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Relationship Marketing 101

What is relationship marketing?

Relationship marketing is a widely used term. Often, though, it is used interchangeably with terms such as customer loyalty, database marketing, predictive modeling, data warehousing, one-to-one marketing, relationship selling, retention, mass customization, customer intimacy or customer bonding. While relationship marketing includes these practices, it is more. Much more. A company using database marketing, for example, as its relationship marketing approach may find itself no more able to forge deeper bonding with customers than previously, with mass marketing or market segmentation techniques.

Let's start with a definition of relationship marketing:

Relationship marketing is the on-going process of identifying and creating new value with individual customers and then sharing the benefits of this over a lifetime of association. It involves the understanding, focusing and management of on-going collaboration between suppliers and selected customers for mutual value creation and sharing through interdependence and organizational alignment.

Key principles

A number of points flow from this:

Before most companies can adopt Relationship Marketing, a number of internal barriers will need to be overcome. Foremost among them, is the absence of a CRM plan.