Book Review: New Relationship Marketing by Mari Smith

When it comes to defining the term “relationship marketing,” look no further than the author of this book: Mari Smith. She not only knows what she’s writing about, she embodies it.

When I need the latest Facebook facts, I think of Mari Smith. She is the recognized expert on all things relating to the social media behemoth. But don’t let her infectious smile, turquoise apparel, and bling fool you. When it comes to all things social media, she is smart, savvy, and ahead of the curve.

The book is a resource, and I mean that literally. There are six pages of resources and case studies in the back that, alone, are worth buying the book for. She starts out the book with some basics including a much-needed chapter on how to protect your time and privacy while staying connected, and a chapter on the skill set you’ll need to be effective as a relationship marketer.

The meat and potatoes of the book are in the second section, “Nine Steps to Significantly Growing Your Business Through Relationship Marketing.”  The first chapter in this section gives readers the tools to correctly assess the compatibility of their present business model, and follows with steps to build core values based on the relationship marketing model. I think this chapter will be a turning point for readers who are questioning whether or not they want to enter this brave new world. But the basic message is, relationship marketing is not an option, it is where marketing is going. So, get on board. Or, as Brian Solis used to say, “Engage…or die.”

The book moves on with info on how to develop “relationship capital,” personal and business. Then, it heads into practical information on developing an effective online presence personally and for your brand. Next, it branches out into developing an effective network. There is a great chapter on how to become an authority through offering quality content. The thing I really liked about the book was the simple practicality—lots of process-based lists and tips. You will not walk away from this read without a plan for success.

There is a no-nonsense chapter on how to turn your fans into paying customers and a chapter that reminds us to build offline relationships to strengthen the online ones. It ends up with a chapter for those who want to take their marketing to the next level and become an industry leader. What better way to get a how-to in that area than from someone who has been there and done that.

I highly recommend this book for people who people who still think social media is just a set of tools, and for those who use social media, but know there is more to it than having a Facebook page.  Relationship marketing is a way to grow your business—get on board and reap the benefits. Mari Smith will show you how.