16 December 2022 1252 words, 6 min. read

Relationship marketing: advantages, advice, and examples [Guide 2023]

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
Relationship marketing puts the customer before the product. It differs from the so-called “traditional” marketing. Indeed, it is composed of many good practices to get closer to the consumer. It is based on a human relationship between brands and people. […]

Relationship marketing puts the customer before the product. It differs from the so-called “traditional” marketing. Indeed, it is composed of many good practices to get closer to the consumer. It is based on a human relationship between brands and people. It is a good practice on several points: financial, satisfaction, and customer loyalty. How to maintain good relations with its customers? What are the examples of brands with effective relationship marketing? At the end of this article, we present the cases of Coca-Cola and Domino’s: 2 companies with a head start.

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What is relationship marketing?

Relationship marketing discipline encompasses brands’ efforts to manage customer relationships. In other words, it seeks to build healthy and close customer relationships. Furthermore, relationship marketing differs from traditional marketing because it favors consumers rather than products.

In this case, we outline the lines for a more profitable company that is better perceived by its marketing target:

  • Loyalty: loyal customers are essential to maintaining a high repurchase rate and a healthy cash flow.
  • Customer recommendations: loyal and satisfied customers can become brand ambassadors. This amounts to minimizing the cost of customer acquisition.
  • Targeted communication: communication actions designed according to its customers and rewards for its best customers.
marketing relationnel mégaphone

Strong relationships with valued customers are the secret of leading brands (source: Shutterstock)

4 major advantages of relationship marketing

This strategy has many financial, human, and intellectual advantages. Here we discuss its 4 main benefits: loyalty, customer recommendations, knowledge of market expectations, and profitability.

Relationship marketing builds customer loyalty

Here it would be best if you created a sense of inclusion for the customer. In other words, brands do everything they can to fulfill their needs. In this way, relationship marketing extends the life of the customer.

To do this, the consumer must also be able to feel the presence of a consumer group. This makes it possible to humanize the relationship between a person and a company. To this end, marketers have a non-trivial responsibility: to foster a sense of belonging
(Harmeling C. et al., 2017). Two modes of operation stand out:

  • Identify consumer groups gathered around a brand and include them in its marketing strategies. For example, it is possible to launch co-creation campaigns with these customers like no other!
  • Failing to have these communities, brands can create these groups themselves. Among other things, this has the effect of encouraging the virality of their communication campaigns.

Working on your relationship marketing leads to a good return on investment and an improved brand image.

It promotes advocacy marketing

Satisfying customers is a golden opportunity to encourage the sharing of positive messages. Thus, relationship marketing is an open door to advocacy marketing. This practice consists in turning a consumer into a brand ambassador. This has the effect of increasing the size of its customer base. Indeed, one must remember that consumers consult their peers’ opinions before making a purchase. Ultimately, this marketing process contributes positively to the brand’s notoriety.

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A better understanding of needs through relationship marketing

Every brand would like to propose the ultimate customer experience. Relationship marketing is essential to achieve this. Indeed, maintaining close relationships with its customers leads to a better knowledge of the real expectations of its target customers. Consumers will be better able to transmit key information to improve customer satisfaction. The latter then feel more confident in their relationship with the brand.

It is a good financial operation

Keeping your current customers is a great way to keep your cash flow afloat without overspending. In this sense, relationship marketing is a profitable practice. A satisfied customer will come back to you, while the financial efforts of advertising are a significant budget. As we will see in the examples at the end of this article, adopting relationship marketing means reducing many of your expenses. Finally, this practice is not only economical, but it is also lucrative. It accelerates growth marketing by promoting customer retention while increasing sales to the end customer.

3 key practices of relationship marketing

Below are the 3 main axes of good relationship marketing strategies. These are based on the following:

  • the customer profile types
  • the personalization they offer
  • and their propensity to reward loyalty

Drawing up typical customer profiles

All the data collected on the customers makes it possible to establish typical customer profiles. This is the first step towards market segmentation. It is also the opportunity to start a customer database with updated and complete entries. Examples of information to compile include:

  • Analysis of consumer habits
  • Date of first and last contact with the customer
  • Frequency and amount of purchases
  • And so on.

In addition to relationship marketing, it is advisable to maintain an efficient CRM to be in line with market expectations.

Develop personalized marketing campaigns

A good relationship marketing strategy is judged above all on its human and personalized relationship. It must be the opposite of a traditional marketing campaign: the product comes after the customer! For example, brands can get closer to their customers by systematically responding to private messages on social networks. This shows the good faith of these companies in their optics to have a brand image close to their public. It is also possible to use mailing campaigns or UGC (user-generated content) to go further. This is a key element in the communication of La Casa De Papel, a Netflix series with worldwide success.

Rewarding the best customers

Finally, we recommend that you regularly reward your most loyal customers. It’s a good way to thank them for their trust and encourage them to say good things about your brand. This can involve:

  • loyalty programs
  • coupons
  • promotions
  • exclusive access to your new product/service
  • or even premium customer service, always more available.

Il y a autant d’opérations marketing récompensant la fidélité qu’il existe de profils de clients fidèles.

2 examples of successful relationship marketing

Let’s conclude this article by mentioning the cases of 2 leading brands that have successfully set up effective marketing campaigns. These 2 examples come straight from the United States, as they concern Coca-Cola and Domino’s.


The “Share a Coca-Cola with… “campaign was an intercontinental success. The idea was to personalize the drink according to the name of the people around you. The idea was brilliant: customers all over the world adopted the product. Meanwhile, the American brand has benefited from an unprecedented craze on social networks via the hashtag accompanying the campaign. There are now thousands of pictures of Coca-Cola customers saying the slogan written by the brand.

marketing relationnel Coca-Cola

With this communication campaign, Coca-Cola mixes relationship marketing and guerrilla marketing (source: Pixabay)


Domino’s chose to innovate with a transparent relationship marketing strategy. The company then took risks by completely reinventing its brand image. It succeeded in this move by working hard to leverage its digital presence. Indeed, many of the pizzeria’s customers leave reviews online. Knowing this, Domino’s chose to publish a series of scathing reviews. This marketing action was then accompanied by a promise: to develop brand-new recipes to avoid this kind of negative word-of-mouth.

marketing relationnel domino's

Domino’s wants to be transparent. They are not perfect and are willing to do anything to change that. That’s the brand image they convey through relationship marketing. (source: Shutterstock)


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