Mike Hanbery November 5, 2011

Relationships: A Timeless Marketing Trend

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Each year, on the Friday before Halloween, you’ll find Webolutions at the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Business Expo. This year, the “Webolutions Marketing Speakeasy” was voted Most Creative Booth. Visitors to the “Bootleg Candy Bar” took a quiz that asked, “What era is your marketing in?” and CEO John Vachalek delivered a seminar on Mobile Marketing.

The “speakeasy” theme for the Webolutions booth reflected the 1920’s theme for the Expo. “We chose the 1920’s theme,” said John Brackney, CEO of the Chamber, “to highlight the 90 years this organization has been building relatonships among businesses.”

All parts of the theme resonated with attendees. The period’s garb allows for stylish, enjoyable costumes ranging from zoot suits and flapper dresses to golf outfits–but the word uttered more often than any other, from our arrival at 6:00 AM to our departure around 6:00 PM, was, “relationship.” Throughout the day, we witnessed new investors being introduced to veteran investors; people stopping by the booth to say, “Thank you,” for supporting the community; a carpet cleaner, an attorney and a trainer gathered by chance at the after-party not to pitch their wares but to ask how they can help each other–because these are the tenets on which long-term business relationships are based.

Blogger Chris Crawford says it as well as anyone ever has in a 2009 article titled The World Belongs to Those Who Show Up:

Do you ever notice when someone gets an award, you often learn that they are also coaching their children’s Little League team, serving on the local food  bank board of directors, and chair of a committee in their professional organization? Do you ever notice that there are a limited number of people you reliably can turn to when you need something done? Is it a surprise that these same people are usually in both categories?

It happens this way at every level of business. When people decide who is best to help build their businesses–be they government agencies, Vice Presidents of Fortune 100 companies or startup entrepreneurs–they go with people they trust. The people of whom Crawford speaks are building relationships in every aspect of their lives. They are adding value to multiple communities. They are investing in social capital, the return on which is realized when the entire community provides referral business–a product of dependability.

How to Use this Information
As a forward-thinking marketing agency, Webolutions strives to constantly operate on the leading edge of new innovations in marketing. Without relationships, however, all our tools are for naught. It’s the same for your business. We live in an age of an unprecedented velocity and breadth of technological change.

Without doubt, marketing paradigms have shifted irrevocably. Successful, sustainable companies will channel those tools and their marketing strategy toward building a brand of trust with their communities. They will sublimate the desire for immediate transactions to the pursuit of long term relationships.

Do you want the money now or do you want referrals forever? With which business would you choose to partner? Is that your brand? Are you living it?

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