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Hello, Summerville! Love is in the air! The upcoming romantic holiday aligns perfectly with what we’ll be discussing today, too! With the Lowcountry now firmly entrenched in the frosty temps of winter, you can dedicate more of your time spent indoors to reading up on the specifics of marketing and social media strategy here on the Creative Consulting blog! This year will present plenty of opportunities to revamp your branding and try new things. Creative Consulting is here to make sure you take advantage of every available opportunity. We’re happy to have you here, where you’ll find the most relevant, up-to-date information about marketing your small business in the digital sphere. From building an outstanding webpage to graphic design to managing your social media to optimizing SEO to building a cohesive brand identity—Creative Consulting covers everything you could possibly need to know to take your business to the next level. We are accepting new clients at this time, so reach out to learn more about our services and meet our team!
Our last article was the first part in our Marketing Strategy series and covered two kinds of well-known marketing strategies: scarcity and undercover. You’re probably already familiar with scarcity marketing, only you’ve never heard of it referred to by this name. This sale ends soon! Don’t miss out! It’s a tactic most commonly used by clothing and home goods sites. Undercover marketing strategies are, just that--undercover. Stealth. Secretive. Hidden. When you see an influencer using a brand of eye cream in a make-up video, this can be a form of undercover marketing. Instead of holding up the eye cream and going on a spiel about it’s wonderful benefits, brands are trusting social proof to influence consumers. Any good marketing strategy will utilize multiple strategies to achieve a defined goal. If you haven’t already, you should start planning your marketing strategy by identifying your marketing objectives. After all, how will you know you’ve succeeded if you don’t know what you’re aiming for? According to research, marketers who have a “clear, documented strategy are 313% more likely to be successful.”
That’s why we’re continuing our exploration of marketing strategies! Today, we’ll be discussing relationship and paid marketing strategies. What are they? How do they work? Are they effective? How can you measure their effectiveness? We’ll break down how relationship and paid marketing strategies are utilized to yield stellar results and provide a few examples. The purpose of this series is to provide you with a toolbox of strategies you can combine (or isolate) to reach your marketing objectives. As we mentioned above, you should always begin with a set of defined objectives. For example, I want to increase my followers on X platform by 5%. This is measurable, but is it specific enough to be a smart goal? Let’s add a time component. I want to increase my followers on X platform by 5% in the next four weeks. Now it’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. In other words, it’s SMART. Once your marketing objectives have been identified, it’s up to you to formulate a plan to help you reach those goals. That’s where strategy comes in! Let’s start with relationship.
What is a relationship marketing strategy?
Relationship marketing revolves around building strong and lasting relationships with customers. The easiest way to characterize the relationship marketing strategy is by breaking down how relationships work in our own lives. After all, relationships do not simply spring up out of nowhere. Rather, most relationships begin with an initial interaction. We glean a near-instant perception of the other person and—based on this split-second judgement—decide whether or not we are interested in pursuing the relationship further. If we decide we like the person, our relationship with them is strengthened through subsequent interactions. In this manner, we build trust and rapport with the other person.
The relationship marketing strategy works in the same way. Instead of focusing on driving conversions, relationship marketing focuses on building brand loyalty by exceeding the customer’s expectations. Small, local businesses have relationship marketing down to a science. Since they are able to learn their customer’s names, know their orders, and maintain years-long relationships, small businesses have a marked advantage when it comes to relationship marketing. That said, bigger businesses can still practice relationship marketing by taking the time to identify their customers’ pain point. What do your customers want? What will make their lives easier?
One example of relationship marketing is Capital One’s TSA PreCheck benefit. Those who pay for their TSA PreCheck fee with a Capital One credit card are reimbursed (up to $100). A TSA PreCheck membership lasts for about five years and, during this time, saves tons of time and stress. This benefit addresses a customer pain point, entices Capital One members to remain members, and integrates Capital One into its member’s lives in a way which is both helpful and organic. On a much smaller scale, allowing customers to earn points with every purchase and ultimately receive a free product is another means by which a company can practice relationship marketing. Dominos is a great example of a company dedicated to relationship marketing. In addition to offering rewards to loyal customers, they also introduced a marketing campaign encouraging customers to create a “pizza registry” for their wedding. In the past, Dominos has partnered with state governments to repair potholes and avoid damaged pizzas. This kind of creative, innovative marketing is what relationship marketing is all about!
Relationship marketing isn’t the best method for increasing sales quickly, but it's one form of marketing every single business needs to know how to do well. The keys to an effective relationship marketing campaign are an in-depth understanding of your customers, an incentive (or reward) for loyal customers, constant engagement with consumers through multiple channels, and feedback. Never be afraid to take constructive criticism from your customer base and adapt!
What is a paid marketing strategy?
A paid marketing strategy is just what it sounds like—a marketing strategy propelled by paid advertisement. Most businesses which can afford to pay for advertisements will invest in paid marketing, while businesses which cannot afford to pay for advertisements rely on what’s known as organic marketing. We might dedicate an article to organic marketing soon! For now, let’s focus on what the goals of a paid marketing strategy are and on the types of paid marketing campaigns you can invest in.
Paid marketing is perhaps the kind we are most familiar with. From magazine spreads to billboards to Super Bowl commercials—most advertisements do not come cheap. Digital options have made paid marketing much more accessible to business and, while it’s still a steep price to have a commercial appear on television, it’s pretty affordable to have your ad appear on Google or Facebook.
The goal of paid marketing is to target a preferred customer base and recoup your initial investment through increased sales. Instead of waiting for customers to find you, paid marketing allows you to seek them. Other names for paid advertising are pay-per-click (PPC) or paid search advertising. Paid advertisements are distinct in where they appear. For example, paid search advertising appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). These ads appear when users search for certain keywords. Social media advertising campaigns appear to people within certain demographics (i.e. age ranges, sexes, location, income brackets, interests, etc.).
The success of a paid marketing campaign isn’t solely reliant upon the amount of money you can afford to invest, but you should be aware your capital will play a role in how many people your ad will appear in front of (i.e. your ad’s reach). Similarly, certain search engines require payment per click. Start your paid marketing campaign with a concrete budget. The second factor determining your paid marketing campaign’s success is placement. You’ll need an audience to target, specific keywords, and a clear idea of where your customer base hangs out on the internet. After all, what good are paid advertisements if your customer base never sees them?
Paid marketing can yield high return on investment—one of the highest among the many marketing strategies. According to a Google Economic Impact Report, businesses reap $2 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. This high return on investment is even more pronounced for local businesses using Google Ads to target location-based consumers. It’s recommended you start small and use “test ads” to determine which keywords and demographics yield the best results. After you have a formula, you can increase your ad spend and reap the benefits!
We’ll continue to discuss marketing strategies in further detail in upcoming articles, including the Seven P’s of Marketing. Until then, we hope you’ll take advantage of the information we’ve shared in this article. For more marketing and branding expertise, the Creative Consulting blog has you covered. Tune back in for our future articles! You won’t want to miss it! Feel free to give us a call and set up a consultation. We are dedicated to helping you determine which marketing strategies will work best for your business or brand. Until next time, thank you for reading.