Buyer Behaviour and relatioship marketing

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Buyer Behaviour and relatioship marketing

Category: Advertising

Subcategory: Banking

Level: Masters

Pages: 44

Words: 12100

by (Name)
AbstractThe application of consumer relationship marketing programs has become a contemporary phenomenon that most modern organizations acknowledge and incorporate into their organization culture. Still, most of the recent developments on the subject of business marketing indicate that successful strategies exploit the information concerning buyer behavior. Assertively, this research is an analysis of the relationship between applying extensive consumer relationship management programs and customer’s satisfaction. Secondly, the Saudi Arabian Pharmaceutical Industry is crucial to the examination as the discoveries apply in the formulation of business concepts for utilization by distribution companies participating in the subject area of focus. The analysis utilizes a qualitative methodology approach in ascertaining the positive correlations between the application of consumer relationship management programs and customer satisfaction. The findings of the study highlight CRM programs as integral elements for the development of relationships between consumers and organizations for better understanding and realization of increased loyalty and satisfaction.
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Abstract PAGEREF _Toc515275347 h 2CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc515275348 h 5Introduction PAGEREF _Toc515275349 h 5Background of the Research PAGEREF _Toc515275350 h 6Research Problem PAGEREF _Toc515275351 h 8Purpose of the Study PAGEREF _Toc515275352 h 9Research Aims and Objectives PAGEREF _Toc515275353 h 9Research Questions PAGEREF _Toc515275354 h 10Primary Research Questions PAGEREF _Toc515275355 h 10Secondary Research Questions PAGEREF _Toc515275356 h 10Methodology Overview PAGEREF _Toc515275357 h 11Justification of the Research and its Significance PAGEREF _Toc515275358 h 11Outline of this Research PAGEREF _Toc515275359 h 12CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW PAGEREF _Toc515275360 h 14Introduction PAGEREF _Toc515275361 h 14Relationship Marketing PAGEREF _Toc515275362 h 14Core Competencies of Relationship Marketing PAGEREF _Toc515275363 h 15Relationship Marketing and Consumer Satisfaction PAGEREF _Toc515275364 h 20Saudi Arabia’s Pharmaceutical Industry PAGEREF _Toc515275365 h 23Summary PAGEREF _Toc515275366 h 27CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc515275367 h 29Introduction PAGEREF _Toc515275368 h 29Research Design PAGEREF _Toc515275369 h 29Research Approach PAGEREF _Toc515275370 h 31Selection Criteria for Secondary Sources PAGEREF _Toc515275371 h 32Data Collection Methods PAGEREF _Toc515275372 h 32Data Analysis PAGEREF _Toc515275373 h 33Ethical Considerations PAGEREF _Toc515275374 h 34CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS PAGEREF _Toc515275375 h 35Introduction PAGEREF _Toc515275376 h 35Thematic Analysis PAGEREF _Toc515275377 h 36Relationship Marketing as a Concept PAGEREF _Toc515275378 h 37The Correlation between the Application of Comprehensive Consumer Relationship Management Programs and Consumer Satisfaction PAGEREF _Toc515275379 h 40Role of Organizations in Relationship Marketing and Consumer Behavior PAGEREF _Toc515275380 h 44Implementation of CRM in Saudi Arabian Pharmaceutical Distribution Companies for Increased Consumer Satisfaction PAGEREF _Toc515275381 h 46Service Quality PAGEREF _Toc515275382 h 48Brand Image PAGEREF _Toc515275383 h 49Value Offers PAGEREF _Toc515275384 h 50Communication PAGEREF _Toc515275385 h 50Summary PAGEREF _Toc515275386 h 51CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS PAGEREF _Toc515275387 h 52References PAGEREF _Toc515275388 h 54
List of Figures
TOC h z c “Figure” Figure 1: Development of Healthcare Spending (Pharmaceuticals) in Saudi Arabia. PAGEREF _Toc515275096 h 25Figure 2: The Nature of the Association between Consumer Trust and Satisfaction PAGEREF _Toc515275097 h 42Figure 3: Summary of Service Quality PAGEREF _Toc515275098 h 48Figure 4: Summary of Brand Image PAGEREF _Toc515275099 h 49Figure 5: Summary of Communication PAGEREF _Toc515275100 h 50
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTIONIntroductionIn the contemporary corporate world, successful management and participation of an organization allude to multiple factors. More so, consumers have become an integral part of corporate success with most businesses searching for ways to maintain subtle and concrete relationships with potential buyers of their products (Sheth, 2017, pp.1). Notably, the comprehension of consumers’ purchase behavior has become a common subject of discussion and concern at all levels of business operations (Weckman, 2009, pp.32). Therefore, most organizations have a responsibility of acquiring extensive knowledge on consumers and the conduct behind their purchases as the foundation for comprehensively understanding what buyer behavior entails and relative elements such as relationship marketing.
Castro (2006, pp.63) agrees that the core aspect of successful marketing is consumer behavior and that a deficiency of knowledge on the subject for any organization could be critical. Any marketing approach utilized that disregards buyer behavior is bound to experience increased complexities since the best techniques for reaching and connecting with consumers should be based on understanding them. More so, most of the organizations with substantial buyer behavior knowledge today utilize it in influencing their consumers’ purchasing decision (Gilpin, 1995, pp.4). Therefore, the correlation between buyer behavior and relationship marketing prevails as significant given its potential influence on an imperative aspect of business today. On the other hand, there exists increased evidence on the subject but most organizations are yet to completely grasp the significance of considering and exploiting consumer buying behavior.
