Relationships. The goal of all organizations is a better relationship with their constituents.
We (marketers) are all looking for long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. We want relationships in which our constituents overlook our minor imperfections, appreciate our subtle differences, and commit to us as much as we do to them. Sounds sort of like the ideal spouse, right?
It is impossible to do a better job explaining how we should view our marketing relationships than Seth Godin did in his amazing book Permission Marketing (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999). With all due respect, I’ll paraphrase him: As marketers, we usually don’t approach our customers like we would approach a potential spouse, do we? No, we’re more like a drunken frat boy at his first freshman mixer. Most marketers approach customers and prospects more intent on the one-night stand than the long-term relationship. We know it’s wrong... but we do it anyway.
A lot of good things happen when you build better relationships. People tend to stay around longer, they become more engaged, and they tell their friends about the great relationship that they’re in.
Want to argue this simple premise? Do you think marketing’s goal should be customer acquisition? Higher sales? Lower turnover? Successful campaigns to sell more widgets?
Guess what? If you focus on the relationship, all of those good things will happen.
The funny thing is that relationship marketing has more traditional ...