A Literature Review and Classification of Relationship Marketing Research

A Literature Review and Classification of Relationship Marketing Research

Ashish Gupta (Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India) and G. P. Sahu (Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India)
DOI: 10.4018/ijcrmm.2012010104
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This paper presents a literature review and classification of Relationship Marketing (RM) research. A range of online databases were searched to gain comprehensive knowledge on RM. Several articles were identified and reviewed for their direct relevance to RM, relevant were subsequently selected. Each of these articles has been further reviewed and classified. Papers and research on RM categorized into five broad categories (Relationship Marketing – Understanding, Industry Applications, Market Development, Technological concern and Firm Performance) and further sub-categories. The most popular areas covered by the papers in the sub-category understanding of RM, Market Development; and RM general, concept, and study followed by papers in different areas of management like-retail, banking, construction etc. The bibliography provides an academic database of the literature from various journals. The classification approach provides a means to conceptualize the coverage of relationship marketing and the relative popularity of CRM topic areas. This paper provides a roster of field projects accompanied by a comprehensive bibliography that will be useful to both academics and practitioners for studying existing research as well as for contemplating future research.
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1. Introduction

Relationship marketing (RM) is widely acknowledged as a useful tool in gaining customer loyalty in various sectors. In the world of business, the concept of relationship marketing (RM) is widely understood, both academically and professionally. Its goal is to maintain strong relationships and convert indifferent customers into loyal ones (Berry & Parasurarnan, 1991). It involves a process of attracting, maintaining and enhancing relationships with customers and stakeholders (and, when necessary, terminating them) at a profit, so that the objectives of the parties involved are achieved through mutual exchange and the fulfillment of promises (Zineldin & Philipson, 2007; Das, 2009; Adamson et al., 2003; Gronroos, 1994, 2004; Kotler & Armstrong, 1999; Berry, 1995). In business, RM brings stability and decreased uncertainty to a company by acting as a barrier to competitor entry and maintaining a stable and solid base of customers (Alexander & Colgate, 2000). For customers, RM provides closer and longer-term relationships that yield three types of benefits: 1) social (familiarity, friendship and information-sharing), 2) economic (discounts or other money-saving benefits) and 3) customization (tailor made services/products), as noted by Sheth and Parvatiyar (1995), Berry (1995), Gwinmer et al. (1998), and Peterson (1995). RM is relatively more emotional and behavioural, focusing on concepts such as bonding, empathy, reciprocity and trust (Sin et al., 2005; Yau et al., 2000).

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