Broken down to its most basic components, marketing is really nothing more than relationship-building. Think about it. If we seek to build a long-term relationship, there are four factors that must be present if the relationship is to be successful over the long-term.
First of all, there must be a sincere desire for a mutually satisfying relationship. You must want to have this relationship even though you know the investment required.
Second, you must possess something of value to offer the other party. You have something that they might want and you are willing to offer this to them.
Third, you have a willingness to trust that the other will also provide value in the exchange. You assume that the other party is going to be fair as they enter into the relationship.
Fourth, you both make a commitment to communicate when the exchange is not mutually satisfying. You promise to let them know if things are not turning out as you planned and to give them a chance to correct the problem.
Does this sound like your marriage? Or your business partnership? Yeah, probably! And it is just this approach that every business must take as the seek to win customers and build their businesses.
Way too much marketing these days is about creating some facade around a product/service instead of accurately communicating how that product/service fits into the customer's life... telling truthfully what that product or service will and will not do for the prospective customer. And at the same time that the organization is having their ad agency create the facade, they are structuring their Customer Service department so that it will be nearly impossible for a customer to tell them when they are unhappy and don't find the relationship mutually satisfying. Then, they are shocked that there is so much churn in their customer base! That is why so many businesses are hurting right now. They did not take care of there customers' needs because they never really thought about marketing being about relationship-building.
Brand marketing (so that we build long-term relationships with our customers) is really simple, just like building any relationship that is important to us. Remember:
Sincere Desire/Offer Value/Trust Other/Communication CommitmentAnd if you forget any of these, ask your spouse what are the cardinal rules of making your marriage work. They'll tell you.
Thanks for reading. More to come!