Creating Loyal Customers

Smart online marketers understand they must build and maintain long-term relationships with their high value customers. This begins with offering superior products and
services and ends with repeat purchases from devoted customers.

Achieving this lofty goal, however, takes much more than industry or product knowledge. In order to be profitable you must be able to manage the two primary activities of any business – projects and processes.

You’ll hear me say this often: marketing is about building lasting relationships with loyal customers. It involves a commitment to serve – before, during and after a sale.

It’s a process, not a project – one that requires a long-term perspective. It’s not one transaction. It’s not one order. It’s not one anything… rather, it’s accepting the benefits of ongoing connections and doing whatever it takes to grow and nourish them.

Building a marketing strategy may be a project, implementing that strategy is the process. While each contains actionable tasks, projects are finite and processes can be duplicated and used over and over again.

Like a good marriage, it begins with a sincere desire to please two people – your and your spouse – and continues with a constant commitment to make that happen. So while the wedding itself is a project, the marriage is a continual process – one that must be “fed and watered” every day. If not, it usually fails.

In a more specific way, your marketing communication is a process.

Consider this… most experts agree that it takes a between 9 and 27 marketing messages before a consumer moves from a prospect to a customer. Although estimates vary widely one thing is sure – it’s more than one.

Can you make a sale with one ad? Sure. But it generally doesn’t cover the development costs. So what do most entrepreneurs do in this instance? They bail out before they should. After, you’ll hear them say things like, “I wrote an article and posted it online and got nothing – it didn’t work.” Or, “I tried a pay-per-click campaign and almost lost my shirt… don’t try it.” What’s going on here? They’re erroneously blaming the project concept for their failure to follow a winning process!

How can I be so sure? Easy… there are thousands of online marketers who submit articles and use pay-per-click campaigns that effectively drive prospects to their website – ones who convert to paying customers. The results are irrefutable. However, the processes used to complete the project may not be. For example, the article may have been poorly written and/or the pay-per-click campaign might not have been the best sales tool for the product – there are hundreds of potential reasons.

The most glaring mistake was they mistook a process for a project and stopped abruptly when they didn’t get the results they expected.

If you’re going to be successful, you have to be in for the long term, not one-shot deals.