Social for Relationship Marketing
As a business owner, you want long term customers who love your business and tell their friends about it. You are looking for a marriage.
You are not Barney Stinson.
Your marketing should reflect that.
You want a relationship – repeat customers.
When I market for myself or my clients, my goal is to show differentiators between the business I’m marketing and it’s competitors.
Differentiators can be company values, quality, service, price or really any other positive attirbute. I once met a contractor who described his differentiator as “integrity, which seems to be pretty rare in this business.”
I met that contractor 2 years ago and that line has stuck with me. There was truth and humor in his utterance and it was also straightforward. Though I don’t believe he would have considered himself a marketer, that line was excellent marketing copy!
The difference between content marketing and social media marketing in general and say, a commercial, is that the goal is not short term. With social media and blogging, your goal is to develop a long-term relationship with your customers.
Relationship-based Marketing Creates Repeat Customers
A catchy commercial may get you in the door. A gimmick may get your attention. But if you don’t deliver on what you’re advertising, you have not built up a good relationship. Case and point, the other holiday of the month – Super Bowl Sunday.
There were a lot of ads during the Superbowl that a lot of companies paid a lot of money for. Some made a splash. Few if any made you feel like you were building a relationship.
When you are creating your online marketing (or hiring someone else to do it) the goal needs to be truthful relationship building.
You present yourself honestly and positively and if you have something valuable, your audience finds you and becomes your customers. Then your customers become your long term customers and your long term customers become your best marketing.
There is nothing better than word of mouth for building your business and customer base. And social media is word of mouth exposed to gamma radiation. Like the Incredible Hulk, our favorite gamma-exposed hero/monster, your social media can help or it can smash.
Both have an effect. But one builds a positive relationship.
So are you looking for a long-term relationship? Then be patient and present yourself and your business as you truly are. Act like you want a relationship with repeat customers. Don’t be Barney. Don’t be Hulk. Don’t act like someone who just wants to smash.