Relationship Marketing vs Lead Generation Marketing

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successbridgeReplies to last week’s discussion of whether you prefer the “pretty” html format with pictures and logos or the simple text-like email format were interesting – about 85% preferred simple with the biggest reason being that they’re quicker to read.

And that leads me into today’s topic – business owners treating “Relationship Marketing” the same as “Lead Generation Marketing” or, realistically, not really thinking of either and just calling everything “marketing”.

I often find this true regardless of whether someone is new in business or has been at it awhile.

First up, Relationship Marketing:

Relationship Marketing can, and should, also be thought of as “Retention Marketing”. Whether new or old, you want to build relationships with your clients, customers and patients. This is done by:

• offering client-only specials,
• sending cards, articles, goodies, etc. (postal mail)
• reaching out just to check in

You can offer different perks for different types of clients – those who are new to your community versus those who have invested with you versus those who invest with you regularly (for example, our Escalate! Members receive 25% off all group programs and products), etc.

Whatever you choose, not having a relationship with your clients will cause you to miss out on referrals, upserves (the Extreme Client Care™ version of an “upsell”), cross-serves and much more.

And then there’s Lead Generation Marketing:

Reaching out to strangers and introducing them to your world, your community – this is lead generation marketing. Done well, your marketing targets those strangers who will most be interested in what you have to offer.

Lead generation marketing is akin to digging your well before you’re thirsty.

Once they enter your community (“opt-in” to something you offer), begin treating them as a client and the relationship begins.

The key is to ensure your business is doing both: lead generation and relationship/retention marketing.

Miss lead generation and your prospective client pipeline dries up. Miss relationship/retention marketing and your clients go somewhere else where they feel loved and cared for.

Grab your plan for this quarter and ask “Where have I incorporated relationship/retention and lead generation marketing?”

Haven’t or not sure how/where to do? I’d love to support you.

P.S. An important note, whether we’re talking relationship or lead generation – successful (i.e. “profitable”) businesses invest in their clients and their marketing and, done well, the return on that investment is more clients who stay longer and refer often.

Businesses which focus exclusively on a “free social media” strategy or a “build it and they will come” philosophy rarely meet their goals or achieve their dreams.

Hanging a shingle, calling it a business and waiting for revenue to come in without investing in that business is a recipe for struggling and eventual closure. Not a popular statement, but true nonetheless.