Strategic Marketing: Relationship Marketing As a Promotional Tool
Strategic Marketing is something that every business entity should set as a top priority. This is because with the market receiving sufficient information regarding the products or services of an organization, good performance comes easily. It is always important to give the consumers the necessary information regarding the available services or goods in the business entity’s collection. It is paramount for the management of business entities to understand the firms properly for the purpose of marketing ((Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders & Wong, 1999). This is necessary since it enables the management to make the best decision regarding the form of marketing to apply at a given point in time. It is worth noting that there are several forms of marketing promotional tools available for the people in business to choose from. Each of the marketing promotional tools has specific advantages and disadvantages of their use. Relationship marketing is one of the commonly used forms of strategic marketing promotional tools.
The idea behind relationship marketing as a strategic marketing tool
Relationship marketing is a form of marketing which is more focused on the relationship between an organization and the customers. It is a form of marketing which aims at developing a long-lasting bond between a firm and the consumers of its goods or services. Relationship marketing is based on the need to retain the customers of an organization. According to Buchanan and Gilles (1990), retention of customers is the best thing that an organization can do. This is because the few customers who are already loyal to an organization are more important than the many in the market. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to ensure that the customers are well retained and taken care of.
Relationship marketing achieves the objective of retaining and developing a strong bond through ensuring that the customers are satisfied and served appropriately (Buchanan & Gilles, 1990). This makes the customers feel appreciated and wanted by the organization applying relationship marketing. So as to show satisfaction, the customers ensure that they become more loyal to the organization. To achieve its objectives, relationship marketing uses the power n communication. Organization should therefore ensure that there is direct communication with the customers. This is usually done through sharing of the necessary information between the two parties. This form of marketing is made better by the fact that the customers feel in debt with the organization. The customers usually feel that they should do business with the organization which uses relationship marketing.
The use of relationship marketing as a promotional tool for fast moving consumer goods
Relationship marketing can be applied in the promotion of different product categories. To show the application of relationship marketing, the fast moving consumer goods category, specifically on home detergents will be very useful. This is because this category of goods covers a wide range of customer base in the market. Additionally, consumers associated with this category of products are usually sensitive to the various issues surrounding service delivery by the various business entities. The fact that there is usually a very stiff competition in this area makes it better for bringing out the impact of relationship marketing.
To ensure that relationship marketing makes impact, there are various measures that the marketers in the fast moving consumer goods industry should take. The measures are very useful in ensuring that long-term and profitable relationships with customers are developed. These include the use of technology, valuing customers equally, ensuring promises and commitments are met, paying attention to customers’ opinions and motivating some customers.
The use of technology
It is worth noting that technology would very useful in strategic marketing for the purpose of fostering success of the relationship marketing. Technology would be able to create a high level of improvement in the efficiency associated with relationship marketing. This would be through creation of various technological platforms which will be able to make the interaction of business entities and customers healthy. With technology, several applications will be brought up which would be able to give the customers an opportunity to interface efficiently with the business entities. This would be very useful in ensuring that the needs of the customers are known with precision. This would be very useful in coming up with the best product prescription for each of the consumers in the market. With precise prescription, satisfaction of the customers would take place something which improves the loyalty level. This would be very useful in growing the required bond that would be useful in driving the relationship of the parties involved. Additionally, with the use of the appropriate technological software, the marketers will be able to gather as much information as possible about the customers. With the application of the commonly used software such as the customer relationship software, useful information regarding the customers will be well known. This will be able to define the customers’ likes, dislikes and preferences among others. With proper analysis of the collected information, proper service will be offered to each customer. This will be very useful in ensuring that some needs of the customers are not left out of the satisfaction plan. The technological applications will be able to assist the marketers and business entities in defining the most appropriate collections of goods for the customers. The technological advancements in the markets are able to define the best product combinations for each of the customer through the use of the gathered information.
It is worth noting that technology is one of the most dynamic things in life. This is a very good opportunities for business entities’ marketers to seize so as to improve on their efficiency. This is because every day, a better technological discovery is made which can really change the way things are done.
Valuing customers equally
Customers are known to be the backbone of every business entity whether big or small. Therefore, it is important to put more emphasis on the value of each of the customers of the business. The marketers should be able to put equal effort while interacting with the customers. The amount of business each customer brings to the business entity should not be a factor to consider when handling the marketing. This is because even the small time customers are very powerful as per the provisions of relationship marketing. This means that the marketers should be able to give equal weight to the customers of the business. This will be able to give the marketers a equitable face while being analyzed by the customers in the market. The marketers should be able to give equal rating to the customers. This will be able to harvest any useful information of each and every single customer. This will be able to give the business the advantage of interacting with many people of various opinions. Additionally, equal valuation of all customers will be able to give each person a feeling of appreciation. Some customers will not be left feeling discriminated upon, something which will be able to increase the level of loyalty by customers. This will be able to develop and strengthen the bond between the customers and a business entity.
