Relationship Marketing

Knowledge Center

Summary, forum, best practices, expert tips and information sources.

67 items • 626.802 visits


What is Relationship Marketing? Description

Relationship Marketing is an approach which emphasizes the continuing relationships that should exist between the organization and its customers. It emphasizes the importance of customer service and quality and of developing a series of transactions with consumers. The terminology was first described by Theodore Levitt in 1983.

Origin of the Relationship Marketing Approach. History

Already in 1980, B. Schneider wrote: What is surprising is that researchers and businessmen have concentrated far more on how to attract customers to products and services than on retaining customers. In 1983 Levitt wrote: In a great and increasing proportion of transactions, the relationship actually intensifies subsequent to the sale. This becomes a central factor in the buyer's choice of the seller the next time.

Relationship Marketing is strongly linked to Business Process Reengineering. According to this reengineering theory, organizations should be structured according to complete tasks and processes. Rather than functions.

Usage of Relationship Marketing. Applications

Relationship marketing and traditional transactional marketing are not mutually exclusive and they are not necessarily in conflict with each other. Relationship Marketing may be more suitable in the following circumstances or situations:

  • High value products or services.
  • Industrial products.
  • Products are not generic commodities.
  • Switching costs are high.
  • Customers prefer a continuous relation.
  • There is customer involvement in the production phase. See: Co-Creation.

Steps in the Relationship Marketing Process

  1. Chart the service delivery system. Set standards for each part of the system, especially the 'encounter points'.
  2. Identify critical service issues.
  3. Set service standards for all aspects of service delivery.
  4. Develop customer communication systems.
  5. Train employees on building and maintaining a good relationship with clients.
  6. Monitor service standards, reward staff for exceeding service levels, correct sub-standard service levels.
  7. Ensure that each employee fully understands the importance of quality and relationships in the marketing philosophy.

Strengths of Relationship Marketing. Benefits

  • Focus on providing value to customers.
  • Emphasis on customer retention.
  • The method is an integrated approach to marketing, service and quality. Therefore it provides a better basis for achieving Competitive Advantage.
  • Studies in several industries show that the costs to keep an existing customer are just a fraction of the costs to acquire a new customer. So often it makes economic sense to pay more attention to existing customers.
  • Long-term customers may initiate free word of mouth promotions and referrals.
  • Long-term customers are less likely to switch to competitors. This makes it more difficult for competitors to enter the market.
  • Happier customers may lead to happier employees.

Limitations of the Relationship Marketing model. Disadvantages

Relationship Marketing is less appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • Relatively low value products or services.
  • Consumer products.
  • Generic commodities.
  • Switching costs are low.
  • Clients prefer a single transaction to relationships.
  • No / low customer involvement in production.

Book: Theodore Levitt - The Marketing Imagination

Special Interest Group

Relationship Marketing Special Interest Group.

Special Interest Group (174 members)


Forum discussions about Relationship Marketing. Below you can ask a question about this topic, share your experiences, report a new development, or explain something.

Start a new topic about Relationship Marketing


What are 'Business Relationships'?
What differences do customers perceive between personal relationships and business relationships? Do they even think of their interactions with businesses as 'relationships'?...
🔥 NEW Giving Gifts in Business | Corporate Gifting
Imagine that you have been doing business with a supplier for the past year. Your partnership has yielded profitable results – for both parties. A representative of your supplier comes to your office ...
Relationship Marketing as Part of your Strategy and Tactics
A practical approach is the "Group Merchant/Distributor Board Meeting". Phase 1: We invited CEO's with their spouses (approx 50 people) for an event weekend. Friday - social program with all. Saturda...
Relationship Marketing Strategies in Retail
What type of relationship marketing strategies are useful for retailers to increase their sales?...
Relationship Marketing Should be a Systematic Approach
Implementing a customer relationship program or as you refer to it in your article as "Developing Customer Communication Systems" is a key factor in making relationship marketing work in your business...
Relationship Marketing and Perception
A very important element to remember when building relations is perception. Both needs and wants are based on perception, and these are by definition individual ways of seeing things. Every customer ...
Relationship Management in Creative Industries
Does anyone know of Relationship Marketing works being used in the 'Creative Industries', particularly The Music Industry? I cant seem to make this model work in my head or on paper....
Relationship Marketing in Banking
Relationship marketing is extensively practiced in banks. It is focusing on high earners who can afford extra charges for the special treatment and services....
Assumptions Behind Relationship Marketing and CRM
The basic assumption of relationship marketing and customer relationship management is that firms benefit more from maintaining long-term customer relationships than short-term customer relationships ...
Internal Relationships Marketing
As you may know, internal marketing was first presented by Berry and co. (1976) and then by other researchers such as George (1977) and Thompson and co. (1978) However, there is, as yet, no clear agr...

