What are the levels of relationship marketing?

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Relationship marketing is a focus on businesses to ensure customers establish long-term commitments with their brand, product, and services. Relationship marketing is a shift from transactional marketing where the business only focus is to make a one-time sale or to acquire new customers with no emphasis on how to retain them. However, it is important to note that relationship marketing starts with transactional marketing where the business makes its first sale. Thus, levels of relationship marketing can be described as follows:

Basic Marketing- the business works to achieve the first sale

Reactive Marketing- where after the first sale is made the customer is encouraged to provide feedback

Accountable Marketing- the business calls the customer to find out if the product or service met their needs

Proactive Marketing- the business works in collaboration with its customers to develop improved services and products

Partnership Marketing- the business provides tailored products and services to their large customers, creating long-lasting partnerships in the process.

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The point of relationship marketing is to create a bond successful long term relationship between the customer and the provider.  This is meant to create loyalty on the part of the customer so that customers will be more likely to continue to buy from that particular firm.  There are generally said to be three levels of relationship marketing.

At the first level, the customer has little relationship with the firm and is attracted through price incentives.  A firm might send out catalogs with discount offers for first time customers.  Once the customer begins a relationship with the firm by buying something, the firm starts to try to build that relationship.  In the second level, the firm starts to personalize its relations with the customer.  A grocery store might produce coupons at check out that are aimed at particular things that a given customer is likely to buy.  Finally, the third level involves making the firm have structural connections to the customer. For example, Safeway is currently trying to get customers to download its "app" for their smartphones.  A customer would then, for example, use the Safeway app to make their shopping list, thus making it much more likely that they would shop at Safeway than at some other store.

In these ways, relationships get built through three levels in which customers are tied more closely to firms.

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