Ensuring promises and commitments are met
In the process of marketing, marketers often make several promises regarding the products and services to be offered by a business entity (Christopher, Payne & Ballantyne, 1991). This is usually backed by the commitments a given business makes to its customers. Therefore, it is important for the marketers to ensure that the promises which have been made to the customers are fulfilled at all times. This will be able to create a sense of confidence in the goods of a business entity. Additionally, the customers will be able to trust the marketers together with the business entity since the promises made have come to pass. This will be able to give the customers a reason to continue making transactions with the business entity. In the process, the relationship between them and the business entity will get stronger and last for long. This will be able to give the business good returns and growth. Additionally, with promises fulfilled, the customers will be willing to pay attention to the next set of promises and commitments regarding the goods from the business entity. This will be able to keep the customers within the environment of the business entity. With the will to learn more about the business, a good relationship and bond will be created. This will be able to strengthen it and make it a long-lasting one. Moreover, the customers who witness the fulfilled promises will be able to spread the word and attract new customers. In the process, new bonds will be created and if well nurtured through subsequent fulfillment of promises, they would be able to last for long to the benefit of the business entities.
Paying attention to customers’ opinions
Marketers should not go about their activities with disregard to the customers. This is because they would be making a big mistake. According to Pangarkar (2011), most high performing companies listen to their customers properly. This is because the customers are known to have very useful information regarding how things should be done for maximum satisfaction. Since the consumers of goods of a given business entity are the reason for existence, it is important to listen to them and put their opinions into consideration. This will be able to give the management a good opportunity to make decisions which fulfill the wishes of most customers. The marketers should be able to ask the customers to submit their opinions honestly regarding the goods offered. This will be forwarded for decision making about the goods been brought about by the business entity. This will be very useful in reducing the level of complains from the customers and the market as a whole. In the process, the customers will feel considered and pas part of the business entity. This will bring about a situation whereby the customers will be waiting to see how their ideas have been incorporated in the goods delivered by the business entities. Whenever they see their ideas well incorporated, the customers will feel appreciated and thus a high level of satisfaction would be created. This will be able to make them become more loyal to the company thus making the relationship stronger and long-lasting.
Motivating some customers
Generally, motivation is a very useful tool of improving performance in many areas in life. This would be very useful in the process of making relationship marketing a success. It would be very important for marketers to identify specific customers and reward them. The identification of the specific customers would be through looking at their loyalty or contribution via opinions. The rewards may be given in form of shopping vouchers or the issuance of travel tickets to the identified customers. Additionally, travel to various destinations around the world may be paid for the specific customers being rewarded. This will be able to make the customers feel identified for their continued support to the business entities. For those rewarded for their continued loyalty, they will feel the need to improve their loyalty to the business entity. Similarly, those rewarded for giving honest opinions to the business entity will be able to improve the level of giving honest opinions. All these will be able to give the business entities a high level of benefit. The marketers will also be able to give the management feedback from the customers which can be relied upon in decision making.
In implementing strategic marketing, the application of the appropriate promotional tools is very important in the business world. It is therefore important for all marketers to come up with the best marketing promotional plans possible to ensure that the market gets to know about the goods and services of a given business entity. Proper choice of the most appropriate promotional tool is very important. This is because the choice of the marketing promotional tool helps in fostering success of the business entity. There should be proper matching of the products being marketed with the promotional tool chosen. For example, the choice of relationship marketing in marketing fast moving consumer goods is very wise. Marketers should be able to select the best measures that would be able to develop and make the relationship between the customers with the business entities long-lasting (Wheelen & Hunger, 2010). All the marketing strategies in relationship marketing should be based on the customers being targeted. This will be able to give a high level of satisfaction, which will create a strong and long-lasting bond between the customers and the business entity.
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Christopher, M., Payne, A.T. & Ballantyne, D. (1991). “Relationship Marketing: Bringing Quality, Customer Service and Marketing Together”, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Kotler, P., Armstrong, G., Saunders, J. & Wong, V. (1999). “Principles of Marketing” 2nd ed. Prentice Hall.
Pangarkar, N. (2011). High Performance Companies: Successful Strategies from the World’s Top Achievers, John Wiley & Sons.
Wheelen, T.L. & Hunger, J.D. (2010). Concepts in Strategic management and business policy. 12th Ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.