Resolutely, in an effort to contribute on the subject, this research is an analysis of the relationship between applying extensive consumer relationship management programs and customer’s satisfaction. Moreover, the Saudi Arabian Pharmaceutical Industry will be crucial to the examination as the discoveries will apply in the formulation of business concepts for utilization by distribution companies participating in the subject area of focus. The primary goal of the assessment is to contribute to the comprehension of the effectiveness of marketing initiatives classified under the realm of relationship marketing; a business concept introduced a while ago in an attempt to define specific processes and operations that aimed at transforming the customary ways of managing marketing in organizations.
Background of the ResearchToday, relationship management prevails as a business implement utilized in the collection and management of information and associations an organization has with consumers, sales managers, suppliers, or other companies. Castro (2006, pp.1) notes that the introduction of relationship marketing was based on efforts to counter the disproportionately transactional method utilized by businesses when dealing with consumers and relative stakeholders. Customarily, the transactional approach was mainly an elusive focus on the period when a consumer and entrepreneur interact with each other for instant and short-lasting exchange operations. As a marketing approach, the efforts mostly focused on the sale of products and overlooked the events leading to and following the transaction. More so, it would treat each purchasing situation as if it would be the first and final while simultaneously ignoring the idiosyncrasies of the subsequent processes of buying. Ballantyne et al. (2003, pp.164) also note that through this customary approach, businesses did not indicate any efforts to maintain the current consumers making that perspective of marketing unnecessarily obstructive and theoretically profligate.
Decades after the transactional marketing approach was subject to increased concerns and criticism, consumer relationship management (CRM) has become a modern-day phenomenon with most organizations using CRM initiatives as components of their collective marketing strategies (Das, 2009, pp.327). Currently, organizations from different parts of the world advocate for the principles and philosophies of relationship marketing as areas of interest and in an attempt to retain and safeguard their consumer base from rivals and all forms of competitive bouts. Consequently, based on the universal outlook, the last decade has countersigned the propensity among marketing executives for a consistent search for monetary benefits and attempts to evolve from consumer acquisition to consumer retention (Castro, 2006, pp.2). In fact, most of the marketing departments in organizations operate under the belief that it is more economical and effective to sell products to existing consumers as compared to acquiring new ones to make the purchases.
The rapidly developing interest on safeguarding current consumer base has translated into efforts to strengthen and enhance the association of organizations or businesses with their consumers as the best way for formulating hindrances for rivals who might attempt to seduce them (Jemaa & Tournois, 2014, pp.4). Assertively, these principles justify the description of relationship marketing utilized based on the progressively putative inclination of a contemporary marketing belief. Organizations participating in the vastly and rapidly developing consumer product markets have become increasingly fascinated by relationship marketing. The move emanated from the discovery that the lower percentage of the consumers accounted for half of their sales. As a result, the organizations began experiments with initiatives aimed at inducing the loyalty of consumers (Sheth, 2017, pp.4). The objectives of these organizations are to alter the buying behavior of customers, make them purchase products more frequently, increase their rate of acquisition, and purchase more at each occasion while simultaneously decreasing cases of switching brands. As a result, the programs utilized in the experiments enthused the collection of data on individual consumers leading to the formulation of large databases with marketing information.
Research ProblemOrganizations allocate huge sums of their financial resources to CRM programs and it is essential for managerial bodies to justify the utilization of these assets. Therefore, it is significant to understand whether consumer relationship marketing programs are necessary and effective (Das, 2009, pp.326). More so, some organizations are skeptical on the kind of return on investment they should expect from extensive consumer relationship management programs. On the other hand, as one of the core components of relationship marketing programs utilized by organizations, consumer behavior has become an important element that applies in gauging the knowledge and information businesses have concerning their customer base (Asamoah, 2012, pp.21).
Most of the relationship marketing and management programs depend on specific presumptions on the types of responses to expect from consumers when exposed to different types of stimulus (Castro, 2006, pp.85). Typically, the basis of these programs is a hypothetical model of consumer behavior. Still, the managers focus on specific approaches and techniques based on their beliefs that they can attract apposite responses from customers. Today, some relationship marketing programs have become popular applications to a point that their positive influence is not appreciated enough (Ballantyne et al., 2003, pp.163; Sheth, 2017, pp.1). Consequently, in an attempt to analyze if and how relationship marketing programs work, this research concurrently assesses the correlation between relationship marketing programs and consumer satisfaction in an attempt to establish how the first positively influences the latter.
Purpose of the StudyThe main purpose of this research is analyzing how the application of extensive consumer relationship management programs impacts customer satisfaction in organizations. Therefore, the efforts to attain the defined purpose entail a comprehensive examination of the available secondary data on the subject, which includes a keen consideration of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that primarily play crucial parts in the execution of relationship marketing programs. Still, an empirical assessment applies in drawing on any current and published material on the subject of focus.
Research Aims and ObjectivesThe aims and objectives of the research are:
To determine the correlation between the application of comprehensive consumer relationship management programs and consumer satisfaction
To determine how understanding buyer behavior helps organizations to develop long-term relationships with customers
To identify different aspects of consumer behavior that are crucial for organizations’ realization of consumer satisfaction
To determine the different ways that relationship marketing programs positively influence the attitudes of consumers
To identify factors that are mainly significant in understanding buyer behavior
To establish different ways that pharmaceutical distribution companies in Saudi Arabia can utilize relationship marketing programs to realize increased consumer satisfaction
Research QuestionsGiven the context of the methodology utilized for the study, the research questions include classifications of primary and secondary aspects of assessment. Additionally, the qualitative approach used in the collection and examination of data for precise and practical outcomes is an influential factor in the classification. Consequently, the primary and secondary research questions are:
Primary Research QuestionsWhat is the correlation between the application of comprehensive consumer relationship management programs and consumer satisfaction?
