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The strategic management of customer relationships is a critical activity for all enterprises. The means of effectively managing relationships with customers are typically addressed under the headings of relationship marketing and customer relationship management (CRM), to name but two terms used to describe the management of customer relationships. Resources applied to such relationship management initiatives are substantial and growing. For example, global expenditure just on CRM activity has been estimated to exceed US $100 billion when CRM-related implementation services are considered.
Since the early 1980s, relationship marketing has become the topic of great interest to both marketing scholars and marketing practitioners. In the increasingly mature and complex markets of the twenty-first century, organisations have learned that building relationships and sustaining them is usually more important than activities focusing on customer acquisition. Much of the recent interest in relationship marketing has evolved from the work undertaken in industrial marketing and services marketing in this period, although antecedents of relationship marketing can be traced back to ancient times. The importance of the topic of relationships in marketing is now undisputed.
Relationship marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) can be jointly utilised to provide a clear roadmap to excellence in customer management: this is the first textbook to demonstrate how it can be done. Written by two acclaimed experts in the field, it shows how an holistic approach to managing relationships with customers and other key stakeholders leads to increased shareholder value. Taking a practical, step-by-step approach, the authors explain the principles of relationship marketing, apply them to the development of a CRM strategy and discuss key implementation issues. Its up-to-date coverage includes the latest developments in digital marketing and the use of social media. Topical examples and case studies from around the world connect theory with global practice, making this an ideal text for both students and practitioners keen to keep abreast of changes in this fast-moving field.