The 5 Love Languages of Marketing

How to “translate” the 5 Love Languages of Relationships into marketing ideas for small and local businesses. No actual kissing required.
The 5 love languages of marketing

In 1992, author Gary Chapman gave couples around the world a groundbreaking new way to communicate about and, hopefully, deepen their relationships. The 5 Love Languages is a best-seller, complete with an official online quiz that has kept this 90’s self-help classic on the “relevant” shelf over the decades. 

Chapman’s guidance transfers beyond romance to marketing, which – at its heart – is all about relationships and communication. Marketers, which of the 5 Love Languages are you most fluent in? Try our tips below to gain proficiency in all five. 

5 love languages of marketing

Words of Affirmation = Social Listening and Responding

In romantic relationships, words of affirmation are how we express affection through spoken words, praise, or appreciation. If your clients are as wonderful as ours, it’s easy to shower them with praise. Shout your love from the rooftops with these tips:

Amplify your clients on social media

There’s no need to share your admiration behind closed doors only. Tagging and posting about clients on social media is a great way to say, “We love our clients, and we aren’t afraid who knows!” If it’s true love, they may return the favor. 

Respond to online reviews

Sharing feelings can feel vulnerable, so the occasional response to a review provides the writer validation, as well as shows potential clients that you both read and care about honest feedback. Don’t forget to share the love if you or your business has received exceptional service, too. 

Give and receive word-of-mouth referrals

Any business can curate a handsome online profile, but when you provide excellent service to back it up, your clients will be naturally inclined to kiss and tell. 

5 love languages of marketing

Acts of Service = Giving Back to Your Local Community

Proactively helping a partner with tasks that make their lives easier is one way to deepen a relationship. So what have you done for your community lately? Perhaps try to: 

Partner with nonprofits

Our social circle says a lot about us, so be sure to associate with some serious do-gooders to build your image and create plentiful opportunities to partner with nonprofits and give back to the community. 

Sponsor events and give in-kind donations

There may be a time when you meet an organization that is so selfless and generous, you wonder when they last accepted help. Asking for a helping hand is often difficult, so recognizing proactive ways to support your community nonprofits will help build strong partnerships. 

Organize employee volunteer outings

Donating your time to the pro-social missions of your community is a great way to connect on a deeper level. Lend a helping hand by enlisting your team to volunteer with a new local organization on a regular basis.  

5 love languages of marketing

Gifts = Giving Thoughtful, Branded Swag

For some, gift-giving is an act of love — a symbol that proves their partner is thinking about them often. Do you know your clients so well that everywhere you go, you can’t help but find gifts that you just know they’ll love? Try these tips to show your clients you really, truly “get” them: 

Give thoughtful, high-quality, and locally-sourced swag

The next best thing to a portrait in a locket is customizing a valuable gift with your own company’s image. This makes sure that your clients and prospects will be thinking of you often. 

Give branded gift boxes for client appreciation

Sure, you could gift snacks in a standard wicker basket or toss a gift card into an envelope. But personalizing your gifts and packaging will ensure your generosity gets the recognition it deserves. 

Offer free downloadables

Don’t forget to have fun! Sometimes the best gifts are those that encourage creativity, expression, or just plain time-saving convenience. Put butterflies in your client’s stomach when they find your free, branded downloadable freebies or templates. 

5 love languages of marketing

Quality Time = In-person Connection

Every so often it’s crucial to peel away the fanfare, the favors and the gifts and allow time to simply be together, to connect face-to-face. And when it comes to your clients, if there happen to be a few hundred others in the room, so be it! Just don’t try connecting with everyone all at once when you: 

Attend and host networking events

Picture this: You’re at a networking event and suddenly from across the room you lock eyes with that special client, the one you’ve been waiting for all morning. You both dramatically drop your crab-dipped crackers and come together in meaningful, in-person conversation, discovering a business relationship was meant to be. 

Exhibit your brand at trade shows

Much like networking events, trade shows have the potential to foster a true connection with current and potential clients. The bonus? Trade shows have swag, a table to place your drinks, and you get to bring a wingman. The more, the merrier!

Pursue speaking engagements

We all like to be heard, to tell our own stories in our own words to someone who is truly listening. Give the gift of your full attention by attending a client’s speaking engagement and participating meaningfully in the Q&A. Or, better yet, find opportunities to be a speaker yourself. You’ll connect with other like-minded professionals and the sparks will surely fly.  

5 love languages of marketing

Physical Touch = Tactile Touchpoints 

There’s no substitute for a loving touch in keeping romance alive. While we don’t suggest you cross any boundaries with your clients, don’t forget about your tactile marketing touchpoints. Add a personal touch when you:

Send direct mail, postcards, and holiday cards

A thoughtful holiday card or postcard is a surefire way to brighten someone’s day and let them know they’re on your mind. You may even make it onto the refrigerator door and score a coveted introduction to the parents. 

Write handwritten thank you cards and notes

You’re busy, we’re busy, everyone’s busy these days. But taking the time to handwrite a thank you card shows that you’re never too busy to show your appreciation. 

Hand out business cards with specialty finishes

The raised spot gloss, the rounded corners, the velvety soft-touch finish. When you lay your business card in that special client’s hand, it’s instant. They know it, you know it. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. 


Cynthia OrdCynthia Ord is Marketing Manager at YellowDog, Denver’s award-winning print, design, and marketing studio. She has over 12 years of experience as a marketing matchmaker for small businesses and their clients. Her main Love Languages are Quality Time, Acts of Service, and (unofficially) snowball fights. In her spare time, you can find her traveling, brewing kombucha, and disappearing into the Colorado outdoors. 

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