The Evolution of Customer Relationship Management Gartner predicts that in , the revenue of the CRM market will experience a growth. This paper provides an overview of relationship marketing (RM) and how it evolves to customer relationship management (CRM). Since marketing continuum is. The importance of solid Customer Relationship Management software continues to grow year after year, and the market is expected to incur even more major.
No longer were businesses the only source of information about themselves - customers, competitors, and essentially anyone with a computer and Internet access was now competing with businesses for consumer attention.
At this point, businesses were forced to begin listening to and building better relationships with their customers. However, businesses were still able to maintain a fair amount of control over the information consumers received; many consumers were still not Internet-savvy, and so traditional marketing remained the dominant means of information dissemination - but not for long!
What incited the shift? With the advent of social media as well as the ever-increasing ubiquity of Internet connectivity, consumers began to talk to each other more than they ever had in the past.
Evolution of Relationship Marketing
Information sharing about their lives, preferences, likes, dislikes, and favourite businesses became a way of life. Naturally, customers began to trust each others' opinions and information much more than the perceived propaganda that businesses put forth.
In addition to this shift in customer trust, the communication methods between businesses and customers also rapidly shifted - customers now demanded open communication that flows both ways. Because customers can just as easily hijack a marketing campaign or communication method to disburse their own opinions or information about a company, businesses are now no longer in control of their discussions.
The Evolution of Customer Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing now means that businesses must engage with customers and offer meaningful, useful not to mention authentic! Instead, savvy marketers must understand that businesses no longer control the conversation surrounding their brand. Even while renting out a house, the owner prefers to let out to a known person or a person referred by a known party where there exists some kind of relationship.
Therefore we can say that relationship has always been the basis of business.
Evolution of Relationship Marketing
However the growth of Relationship Marketing as a discipline and practice got an impetus post industrial era. Until this period the products and services were always produced in smaller quality where things were in short supply and were marketed in the local area.
Industrialization led to mass production as well as standardization of the products and services.
The businesses started expanding their geographic boundaries and exploring new markets where in it became necessary for them to evolve new methods of marketing. They understood the importance of having to reach out and build a relationship with a customer and make efforts to retain the customer rather than keep spending on marketing to new customers every time.
At this stage we do see significant changes that happened at an Organizational level. Organizations realized the importance of having to put the Customer ahead of its business. Organizational philosophy seemed to have shifted from profits, products and markets to Customer first.
Right from product design to manufacturing as well as selling began to be designed around what the Customer wants, his needs, his comfort and satisfaction.
Customer focus and relationship became the Organizational focus and lead to many new trends in manufacturing methods the most significant being the concept of TQM or Total Quality Management. On the marketing front too, the managers had to come up with new channels for marketing and sales for they had to reach out to bigger markets and new customer segments.
As a result we saw the emergence of Direct Mailer or catalogue sales was born in the s.