As an integrated marketing agency we communicate with various audiences including clients, media, and customers. Although each of them is different and has varying needs, one common thread is woven through all of them – the need to build and nurture relationships.
According to Jeff Haden, writer of the Owner’s Manual column for Inc., “Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships.” (Source: Inc.). As integrated marketing masters, we also integrate multiple communication channels in order to effectively reach our audience.
So what do we do to nurture these relationships? Here are some of our top tips for building strong relationships:
If you say you’re going to do something, you MUST follow through and do it. If for some reason you are unable to meet that goal, you still have to communicate that to the audience. You will be more respected for being open and honest as opposed to making promises you cannot keep.
As you continue to meet the discussed expectations, clients, media, and customers will know they can rely on you and thus, they will trust you and continue to come to you. For example, if you offer an exclusive to the media or you set a deadline with a client, following through with that exclusive or meeting that deadline is key to building trust.
2. Keep communication open.
Each audience has different goals. For clients, it may be to utilize our integrated marketing techniques to better connect with their customers. For the media, it may be to conduct key relevant interviews for a story they are working on. For customers, it may be to get the needed customer service assistance with a recently purchased product. Whatever the goal is, it is crucial to understand that goal so you can best communicate with that audience. Our Creative Content Specialist, Dave, recently wrote a blog about communicating effectively.
3. Utilize all channels and consistently engage.
Like goals, each audience has a preference for the way they best communicate. At lotus823, we have regular calls with our clients in addition to daily email communications. With the media, most reporters prefer email pitches. To reach customers, develop engaging content to post to your network on popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Being conscious of your audience’s preferred communication method and using it regularly helps build the relationship. For example, many customers go to social media to discuss their experiences with a particular company. If they had an unsatisfactory experience, a company/individual monitoring the social media for that company should respond right away and provide a fix to the problem. Social media is also a way to bond with customers, providing them incentives and discounts. A key part of this, though, is knowing the best channel and being consistent in using that channel.