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What Are the Challenges of Relationship Marketing?

Chrissy May 10, 2021
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Figuring out how relationship marketing can help build a loyal customer base is one thing. Overcoming the common challenges you’ll face while implementing it is another.

So to prepare you, here are some of the roadblocks you may have to overcome along the way:

Omnichannel Marketing

What are some omnichannel marketing challenges?

At its core, omnichannel is defined as a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated customer experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, or by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store and the experience would be seamless.

Consumers generally experience at least 6 touchpoints before making a purchase with a brand.

The purpose of an omnichannel marketing strategy is to create a unified, uninterrupted, and seamless consumer experience across all of these channels. Understandably, this can be rather intimidating and frankly, difficult for brands to achieve. 

The solution? 

A plan and a systematic approach to launching your marketing campaigns.

Responding To Customers Questions And Concerns

“The golden rule for every business person is this: ‘Put yourself in your customer’s place.” – Orison Swett Marden

If you are running a business, then everything about your customers becomes ‘your business’. This would include their feelings, emotions, and understanding what every customer needs and wants.

In almost all cases, what a customer wants is in contrast with what they would need. Businesses might help customers understand their own needs, but it is their responsibility to respond to and give customers what they want.

Getting honest customer feedback can be essential to businesses who are looking to improve their customer’s experience. However, capturing their customers’ feelings isn’t always easy when you consider that 91 percent of customers don’t complain when they are unhappy because they think that taking the time to provide feedback isn’t worth the time because the business simply doesn’t care.

Sometimes, too much attention is given to negative feedback and customer complaints and people forget that positive feedback can be just as useful when it comes to the growth of a business.

Not only do positive words and comments tell a company what they are doing right, but they help to encourage others to take notice as well. 

Claims Dr. Duncan J. Watts of Microsoft Research: The biggest obstacle to success is just being noticed.

But positive feedback won’t come unless you make sure to do things the right way.

Benefits And Challenges Of Personalized Marketing

  • Message Personalization is the #1 tactic used by email marketers to increase engagement rates. (HubSpot)
  • More than 20% of marketers say personalization can improve email engagement. (HubSpot)
  • 99% of marketers say personalization helps advance customer relationships, with 78% claiming it has a“strong” or “extremely strong” impact. (Evergage)
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. (Epsilon)
  • 90% of U.S. consumers find personalized marketing content somewhat to very appealing. (Statista)
  • 78% of marketers say email is the most personalized channel, followed by websites, which 56% of marketers noted. (Evergage)
  • The biggest challenge that ABM teams face is personalizing their strategy. (HubSpot)
  • 40% of marketers say their biggest challenge with personalization is linking to data-related technologies, while 34% struggle with poor data quality. (Experian)
  • 78% of brands say they struggle with “data debt” or not having enough quick data about their customers to not launch relevant personalization tactics. (Experian)

Consumer Preferences of Personalized Marketing

  • 92% of marketers say customers and prospects expect a personalized experience — up from 85% in 2019. (Evergage)
  • 45% of consumers say the “coolest” personalized tactic they’ve seen is when a brand apologizes for poor shopping experiences.
  • 74% of consumers would find “living profiles” valuable if they could be used to curate the experiences, offers, and products they receive. (Accenture)
  • 67% of consumers think it’s important for brands to automatically adjust content based on the current context. When brands don’t adjust accordingly, 42% of consumers will “get annoyed” that content isn’t personalized. (Adobe)
  • 82% of consumers primarily engage with marketing content on smartphones, while 63% engage with content primarily on computers. (Adobe)

Rekindling Interest Of An Old Customer

Re-engaging customers is the process of getting customers interested in your brand again. When you re-engage a customer, you may be trying to: 

  • Get them to come back after they’ve done business with you. Sometimes this is also called “remarketing.” 
  • Get them to come back once they’ve canceled their service or account. These customers may be referred to as “lapsed” or “inactive” customers. 

Brands should prioritize re-engaging existing customers in addition to their new customer acquisition plans because customer churn is expensive. It costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer. It is also easier to sell to existing customers. They are more likely to buy and spend more when they do. 

Existing customers are already primed to buy from your brand, so don’t let them slip through the cracks. Use re-engagement marketing plans to bring them back. 

Before we look at the specific tactics you can use to re-engage customers, there’s something important to note. Customer re-engagement is much easier and more effective when your brand is regularly collecting customer contact information.

