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From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Marketing

Christian Grönroos (Professor of Marketing at the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration in Helsinki, Finland.)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 March 1994



Discusses the nature and sometimes negative consequences of the dominating marketing paradigm of today, marketing mix management, and furthermore discusses how modern research into, for example, industrial marketing and services marketing as well as customer relationship economics shows that another approach to marketing is required. This development is supported by evolving trends in business, such as strategic partnerships, alliances and networks. Suggests relationship marketing, based on relationship building and management, as one emerging new marketing paradigm of the future. Concludes that the simplicity of the marketing mix paradigm, with its Four P model, has become a straitjacket, fostering toolbox thinking rather than an awareness that marketing is a multi‐faceted social process, and notes that marketing theory and customers are the victims of today′s mainstream marketing thinking. By using the notion of a marketing strategy continuum, discusses a number of consequences of a relationship‐type marketing strategy for the focus of marketing, pricing, quality management, internal marketing and intraorganizational development. Briefly comments on the possibility of developing a general marketing theory based on the relationship building and management approach.



Grönroos, C. (1994), "From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Marketing", Management Decision, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 4-20.




Copyright © 1994, MCB UP Limited

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