It is a truth universally acknowledged that no idea is a new idea in marketing.

Take CRM. In medieval literature (bear with), a tried and tested formula was popular among gallant knights who wished to win the hearts of fair ladies. If you examine the nine stages of ‘courtly love’ you will see that there are comparisons to be made between these methods and the modern day practice of brands that engage with customer relationship marketing. It worked then; it works now.

1. Attraction to the Lady, Usually via Eyes or Glance
A perfectly pitched piece of content at the right time in the right place piques interest. Ideally this would involve imagery, even more ideally, video or animation.

2. Worship of the Lady From Afar
Find out more about her. Consider her environment, your rivals, her likes and dislikes, her hopes and dreams. Plot all of this into a Venn diagram and so identify the perfect message to send to her in this moment. It pays to have sound science behind your next move.

3. Declaration of Passionate Devotion
Send her your perfect message and ask for her email address. For email is still the holy grail of CRM.

4. Virtuous Rejection by the Lady
She may not give it to you straightaway. That’s ok. Don’t give up.

5. Renewed Wooing with Oaths of Virtue and Eternal Loyalty
Approach her via other channels, with winning, tailored content extolling the benefits of a relationship with you.

6. Moans of Approaching Death From Unsatisfied Desire (and Other Physical Manifestations of Lovesickness)
Skip this one – it doesn’t work and is just attention-seeking spam.

7. Heroic Deeds of Valor that win the Lady’s Heart
Target her with offers, gifts, engaging content – be generous, be brave – then ask for her email address again. She will acquiesce.

8. Consummation of the Secret Love
Email her, she will respond. It’s beautiful.

9. Endless Adventures
Create for her a lifetime of content experiences across every touch point in her ecosystem. Remember anniversaries, her birthday, her name… Surprise and delight, and live happy ever after.

OK so this is a facetious analogy but the point is that forming a meaningful relationship with your audience takes time and effort. And while there is a formula, each application of the formula must be bespoke to take into account the nuances of the audience, the environment and your brand. Ultimately, your audience needs persuading that they share the same values as your brand. Only then is it possible to have a long and faithful marriage.