In business, marketing refers to the process of linking buyers with sellers. It is a medium through which sellers inform their buyers about the available products. There are mainly two types of marketing namely traditional and relationship marketing. The choice of marketing for an organization depends on various factors such as the size of the business, the financial ability of the organization, and the type of business done by the organization.
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Traditional marketing is arguably the most recognized type of marketing both in the present and in the past. It is usually done through advertisement in the print media, radios, televisions, and telephones (Sinha & Foscht, 2007). One major aspect of traditional marketing is the use of the marketing mix which comprises the four Ps (pricing, product, promotion, and placement) (Gummesson, 2012).
Organizations which use this form of marketing usually have various departments dealing with the various components of the marketing mix. In essence, each department plays a particular role in the production and marketing of a product, with the product passing from one department to another.
Relationship marketing on the other hand is a form of marketing in which buyers and sellers are interested in realizing a satisfactory relationship based on their interests and mutual understanding. With relationship marketing, sellers customize marketing strategies to individual customers as opposed to traditional marketing which targets everyone (Buttle, 1996).
Relationship marketing is based on the cross-functional approach to marketing as opposed to the functional approach in traditional marketing. The cross-functional approach in relationship marketing enables individual organizational departments to work on a particular product entirely as opposed to traditional marketing where product development and marketing is undertaken by various departments collectively as explained above.
Relationship marketing mainly relies on customer’s information and shopping history to develop a marketing approach based on verifiable facts. It is a contemporary approach to marketing which relies on advancement in technology to take marketing to the next level.
It entails telephone and email conversations between sellers and their customers, where sellers are able to deliver certain information to their customers about some products which may be of interest to them. Sellers may also take the opportunity to explain to their customers about new products and how those products are different from the existing ones and what the customers may gain by using the new products.
The reverse is true with traditional marketing which focuses on informing customers about new products without explanations of the uniqueness of the new products. However, traditional and relationship marketing have one thing in common, that is; they follow clear guidelines which are based on information.
Even though the two types of marketing are different, it is possible for an organization to use both and create a win-win relationship with customers.
To create a win-win relationship with customers, an organization may attract new customers through traditional marketing and use relationship marketing to customize the purchasing needs of each customer and by so doing; it is able to retain the customers through continuous improvement of their relationship based on mutual understanding and close relationship.
There are some situations where relationship marketing may not be advisable. For example, it is not advisable for an organization to use relationship marketing without establishing the relationship with its customers. It is also unethical for an organization to call potential customers or send them emails without a meaningful interaction with them.
Such an action may not only sound weird but also suspicious because the customers may wonder how the organization obtained their contacts. Relationship marketing is therefore only suitable when an organization has an established relationship with its customers.
Buttle, F.(1996). Relationship marketing: theory and practice. London: Chapman.
Gummesson, E. (2012). Total relationship marketing. New York, NY: Routledge.
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Sinha, I., & Foscht, T. (2007). Reverse psychology marketing: the death of traditional marketing and the rise of the new “pull” game. New York: MacMillan.