Thought Leadership

What is Customer Relationship Marketing? Definition of Customer Relationship Marketing, Strategies, Benefits, and More

With more enterprises putting the customer at the center of their marketing strategies, customer relationship marketing remains prominent among organizations that strive to foster customer loyalty and cultivate brand ambassadors. Here’s a look at how you can put customer relationship marketing to work for your company.

A Definition of Customer Relationship Marketing

Customer relationship marketing (CRM) is a technique based on client relationships and customer loyalty. Using customer data and feedback, companies utilizing this marketing strategy develop long-term relationships with customers and develop laser-focused brand awareness. Customer relationship marketing varies greatly from the traditional transactional marketing approach that focuses on increasing individual sale numbers.

Companies that prioritize customer relationships, on the other hand, strive to create strong customer connections, which may be emotional, to their brand to promote customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value. They benefit from word-of-mouth promotion and develop brand ambassadors.

Customer Relationship Marketing Strategies

Customer relationship marketing builds upon customer experience management and puts improving customer interactions to foster brand loyalty at the core of marketing activities and efforts. There are several ways that companies go about customer relationship marketing, including providing excellent customer service at all times, getting to know individual customers to anticipate their needs, and offering loyalty program perks and rewards for repeat customers.

Companies typically turn to the internet and social media to pursue customer relationship marketing initiatives, which means that small businesses also can benefit from it by inviting customers to visit their websites, read and comment on blog posts, and communicate via social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

The goal of customer relationship marketing is to build trust with and engage customers to build brand loyalty and reduce customer churn. One of the best strategies for building relationships with customers is focusing on emotion. Brands who excel in CRM use nostalgia in their campaigns because it is one of the most powerful connections consumers can have to a brand, according to BDA CEO Jay Deutsch. That’s why branded merchandising is becoming part of some of the most successful marketing campaigns.

Other strategies in customer relationship marketing include:

  • Show customers you value them with every interaction – Consider spontaneously recognizing them and delighting them in unexpected ways
  • Listen to customers and respond – Use social media monitoring tools to reply to comments and complaints and address customers’ concerns
  • Give customers free information – Identify topics and interests customers have and then create content to address them and give customers free access to it, such as informational videos on products they recently purchased or newsletters that highlight individual customers and share their stories
  • Expanded loyalty rewards – Any company can offer perks and rewards, but you need to expand beyond the typical reward program and give people stuff they love or recognize them in unexpected ways
  • Communicate frequently – A relationship is nothing without communication, so make sure you communicate with customers often via social media, email, messages, etc. (just be sure the communication provides value to customers and does not become intrusive or too frequent). See how Real Time Interaction Management (RTIM) can help you communicate with customers in a relevant and timely way

Benefits of Customer Relationship Marketing

When companies implement customer relationship marketing, they make good use of their customer data and identify customers that will be of more value to the company itself. With customer relationship marketing campaigns, companies save time and money by focusing on customers that will not be as costly in terms of maintaining relationships with them; they also make better decisions about which customers have underdeveloped potential.

Another advantage of utilizing customer relationship marketing is that it increases customer satisfaction and communication levels. Customers who have strong relationships with companies interact with them more frequently, which makes it easier to learn more about customer loyaltycustomers via customer data platforms. These companies also save money by building relationships with existing customers rather than spending to attract new customers.

Other benefits of using a customer relationship marketing strategy include:

  • Delivering a consistent customer experience – By becoming customer-centric and focusing on customer relationships, companies align their touchpoints and work across the organization to meet customer needs, improve satisfaction, and deliver an exceptional experience
  • Gathering customer feedback – Building strong relationships with customers requires communication, and companies put more stock in gathering feedback and analyzing it to make better business decisions to build stronger relationships
  • Improving customer profitability – Customers that are loyal to brands spend more with them; in fact, consumers are now putting customer experience ahead of cost when making purchasing decisions
  • Creating customer advocates – The happier your customers are, the better the chances they will spread the word about you to others; when you build a strong relationship with them and deliver a consistent experience, they have better reviews to share

See how our Intelligent Engagement Platform can give you the customer insight needed to build long-term customer relationships.


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