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Online community: enhancing the relationship marketing concept through customer bonding

Isabelle Szmigin (The University of Birmingham, University House, Birmingham, UK)
Louise Canning (The University of Birmingham, University House, Birmingham, UK)
Alexander E. Reppel (The University of Birmingham, University House, Birmingham, UK)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

To revisit relationship marketing in the context of the digital economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops a conceptual framework (the customer bonding triangle) that enables greater understanding of the contributions of service delivery and online communities in the development of bonds in interactive relationships. The function of the three key elements of the framework (namely service value, technical infrastructure and interactivity) in enabling bonding via internet communities, is developed.

Findings

Suggests that firms rethink the role and nature of the consumer and that in order to facilitate bonding firms must make use of systems that are tightly integrated yet can also incorporate flexibility to help develop better understanding amongst participants.

Originality/value

Provides a framework to help understand key elements in interactive relationships.

Keywords

Citation

Szmigin, I., Canning, L. and Reppel, A.E. (2005), "Online community: enhancing the relationship marketing concept through customer bonding", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 480-496. https://doi.org/10.1108/09564230510625778

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited