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What Is Relationship Marketing?

November 13, 2008

Relationship marketing is a total strategy that involves all the marketing mix variables to create and keep loyal customers. Remember back to Marketing 101 and keep in mind the 4 P’s of the marketing mix, which are the “elements” of a marketing strategy that a firm has at its disposal to utilize to reach the target customer (see Figure). Product, place, price, and promotion: these are all key factors even today in the 21st century. Basically, it is all about strategy. You have to have a clear strategy first and make this well-defined in your mission. You will find many of marketers starting their analysis with a discussion of mission. That is because it always must come back to strategy. Without a clear, well-defined strategic direction that is translated to everyone (all stakeholders) and filtered down throughout every part of the organization, you have nothing. You will be operating blindly and be forced into a reactive mode instead of a proactive mode that can take you where you truly want to go

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Within your strategy you must figure out what your unique selling and value proposition is. What do you have to offer the consumer? How are you different? How will you stand out in the marketplace? Why is the consumer buying your product? To determine this, you will need to go back and revisit every element of the marketing mix and decide which direction to take, keeping in mind that whatever path you choose, you must be consistent and have all your elements integrated together to send one, clear, dependable message. The importance of this consistency of strategy cannot be understated.

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