Marketing is about developing satisfying, ongoing relationships.

I bought a gift for my wife from Alex & Ani for Christmas. I heard about Alex & Ani through the best marketing promotional tool of them all, word of mouth.
I navigated their easy to use website, found the gift that I was looking for, and ordered it with guaranteed Christmas delivery and Alex & Ani came through.
Then I received an email in early January from Alex and Ani that reminded me about the definition of marketing and how smart companies are using solid marketing principles on social media and the Internet.

The textbook definition of marketing is, “Marketing is the process of creating, distributing, promoting, and pricing goods, services, and ideas, to facilitate satisfying exchange relationships with customers and develop and maintain favorable relationships with stakeholders in a dynamic environment”. This is from Pride & Farrell’s “Foundation of Marketing”. It is the last part of that marketing definition, the part about develop and maintain favorable relationships, that often gets overlooked in the rush to promote and gain market share. Good companies want to sell their products and services over and over again to customers. If the customer is satisfied with the company’s service, they will repeat their business.

Companies that forget about this customer relationship and providing good customer service have to find new customers to replace the customers that are leaving because they don’t like the product of service. Think of that old quote, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Customers will not come back to a company that does not provide a good product or service the first time.

That is where this email from Alex & Ani comes in. They sent the pictured email to their customers in early January, thanking the customers for making the holiday season sales their best yet. As a thank you, they are sending customers a $25 gift card. No strings attached, no minimum order, not on limited clearance stock, just a straight forward, simple gift card, redeemable on any online purchase. Alex & Ani are marketing a satisfying and ongoing relationship with their customers. Customers will go back to the Alex and Ani website and probably spend more than $25, not because there is a minimum, but because Alex and Ani make such great and unique jewelry.

Smart marketers remember the full definition of marketing, and use the tools of the Internet to execute them. By they way my wife loved the Alex and Ani jewelry that I bought her for Christmas and I think she will like the next gift I will buy there for her with my $25 gift card.

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