This paper provides a general review of relationship marketing, its application to a business‐to‐business context and examines reasons for its failure.
Reporting on the literature and two separate research investigations undertaken by the authors, research suggests there are few companies that succeed in developing relationship‐marketing programs that produce significant benefits to both parties. Discussion of theoretical aspects on relationship marketing is followed by examination of evidence from research.
A series of potential failure points are identified and commented on in relation to the authors own research findings. This includes an analysis of how successful face‐to‐face interactions can be used to build relationships.
This article synthesizes and critically evaluates the role of relationship marketing in business and poses the key question on partnership development that many business managers are struggling with today: why bother? Throughout, the authors have made suggestions for relationship marketing managers on how relationship performance may be improved at strategic management and operational levels.
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