Category Archives: Market Research

Collecting User Generated Content for Marketing

User generated content is undoubtedly one of the most decisive tools when it comes to marketing research and analysis. Nothing can guide you better than this and there can be no data set more clear and accurate than this one. For any marketing department, user generated content lights the pathway that should be followed to obtain maximum market penetration and capture maximum audience.

Without arguments, social networks are the most vulnerable platforms to realistic humane data. Before anything else, having a strong social presence is necessary before you go on to the next steps. After this, increasing audience/consumer interactions through social networks and other such touch points should be given attention. One method that has been followed for quite some years now and has shown significant results is the hashtag. Hashtag has been a convincing medium of meaningful traffic generation since its conception. The hashtag is supported by the major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest. Using the hashtag to involve audience is the key to collecting user generated content. From the quantity to the quality of data collected through such campaigns, a whole lot of marketing analysis can be done.

Some examples of successes through the hashtag are Red Bull’s campaign of #PutACanOnIt (where consumers uploaded different pictures with Red Bull cans and added the hashtag) and Oreo’s #OreoHorrorStories during the Halloween season. These posts drew significant engagements and also spilled out numerous customer thoughts.

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Picture courtesy: redbull.com

Customer reviews are the second on list for collecting data which is user oriented. This data is honest and can form tough foundations for business growth in the right direction. Every business must learn to listen to its customers; all customers – whether they have something good to say or something bad to say. Your loop holes will be easily identified through this strategy and you can work towards excellence by filling them up. Encourage your customers to give you a feedback and make sure the interface is simple. A difficult interface to review submission will cause them to shun away. Companies like Nascar have a Fan council which captures consumer insights. Amazon is also a platform which functions on the basis on customer-centric reviews.

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Picture courtesy: nascar.com

Contests are another persuasive method of collecting data. Having a prize or promotion to input from consumers drives them stronger into your campaign. They all hope to be a winner and will give you inputs accordingly. Ask your customers to say something about your company and offer them awards based on various indicators. This will drive more traffic and also give you scope to collect opinions about your business. Even if they are all good – they give you insights on to which areas you are performing well and which areas you need to pay attention to. And nonetheless, good ones always steer your enthusiasm! Brands like dove invited people to post photos of their friends indicating why they think the friend represents real beauty. Such contests will be able to give you some indications as to what to consider during your next advertisement campaign too.

Remember that whenever you are hosting a campaign, use creativity and stretch it. Build anticipation in the audience and do not give away the climax of your campaign too soon. This rule applies to all types of campaigns.

You may contact us for any further details with social media campaigns or other paid advertisements.

RE-ENGAGING YOUR DORMANT CUSTOMER BASE

In the current marketing scenario, customer retention and re-engagement are in the spotlight. Apart from other essential activities, it is no doubt that customer re-engagement should occupy a significant position. Lead generation and lead nurturing occupy the topmost places in the marketing funnel in terms of position, time and cost. Following this theory, customer acquisition has always been one of the difficult stages in the whole marketing process. You have to win over the customer’s confidence and educate him/her applicably about your company and products/services.

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Getting in touch with your former customer base relieves you off all these stresses by facilitating the lead generation and nurturing process. In addition, your old clients know you and have interacted with you. They are well aware of your company’s strategies and services. Looking back to prior customer lists proves to be effective both in terms of time and cost. You need not start from scratch when considering your older clients. Let us look a few steps that you may take to reactivate your former clients to touch your base again.

Phone calls and emails are the most obvious methods that are used for professional communication today. If your customer had a personal communication method with you, you may directly give him a call and discuss on other matters before you gradually raise the topic of your business alliance. Try to tackle him informally into a comfort zone and then discuss business issues, this will allow him to open up to you about the exact reason of why he dropped out initially. On the other hand, if your relation was not personal, try contacting an old client together with another high level management in conference. Have a professional starting and try to get the reason of him exiting from the business. Remember, that your first contact for re-engagement should not be in order to persuade him to come back but rather to first get a clear picture of the precise reason of him/her leaving.

