Internal and Relationship Marketing
The marketing concept in addition to marketing management philosophy are simply external manifestations of a basic and significant development in marketing. In the past decade, marketing executives have adopted a new viewpoint. Embracing a systems outlook, they tend to see marketing operations as absolute systems. Marketing management is accountable for designing and directing an entire system of marketing action to attain preset objectives (Lazer, 1962). Marketing Relationship Relationship marketing can be defined as: “Relationship marketing is marketing seen as relationships, networks and interaction.
It is aimed at establishing long-term win-win relationships with customers. In approaching a potential customer, relationship marketing has the ambition to climb the loyalty ladder: from prospect over first-time customer, to client, supporter, advocate and partner” (Duncan, 2002). Relationship marketing is the opposite of transaction marketing in which this goal does not subsist. Traditional transaction or acquisition marketing is short-term and sales-oriented and intends at the ‘one shot deal’ (Gummesson, 2000). It is aimed at changing prospects into customers, and nothing more.
Nonetheless, marketing is not regarding selling; it is about making reliable customers. Relationship marketing is built upon the relationship between customer contentment, customer dependability and productivity. It is five times cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to obtain a new one, and some claim that considerable increases in profit can be recognized by increasing customer maintenance by merely a few per cent (Curry et al. , 1998). Consequently, companies should rather focus on retaining their existing customers, turning them into advocates as well as partners, than on the acquisition of new ones.
True customer dependability is more than just repeat purchases; it is having a share of wallet as close to 100% as likely. Relationship marketing is customer maintenance marketing. It is determined for zero defection. It implies caring for the existing customer first before trying to draw new customers. In that respect, also, victorious branding is nothing more than building a special relationship between the customer and the brand: brand equity is brand significance in ‘stakeholder relationship’ terms (Duncan, 2002).
Relationship marketing is based on a number of basic principles as well as factors. First of all, it is long-term win-win teamwork with the customer. It is interactive in that it makes out that all parties in the process are active, and it highlights relationship and service values rather than bureaucratic as well as legal values. Indeed, relationship marketers should attempt to do what is right from a long-term relationship viewpoint instead of hiding behind severely legal considerations and technicalities (Gummeson, 2000). Relations involve teamwork, loyalty, and dependency.
Not all parties involved may be evenly influential, but those with less power still should have the feeling that they are better off than in another relation. Long-term relationships are the foundation of relationship marketing, and contacts between the marketer and the customer ought to be recurrent, regular, intense, and as close as possible. This familiarity can be physical, but also mental or emotional. Although a customer may just have contact with a marketer through a website or a direct mailing, he or she may feel close to the brand in any case.
Nonetheless, personal contact is important for long-lasting high-quality relationships. High-tech will never make the need for high-touch outdated. Physical closeness is as significant as statistical or technical relationships. For example, in a hotel the guests can fill out a customer satisfaction questionnaire, and the hotel management may or may not take the responses into account. Regardless of the physical closeness between the customer and the management, communication is severely technical and statistical, and the quality of the contact is low-touch (Gummesson, 2000).
Nonetheless, hotels could also arrange customer complaint or ‘critical incident’ conversations with their customers, making the contact more individual, interactive, as well as high-touch. Relationships quickly worsen when the romance and excitement has gone. Relationship marketing aims at customer enjoyment and enthusiasm, rather than just frequent routine contacts. High quality contacts entail regular value added, not only for the marketer, but also for the customer. To conclude, one of the most significant components of high quality relationships with customers is trust.
Brands and companies must be trusted before customers become dedicated to them. The difference between repeat purchases and trust or loyalty is alike to the difference between brand or company image and status. Trust is built on contentment and contentment is based on the fact that goods, services, and employees execute as promised. When brands or companies guarantee more than they deliver, satisfaction and trust reduce. Relationship marketing is as a result also customer expectations management: never guarantee the customers more than you can deliver. A second constituent in building trust is facilitating the interactivity with customers.
Determining factors of trust are satisfaction, constancy, convenience, awareness, promise, similarity, and fondness. Customers should be able to effortlessly request information, make complaints, ask questions, and so on, whenever they feel like it, and the company should respond rapidly and sufficiently to their queries. The most significant objective in the relationship with dissatisfied customers is to re-establish trust. Marketing tools to build trust are, for example, hot-lines, customer service departments, warranties, and guarantees (Duncan, 2002).