Secondary Research QuestionsHow does understanding buyer behavior help organizations to develop long-term relationships with customers?
What are the different aspects of consumer behavior that are crucial for the realization of consumer satisfaction?
What are the various ways that relationship marketing programs positively influence the associations between organizations and consumers?
Which factors are mainly significant for organizations when understanding buyer behavior?
In what ways can pharmaceutical distribution companies in Saudi Arabia can utilize relationship marketing programs to realize increased consumer satisfaction?
Methodology OverviewThe nature of the methodology used for this study is qualitative. The context of the qualitative methodology used for the analysis focuses mainly on the utilization of secondary information since the primary objective is focusing on the stated study questions while simultaneously avoiding the implementation of primary data collection technique due to the complex nature of the approach (Creswell, 2009, pp.207; Creswell, 2007, pp.37). Secondly, the resolution to utilize qualitative study approach alluded to the methodology’s extensive attention to the applied manipulation of study objectives and queries when addressing the correlation between applying extensive consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction. Resolutely, the primary outline of the analysis, namely, deductive research approach, applies in the identification of significant rudiments and variables that are crucial in the formulation of practical discoveries in regards to the subject issue (Creswell, 2009, pp.207)
Justification of the Research and its SignificanceThe justification of conducting this analysis emanates from the fact that relationship marketing programs have become rapidly popular in industries that deal with consumer goods and many organizations invest increased resources on them at domestic and international levels (Sheth, 2017, pp.2). However, despite the positive reception and increased utilization of these programs, there is a remarkable deficiency of empirical research on the relationship between the application of extensive consumer relationship programs and customer satisfaction. More so, the scarcity spreads to other relative areas such as the effectiveness and efficiency of these marketing programs. In fact, despite the augmented prevalence of relationship marketing programs in organizations, most of the management teams and corporate bodies are skeptical on whether the marketing approaches have any positive influence. On the other hand, the larger number of the current empirical research publications, mainly on research marketing programs and buyer behavior have substandard and mixed results that do not include recent updates and developments in these areas (Asamoah, 2012, pp.65). According to some publications, the effectiveness and efficiency of relationship marketing programs are not a guarantee. In fact, some of them go further by advising management bodies in an organization to suspend any efforts aimed at launching the relationship marketing initiatives. Conversely, an increased number of studies advocate for the utilization of relationship marketing programs given their positive impact on consumer satisfaction and optimistic exploitation of buyer behavior for more concrete relationships with customers.
Outline of this ResearchIn addition to the introduction chapter, this research has a total of six divisions that address different components of the research. As depicted from the different elements discussed in this segment, the introduction chapter is the foundation of the research and provides both broad and detailed information on the subject being explored. The different sub-sections discussed in the introduction include the background of the research, objectives, questions, and the justification of addressing the subject topic. The second chapter is a review of the current literature on the subject of buyer behavior and relationship marketing. The information utilized in this section mostly alludes to an established selection criterion. The third section is a chapter focusing on the research methodology utilized for conducting the analysis. It provides foundation, edifice, and instruments utilized in gathering information and analysis followed by the obvious limitations and ethical concerns. The fourth chapter is an examination of the data collected as the basis for presenting results, and deliberations based on the practical dissemination of the data collected with a consideration of the objectives and questions. Lastly, the final chapter summarizes the findings of the study providing conclusions and recommendations using the discoveries.
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEWIntroductionAs outlined, this chapter is an analysis of data collected from current literature that focuses on the subject issues, that is, buyer behavior and relationship marketing. The elements of focus include theories, factual evidence, assertions, findings, and philosophies from scholarly articles and peer-reviewed journals in addition to other academic and published works such as books. The chapter focuses on explicating buyer behavior and relationship marketing as significant factors of the subject research question. It additionally elaborates on the nature of organizations and business enterprises that implement customer relationship marketing programs in an attempt to strengthen association with customers while simultaneously augmenting their satisfaction.
Relationship MarketingSince its introduction by Berry in 1983, relationship marketing has been the topic of study in extensive literature with most authors having varying definitions (Castro, 2006, pp.1). According to some authors, relationship marketing is a process while others perceive it as a strategic organization. Jemaa and Tournois (2014, pp.2) elaborate it as a corporate value or philosophy while Benouakarim and El Kandoussi (2013, pp.148) claim that it applies as a collection of associations and networks. Nonetheless, the utilization of varying definitions acts as an illustration of different terminologies used by authors when defining relationship marketing. It is also significant to consider the significance of trust, consumer satisfaction, and commitment as arbitrating variables that govern the association between organizations and the different stakeholders. Benouakarim and El Kandoussi (2013, pp.148) acknowledge that the selection of arbitrating variables and their amalgamations prevail as options to the researcher. They state that trust might be the solitary most influential association marketing tool exposed to companies.
On the other hand, Das (2009, pp.328) views trust as the foundation of long haul connections. Still, the dedication of trade accomplices is the way to accomplishing profitable results. In the contemporary academic environments, the study of relationship marketing advocates for the examination of factors such as satisfaction, obligation, and trust through concentrating on their outcomes relative to the future practices, specifically, devotion, positive verbal action, participation and execution. Considering the setting of trade is additionally a basic segment, analysts perceive a variety of types of exchange, running from transaction to relationship (Harker & Egan, 2006, pp.221). On account of trade where the relationship is dominant and has more esteem, social interceding factors positively affect the results.