Getting in touch with a simple email is far too rough to get any response from a client who has stopped working with you. You are not of much importance to the customer at this point in time therefore it is advisable to make your emails a bit different. You may send a personal mail to send the customer a greeting or a wish, probably on a birthday, anniversary or the likes. Getting in touch through personal aspects are likely to get more attention than just a regular day. Another way of getting in touch through emails is to send a short and precise survey form. This will enable the customer to pour out his reasons on a single platform and you can get to know them easily. Do not make the forms large and difficult to handle.

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Once you gather the explanations as to why your customers were obliged to step out of the business with you, put up your strategy to combat these reasons. For example, if a client is having financial problems, you may offer flexible payment facilities or a small discount or an extra added service/product for a free trial. If they had to leave because of a low customer satisfaction, show them your revised policies and introduce them to your new team. You may also share some other testimonials with them which you have attained during their absence. This might re-inforce their trust in you. When you are in contact with them again and they reveal to you a severe mistake, it is worthwhile to offer a discount to cover up for the same. It may be painful in the beginning, but this approach gives huge results.

When you are planning to reach out to your former clients, prioritize your list. Put the important clients on the top of the list – those who can give you substantial business. Apart from this, it is very important to be in a continuous research mode for your company. There is always space for improvement and it should not be ignored in business. Having a system which monitors customer engagement (both current and past) helps a lot in maintaining and improving business and business relationships.

An Overview of improving sales probability on Amazon

Selling, maintaining and advertising on the Amazon platform demands a distinctive approach to success. Ranging from the application of varied resources to sophisticated strategies; it necessitates a holistic approach towards upholding a prosperous position on this marketplace. Adding on to the stress and strain, the marketplace is absolutely competitive, resulting in the optimization to be a complete challenge. Central concepts of contesting these challenges happen to be Product dicoverability and Product Buyability.

Let’s start off by defining these concepts:

Discoverability – A product’s discoverability is its ability to be found on the Amazon platform from the consumer’s point of view. It is important to remember that Amazon SERPs are product oriented and sellers have limited entitlement of increasing product sessions. Therefore, overall it is the product which needs to be focussed on. Increasing the discoverability can be related to driving traffic in terms of traditional marketing.

The following is an example of an Amazon SERP for the keywords ‘chandeliers for living room’:Untitled

As seen from the results, the product ‘Prop It Up Antique Design Brass Chandelier – 5 Lamps’ is listed among the best sellers and is also the first product on the result page. Amazon shows the product price range and the number of other offers (other sellers) on the SERP itself, which further promotes the purchase decision in any consumer. In a product like chandeliers, the product design plays an extremely vital role and probably that is the reason why the display of the SERP is in the tiled format clearly showing all designs. Motivating discoverability is dependent on many factors that are portrayed on the SERP including:

  • Image quality
  • Discount rates and offers
  • Reviews rating
  • Any tags that have been achieved (e.g. best seller)
  • Payment information

All these factors together can be well dealt with in the optimization process and as we will see later on, all marketing activities eventually form a cycle whereby each process is inter-dependent and linked with the others.

Buyability – Product buyability is based on two metrics:

  1. A seller’s percentage of total buy box ownership
  2. Traffic conversion on a product page

To better understand this, let’s take an example of a corner table. Suppose this corner table received a total of 100 orders in a month. The first metric of buyability focusses on having the highest share of the total 100 orders. The second metric of buyability is highly driven by discoverability and and overall optimization practices.

Taking a closer look at the SERP for chandeliers:

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The SERP itself shows options for other sellers as well, but at this point, the buy box is with Prop it up. Looking from the perspective of this seller, buyability will be to continue having the buy box.

Discoverability is directly related to Amazon SERPs and buyability is most relevant on the product detail pages. Both these concepts are inter-related and form a cycle – sustaining a high position of sales for a particular product.

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The major goal of all marketing optimizations on the Amazon platform is to increase the conversions from all the sessions on a product i.e. receiving a higher conversion fraction from total number of sessions. Two prime ways to do so are based on the metrics of product buyability.

