Relationship marketing and lead generation are both highly successful social media strategies. And while both typically require an email address to sign up, that’s where the similarities end.
Relationship marketing focuses on building customer loyalty and long-term engagement rather than shorter-term goals, like increasing individual sales. The goal of relationship marketing is to build strong connections between brand and audience that might lead to ongoing business and future referrals.
Strategy often involves the use of “direct response” campaigns that emphasize customer retention and satisfaction. This type of marketing strategy creates a bond with the customer through narrow market targeting, tailors offers to their customers, and usually demands a response that can be tracked by the marketing team. This typically requires an email address so that the company can contact the individual directly for exclusive offers, maintenance follow-ups, and unconverted leads. Relationship marketing is about the long-term value of a loyal customer and the connection that can be built beyond typical ads and generic sales promotions.
Value of Relationship Marketing
Acquiring new customers on a regular basis can be both challenging and costly. Relationship marketing helps alleviate that problem by creating long-term customer relationships that result in repeat sales (and often word-of-mouth referrals).
In addition, customers tend to have a higher lifetime value, a higher level of satisfaction, and greater brand recognition. Plus, brands spend less on marketing and advertising over the long term, as “buzz marketing” (or customers talking about your product) does the work for you.
Keep in mind, however, that the cost of acquisition can be steep in the beginning – in both time and money. Additionally, networking, which is not everyone’s cup of tea, is central to developing these long-lasting relationships.
Lead generation is almost the polar opposite of relationship marketing. It focuses much less on building long-lasting relationships and instead aims to gain as many potential new customers as possible (and fast!)
Results are typically accomplished through newsletter sign-ups, opt-ins, giveaways, special events, and so on. Like relationship marketing, an email is usually required to turn leads into customers.
Value of Lead Generation
Lead generation allows you to create a huge amount of traffic to your business’s website, which will hopefully result in a higher conversion rate. A good lead generation strategy creates several different campaigns, targeting a different audience with each one. This ensures that your message gets seen by a variety of different prospects and each one will see your products as something that they “need.”
The end result? A fast-growing email list, customers that are genuinely interested in your product, and easy marketing.
Unfortunately, lead generation often comes with a high turnover rate and (sometimes) a sleazy, used-car-salesman sort of vibe.
Relationship marketing and lead generation go together like peas and carrots. They both have pros and cons, but together they create an unbeatable marketing strategy.
The team here at The Social Media Advisor can help train your staff on the value of online lead generation and prospecting. If you’d like to take your company’s social media game to the next level, reach out today to learn more about our Social Power Program.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.