Looks at the dominance of relationship marketing (RM) in the current marketing debate and challenges some of the notions which appear to have grown up around the concept. In particular looks at a number of aspects of RM, which, despite the rhetoric, remain largely unsubstantiated. Examines the various claims of RM as a “new marketing paradigm”, whether it represents a united and cohesive force and if this is perceived as such by both academics and practitioners. Looks at the economic arguments underlying RM and whether they stand up to rigorous scrutiny and at consumers’ responses to relational strategies. Finally, questions the “satisfaction/loyalty/profit” hypothesis frequently suggested as the underlying model for RM.
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