We all know a little something about love. How difficult it can be to sustain a relationship. How much work it can be to keep a partner happy or how we sometimes have to adapt if we want a relationship to work. Companies, too, have to change with their consumers, adapt to their technology and improve the overall consumer experience if they want their customer relationships to work.
We all also realize how much romantic relationships have changed over the years. People now spend more time online than going out. Nowadays technology helps people find love. Social networks, dating-websites or apps like Tinder are the new way to meet people. And many relationships don´t last very long anymore either. Getting a divorce or replacing your partner is no longer uncommon. You might always find someone better. So why stop looking if you are not completely happy?
Dating Advice for Companies
Happy relationships—romantic and consumer—all start by getting someone’s attention. You try to interest them. You try to make them like you. You get to know them.
Once you do, you try to satisfy their needs, give them what they want, and make them happy. The goal: to have them stay with you forever. For romantic relationships, we have a pretty good idea about how these steps work. Building lasting customer relationships works the same way – only the means are a bit different.
Companies should start thinking about love
When you start dating someone, you flirt and talk, you try to be charming and a good listener. You learn how to best communicate with the other person and, the better you get to know them, the more meaningful your conversations (hopefully!) get.
It’s no different to what marketers should be doing.
The only issue is, it’s not scalable. You can´t sit every single one of your consumers down for a romantic candlelight dinner and talk with them all night long to get to know them – although the effort would likely be appreciated! So you need to find other ways to get to know your audience, and you need to find the right channels to communicate with them.
The future of company dating is omnichannel audience engagement
The easiest, quickest and smartest way to get to know your audience? Use smart technology and the vast quantity of data that modern hyper-connected consumers produce. By using online behavioral data to adjust online content, by persistently collecting data while communicating with your audience, and by using this data to really get to know your consumers and individualizing your communication with them, you can permanently improve your relationship.
Similar to the first date in a romantic relationship, you have to be able to offer interesting and relevant content right from the start. A bad first date is a relationship killer. Marketers should take this knowledge to heart, and offer interesting and relevant content right from the beginning of their consumer relationships. Irritating pop ups or irrelevant offers will inspire nothing but cold dislike.
A date from hell
Direct marketers are people who, on a first date, never stop talking about how great they are. Pushy and self-centered, they want nothing more than to convince their date to go home with them—no matter what their date wants. And when the disastrous date is finally over, they can’t take a hint, and message you incessantly.
They are your date from hell.
Omnichannel marketers, on the other hand, are great at dating. They’re attentive listeners. They try to offer their audience a perfect experience. They not only want to satisfy their customers, they want to make them fall in love with their brand.
They are the perfect date, who always brings flowers.
Companies: focus on omnichannel audience engagement. People who receive interesting individualized offers and inspiring content, through the channel they prefer, will start to develop special feelings for your brand. Treat them uniquely and make them feel respected and understood, and you will earn their trust and, eventually, their love.
That’s when you develop a relationship that can withstand the onslaught of temptations in our fast-paced digital world. That’s when you develop deep feelings that make a fulfilling life together seem not so far-fetched after all.
It’s when you’ve achieved the Holy Grail of Relationship Marketing: Customer Lifetime Value.