Being Bruce -: Relationship Marketing Tip #13 - Have a Party!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Relationship Marketing Tip #13 - Have a Party!

Client and customer appreciation events are a great way to give attention to your contacts. If you hold them regularly, that can become a major part of your marketing. The event itself is a marketing force, but you also gain in two other ways. First, your direct expressions of appreciation, before, after, and during the event are taken to heart. Second, by bringing together your happy clients or customers, there is a bonus effect when people see and hear others enjoying your appreciation.

Rather than hold an event where people are relatively isolated, for example at a sit-down event in a restaurant or the theater, consider events where interation between the attendees is easy and encouraged. For example, a barbecue, a clam bake, a box at a sporting event, or even an old fashionedcocktail party is a great way for your clients to meet each other and share their good feelings about you and your company.

An annual client appreciation event may be all you need or want to do, but consider the power of quarterly, or even monthly events. If you held regular events where your top clients gathered and had a chance to network and socialize, imagine how that could help your marketing. If you take this idea to the top and plan high-end, fancy events every month for top customers (and yes, there are companies that do just that), the buzz can be very strong. Particularly if your product or service is a commodity, or at least seems that way, it's possible you'll have get new clients or customers just so they can attend your events. This may sound extreme, and you do have to set and monitor appropriate budget controls, but it can work for some businesses.

For businesses with clientele spread around the country or the world having an in-person client event is likely impractical, but you may be able to come up with a combination live and on-line event or other means of expressing your appreciation. Use your imagination for this one and let me know if you discover some great ideas. For location or budget challenged businesses, consider ways to use social media for a client appreciation celebration.

The bottom line is that customer appreciation is a great way to let your clients and customers know how important they are to your business. When you express your appreciation sincerely, your business gains.