The Relationship Marketing and consumers

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The article focuses on the relationship marketing. It aims to outline the main concepts, components and practices around the subject, through data collected in literature. Justified the choice of that subject, in increasing spread in the business world.

We are living in a new era of competition and competition within the current global environment. The disintegration of borders and opening new markets makes the competition grow not only between traditional opponents, but also by including new characters in specific business niches.


As remembered by Bretzke (2000) [1], this scenario opens up unprecedented opportunities to reach new markets, but also diminishes or becomes extremely competitive traditional markets. With this, customers demand and are getting more and more services in the form of added value.


Gordon (2001) [2] recalls the relationship marketing as an ongoing process where there is an identification value for the customer and the sharing of benefits throughout the long period of partnership.


Vavra (1993) [3] defines relationship marketing as the process to ensure continuous satisfaction to individuals or organizations that are current customers or have been clients of a particular organization.


Adding to this, Kanter (2001) [4] stresses that the company should deeply know the customer and make it known to all employees, so that he need not wait for someone to need to identify it and solve their problems in the best way.


In this context, the relationship marketing has the function to understand and work with reality, offering relevant information so that executives can make decisions based on the customer's point of view. According to McKenna (1991) [5], Relationship Marketing is the answer to companies facing this challenge and requires domain knowledge about the technology inherent to its activity, competitors, customers, new technologies that can change the competitive environment and their own organization, capabilities, resources, plans and ways to negotiate.




According to Gordon (1998) [6], the Relationship Marketing has eight components:


Culture and values: should reflect the company's interest in maintaining relationships in the long term. The extreme cultural differences may hinder the formation and maintenance of a relacionamento.Liderança: No organization will be successful in an initiative Relationship Marketing as the leadership is focused on winning out at the expense of outros.Estratégia: Includes strategies to develop capabilities necessary to improve the relationship with the customer. The strategy needs to be customer-centric, with goals and relationship strategies for clients individuais.Estrutura: The structure of the company should facilitate its strategy. A company organized under the Relationship Marketing will have managers who have specific categories of relationship with current customers, new customers, employees, suppliers, etc.Pessoal: Train, develop and transform employees into precursors of a process that seeks to create an alliance with the customer and his preference at the time of compras.Tecnologia: speed capacity and guarantee the information to be processed. Implies giving the customer the communication options that they want to help them repeat purchase experience. We can assess its usefulness within the company considering external communications (with customers, suppliers and distributors), internal communications (Internet, telephone service), information (to facilitate storage and retrieval of customer information) and content (customer information) .Conhecimento and perception: Investing in knowledge and customer insight for longer periods. The more you know the customer more likely to establish a relationship duradouro.Processos: The Relationship Marketing requires that processes are structured around the customer, which may require changes to existing processes.




According to Grönroos (2000) [7], a relationship is established not only because as marketers claim that it exists, since it is necessary that the consumer is aware of the bond nature.


According to McKenna (1997) [8]:


The positioning starts with the consumer. Consumers think about products and companies by comparing them with other products and companies. What really matters is how potential customers evaluate a company in relation to competitors. (P.45).


As remembered by Larentis (2009) [9], the relationships developed with end users, also called business-to-consumer or B to C, occur when the organizational provider interacts continuously and positively with final consumers. However, the possibility that consumers have to buy with intermediaries, increases the distance to the company, you need to use different practices to enable the retention of this customer as exclusive benefits, accumulation and exchange points for products, prizes and discounts on new purchases , among others.


For smaller companies, there may be closer to the final consumer, even if there are advanced tools or relationship management software, because in this case the entrepreneur can take advantage of the lower number of customers to strengthen relationships and know better their needs and desires. However, larger companies need a tool based on Information Technology that allows to understand the real needs of customers and what they think about the company.


In this type of tool, we give the name CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) or Customer Relationship Management. According Bretzke (. 2000, p 15) [10], the CRM can be "defined as a set of concepts, structures and tools - made up strategy, process, software and hardware."


According to Bretzke (2000) [11], the use of products generated by information technology, as well as change the way to run a company and its internal processes also changes the environment where it operates: the role of competition and the your lifestyle, in addition to customer needs and preferences.


The CRM provides the technology that enables an enrichment in the relationship with the customer, allowing the collection of information about contacts made by any means, in real time and online, and devices to perform the analyzes of customers more flexibly.


According to yet Bretzke (2000) [12]:


The infrastructure information needs to be deployed with the focus on maintaining flexibility, both in the collected data type, as the access methods to deliver information in the right place, in real time, in the right format, so that the customer is met in real time and the decision making process has gains in quality and time. (P. 29)


The goal of CRM is to give the company the most effective means and integrated to meet, to recognition and care for the customer, turning their data into information that is disseminated throughout the organization, enabling the customer is known, care and well attended by everyone in the organization and not only for salespeople and call center.


