Build Meaningful Relationships With Your Marketing

by | Mar 26, 2024

Building Meaningful Relationships With Your Marketing

Are you sick of spam emails starting with lines like: “I know you’re busy, so I’ll get right to the point…”

I mean, if they know I’m busy and hate spam, why are they spamming me?

Here’s another one of my recent favorites:

“You’ve been in touch with a colleague of mine…” i.e., the previous spammer from the same dadgum company.

Or how about the endless litany of LinkedIn messages from complete strangers, saying how glad they are to connect with us while immediately diving into a sales pitch? YUCK.

Enough already!

I’m fed up with the spam, the automated campaigns, the endless, soulless junk communications.

I’m going to stick to the personal touch.

In the age of AI, list buying, and spam bots, I believe that the personal touch is the ultimate Purple Cow. It stands out as a beacon of real humanity in a sea of meaningless drivel.

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Here are five things that we do at Aqua Vita to put the personal touch on our marketing:

1) Be yourself wherever you are, whoever you’re talking to.

I used to be afraid that my personality was too blunt and brash. I use very direct language, and my voice naturally carries. (My wife still has to ask me, “Are you upset?” sometimes, even though in my mind I’m speaking casually.)

Over time I’ve discovered that my friends and clients actually like that about me. And interestingly enough, my friends and clients also tend to be hard-charging, go-getter types. Not all in the same ways (for example, one of my friends just hit 100% completion on Stardew Valley), but it’s there.

When you’re unabashedly yourself in person or with your marketing, you will attract people who like you for who you are and what you offer.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

– 2 Timothy 1:7

2) Listen carefully. Remember details. Add finishing touches.

Last Christmas, I had custom Camelbak tumblers made for my team and a few top clients, and I had their names engraved on them.

One of my clients said that his grandmother liked the tumblers so much that she stole his, so I ordered another one that said “Grandma” on it.

Why not? Maybe it’ll make her day a little brighter. And that’s what I’m here for, at the end of the day. To bring a little light into the world. And boy, does the world need it.

“Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.”

– Psalms 112:5

3) Do the right thing, even when it hurts.

I once designed a vehicle wrap that made it through proofing, printing and application before we discovered we’d misspelled the client’s company name.

I’d gone with him to see it, because it was his first vehicle wrap. A momentous occasion!

When we discovered the error, I corrected the artwork on the spot and took my client to breakfast while they reprinted, removed the bad artwork, and applied the corrected version.

We had a good laugh, a great breakfast, and an inspiring discussion about personal and business goals while we waited.

I lost money on that deal. But I kept my reputation. That client stayed with us and referred other clients to us in the years to follow.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

– Galatians 6:9

4) Have fun! Life is short.

One of my dear friends and mentors, John Benjamin, died of a brain tumor a few years ago. I was very fortunate to interview John before he discovered he had a tumor, and the phrase “Have fun! Life is short.” was one of his closing pieces of advice.

A few years back, we had a particularly good year of growth at Aqua Vita. Rather than giving ourselves a big pay raise, Jess and I decided to fly the team out to Arizona. We spent a day on a pontoon boat on Saguaro Lake, traveled up to Sedona to see the sights, and had a great time together. (We also had to outrun a wildfire and rescue my father-in-law. But that’s another story.)

I’ll remember that time with my team for the rest of my life.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

– Proverbs 17:22

5) Do more than what you’re paid for.

At Aqua Vita, we track how we’re doing on scope using a system we’ve developed called “The Traffic Light.”

If a client is under scope or at scope, the light is green, and green means “go.” If the client is at scope or up to 20% above scope, the light is yellow, and we slow down a bit. If they’re 20% or more over scope, the light is red, and a serious huddle is needed.

On every project, we try to land in the yellow (which we’ve come to call “the golden zone”), because we always want to deliver more value than what the client was expecting.

People like a good deal, and you’ll retain more customers and attract more customers through word of mouth.

I’ve heard it said that it costs seven times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep a current one. Go above and beyond for your clients. It’s good for your soul, and it’s good for business.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

– Luke 6:38