  1. Buy box ownership: Getting a higher number of orders is directly related to your buy box share. The higher your buy box ownership percentage, the more orders you get and as a result more revenue is generated.
  2. Product Page Optimization: Conversion rate optimization (CRO) needs to be brushed up with minute practices and best strategies such that once a customer has landed on the product page, nothing convinces him/her to leave without ordering. Robust tactics should be implemented in describing the product page content – title, description, image quality and placement, etc. Take a look at the product page of the best seller for the chandeliers:

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 Each aspect of the product detail page has been well explained on this product. Images have been provided in good resolution from various angles. The title of the page is complete including the brand name, product name, product type and product size. Good number of reviews and ratings are highlighted. The price and delivery details are also appropriately listed. Bullet points have been all utilised giving all the information that would answer the questions arising in any consumer’s mind regarding purchase. Detailed information on designing a product page can be found here.

Before investing ample time and resources on product page design and optimisation, it makes absolute sense to first grab a good share of the buy box ownership. Otherwise all these efforts will be directed towards a competitor’s offer. The question is when to start strategizing buyability according to metric 2 – conversion rate optimisation?

To start off the process, you must first dig into your sales performance reports and pick up your top performing products based on the following criteria:

  • Number of orders: Identify the products that have got the highest number of orders and then analyse on the reasons – which may include high number of sessions/page views or a higher buy box share.
  • Sessions: Look at the ASINs that have been receiving the highest number of sessions and analyse the buy box share for them. Marginal changes in the buy box share for ASINs with high sessions can result in a good number of orders.
  • Revenue: Again, working on minute changes for the buy box with products generating revenue in the higher range make pay off with significant results.

On performing this analysis, you might find quite a number of your products overlapping in all the above categories. These are the products that you should focus on performing the maximum CRO techniques, followed by the products falling individually on the top of each category. Select these products for optimisation processes.

The overall process can be summarised as a two stage process:

  1. Win the buy box
  2. Improve conversion rate

Elaborated work on these two basics are sure to drive your sales at good speeds and heights!

Creatives and Marketing

Marketing is empowered and driven by numerous factors – these are the actual building blocks of any marketing strategy that need to be enforced at all times. In almost all methods that are used for marketing, it is the ‘type’ of content that is important which has been used to penetrate through the target audience. As it has always prevailed among marketers – content is king and therefore, it is undoubtedly necessary to portray the content appropriately in order to reach out successfully.

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Among the different types, content containing images, colour and visuals have by far caught the attention of population at large. Information is better absorbed if it is represented in a way that appeals to the target audience. In today’s world of haste and rush, we need to present the audience with information that can be quickly apprehended by them. Research proves that the brain processes images 60000 times faster than text, so there is the gateway open for creatives!

When the population to date is swiftly moving across a wide range if channels, devices, gadgets and screens; the compulsion to present content in creative visuals becomes even more prominent. Creatives have the capability of producing a focus for the customer who is relatively unstable. In a study conducted among 300 online marketers, 40.5% of them stated that 90 to 100% of their published content contained creatives in 2015. This percentage rose to 53% in 2016 (view source). This data is obviously followed by the fact that creatives go viral way faster than any other type of content. Visuals are easily captured by the human brain and thus increase the chances of being shared as well. The more easily the content is understood by an individual, the higher the probability of share.

Another typical feature of creatives is that it gives you the capacity to stand apart. Information may be the same or may be just general, for example ‘50% off’, but using creatives, you have the vicinity to display it many attractive and catchy ways. Creatives help you to present common information in a different way such that it can attract your consumers directly. Displaying information in creative format also increases the legibility and gives ease of reading to the consumer. Tweets that contain images receive 150% more retweets than those without images (view source). Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement that those without (view source).

Messages are generally amplified and reach out further in creative formats. The human brain corresponds better to visuals and thus helps in propagation of information. If information is paired with an image or any creative, the human brain tends to remember up to 65% of the content even three days later. Images, colours and visuals resonate with your audience and incline to create a contact for you with them.

Without any second thought, creatives are extremely vital for any marketing strategy to be successful. 37% of marketers believe that visual marketing is the most important form of content for their business (view source). Optimising every aspect of marketing makes a difference in the final result. All marketing facets need designing and integration with creatives, whether it is content, landing page, social media or mobile marketing.

