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This essay is a critical literature review of Relationship Marketing in relation to customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and technology. In this review, I will provide a brief orientation of relationship marketing; identify the benefits of relationship marketing for companies and customers and critically analyse the concept of RM with regards to customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and analyse the role of technology in relationship marketing.

Leahy (2011:651) defined relationship marketing as “attracting and keeping customers for a long period of time”. RM is used by firms to change consumer attitudes and increase the frequency of purchase in a business using marketing techniques such as promotions and advertising. According to Ndubisi and Chan (2005), relationship marketing provides an organisation the opportunity to get access to the right information about their customers, meet the customers’ needs effectively, efficiently and gain competitive advantage. In addition, Gronroos (1994:9) suggests that relationship marketing is a new model in marketing and it’s about organisation “establishing, maintain and enhance relationships with customers at a profit so that objectives of the parties involved are met. This is achieved by mutual exchange and the fulfilment of promises.” Promises may be made by the company to their customers; yet, what remains to be seen are if the promises are fulfilled or ultimately broken. Szmigin et al. (2005) argues that due to the vast presence of relationship marketing in several industries, it can be difficult defining relationship marketing that accommodates all the relationships. Ravald and Gronroos (1996) argue that relationship marketing is not restricted to the firm maintaining a close relat...

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...ting is very important for the success of an organisation as reflected in the multiple definitions above. It is beneficial to both the company and their customers and when utilised responsibly, a great symbiosis relationship is established. The analysis of customer satisfaction resulting in increased customer loyalty has been carried out and the contribution of increased customer loyalty resulting in high profitability for the organisation has been highlighted. The role of technology in relationship marketing has been scrutinised leading to the research question stated above i.e. to what extent does technology foster a close relationship between an organisation and its customers. For further research, it would be advisable to explore this area in more depth so organisations can acquire the maximise output when using technology as a means of relationship marketing.
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