Core Competencies of Relationship MarketingThe realization of optimal competitive advantage through the utilization of relationship marketing requires an augmented focus on achieving superiority and dominance over rivals in specific aspects. The core competencies apply in determining the dominance and superiority. More so, they can prevail as instrumental aspects that positively influence the perceived benefits of relationship marketing. In the utilization of the different relationship marketing initiatives, the core competencies prevail as the aptitudes and information that are important for an organization to attain an upper hand over the competition (Gilpin, 1995, pp.7). Additionally, a core capability can apply in a wide assortment of business sectors and is troublesome for contenders to duplicate. The center procedure is not unmistakable, yet it is the advantage the consumer receives from the procedure and is the aspect that separates the item from the ones of contenders. The external shell of the marketing idea is alluded to as the expanded procedure which includes the post-deals stages, for example, warranties, after-sales support, deliveries, and customer services. Lo (2012, pp.92) states that expanded procedure is the blend of the core procedure and included qualities based on assembled data.
Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.705) explicate that once the core competencies have been resolved, the relationship marketing approach utilized should insinuate the entire procedure of product or service promotion to the consumers. One of the primary elements utilized in the formulation of relationship marketing concepts are the fundamental impulses of individuals. The initial step is appealing to the essential needs, needs, and requests of clients. Fulfilling the felt prerequisites is additionally alluded to as a primary advantage. The subsequent step is to show the marketing contributions, as such some mix of administrations, items, data, or encounters offered to a market to fulfill a need or need. Lo (2012, pp.91) notes a third concept step includes the esteem, fulfillment and quality. Client esteem is the distinction between the qualities the consumer picks up when owning and utilizing the item in comparison to the cost of gaining the item. Consumer loyalty alludes to how well the item or administration meets the apparent desires and furthermore influence the buyer conduct. Buyer conduct is characterized by the activities of the individual or the association which prompt the fulfillment of the great or administration.
Additionally, when it comes to elaborating the core competencies of the relationship market, Weckam (2009, pp.14) highlights the inclusion of transactions, any forms of contact, and associations as relatively important key concepts. Based on his arguments, the transaction concept is the element that a consumer acquires during the exchange, notwithstanding the real product, when directing business with an organization. The business structure and the genuine exchange between the merchant and the purchaser refers to the contact and the aftereffect of the exchange can be resolved as the consumer esteem which is characterized as seen benefits short the apparent forfeit. The different industries are also important to the core competencies of relationship marketing and are characterized as an arrangement of all real and potential purchasers of an item or administration, as defined by Weckam (2009, pp.14).
Lastly, Asamoah (2012, pp.8) notes that the core competencies of the relationship marketing processes utilized by an organization depict the competitive position of the company. Consequently, it is important that the organization determines prudently the competencies of their program that contribute to their sustainability and dominance of the rest of the rivals in their respective industries. Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.699) note that for relationship marketing program to be effectives, its core competencies must have a positive contribution to the long haul sustainability of the company. Additionally, after establishing the core competencies, organizations should also consider planning for future progress and timescales as important aspects that impact their relationship with their consumers.
Buyer Behavior and Relationship Marketing
Castro (2006, pp.85) notes that among some of the developments in the contemporary corporate world is the increased concern among organizations on individual buyer behavior. The interest emanates from the realization that consumer behavior assists in the identification of details on the opinions of consumers, their emotions, and the processes behind the selection of products. According to their understanding, the comprehension of buyer behavior requires an analysis of the practices and processes that take place when people or a group choose, buy, utilize, or displace a good, administration, ideology, or encounter aimed at satisfying their requirements and demands. On the other hand, Lo (2012, pp.91) is keen to expound that the comprehensive concept of understanding the conduct of consumers alludes to more than just evaluating why and what a person or group purchases. In fact, it also focuses on the different ways that a marketer affects consumers and how the purchased products are utilized.
Weckman (2009, pp.14) defines buyer behavior as the methodical process utilized by customers when engaging in any transaction that involves buying and the elements that contribute to the decisions behind a purchase. Significantly, the systematic decision-making process utilized by customers in addition to the popular modes of selecting products and administrations are all valuable in the formulation of any marketing programs. Accordingly, the key aspect that contributes to value of buyer behavior is the fact that consumer retention and loyalty have become crucial to the sustainability of all businesses. Asamoah (2012, pp.21) notes the existence of a positive correlation between loyalty among consumers and the productivity of a business. Therefore, when it comes to the association between buyer behavior and relationships marketing; it prevails as a significant correlations for both the organizations and consumers.
Castro (2006, pp.89) states that the utilization of buyer behavior information in the formulation of relationship marketing programs results in additional advantages such as interpersonal relationships, and the incorporation of tangible rewards and preferential treatment; all of which augment the gratitude that customers have towards organizations. Additionally, the consistency in incorporations that improves customer gratitude eventually leads to increase loyalty for a brand or organization. However, Weckman (2009, pp.14) argues that despite the existence of a significant associations between these elements, some of the research focusing on this particular areas indicate a weak correlation. More so, one of the studies acknowledge that the prevalence of the weakness in the associations could emanate from the understanding that it is hard to compare investments with good deeds, particularly when conducting analyses of accountability and nature of returns.
