Relationship Marketing vs Lead Generation Marketing

Relationship Marketing vs Lead Generation Marketing


Today’s topic:  business owners treating “Relationship Marketing” the same as “Lead Generation Marketing” or, realistically, not really thinking of either and just calling everything “marketing”.

I often find this true regardless of whether someone is new in business or has been at it awhile.

First up, Relationship Marketing:

Relationship Marketing can, and should, also be thought of as “Retention Marketing”. Whether new or old, you want to build relationships with your clients, customers and patients. This is done by:

• offering client-only specials
• sending cards, articles, goodies, etc. (postal mail)
• reaching out just to check in

You can offer different perks for different types of clients – those who are new to your community versus those who have invested with you versus those who invest with you regularly.

Whatever you choose, not having a relationship with your clients will cause you to miss out on referrals, upserves (the Extreme Client Care™ version of an “upsell”), cross-serves and much more.

And then there’s Lead Generation Marketing:

Reaching out to strangers and introducing them to your world, your community – this is lead generation marketing. Done well, your marketing targets those strangers who will most be interested in what you have to offer.

Lead generation marketing is akin to digging your well before you’re thirsty.

Once they enter your community (“opt-in” to something you offer), begin treating them as a client and the relationship begins.

The key is to ensure your business is doing both: lead generation and relationship/retention marketing.

Miss lead generation and your prospective client pipeline dries up. Miss relationship/retention marketing and your clients go somewhere else where they feel loved and cared for.

Grab your plan for this quarter and ask “Where have I incorporated relationship/retention and lead generation marketing?”

An important note, whether we’re talking relationship or lead generation – successful (i.e. “profitable”) businesses invest in their clients and their marketing and, done well, the return on that investment is more clients who stay longer and refer often.

Businesses which focus exclusively on a “f.r.e.e. social media” strategy or a “build it and they will come” philosophy rarely meet their goals or achieve their dreams.

Hanging a shingle, calling it a business and waiting for revenue to come in without investing in that business is a recipe for struggling and eventual closure. Not a popular statement, but true nonetheless.


Post by:

Sandra Martini
Business Growth & Marketing Expert 
Creator, Escalator Marketing(tm) &
Escalator Profits(tm) System
phone: 888.436.5364 
more time. more profits. more life.

About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Hi Rachel and Sandy,

    It makes sense that you have mentioned the combination of Lead Generation AND Attraction Marketing. It does make sense to think about both.

    I’ve often thought that the little “Hello How are you” messages on Facebook – presumably trying to be cultivating a relationship with me – are really nothing more than cold calling / lead generation. It must be a very depressing way to go about things because I completely ignore them all!

    Interesting post, thanks.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

  2. Hi Rachel!
    I’m familiar with Sandra Martini … good post. I think you need both! Building what you already have, and as she says, filling the well by reaching out to others. Your business won’t grow if you don’t reach out, and generate exposure..
    Wonderful visiting you 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!

  3. Marketing can be quite tricky especially if you are not a good communicator

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