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Can Relationship Marketing Be Applied To All Service Businesses?

2481 words - 10 pages

Can relationship marketing be applied to all service businesses?Executive SummaryThis paper examines the applicability of relationship marketing to all service businesses. Throughout the literature, the definition of relationship marketing has been argued within two main perspectives. The first perspective is based on the relationship versus transactional approach to marketing and is found in the majority of the literature (Gronroos 1994; Palmer 1996; Payne 1994). The second perspective is the presumption that relationship marketing forms a part of target marketing. The argument between transactional and relationship marketing is whether relationship marketing is the sole answer for marketing firms. Relationship marketing is definitely more suited to current marketing strategies, however it is not the only strategy. The shift from the marketing mix and the 4 P's may not be a direct shift to relationship marketing, but rather a shift to a number of marketing concepts. Therefore, it can be seen that relationship marketing is applicable to all service businesses. It is up to the marketer to decide to how they integrate relationship marketing into their firm.IntroductionThis paper examines the applicability of relationship marketing to all service businesses. In current marketing literature, the concept of a shift from the traditional marketing mix to relationship marketing has become increasingly accepted by scholars (Gummenson 1997, Palmer 1996). With the aid of a literature review, this paper will define the notion of relationship marketing and consider the current theoretical implications in marketing. The paper will then illustrate the applicability of relationship marketing to a service business using the Motorola Company and its endeavours with pager products as an example. The next section of the paper will assess the effectiveness of different intensities that relationship marketing can operate at. Finally, the paper will conclude as to whether all service businesses can apply the relationship marketing strategy.Literature ReviewIn answering this question of whether relationship marketing is applicable to all service businesses, it is important to define the concept. Throughout the literature, the definition of relationship marketing has been argued within two main perspectives. The first perspective is based on the relationship versus transactional approach to marketing and is found in the majority of the literature (Gronroos 1994; Palmer 1996; Payne 1994). Within this concept, the focus is on the exchange between buyers and sellers. Transactional and relationship exchanges are the two ways in which these exchanges can be viewed on the continuum (see Appendix). A transactional exchange involves a single, short exchange with a distinct beginning and ending (Mc-Koll Kennedy 2003). At the other end of the continuum, relationship marketing entails an organisation engaging in proactively creating, developing and maintaining committed,...

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