In an attempt to explain the nature of the relationship between buyer behavior and relationship marketing programs, Castro (2006, pp.83) first notes that the primary objective of these types of initiatives is to realized consumer retention on the long-haul. Therefore, organizations feel the need to pay increased attention to the provision of orientations on the advantages of purchasing a certain products. In addition to this, the organization can include pre- and after-sale advantages such as the integration of rapid and efficient customer service for consumer satisfaction and retention. Typically, this series of process is the best way to fulfill the promises and commitments concerning the products or administrations. However, even with such unique and practical procedures, the primary aspect of the overall process is the quality of attention given to the consumers. The retention demands for the development of products and services based on the desires of the consumers in regards to elements such as quality. More so, meeting the desired quality requires an understanding of expected specifications and characteristics. Gilpin (1995, pp.6) agrees with this reasoning by stating that successful marketing among organizations requires the advantage of buyer behavior information as the foundation for providing effective goods or administrations.
On the other hand, Harker and Egan (2006, pp.226) notes that one of the core aspects of effective marketing is analyzing the market, which also acts as a necessity for the survival and retention purposes, particularly through acquainting the identified changes. It is essential for organizations to alter their marketing programs based on different factors. For instance, consumer industries are comprised of increased numbers of customers and suppliers, which requires organizations to be comprehensive and practical for the motivation and retention of consumers. Consequently, information on buyer behavior goes a long way in positively influence the comprehensiveness and practicability of relationship marketing programs utilized by organizations (Asamoah, 2012, pp.21).
Conversely, corporation-based industries have increased comprehensiveness with lower numbers of consumers and suppliers. Still, Sheth (2017, pp.8) notes that the nature of such markets is that the consumers are not the sole end users of products based on their augmented focus and understanding of their demands and requirements. Consequently, such markets pose increased complexities for organizations attempting to change the beliefs and opinions of customers. In a B2B market, personal association between buyers and sellers prevails as a possibility. However, the buyer might not be the end user given that the might purchase the products as retailers or wholesalers. On the other hand, the B2C markets could pose some hindrances to the chances of customers having any personal associations with the seller. Even so, the cycles in the different kinds of markets all demand for buyer behavior as a significant tool for utilization by marketers (Sheth, 2017, pp.6). Resolutely, relationship marketing programs do not have any exceptions and the primary association between these programs and buyer behavior are attributed to the prevalent positive influence.
Relationship Marketing and Consumer SatisfactionA significant number of the relationship marketing programs’ definitions fixate on the development of long-term associations with the customers as the foundation for increased retention. Nonetheless, Castro (2006, pp.4) notes that the deficiency of consumer satisfaction, particularly in the productivity and the products, the implementation of a relationship marketing program will not yield any benefits. Therefore, it is essential for companies to pay extensive attention to a long-term association built on addressing the demands and requirements of their consumers, primarily, for the realization of consumer satisfaction. Follin and Fransson (2013, pp.3) believe that the objectives of implementing relationship marketing programs mostly focus on the development and maintenance of lasting associations between organizations and the consumers, which should allude to the satisfaction of all the parties involved. Still, Ballantyne et al. (2003, pp.162) affirm the existence of a positive correlation between relationship marketing and the productivity of organizations. Nonetheless, consumer satisfaction prevails as imperative element and determinant of how an organization performs in the eyes of its customers.
Lo (2012, pp.91) views consumer satisfaction as the consumer’s collective assessment of how an organization performs. More so, this collective examination relies heavily on the productivity of a company and their product and administrations. Nonetheless, the productivity, to the greater extent, relies on the long-term association between the consumer and the company based on the relationship marketing process put in place. Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.699) depict a positive influence on consumer satisfaction emanating from the period of association between the consumer and organization. On the other hand, Ballantyne et al. (2003, pp.162) indicate a positive influence on the consumer satisfaction based on how long they have utilized the products and services of a certain company.
Jemaa and Tournois (2014, pp.8) define customer satisfaction as the comprehensive positive or negative sentiments concerning the net value of administrations and products acquired from a certain business. According to the description provided in their study, the expected value acts as a representation of the consumers understanding of the context of relational transactions with an organization, and their satisfaction alludes to the comprehensive sentiment based on the expected value (Jemaa & Tournois, 2014, pp.8). Additionally, there exists empirical evidence that the expected value among consumers also acts as a determinant and influence on their satisfaction.
Follin and Fransson (2013, pp.27) are of the idea that relationship marketing acts as a tactical alignment that pays attention to maintaining and advancing the existing consumers rather than searching for new target populations. This results in the presumption that companies are more inclined to have strong relationships with their existing consumers (Follin & Fransson, 2013, pp.27). Therefore, for the preservation of the strong associations, the organizations should utilize increased resources and effort in an attempt of developing and realizing consumer satisfaction. In a comparable argument, Lo (2012, pp.91) perceives relationship marketing as the process of aiming to developed long term associations with customers based on commitment, trust, and cooperation. Consequently, this requires the organizations to be open, responsive, and genuine in their efforts to deliver high-quality products and administration in addition to possessing the will to forego short-term advantages for the long-term ones that emanate from strong relationships with consumers, for instance, consumer satisfaction (Lo, 2012, pp.92).
Notably, a significant number of researchers and scholars acknowledge the positive influence of customer satisfaction of the value of the relationships they have with respective organizations (Lo, 2012, pp.91; Follin & Fransson, 2013, pp.27; Ibojo & Dunmade, 2016, pp.699; Ballantyne et al., 2003, pp.162). Based on this hypothesis, consumers with high levels of satisfaction do not complain or search for alternatives. Asamoah (2012, pp.15) notes that consumer satisfaction augments the dissimilarity between what the consumers receive and what the organizations contribute to the relationship accommodating additional benefits such as a reduction of costs. On the other hand, the realization of consumer satisfaction in different industries acts a source of motivation for the implementation of certain relationship decisions that depict improved willingness among organizations to develop their relationships with consumers (Lo, 2012, pp.91). As a result, taking such chances helps organizations to enjoy more business volume. Therefore, in addition to relationship marketing contributing to customer satisfaction, increased evidence suggests that the satisfaction also contributes to the associations between organizations and consumers.
Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.700) note that consumer satisfaction positively influences profits and protects purposes alluding to the direct benefits for the goods and administrations in addition to the business volume based on contracts and other agreements between transacting parties. Therefore, a consumer who is satisfied with an organization tends to enjoy maximum benefits. Still, the consumers have a higher probability of increasing their benefits, that is, the number of transactions they engage in with organizations. Thus, there exists a positive correlation between consumer satisfaction and the direct benefits enjoyed from a relationship between an organization and its consumers. Weckman (2009, pp.8) additionally notes that consumer satisfaction nurtures a stronger association between the customer and organization that advocates for the introduction of third parties that can benefit one or both of them. For instance, for an organization selling certain products, they can recommend relative service providers to the consumer as an indication of their growing relationship. Similarly, Jemaa and Tournois (2014, pp.8) note that a customer will high levels of satisfaction has an increased likelihood to adapt their fabrication and innovation procedure of a certain organization. Resolutely, it is essential to consider the positive influences of satisfaction in adding value to the relationship marketing process and particularly, the associations developed between organizations and their customers.
Saudi Arabia’s Pharmaceutical IndustryPlate and Caracache (2014, pp.3) note that even though the large part of developed world is experiencing economic instability, the Saudi Arabian economy has been subject to significant success led by diversification programs that highlight sectors such as the pharmaceutical industry. Consequently, the GDP of Saudi Arabia has been subject to steady growth over the years, which can be attributed to the steadily developing population and robust incursion of expatriates. Additionally, Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.3) are keen to acknowledge that the pharmaceutical industry has been subject to consequential growth, which they underpin to the fundamental demands of solid healthcare in the country. The financial evidence and statistics indicate that the pharmaceutical industry recently experienced a 0.8 billion USD growth with several key determinants coming into play. Saudi Arabia has experienced increased degrees of wealth, augmented private utilization of medicinal drugs, enhanced permanency, and a developing amount of chronic diseases, for example, gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes. More so, Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.3) note that the momentum of the pharmaceutical industry will continue to grow and despite the increased benefits for the distributors in the domestic market; there will face some challenges. The industry could experience a shift towards low-cost generics and an advanced saturation of international pharmaceutical players leading to the redefinition of the industry’s competitive scenery.
31898385124500right7836890Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: Development of Healthcare Spending (Pharmaceuticals) in Saudi Arabia. Available at: SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: Development of Healthcare Spending (Pharmaceuticals) in Saudi Arabia. Available at: these possibilities, Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.4) note that among the potential outcomes could be a bi-polar industry led by proprietary untested medicine at one end and low-cost generics on the other. Consequently, the distribution companies, particularly the domestic players, might face increased challenges from both end marked with diluted value proposition. Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.4) acknowledge that such as situations could only require strategic business integration as only the fittest will survive with such conditions in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical market. Still, over the years, the distribution companies have had to utilize increased resources and put consistent effort for them to become a primary factor of the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical market. Most of them started as sole and small-scale importers and distributors but have now become dominant companies with crucial influence on the industry.
After a few decades, the pharmaceutical distribution companies have improved and developed their aptitudes resulting in the ultimate establishment of operational and self-sufficient production facilities (Plate & Caracache, 2014, pp.4). Additionally, a small group of the distribution companies have formulated collaborations and joint investments with international and regional pharmaceutical company, which has attracted incentives from the government in an attempt to boost the local production.
Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.4) acknowledge that the local production has experienced significant growth but such development has its advantages and shortcomings. For instance, the management bodies of international pharmaceutical companies believe that mature industries lack sufficient appeal because of the complexities experienced when attempting to augment competitiveness. As a matter of fact, most of the organizations predict the mature industries will be subject to stagnation in years to come, especially due to the increased hindrances that international companies continue to face (Plate & Caracache, 2014, pp.4). Therefore, these international players aim at targeting areas such as the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical market.
In fact, Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.4) agree that the international pharmaceutical companies apply top-level optimization as part of their fundamental elements prompting them to invade emerging industries as the preferable solution. Currently, in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry, there is evidence of several international companies and big players, which has caused a shift in the market’s focus. More companies are interested in expanding in emerging countries as the resolution for the increased dominance on the international scope. Even so, Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.4) acknowledge that production might not be the center of the distribution companies in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry, especially given the increased presence of multinational companies. There is an urge for additional implements even as the distribution companies focus on figuring out how to regain their edge in the industry. Consequently, Plate and Caracache (2014, pp.5) state that the distribution companies ought to utilize their increased knowledge and comprehension of the industry to fasten their grip through marketing, sales, and distribution operations in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry.
SummaryThe extensive review of literature indicates that relationship marketing has been a paramount topic of research since its introduction in the 1980s. Moreover, despite different people having varying definitions, there is a universal understanding on what it entails. Most of the researchers acknowledge it as the transition from the customary transaction-based exchanges between businesses and consumers to a contemporary relational form of association (Harker & Egan, 2006, pp.221; Castro, 2006, pp.1). Resolutely, relationship marketing has become one of the effective ways for organizations to initiate increased associations with consumers. In fact, the concept of relationship marketing today alludes to increased contact and associations between organizations and their consumers. Therefore, relationship marketing programs are associated with other equally significant aspects such as trust, satisfaction, and obligations; all of which researchers and scholars believe can result from loyalty, positive verbal action, participation, and execution among both businesses and consumers (Ballantyne et al., 2003, pp.160; Das, 2009, pp.328).
