Relationship Marketing Power Questions: What’s the basis of this Relationship?

by James on April 20, 2009

Power QuestionsOn Friday we published  ‘Rethinking Relationship Marketing’ A Series of Relationship Marketing Power Questions by Deb Repacz, Principal Partner at Reilly and Repacz. The first power question was, “What’s the basis of this relationship?”  In her article Deb stressed the importance of understanding heavy users and how this understanding should frame your communication strategy. Today’s post will provide some practical examples of how to use this idea to refine your customer marketing.

You can learn a lot from a deeper understanding of Heavy Category Users. For example, you will find they know a lot about your product or service, and a lot about your competition’s products or services. You won’t sway this knowledgeable group with imagery and visions of product nirvana. They are heavy users of the category for a reason; they have a significant need for what the category offers. Dig deep into why and how they need and use what the category offers and cater to them with real benefits.

If customers are important, them your Best Customers are most important because they are probably Heavy Category Users. While they may have a relationship with your brand, don’t think you are home free. In all likelihood you do not command 100% share of their requirements. They would like to be loyal, and are most likely to increase usage of your product, but it doesn’t happen just because. It happens when you earn it. Consider the 5 Relationship Marketing Principles. Work every day at keeping and gaining more of their business. They know how much they are worth to you and to your competitors.

Insights into Heavy Users should also determine your measurement strategy. For example, based on Heavy User insights, an OTC brand may choose to use “increased assurance” as its relationship anchor with this key audience. If the program or advertising creates a feeling of confidence then users will be more likely to treat a greater share of their requirements with this OTC brand. If this is the case then the success of all program elements and advertising will be gauged on how effectively this benefit is communicated.

Hip Shots

  • Find out how Heavy Category Users use your products. Use research to ask them. Track their behavior in your database. Watch them using your products. Listen to their calls to Customer Service.
  • Explore how their usage is different from moderate and light users. And explore how they aren’t using the products. There is often more insight in what’s absent than in what’s obvious.
  • Develop line extensions and new products that serve the special needs of Heavy Category Users. Be where they need you to be and all your products will be more successful.
  • Position your product in ways that reflect your understanding of their unique needs, and repositions the competition as not being quite right for their needs. Focus on tangible benefits that are meaningful to this group. Give them real reasons to keep on using your product.
  • Use this unique positioning as the basis for measurement.

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