Traditional Marketing Versus Relational Marketing

This is how traditional marketing worked. 

  • Introduce a new or improved product
  • Explain all of its cool features
  • Show a brief overview highlighting how to use it
  • Tell the consumer why they shouldn’t live without it
  • Communicate a desired call to action

But twenty-first century consumers are more savvy, and demanding. They respond to relational marketing, whereas they are turned off by techniques that proved effective in our not so distant past. Here’s the difference:

  • Tell a short story about the new or improved product instead of simply introducing it, or even better, show something shocking, dramatic, and/or totally unrelated to get their attention
  • Explain how it will benefit the consumer — be clear in communicating what’s in it for them
  • Paint a picture of a personal connection between the product and the everyday consumer
  • Tell the consumer why their life will be better because they have the product, especially if you can make them believe the product will help them fulfill their dreams
  • Leave them hanging with just a hint of how they can find out more, or end with a subliminal reminder of the product, but never use in-your-face advertising methods

This is how relational marketing differs.

When marketing our books, we must remember how the consumer has been trained over the last few years. Gone are the days where you could push through advertising. The buying market expects you to ask permission before sending them special offers. Bombarding them with notices about your book or other products mostly ticks them off.

Instead, find a way to connect your message to them personally, and leave the final decision up to them, versus pressuring for a quick decision. Especially effective is making them feel like insiders, and showing them a way they can help. It feeds the human intrinsic motivator to assist others. And psychologically, it establishes a bond — a relationship.

Relational marketing is here to stay. Find a way to establish a relationship with your buying public, create and maintain mutually beneficial reasons to stay connected, and watch your sales rise.

But make your efforts real and genuine. Strive to give them something that truly will make their lives better, because if you try to fake it, your marketing efforts will fall flat. Some things never go out of style. Honesty. Authenticity. Vulnerability. Humility. Keep those at your core, and relational marketing will require no more effort than being who you really are.

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7 thoughts on “Traditional Marketing Versus Relational Marketing

  1. Good article, Anita! As I read your points about the differences between traditional and relational marketing, I noticed that they also apply to writing nonfiction. So, I guess we need to “show, not tell” in marketing, too. Right? Thx for the tips!

  2. This is excellent information, Anita, and so very helpful. The marketing rules really have changed, and we authors must apply them like every other entrepreneur.

    • Thanks, Jan. And as I write this I’m visiting family, two of which are big birders. Guess what they’re ordering? The Birder Murder Mysteries! Thanks to your podcast interview, I knew just enough to talk about birding, which developed into the purchase of your books. 😀

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