Secondly, the increased competition in different industries has encouraged the formulation and maintenance of strong relationships between organizations and their consumers. Additionally, these aspects have been the primary objectives and the determinants of the core competencies of relationship marketing programs (Seth, 2017, pp.1; Ibojo & Dunmade, 2016, pp.699). Nonetheless, even with the increased positive developments concerning the relationship marketing programs, there is a deficiency of comprehensive research on the relationship between applying extensive consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction. More so, these shortcomings are also apparent on the different ways that relationship marketing programs can be utilized as positive influences of augmented customer satisfaction. Notably, a limited number of researchers have depicted increased attempts on establishing and defining the correlation but the findings of their research fail to meet contemporary standards.
Decisively, given the identified gaps from the review, there is a need to conduct a comprehensive analysis that depicts a clearer picture on the correlation between the application of extensive customer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction, which should include a consideration of all relative and influential aspects, for instance, variables and challenges. More so, the distribution companies in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry need an advanced marketing approach for the reestablishment of dominance in their domestic settings, which can be addressed through the definition of the correlation between applying extensive consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction.
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY IntroductionThe philosophies and attributes of the research methodology define the directions to take while conducting the different processes and activities of all academic studies. Therefore, with a primary focus on this conception, the research methodology is significant for the formulation of conclusions based on the outcome of the analysis (Creswell, 2007, pp.35). Additionally, the select methods of collecting information, as significant aspects of the collective methodology, prevail as primary facilitators of a successful completion of the research. Consequently, the research team has a responsibility of ensuring the effective utilization of the platform provided for the explication and apportionment of the methodology while paying keen attention to probable challenges and miscues. The definition and elaboration of the research methodology is a significant part of the research since all the methods and instruments used have direct impact on the collective accomplishment of the analysis and the inferences of the outcomes (Creswell, 2009, pp.3). Assertively, based on these indulgences, the completion of the analysis of the relationship between the application of extensive consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction focused on the utilization of the qualitative research methodology.
Research DesignThe research design alludes to the overall outline of the utilized methodology, particularly in the elements of nature, approach, instruments, and procedures used when gathering information for analysis and other implements applied in the presentation of findings. Primarily, the research has an analytical framework that relied on the stimulus of study instruments from the stages of data collection to the commencement of a comprehensive examination of the existing information (Creswell, 2009, pp.95).
Secondly, the examination of the subject relationship utilized information that was qualitative in nature, the research team gathered information from an analysis that gave increased insights concerning relationship marketing, buyer behavior, customer satisfaction, and the role of distribution companies in consumer relationship marketing. One of the core implements utilized in the research was conducting a synopsis on the approaches to utilize in the collection of secondary data (Creswell, 2007, pp.38). The philosophies and properties of the research design assisted in the comprehension and certification of the relationship between the application of extensive customer relationship marketing programs in Pharmaceutical Distribution companies in Saudi Arabia and consumer satisfaction.
Finally, the augmented data selected for the analysis was mainly on the nature and realms essential to the primary matter of the research, which is relationship marketing. The primary roles of the research team alluded to the acquisition of practical data that was contributory to understanding the nature of the relationship between consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction. Following data collection, the research team embarked on classifying and evaluating of the information as the foundation required in the development of all-inclusive suppositions based on the objectives of the research (Creswell, 2009, pp.2008). Among the recognized aspects established based on the research design was the positive association between the hypotheses and the development of a complete analysis using the apparent conclusions. Resolutely, the suppositions developed during the data analysis process applied in the evaluation of different data that observed diligence and perceptive inferences alluding to the requirements of the research.
Research ApproachThe research approach utilized adhered to the contexts of scientific studies where analysis modules applied in the fundamental scrutiny that helped in gathering data and formulation of a declaration for the subject approach. Given that these schemes are contributory in the formulation of links, the research approach selected for the analysis was inductive and addressed the formulated research questions with the primary area of focus purposing to exploit the investigative component of the analysis (Creswell, 2007, pp.37). Therefore, the teams’ decision to utilize the inductive approach was important for the documentation of practical research results on the relationship between the application of extensive customer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction (Creswell, 2009, pp.207).
On the other hand, the chosen research methodology, qualitative, aligns with inductive research approach since its primary principles discourage a fixation on notional components of the literature and advocates for the provision of coherent of the relationship between the application of extensive consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction (Creswell, 2009, pp.214). Still, the choice to use quantitative research methodology would have demanded for the use of numerical data, which could have resulted in impractical proceedings and increased hindrances in analysis of the subject relations and any other efforts to disjoint existing information on relationship marketing and buyer behavior. Finally, the inductive approach, in support of the qualitative research methodology, made it possible to formulate opportunities for practical instruments utilized as part of the analysis, mainly for the collection of data, making the overall research productive and safe from increased complexities (Creswell, 2009, pp.207). Selection Criteria for Secondary SourcesAs mentioned above, the research methodology utilized did not focus on utilizing data from any human respondents. Primarily, the information utilized in the research was gathered from secondary sources. The online libraries in addition to the university library were among the main platforms accessed for the secondary sources. Still, database found on the internet were very contributory, particularly those with information on relationship marketing, buyer behavior, consumer satisfaction, and the collective association between these elements. The utilization of the gathered information as a core aspect of the analysis mainly alluded to a criterion that focused on the predefined objectives and research questions (Creswell, 2009, pp.224). The arrangement of the selection criterion engrossed on the utilization of peer-reviewed journals and scholarly articles that gave information on the correlation between the application of consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction. Additionally, as a precaution, the journals, articles, books, and other form of literature with questionable aspects, particularly on the subject of cogency and trustworthiness were not utilized (Creswell, 2009, pp.205). The decision to exclude them as part of the analysis was a standard approach for addressing errors and other hindrances that are easily avoidable.