Increasing Mobile Conversions

With the advent of mobile devices, consumers/customers/clients have become more anticipating in terms of time, information and appearance. Studies have revealed that having a mobile responsive website is very far from being enough to generate mobile conversions. There are numerous other factors that are being searched for by your customers. Considering the fact that online mobile traffic is overtaking other sources (since 2014, in which about 52% of the online traffic was through mobile views), it becomes more important for industries to focus on points which improve conversions through mobile gadgets. Product industries have recently faced a significant hike – in December 2016, over $1 billion was spent on retail markets through mobile devices. Such statistics reinforce the importance of brushing and polishing marketing techniques to be slightly more oriented towards the mobile trends. There are a few steps that one can easily employ to gain a better outcome of marketing through mobile devices.

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Less content for relevancy – Mobile sites ought to be to the point. The very fact that someone is using a mobile device to search is that his intention is towards saving time. Distracting a consumer with all your information will simply shun him away from your site. Make sure that while you are reducing your content, the most important stuff is well-shown (preferable without scrolling). Also remember to minimise information to fit into a fixed number of scrolls, unlimited scrolling is the last thing your customers are looking forward to.

Content optimisation – Every microsecond plays a role when it comes to mobile conversions. Your content should not take a long time to load – reduce the numbers of images where necessary, make your images the right size (not too large or too small) and avoid interactive sections of the screen. Statistics show that oversized and under sized images cause noteworthy obstruction among mobile users.

Shopping Optimisation – Big forms and too much information demand may turn down your customers on the very last stage. Just imagine – you have successfully managed to convince your customer by passing through stages such as website optimisation/responsiveness, product or service information/display and brand awareness. An unfriendly shopping form stipulating a whole lot of information simply does away with all your previous efforts. Optimise your shopping experience, make your forms as small as possible, avail your shopping cart easily on the interface to allow for a hassle free experience and provide to save customer information.

Visible Call-to-action buttons – Your call-to-actions should be literally calling out. Do not hide them or make them too small in size. These are the very gateways to final conversions by stimulating a connection between the customer and yourself. Interactives such as “Call us”, “Ask us”, “Save info”, “Quick inquiry” , etc help in accelerating a customer’s buying decision.

No pop-ups! – These are one of the most potential conversion destroyers. A pop-up disrupts a customer’s view of information and interrupts the thought process often resulting in a complete move-away from your website, thus increasing the drop-off rate and might also affect the overall traffic on your site.

Ask for reviews – You may ask for reviews which are only one question long. These could be a star review or a multiple choice question about the service. Do NOT make it longer. Make it smooth enough so that your customer may not hesitate to help you.

The above metrics may be exploited to enhance more swift conversions on the mobile platform. You may visit us at www.bmconsulting.in for further insights.

Effect of Demonetization on Sales and Marketing

A successful business man does not restrict himself only to the account books. He or she always keeps an eye on surrounding events. And if the incident is that of demonetisation, then it is compulsion to be alert. As we are all aware, Demonetisation process is undergoing in INDIA – the currency note of 500 and 1000 are pushed out of the economy. Currency change results into the eminent shift in the paradigm of the INDIAN market. This decision of Honourable Prime Minister wobbled the INDIAN market. Many of us fail to decipher the dilemma created in the market after currency ban. This article will give you the clear picture of it.

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A sale of goods or services mainly depends on the following criteria:-

  1. A need or desire of a customer.
  2. Willingness to pay for the good and services to be use or purchase.
  3. Ability to pay for the good and services.

All three criteria must be fulfilled to sell the goods/services to the customer. If any one or more criteria are not satisfied then there will be no sale.

Demonetisation reduces the cash flow in the economy which directly affects the need, willingness and ability to pay of the customer. Because of lack of cash in hand, customers are not willing to buy any commodity or product. So there is decrease in the sale of the goods and services. If we consider the online marketplaces, most of the cash on delivery orders are cancelled by the customer because of lack of cash resources. It causes heft loss to all the online market places.

But In the era of digitisation the customers use the options like online banking or mobile wallet for the payment. There is no issue of cash resources as electronic money is used for transactions. So the revenue generated by it is unaffected. According to survey, sale of apparels, shoes, electronics is not affected at all. So we cannot say that the market is totally collapsed. Many sellers stop promoting and advertising their product at online marketplace under the wrong impression of not getting sale. It is suggested that you continue all the marketing campaigns as it will help you to improve your market index. This is the start of digital era and gradually the use of electronic money is going to increase to the extent of reducing the use of physical cash to lowest requirements. Our Prime Minister also focuses on the target of making India Digital. The future will be dominated by the trend of “GO CASHLESS”. Perception of all these aspects leads to the conclusion that continuing all marketing campaigns will help you to improve your market index. Market index is directly related to the market share for that product category. So this is the right chance for the vendors to gain some ground for them and create brand value.