Best Practices

The best, top-rated topics about Relationship Marketing. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

🥇 What is Relationship Marketing? Definition
Relationship marketing is a form of marketing that evolved from direct response marketing in the 1960s and emerged in the 1980s, in which emphasis is placed on building longer term relationships with ...

🥈 Relationship Management in Chinese Culture: Guanxi (关系)
The Chinese are acclaimed to be the masters of building Guanxi (关系) (it means "connections" or "relationships" in Chinese), sometimes by ourselves, unfortunately there is an obvious mis...

🥉 Is Relationship Marketing a New Paradigm
Is relationship marketing an addendum to the traditional marketing mix elements, or is it a new paradigm altogether?...
Contracts, Penalties and Fees
Gail McGovern and Youngme Moon explain in an article "Companies and the customers who hate them" (HBR June 2007) how many industries (cell phones, credit cards, banking, insurance, leasing) are using ...
Relationship Marketing Focus
One of the major points Relationship Marketing must focus on is after sales services. A lot depends on it maintain the relationship between the company and its consumers....

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Relationship Marketing. Here you will find professional advices by experts.

Pitfalls of Traditional Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing Implementation / Improvement
About 50 percent of leading brands' buyers change preferences regarding their favorite brand every year. This reveals hu...

The Old versus the New View on Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing Implementation
Here is a point by point comparison: Goal Old View on Relationship Marketing: Having relationships with customer...

Six Causes of Relationship Marketing problems

Relationship Marketing Implementation
Researchers Deb Rapacz and Martin Reilly identified the following six paradigms as the Root Cause limiting effectiveness...

Factors for Corporate Credibility

Establishing Trust
Strong bonds and relationships between organizations and customers depend on their perceived credibility. Corporate Cred...

Customer Relationship TYPES

CRM, Relation Marketing, Branding
Next time you're using the term "CRM", remember there's an R in it... The R of "Relationship". Actually, customers (wan...

Branding In Relationship Marketing

Linking the Brand
In an article, Deb Rapacz and Martin Reilly invite marketers to adopt relationship marketing as an integrated strategic ...

Definitions of Relationship Marketing

Teaching Relationship Marketing
Since its first description by Levitt, Relationship Marketing has been defined in many different ways. Here follows a br...

Customer Retention

Relationship Marketing
In the game between Defensive Marketing and Offensive Marketing, the core of Relation Marketing is located at Customer R...

Use of Permission Marketing

Building Customer Loyalty
Permission Marketing, the practice of marketing to consumers only after gaining their express permission, is a method or...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Relationship Marketing. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Relationship Marketing

Effective Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing (RM) has emerged as one of the dominant mantras in business strategy circles, though RM investiga...

A Service-Oriented View on Marketing

Service-Dominant Logic, Perspectives on Marketing
Presentation about a service-dominant logic mindset in marketing, including the following sections: 1. Getting the logi...

The Effect of Relatinal Constructs on Relationship Performance

Relationship Marketing
Peter C. Verhoef, Philip Hans Franses and Janny C. Hoekstra examine the effect of relational constructs, such as satisfa...

Introduction Into Permission Marketing (PM)

Direct Marketing, Email Marketing, Internet Marketing, Search Marketing
Presentation that introduces the concept of Permission Marketing, including the following sections: 1. Introduction of ...

Interview with Theodore Levitt on Global Marketing

Understanding Global Marketing
Theodore Levitt explains and ponders on global marketing and marketing mass global products. A global product is a prod...

Research Links

Jump to further research sources regarding Relationship Marketing.








Compare with Relationship Marketing: Customer Relationship Management  |  Marketing Mix  |  Extended Marketing Mix  |  SERVQUAL  |  Benchmarking  |  Customer Satisfaction Model  |  Total Quality Management  |  Quality Function Deployment

Return to Management Hub: Marketing & Sales  |  Supply Chain & Quality

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group

Do you know a lot about Relationship Marketing? Become our SIG Leader and gain worldwide recognition as an expert.

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2023 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V16.1 - Last updated: 9-6-2023. All names ™ of their owners.