RELATIONSHIP MARKETING: SCOPE OF RELATIONSHIP MARKETING

RELATIONSHIP MARKETINGReengineering

Relationship marketing has also been strongly influenced by reengineering. According to reengineering theory, organizations should be structured according to complete tasks and processes rather than functions. That is, cross-functional teams should be responsible for a whole process, from beginning to end, rather than having the work go from one functional department to another. Traditional marketing is said to use the functional department approach. The legacy of this can still be seen in the traditional four P’s of the marketing mix. Pricing, product management, promotion, and placement. According to Gordon, the marketing mix approach is too limited to provide a usable framework for assessing and developing customer relationships in many industries and should be replaced by the relationship marketing alternative model where the focus is on customers, relationships and interaction over time, rather than markets and products. Youth in Peacebuilding

Cross- Functional Marketing

Relationship marketing is cross-functional marketing. It is organized around processes that involve all aspects of the organization. In fact, some commentators prefer to call relationship marketing “relationship management” in recognition of the fact that it involves much more than that which is normally included in marketing.

Customer service

Martin Christopher, Adrian Payne, and David Ballantyne at the Cranfield School of Management claim that relationship marketing has the potential to forge a new synthesis between quality management, customer service management, and marketing. They see marketing and customer service as inseparable.

Marekting Philosophy

Relationship marketing involves the application of the marketing philosophy parts of the organization. Every employee is said to be a “part-time marketer”.

Satisfaction

Relationship marketing relies upon the communication and acquisition of consumer requirements solely from existing customers in a mutually beneficial exchange usually involving permission for contact by the customer through an “opt-in” system. With particular relevance to customer satisfaction the relative price and quality of goods and services produced or sold through a company alongside customer service generally determine the amount of sales relative to that of competing companies. Although groups targeted through relationship marketing may be large, accuracy of communication and overall relevancy to the customer remains higher than that of direct marketing, but has less potential for generating new leads than direct marketing and is limited to Viral marketing for the acquisition of further customers.

Retention

A key principle of relationship marketing is the retention of customers through varying means and practices to ensure repeated trade from preexisting customers by satisfying requirements above those of competing companies through a mutually beneficial relationship. Customer Retention is the activity that a selling organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defections. This technique is now used as a means of counterbalancing new customers and opportunities with current and existing customers as a means of maximizing profit. The majority usage of direct marketing used in the past is now gradually being used more alongside relationship marketing as its importance becomes more recognizable.

Relationship Marketing Strategies

1. Product bundling – This can be done by combining several products or services into one “package” and offering them at a single price.
2. Cross selling – Selling related products to current customers.
3. Cross promotions – Giving discounts or other promotional incentives to purchasers of related products.
4. Loyalty programs – Giving incentives for frequent purchases.
5. Increasing switching costs – Adding termination costs, such as mortgage termination fees.
6. Integrating computer systems of multiple organizations – Primarily in industrial marketing. Many relationship marketers use a team-based approach. The rationale is that the more points of contact between the organization and customer, the stronger will be the bond, and the more secure the relationship.

Now we can conclude that Relationship Marketing is all about holding onto existing customers as well as gaining new ones; while existing customers remain loyal if the value of the product/service that they receive is sufficiently high; while loyal customers can also act as advocates of this product/service. Yet remarkably, many start-up e-commerce companies managed to ignore these simple business concepts, and as a result lost the customers that they had fought so hard to gain in the first place. It is at times like this that ‘success’ and ‘survival’ really do equal the same thing, but if Relationship Marketing is instilled into the company culture to begin with, then situations like these can be avoided. Hence we can say Relationship Marketing is a necessary to tool for the growth of today’s business.

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