Customer Value—It Goes Both Ways

NOBSWhether you know it or not, MOST marketing online is direct marketing. Yep, direct marketing—the same direct marketing that shows up in your mailbox, or shows up in your magazines with long letters explaining why you should buy this product or that service.

Now before you turn up your nose and raise the BS flag stick with me for a minute.

While most of us think of direct mail as the “junk” in our mailbox, in reality its roots are in scientific marketing. Marketing directed at specific consumers, marketing tested for efficiency and—now don’t fall out of your chair—marketing based upon maintaining a long-term relationship between the marketer and the consumer.

With its roots in the 19th century catalog industry, direct marketing had always been somewhat of a stepchild in advertising and marketing circles.

THEN ALONG CAME THE INTERNET

Opt-in forms, sales funnels, email campaigns are ALL forms of direct marketing
only in a new media—the Internet.

In what’s considered the “textbook” of direct marketing, Successful Direct Marketing Methods, Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs define direct marketing as:

“…the interactive use of advertising media to stimulate an (immediate) behavior modification in such a way that this behavior can be tracked, recorded, analyzed, and stored on a database for future retrieval and use.”(1)

The goal is to build a database (list) that can be used for future use. This is the list you the business owner build with your opt-in programs.

By building this database, what are we doing? We’re offering something of VALUE to your prospective client or customer. That value could be information in the form of a report, eBook, webinar training; or it could be a tangible product sample, the list goes on.

The key to building a long-term relationship with your customer
is giving something of value.

Ultimately our goal is to build customer loyalty in a long-term or lifetime relationship with our customers.

The RFM formula helps define that value. RFM stands for:

Recency: The amount of time since a person or firm last purchased. (ibid)

Frequency: The number of times a customer buys within a season or year. (ibid)

Monetary: The amount of money a customer spends with a season or year. (ibid)

Analyzing RFM allows marketers to pinpoint whether they’ve done a good job of developing a good relationship with customers. If the answer is yes, let’s keep doing what we’re doing. If our RFM is low for specific clients we need to ask, “What can we do to better our relationship with our clients?”

Now that we understand how we can determine the value our customer, and understand to build that relationship WE must GIVE value—how then do we GIVE the customer value in order for them to be valuable to you.

First, you can’t fake this.

Whether you’re using an email campaign, content marketing on a blog, or giving “free” information you MUST know your audience and provide them with information that is timely, relevant, interesting, and USEFUL.

Understand the goal ISN’T to sell with EVERY email, blog article, or opt-in.

The goal is to build your database and develop a REAL relationship. Over time the sales will come IF you’ve identified the correct audience and developed the relationship.

Finally, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will relationships with your customers. And just like a marriage, building a business relationship on a regular basis can mean the difference between a 50th anniversary and divorce.

(1) Successful Direct Marketing Methods, Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs.

 

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Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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