Marketing your small business can be tricky—there are a myriad of approaches, theories and potential platforms in which to structure your marketing plan – so putting a plan into action can sometimes seem overwhelming. If your business is relatively new or a marketing strategy such as relationship marketing is unfamiliar, you may want to seek help from a professional association.
Professional associations offer a wealth of information, training classes and expert contacts to help guide you in the right direction. If you choose to join a professional association, you’ll have immediate access to creating relationships with other companies who are also members of that association.
The Association for the Advancement of Relationship Marketing (AARM)
The Association for the Advancement of Relationship Marketing (AARM) is the most well known professional association committed to helping businesses develop relationship marketing platforms. AARM is an international association that offers training courses and information on how to integrate a relationship marketing scheme into your company’s business structure.
AARM focuses on Customer Relationship Marketing and Customer Relationship Management, both commonly known in the business world as CRM. CRM is the central marketing practice under which relationship marketing fits.
AARM offers professional development workshops, seminars, and coaching with certificate programs to help you integrate a relationship marketing platform into your business. If your business is new to thinking in terms of a relationship marketing strategy, guidance from a professional association like AARM can help you navigate these uncharted waters that may seem a little daunting.
If you are a business with an established marketing platform, news, information and workshops from a professional association like AARM can help you stay on the cutting edge of marketing ideas for your business, and help you develop new and creative ways to meet the needs of your customers.
It is not necessary to join a professional association like AARM to benefit from what the association offers—you may participate in the seminars, workshops and classes even if you are not a formal member of an association. But one of the main benefits of becoming part of a professional association is the networking possibility that it offers. Membership in a professional association gives you access to other members who have the experience and knowledge that could benefit your own business.
Networking for Marketing
Professional networking is an important part of relationship marketing. By networking with other businesses, you enhance your professional relationships, which can only help benefit the relationships you have with your current customers.
Forming alliances with other companies, or just making a new business acquaintance, can enhance your existing client relationships also. Learning from other experts in your field, or even people in related fields, can give you insight and ideas on how to approach problems and issues with your own business. Another benefit of professional networking is the potential to share clients; you may meet a contact whose clients are in need of the types of products and services that your company provides, and vice versa.
There are many benefits to exploring a professional association, even if you do not want to make the official commitment to join as a member. The networking opportunities and business contacts you’ll make will be beneficial and you’ll stay informed and on the cutting edge of what is happening in the relationship marketing industry, which will only improve your business’s relationship marketing platform.