It’s a time to expand you customer base by brand awareness and promotions. Visit http://www.bmconsulting.in/ for further insights and consultation by market strategist.

(Compiled by Nikhil Patil)

Generating More Sales Through Customers on Amazon

Generating sales is a hurdle on its own – whichever sector your business is in, whichever platform you are working on whichever marketing strategy you are using. The core of business generation has been based on customers from the ancient times of business. Some things never lose integrity and customer satisfaction is one such thing when it comes to any business. This method is arguably the most efficient and reliable sales generation technique till date today.

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It is said that “To gain something we have to lose something” But the question is “can we gain everything without losing single thing?”  Yes we can. But for that we must have comprehensive knowledge of what to do and what not do? This same strategy implies for Amazon. There are certain aspects usually sellers do not pay attention to them but these are the real game changers. These aspects are as follows:

  1. Delivery/ Shipping – It is this aspect which finalizes the order on Amazon. Always try to deliver the product in allocated time. Keeping minimum delivery time will help to enhance the interest index of customer. To outdo the existing delivery/shipping facility Amazon instigated the service named as “Amazon fulfilled”. Under Amazon fulfilled service delivery/shipping is the responsibility of Amazon. Seller does not need to perform any obligation related to delivery/shipping. It gives assurance for on time delivery which is very significant for the healthy relationship with customer to generate good reviews about the product and seller.
  2. Packaging – Packaging plays crucial role in the process. As we know “the goods which look better sell better” is the thumb rule. So the product must be well packed. Also packaging is responsible for the safety of the product during shipping. Any damages leads to chaos so keep in mind the packaging should be safe.
  3. Reply to messages: this point is gaining ground day by day. Nowadays besides reviews, customers rely on how sellers respond to their queries. So, vendors should revert to customers well in time and appropriately. Once a customer gets required information he/she can make a decision on the product.
  4. Customer Feedback– Customer feedback is a marketing term that describes the process of obtaining a customer’s opinion about a business, product or service. Customer feedback is so important because it provides marketers and business owners with insight that they can use to improve their business, products and/or overall customer experience.
  5. Understanding Customer Demographics – Think of demographics as the ultimate categorization tool. Grouping consumers based upon characteristics allows organizations to better serve the needs of their ideal customers. In terms of marketing, it means selling a product or service to the person most likely to buy it based on their unique needs and preferences.The most important function of demographics in marketing is obviously to increase sales. By understanding consumers, any business can increase marketing efforts to target those most likely to buy.

Work on these aspects to literally note a significant boost in your sales and increase your market share at amazon. You may visit http://www.bmconsulting.co for further insights by experts.

(Compiled by Nikhil Patil)

Tracking the Client Conversion Journey

Marketing strategies are rather hard to apply in today’s chaotic epoch, with the clocks ticking faster than never before. As consumers, we are subject to all sorts of advertisements on a variety of platforms ranging from emails, messages, display ads and many more. In such situations, although it would be difficult to actually trace out the exact journey of a client lifecycle, it is of utmost importance to have a basic model that can be efficiently used by an organization and its marketers.

The excursion of a potential client from a requirement arising to contract signing with your organization gives you an ample space to proficiently make an impression on the client. Inbound marketing agencies ought to lay out their lead generation strategies on the buyer’s trail. There are three main stages that this journey can be divided into, which will be described in detail below. In a nutshell, these stages would describe the overall client conversion journey.

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  1. Reaching out – Brand awareness in the current market is the most vital point of capturing an audience. This point should be strong enough to appropriately pick up the correct target audience from the whole market. Making the first contact of your business with the audience occurs at this stage which is a ticking start for the marketers. It is a bit ambiguous for any organization to create exact goals in this stage since even the customer him/herself is usually not able to recognize this stage. One imperative point that the marketers should never overlook is that strategies that are applied at this stage should serve as effective (information) resources and not sales pitches.

