Trading a fee for an outcome is a transactional business relationship. You may ask, “Isn’t that what I am paying for, an outcome?”
The short answer is yes, but the complete answer considers what your business is missing out on by going purely transactional.
What Transactional Marketing Is Like
Not long ago, we had a new air conditioning and heating client come aboard, and the goal was to make their phone ring with customers needing their services.
This HVAC company had been around for about two decades but had not really plunged into digital marketing. Their online footprint was, well, nonexistent.
SwingPointMedia agreed to be their digital marketing company, and we had a high degree of success. After five months, we moved their inbound calls from 20-30 a month to 147.
At that point, they emailed that they were ending their contract with us because they had found another digital marketing company for less money. This is transactional, a business relationship purely about the money. (By the way, it goes both ways!)
This was the only time SwingPointMedia had ever been let go. I was a bit perplexed. For about a week, I kept asking myself, “What did I do wrong?” The answer was nothing.
I don’t say this out of conceit. I say it out of knowing the objective, crushing the outcomes, and delivering on my promises. My staff worked hard to do extra, yet at the end of the day, our services and the relationship was a commodity.
Commodity. I really dislike this term because, to me, it means it’s a race to the bottom. Truly, no one wins. Someone is always willing to do it for a few bucks less, and eventually, the customer suffers. The customer is just someone who pays a fee and, in turn, receives the minimal expectations in return.
What a Marketing Relationship Is Like
The relationships I have with my clients at SwingPointMedia are different. Each morning I read and research all the latest information. Often, I find something I think can have an impact on my client, and I send them a link and make sure they have a heads-up. For example, I would do this with the HVAC client who let us go.
Before it became public knowledge, I found out that California was giving away $3,000 in rebates for anyone upgrading their HVAC to an electric heat pump. And the HVAC companies would have to qualify to be a distributor, and not everyone would be able to offer this rebate.
I knew if they could get certified as soon as possible, they would get a jump on their competitors. The process was very successful for them and our other HVAC company clients.
In a transactional relationship, this never happens. The marketing company would do nothing extra. Having a transactional relationship means the marketing company never goes beyond its contractual duties, period.
The HVAC client would have to reach out to the digital marketing company and ask for additional digital marketing for this rare event. And you can be sure this additional digital marketing would come with an additional fee.
Relationship-Based Digital Marketing Company for Small Business
In our marketing relationship with that air conditioning and heating client, we created banners and then ran ads to the banners using paid social media. We also identified the higher traffic articles (blogs) we had written, and on each of the articles added the special banner with a call to action.
Why? Because as a marketing company that is NOT transactional, our goal is helping our clients reach and exceed their goals. And if this means taking extra steps, that is what we do.
A transactional marketing relationship does the least amount possible to meet your expectations. In essence, it’s like the experience you might have at a fast food restaurant. They will not go out of their way to do anything extra for you.
What’s Best for Your Small Business: Transactional or Relationship-Based?
The question now becomes clear. Do you want a transaction relationship with your online marketing company, or do you want to know that the online marketing company you hired will do what it takes for your small business to be successful? Could the latter mean you might pay more? Maybe.
But one email we send about something we’ve read could put you ahead of your competitors and crush your revenue goals.
Another small business client we began working with in 2019 was about to spend $24,000 on TV advertising, and that was after they had already spent $6,000 on producing the commercial.
Because the media buy could not tell me who would watch the commercial or its ROI, I advised my client to take a different approach.
We decided to go all in on content marketing: writing a weekly blog, shooting solution-based videos, and engaging with their email database.
The CEO sent an email three years later informing me that “they basically 4x their total revenues and spent less money…keep it up!”
Why were they so successful with SwingPointMedia? It was because our relationship was not transactional. It was about what we can do to help our client exceed their goals.
At this point, it’s simple. Do you want your small business to be a number on the balance sheet, or would you rather have a team in your corner, always on the lookout for opportunities to help your small business succeed?
If you feel you want to hire more than a marketing company, I invite you to contact me directly. My cell is 760-413-3508.
SwingPointMedia is a marketing company focused on using content marketing, such as written articles, videos and podcasts, to attract their customers’ ideal audiences. This approach has proven to attract higher-quality customers while simultaneously reducing the sales cycle by as much as 70%.
SwingPointMedia serves local businesses in Southern California and can be reached by calling 760-422-5176.