Marketing as a function is no longer what it used to be a decade ago. Marketing Managers have had to learn new ways and methods to build strategies and reach out to the customers. Customers are not passive but are well informed, knowledgeable and are in a position to demand what they need. The customer profiles and characteristics have changed over the recent times. Technology has redefined the method of communication and supply chain to reach across to the customer. The marketing success today lies in building the Customer Chemistry. Getting to know the Customer, building relationship with the Customer and Managing Customer Relationships has become an important part of the Marketing function. Marketing strategies with respect to Relationship Management are not built in isolation but involve corporate philosophy and management vision too.
In the fast paced and competitive market, Organisations need to have their ears and eyes open to the Customers. Only those businesses that have invested in getting to know the customer on continual basis, built an on-going relationship, understood the needs and anticipated the customer needs have been successful in the long run.
When an Organisation develops a focus in managing its relationship with the Customer and listens to the Customer that Organisation is able to be in business tomorrow. A successful marketing manager or a business manager never stops listening to the Customer.
When a Marketing Strategy is drawn up with Customer Relationship Management strategy as the key focus, it is important to be able to identify and quantify or measure the outcome. The expectation out of Customer Relationship Management can be measured and the benefits to the Organisation can be easily identified. Such an exercise helps the Marketing Managers to draw up their budgets and implement strategies effectively.
Sales and Marketing professionals who understand the value of their Customers tend to spend more time at Customer site rather than in office. By getting to know the customer closely, one gets to become a part of the Customerâ€™s team and indirectly influence the buying decision at the Customerâ€™s end. In a B to B situation, A strong relationship with the Customer can yield quantifiable results in terms of customer loyalty, increased revenue, savings on marketing costs, improved margins as well as opportunities for developing and offering customised and new product or service to the customer to meet his new requirements. When one is able to pre-empt such requirement and provide solution, it is easier to kill competition or keep them at bay.
Organizations that have understood the value of investing into Customer Relationship have been able to evolve strategies to increase the Customerâ€™s dependence on the products and services by customising and investing into building specific solutions that meet the needs of the customer. Such situation calls for engagement and leadership from the Management as well as technical and marketing functions as a team in engaging with the customer. The result can be a new business or product line paving way for new markets. Investing into the Customer relationship in such situation calls for investing the best brains and intelligence in terms of product or solution development. For a customer to engage with a supplier in building solutions, it takes a strong relationship built over a long period and proven capability as well as management participation. In the end the investment pays off in terms of long term business growth as well as new product and solutions.