Awareness can be measured using the following points:

  • Survey – carefully survey all your running customers and current prospects of how they reached you. Keep a record of all these points and pay more attention to these channels when creating your marketing strategies.
  • Identify the common search terms that are related with your organization and used widely in the market. Put yourself in the audiences’ shoes when researching on keywords and create content for SEO activities using these words.
  1. Driving the decision – Once you have gained the attention of potential customers, you need to drive them towards making a positive decision. Creating more contact and providing with more information is the key to mastering this point. Initiate contact by embedding contact buttons and live chat on your website. Make sure your contact details are easily visible on all your listings. You should also continue to write more blogs with the captured audience in mind. Working with you is highly beneficial – you know that, so convey the same to your audience. Create interactive contents like infographics, eBooks, videos and case studies. Share these widely throughout your corporate networks. Further attraction of decision driving can be done by offering free trials, packages etc. Marketers must make sure to make the right contacts at the right frequency. Don’t forget that overwhelming your audience can easily push them away from you. 
  1. Conversion – After you have given a broader look of your organization to your audience, specific and one-to-one communications follow up. At this stage, the recipient now is a prospect. He is in genuine requirement and is sincerely interested in your offers. Efficiency, communication and mutual understanding gradually result in conversion whereby the prospect now becomes a client.

 Measuring the conversion rate is an essential factor for any marketer. Conversion rate is measured with respect to factors such as total number of leads, total number of website visitors and the likes. As an efficient organization, all leads who did not convert into clients require attention as well. One needs to study why exactly their conversion was hampered. Looking into these reasons will result in higher conversion rates for the enxt scheme/strategy.

 

Attracting More Traffic – Effective Advertising

The main purpose of advertising is to reach out to your target audience; efficiently enough to capture the right proportion of traffic towards your product/service. Getting more customers has always been the main goal and the most unsolved secret to date in the marketing periphery. Common answers to this impenetrable question of traffic come as good marketing, good customer communication, good customer support, etc. Let’s take this a step further and get into the consumer’s shoes. After all, in order to fascinate an audience, you have to infiltrate through their thoughts. There are some simple methods that may be overlooked in your advertising strategy resulting in a much lesser traffic towards you.

The infographic below does a good job at highlighting these points.

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THE IMPORTANCE AND PROCESS OF CLIENT ONBOARDING

Client on-boarding is essentially defined as ‘establishing the account relationship, having a legal framework and getting the CRM correctly populated between yourself and the client’. In the practical corporate world, it is much more than just that. For marketing agencies, it is rather an ongoing process for the initial months with the client. And being a fundamental part of the relationship, marketing agencies that shun away from firm execution of client on-boarding either lose their clients fast or end up with clients who are just carrying on to get their projects done.

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As very well said by the author and marketing consultant John Janstch – “If you hold a customer’s hand for 90 days, they’ll be loyal for life”, if clients are satisfied in the initial stages, they will never abscond your services. Simply pulling them towards your services does not suffice, especially in the marketing industry. This is because actual results take time to show up and you need to continuously convince clients that you are truly working towards the very best for them.

After the client acquisition process, you need to assure the client that they have made the right choice by picking on you. Set the client into your business and establish a good and promising relationship. One must executively integrate clients into the business rather than just having them on the clientele list.

The following steps can be used for assuring a successful client on-boarding process:

  1. Collect all client information and requirements to every detail. It would be a good idea to update all this information onto your CRM and share the updation with the client.
  2. Send a welcome note to the client on acquisition – this could be in the form of a letter or an email. You may also send a welcome kit to the client. Welcome kits would generally (but not necessary or limited to) the following items: a welcome video/link, several business cards, business brochure, testimonials/case studies and promotional items engraved with your logo.
  3. Arrange for a team meeting so that both teams are introduced to each other and the client is in well knowledge about who is working on his project.
  4. Regular reporting about the ongoing activities to the client is an important augment of all on-boarding activities. Make sure the client is in loop.
  5. Check-up calls at regular intervals (weekly calls are recommended) keep you both updated on any new activities/changes that are going on.

Keep the above points in mind to ensure an effective client on-boarding that will result in less of churn for your business. No-one wants to keep on cliffing too new clients because of losing older ones. Make your clients cling on to you by building a profitable business relation.