1.1. Changing Marketing
There are some issues I would like to address, one is what is modern marketing today, how marketing has changed. There is a lot of information on that and we are living that change right now, so it is very difficult to conceptualize. I talk about customer relationship strategies, I talk about what is the product that we actually are selling to the customers today: how to think what is the value of customer relationship and customer, how to carry out the dialogue with customers, and what is the strength of customer relationship. Let me start from this modern marketing and changes in marketing.
1.2. Modern marketing
Actually, when we are talking about marketing, we are talking about science that is very much dependent on the changes in society, it is not like natural sciences, it is part of our business.
And marketing today is rather different than marketing was in let us say in 1930s or 1940s. To illustrate this change I would like to take a couple of development steps from marketing.
Actually when we talk about marketing, we have to start a little bit earlier than 1940s, 1950s, because actually marketing started, and the marketing idea was developed at times there were more goods than there was natural demand for goods. There was a need to market them: to find new customers for our products. So marketing has started from the point-of-view that we would like to find new customers for our goods.
There was in the 1940s and 1950s a time for mass marketing of goods. 1960s there was a development of what we can call a mass marketing of brands, very famous brands emerged in that time; Coca-Cola, it was earlier, but it really took up at that time, Campbell soup and so on. Both are very famous brands today, they started to become corporate brands in 1960s - 1970s and still going strong. In 1980s, 1990s we started to talk about service marketing and management. And designing new service brands. It was a fast emerging of brands and especially service brands.
In 1990s was developed what we call today relationship marketing. And now at the end of 1990s we are further developing the point how to develop the relationship with the customers, and why is that. There are good reasons for that.
This trend that is depicted in this picture gives partial answer at least. It is a study where our customers representatives were to write down what are the important issues for business today Then they were asked to give them then points from one, not interesting at all, to three, very interesting. And if you take a look, the most interesting topics for these people, the managers of companies, were all related somehow to customers and to customer relationship; commitment, productivity, profitability, their relation, how customers think about that, capitalizing customer relationship and customer satisfaction and so on.
1.3. The importance of CRM
I would like to say that customer relationships thinking (CRM) is very important:
- it is more and more difficult to get new customers,
- you need to work with your existing customers and make more money, more profit with existing customers
- New customers are not profitable at first, it takes a long time to create profitable customers and profitable customers are the basis of our business.
Those are at least some of the reasons why we need to think about customer relationship management, how to manage our relationships.
We can start by saying that since we have a firm or a company, we have a customer and we have a relationship. Basically this is all that we do. We try to think on the terms how to improve this customer relationship from both point-of-views;
Now that is possible by creating customer relationships from both point-of-views. And to achieve this, we design Customer Relationships as strategies.
- from the customer´s point-of-view, to end up on the value creation for a customer
- from our point-of-view, make more money (and add value to our company), and