The Conceptual Framework of Relationship Marketing

The Conceptual Framework of Relationship Marketing

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8231-3.ch003


Relationship marketing has been receiving widespread attention in the business world as well as in the literature. Different streams of marketing handle the concept of relationship marketing from their perspective; because of this reason, various definitions of relationship marketing have emerged in the marketing literature. This chapter aims to review the different definitions of relationship marketing and provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationship marketing concept. Based on the literature, basic constituents of relationship marketing have been analysed in a detailed way. This chapter handles the relationship marketing concept beyond the typical supplier-buyer relationships and analyses all collaborative relationships that allow companies to deliver superior customer value. Main motivations of customers to engage in a relationship and their relationship termination reasons are also examined. This chapter ends with identifying the facilitators and barriers for relationship marketing success.
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Towards A Comprehensive Definition Of Relationship Marketing

Different authors, who have various academic background, make different contributions to the definition of relationship marketing. Berry’s definition of relationship marketing is developed within services marketing and he defines relationship marketing as “attracting, maintaining and – in multi service organizations- enhancing customer relationships” (Berry, 1983, p. 25). Berry’s definition of relationship marketing emphasizes the importance of customer retention and the allocation of resources to keep existent customers as well as attract new customers (Gummesson, 1999a, pp. 242-243). Jackson’s definition of relationship marketing, which is grounded in industrial marketing, defines the relationship marketing as “marketing oriented toward strong, lasting relationships with individual accounts” (Jackson, 1985. p. 2). Berry and Parasuraman (1991, p. 133) define the relationship marketing from the perspective of services marketing and define it as “a process of attracting, developing, and retaining customer relationships”. A comprehensive and widely used definition of relationship marketing is done by Grönroos (1991) and he explains relationship marketing as “identifying and establishing, maintaining, and enhancing relationships with customers and other stake holders, at a profit, so that the objective of all parties involved are met, and that is done by a mutual exchange and fulfilment of promises”. The definition of Grönroos involves not only customer-supplier relationships but also includes relationships between stakeholders (Grönroos, 1996a).

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