Customer contact information is essential to re-engagement plans because it allows you to have a communication line with your existing customers. Without an email address or phone number, it’s difficult to get back in front of your past customers. So always start your re-engagement strategy with a plan to collect customer contact information. You can do that by: 

  • Creating a customer database. 
  • Creating a customer loyalty program. 
  • Collecting phone numbers or email addresses at check-out. 

7 Ways to Re-engage Customers 

  • Think about why the customer become disinterested in the first place
  • Send out customer surveys
  • Utilize a regular email marketing newsletter
  • Send targeted emails and text marketing campaigns
  • Create a community for customers to join
  • Utilize digital retargeting
  • Run fun and enticing return promotions

Getting Company-Wide Adoption

A tale as old as time: the chicken or the egg? Sales or Marketing? Silos (communication) amongst different departments are a pain point for many companies – 39% of employees believe teams in their company don’t collaborate enough. However, these team divisions don’t usually stem from a negative place.

The sales team members have different areas of expertise and focus than the marketing team. People with these strengths are strategically chosen and hired help to move business along in both a sales and marketing capacity. However, now that consumers are practicing a more omnichannel experience, that means they are entering the sales funnel from a variety – and possibly multiple – channels, but expecting a linear path of communication from the brand. Segmented messaging from the sales and marketing team not only creates a bleak and non-preferential experience for the consumer but is also inefficient for the organization. 

The solution? Having a sales and marketing team aligned with a unified, clear strategy is now more essential than ever for a successful omnichannel marketing solution. The first step toward combating company silos is clear communication throughout the entire organization. Although, that’s usually much easier said than done. 

Dealing With Complex Software Tools

The software adoption process can be quite tricky for many organizations to navigate. Whether you’re looking to implement a new CRM system, timesheet tracker, marketing hub, or something else, you need to make sure that you set your company up for success before you implement the new software. Unfortunately, many organizations tend to skip the pre-launch and go straight to the launch, and as a result, they end up running into trouble; their user adoption rates are too low, so there’s very little ROI and a lot of resistance to the new software being implemented.

Any software adoption rates you see are going to be varied, depending on your employees’ willingness to learn a new tool and embrace a new technology. We’ve seen the following path develop with several of our customers: 


Innovators are your technology enthusiasts. They’re the ones who are always looking at new technology and how it can benefit them, and they’re eager to dive in to understand how that technology works and how it can improve things in your organization.

Early Adopters

Early adopters are the users who want to try new software. They, like innovators, are going to be a driving force in influencing others in the organization to adopt the new software that you’re trying to implement.

Early Majority

This group often takes a more practical approach to new software – they’re waiting for others to vet it first before jumping in and using it. The early majority is going to need a little bit of encouragement in using this new software. They’re more concerned with “What’s in it for me?”, and will want to know how this new software is going to improve their lives.

Late Majority

The late majority users are going to need a big push to adopt new software. Typically, they’ll only adopt the new software when it becomes a major part of your business operations and they won’t be able to complete their day-to-day activities without it.


These users will openly balk at changing their habits – they’re often set in their ways and they’re uncomfortable using new tools. They will use the old software as long as possible – they prefer old, familiar technology. You’ll most likely need to force them to switch over to the new software by eliminating that old technology altogether.

Why Understanding These User Types is Important for Your Successful Software Adoption

The reason it’s important to understand these various user types is that it’s going to help you plan out and execute a successful adoption of the new software that you want to implement.

If you know that your organization is made up mostly of late adopters or laggards, you’ll need to rely very heavily on innovators and early adopters to provide the motivation to switch. Innovators and early adopters are like your internal champions – they’ll advocate to their fellow workers about how great the new technology is, and how easy it will make their lives.

Alternatively, by building enough momentum with those innovators and early adopters, you’ll be able to influence the early majority to also adopt your new software. Once they’ve bought in, you’ll have a majority within the organization – most of your employees will have adopted the new software. This means you’ll have a solid base for convincing those late adopters and laggards to switch.

A word of advice: if you do find that you have a lot of “Late Majority” or “Laggards” in your organization, there may be a reason they’re so hesitant to adopt this new technology. So, be patient with them, be understanding, and above all, be open to their own experiences. There could be a good reason why they’re hesitant to adopt the new technology you want to implement, and once you find out that reason, you might be able to bring them around to your way of thinking.