Marketing management focuses on the application of a firm's marketing strategies and techniques to its resources and goods. Over the years, marketing has evolved from being sales centered to being more customer satisfaction oriented, a phenomenon brought about by the globalization of businesses. The new concept of marketing management is that customers vary in their tastes, needs and buying behavior and price sensitivity. Marketers now focus their efforts on maintaining a strong, loyal customer base rather than the acquisition of these customers and individual sales.
Relationship marketing is the new strategy that many firms have resorted to. It focuses on customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement ( Kotler & Keller, 2011). Companies such as Mercedes-Benz employ a multichannel marketing approach they refer to as "Mercedes Benz 3600 marketing strategy". The strategy strongly relies on its social media platforms to engage customers. This approach ensures the entire customer experience from research to purchase and fosters customer loyalty. Relationship marketing is based on the tenant of customer experience management which focuses on improving customer interactions a strategy Mercedes-Benz have flawlessly implemented in their social media through behind the scenes video footages that show the manufacture of the luxury vehicles to its fan base.
The odds of firm retaining its customer base while still using the old marketing approaches are slim compared to other firms who apply a more customer satisfaction and retention approach. Firms that are using the latter approach build customer loyalty by ensuring customer satisfaction. Digitalizing your firm's marketing could help achieve this objective as Mercedes-Benz has done. Many customers are tech and social savvy, and it's not uncommon to find many companies using Facebook and Twitter to advertise their products. The Mercedes-Benz Facebook page has a large following, and it usually engages its fans by answering comments and getting feedback on their products. They share videos, images, news and links to their blog; Mercedes Reporter (Lamb, 2010.) The videos show fans the behind the scenes footage from their commercials and other events such as the making of a new model.
The Mercedes-Benz marketing concept initially focused on the luxury, safety and precision engineering of their cars now its more consumers based presenting their luxury cars as fun, energetic and approachable. The previous approach was more appealing to a certain consumer, but the latter approach attracts the younger, tech-savvy consumer who may have shied away from the product previously. Relationship marketing enables firms to retain a large number of loyal customers by showing a sense of concern to them.
The basis of relationship marketing is to maintain a large number of loyal consumers. Loyalty is ensured when consumers feel satisfied and satisfaction influences trust (Rizan, Warokka &Listyawati, 2014). This will ensure that the sales margin increases and the consumers grow in number. Mercedes sales strategy utilizes social media platforms and mobile apps to achieve this objective. The consumers get to interact with the luxury car manufacturers and give feedback on news instilling a customer emotional engagement and improving sales. This goes a long way in fostering long-term customer loyalty and relationship.
Marketing management employs the concept of relationship marketing in ensuring that the firm has a large number of loyal consumers through the number of advertising outlets that they employ be it digital or print media.
Rizak, M. Warroka, A. Listyawati, D. (2014). Relationship marketing and customer loyalty: Do customer satisfaction and customer trust really serve as intervening variables? Journal of Marketing Research and Case Studies, vol. 2014 (2014), DOI: 10.5171/2014.724178
Kotler, P., Keller, K.( 2011). Marketing Management (14th ed). Pearson Prentice Hall.
Lamb, R. (2010). Mercedes Benz 360 degree marketing strategy increases sales 14pc. Retrieved from http://www.luxurydaily.com.
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