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Relationship marketing: The strategy continuum

  • Special Issue On Relationship Marketing
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Few service firms will apply a pure transaction marketing strategy. Even highly standardized service operations include direct contacts with customers, and the customers do perceive the production and delivery process. Hence there are part-time marketers and functional quality effects, so we cannot talk about a pure transaction marketing situation. However, the more standardized the process is, the more dominating is the core service and the technical quality of the outcome of the production and delivery process and the less difficult it is to manage the personnel from a marketing point of view. Firms can position their strategic approach along the strategy continuum, and the more a relationship-type strategy is called for, the more has to be invested in interactive marketing, the functional quality impact, and internal marketing. In such a situation, it is at the same time more important to create information systems where the firm is managing its customer base directly and not relying on market share statistics and ad hoc customer surveys.

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Christian Grönroos, a former visiting professor at Arizona State University and a research fellow at the First Interstate Center for Services Marketing there, is currently a professor of marketing at the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration in Finland, where he also is head of the marketing department. He has published extensively within the areas of service management and marketing and relationship marketing. He has published seven books and numerous articles in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian.

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Grönroos, C. Relationship marketing: The strategy continuum. JAMS 23, 252–254 (1995).

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