Although CRM is vitally important to collect customer information and maintaining lasting relationships, you can not confuse it with relationship marketing, because CRM is just a practice, very important of course, but it needs to be combined with other business relationship policies to effectively give results as scores Larentis (2009) [13]:


The mere acquisition of relationship management software with the customer (CRM) in the best guarantors relationship with the customer. It is necessary to philosophy and attitudes derived from the relationship marketing. However, with tools and IT equipment, relationship marketing and CRM occur more effectively. (86).




As we have seen, the objective relationship marketing to increase sales and profits and increased customer loyalty by developing a strong and lasting relationship. For this goal to be achieved, it is imperative that relationship marketing strategies are outlined to enable the organization to achieve the expected results.


Cravens (1997) [14] points out that the relationship strategies aim to achieve high customer satisfaction levels through trust, cooperation and commitment between the parties involved. Next, we will make a brief presentation regarding some of these strategies.


sales force to support


The Relationship Marketing, supporting the sales force can increase the productivity of the seller, making him all the activities of exploration and support, freeing up time for the seller is dedicated to negotiating work and closing the sale.


The specific functions of Relationship Marketing to support the sales force are, according to Miriam Bretzke: to prospect leads, separating those actually interesting the huge mass of apparent buyers; identify all the key people in the decision-making chain of purchasing the product or service to meet them with information to give sequence to the sales process; manage and support the entire sales job and through system monitoring capacity and objective control of the action of the seller, allowing a perfect measurement results.


Direct sales


Application of Relationship Marketing tools as a sales channel, part of the marketing channels for sales and distribution of products and services have been successful in Brazil.


The traditional marketing channel can typically have multiple intermediaries between the manufacturer and the end consumer, different from direct sales.


The main features of the Direct Selling Channel are: the immediacy, personalization and convenience.


Sales promotion


Through the database it is possible to segment the customer base using criteria such as FRVC (Frequency, Recency, Value and Product Category). And so, perform targeted promotions, according to the needs of the company (spawning stock, for example) and the potential customer conversion.


In addition, you can reward the best customers with special offers, different discounts, generating satisfaction, opportunity and convenience.


Loyalty Programs


The creation of loyalty programs is increasingly widespread now as a Relationship Marketing strategy for customer retention and loyalty. Larentis (2009) [15] summarizes the categories of bonds with customers:


According to Kotler and Keller (2006), within the process of attracting and retaining customers, the starting point are the potential customers (who may buy presumably). Then the company determines what are the prospects, which expects to reverse in any customers, then regular customers and soon preferred customers (clients treated exceptionally well). The next challenge, as indicated by the authors, is to transform these preferred customers in associated through membership programs (clubs and communities) that offer a range of benefits to those who take up the offer. From this, it is expected that members from becoming advocates, customers who enthusiastically recommend the company and its products and services. Finally, the biggest challenge is to turn defenders partners when the company continuously works together with the client to find ways to both achieve the best performance. (P. 94)


It is common to see these loyalty programs in banks, airlines and large supermarkets. Although programs vary according to the market segment involved, Larentis (2009) [16], based on Hoffman (2001) [17] suggests considering the following aspects: focus the company's marketing efforts to the existing customer base ; maintain the integrated approach; remind customers of sales; build trust; monitor the quality of products and the process of providing services; focus adequate facilities and training; be available when it is needed most customer and print extra effort beyond mere duty.




We can say that one of the pillars of Relationship Marketing is the ongoing evaluation of its results.


There are several important indicators that should be measured. For example, if the company's objectives are: reducing customer churn rate, winning new customers through word of mouth communication, increased sales volume and brand awareness the results of the evaluations should be made through observations, reports oral or written statistical questionnaires, among others. The assessment of the perceptions of these results should be compared with the standards established by the company and possible action errors and poorly formulated objectives should be fixed.


Kotler and Armstrong (1998, p.394) [18] punctuate that for any organization, "customer satisfaction is both a goal and a dominant factor in their success." Remember also that satisfied customers are less susceptible to price and customers stay longer, buy additional products as the company launches linked products or adds improvements and speak favorably of the company and products to others.





In a simple definition, we can describe competitive advantage as the advantage that a particular company has in relation to its competitors. Something that this company makes it difficult to be imitated. When a company has a resource or a set of rare resources among competitors has condiçde build a competitive advantage.


Today there is much talk in sustainable competitive advantage that is defined by Barney (quoted in Hoffman, 2000) [19]:


a company that is said has a sustainable competitive advantage when it is implementing a value creation strategy that is not being implemented simultaneously by any current or potential competitor and when these other companies are unable to reproduce the benefits of these strategy. (P. 102)


The process of building certain long-term relationships is difficult to play because the loyalty of resources, trust and reputation can not be purchased on the market. Therefore, as scored by Morgan and Hunt (quoted in Hoffman, 2000), [20] the relationships established with the purpose of acquiring organizational, relational or informational generally turn into sources of sustainable competitive advantage.


Marketing of relationship

Juliana Vanessa