Data Collection MethodsThe information collected from the secondary sources acted as the foundation of the analysis with the research team focusing on significant findings and results that gave practical insight on the elements relating to relationship marketing, buyer behavior, and the association to consumer satisfaction. As indicate above through detailed explanation, the secondary sources focusing on the subjects of relationship marketing and buyer behavior were utilized for the analysis given their extensive alignment to the research (Creswell, 2009, pp.204). Even so, due to some unavoidable circumstances, the collective approach used for the analysis did not consider online databases solely. Therefore, the research team was keen to utilize other sources with crucial information on the subject, which included academic websites and published books, for better comprehension of the topic.
Decisively, the analysis used for the research was based on the information acquired from online databases in addition to other reliable sources based on the formulated criterion. Additionally, the research team was critical on using materials and sources that prevailed as reliable and valid according to the standards established at the preliminary stages of the research. Clarification was an important measure use as a component of complementing the data collection techniques with the evaluation process acknowledging both comparable and relative information for the effective completion of the research. Most of the sources selected for the research were published within the scope of 1 to 15 years ago (Creswell, 2009, pp.205). However, based on the quality of the information in some sources, the research team decided to make an exemption for a few. Nonetheless, the idea to consider the date of publication for the sources was essential and acted as a booster for other standards included in the selection criteria, for instance, objectivity and addresses the context of the subject topic.
Data AnalysisAs already established, the qualitative methodology was the utilized research approach and its subjective context made it essential to use secondary information acquired from varying sources over the internet. Consequently, given these properties of the collected information and the research methodology utilized, the analysis of the research findings entailed the utilization of the thematic evaluation approach for accuracy and feasibility. The primary elements of the analysis were the evaluation of the relationship between the application of extensive consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction in addition to other relative aspects such as the influence of buyer behavior in CRM, potential challenges in the application of relationship marketing programs, and what different corporations and industries perceive as customer satisfaction.
Ethical ConsiderationsThe ethical aspects of the research were among the preliminary arrangements made by the team. Therefore, the research team decided that it would be important to consider the ethics of the different process and operations of the analysis. Even though, the evaluations entailed comprehensive utilization of scholarly and peer-reviewed sources, we ascertained the realization of informational decency as an important aspect of the research (Creswell, 2009, pp.73). Still, the inclusion of such principles would positively contribute to the reliability and validity of the research. As a result, the research team ensure correct and accurate referencing of the used sources, which was a core rule that showed the exact sources of information used from the used materials. Finally, the use of the standard referencing style applied to guarantee that the authors and other involved stakeholders from the sources of information received the necessary credibility (Creswell, 2009, pp.211). Arguably, the approach was valuable and instrumental in shaping a firm foundation for the acuity of the essential ethical considerations.
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSISIntroductionThe findings on the correlation between the application of extensive consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction are a significant development to the existing realm of information on the matter. Additionally, it acts as a firm foundation for progression on the subjects of buyer behavior and relationship marketing as well as the documentation of the current opportunities for the utilization of customer marketing programs. On the other hand, the findings ought to contribute to the current information with a primary focus on the different hindrances and contests focusing on the academic-related aspects (Creswell, 2007, pp.40). Consequently, with a focus on utilizing this opportunity and exhausting all the probability, this chapter is an analysis and partition of the data collected for the secondary sources selected for the research.
The collection of information from the different sources utilized in the comprehensive utilization of the principles and philosophies of the qualitative research methodology, which included the development of a firm foundation for thematic analysis (Creswell, 2009, pp.218). The nature of the selected types of analysis, that is, thematic, focused on the current information concerning buyer behavior and relationship marketing, and more specifically, the application of consumer relationship marketing programs. One of the instruments utilized for the research was a checklist aimed for clarification of the secondary sources (Creswell, 2009, pp.204). Moreover, it was instrumental in ensuring their efficiency and positive influence based on the predefined analysis model. Finally, the application of the checklist helped the research team identify and collect enough sources and publications without overlooking any components of the research.
Thematic AnalysisPrimarily, thematic analysis is a common and appealing method for analyzing information in qualitative research, especially for effective subjective outcomes. During this research, the method applied as a primary approach for the evaluation of the relationship between customer relationship marketing and customer satisfaction. This advocated the exposition and outline of patterns (themes) through a specific presentation of data. Consequently, these patterns prevailed as standard topics that insinuated the collected information, which was the data from the secondary sources used in the research (Creswell, 2009, pp.218). Based on this hypothesis, and in view of the ideology from a research approach, the patterns formulated for the relationship marketing and buyer behavior revolved around and identified to the attributes of customer relationship marketing and its association with consumer satisfaction. The information highlighted in the different themes also focused on key practices, the influence of buyer behavior, the role of companies in CRM, challenges, prospects, and opportunities that can be subject to exploitation in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical market. These categorizations of data were accurate and popular in the documentation and clarification of the different elements alluding to the association between consumer relationship marketing and customer satisfaction. Additionally, the essential goals and policies addressed the motive for the progression of the patterns that would speak to answering the predefined problems and paying attention to the issues highlighted in the research queries (Creswell, 2009, pp.218).
Secondly, it is essential to acknowledge the reality that thematic analysis entails coding a core as a core standpoint for ascertaining the eminent features and modules of the patterns in preserving the obligatory values of authenticity and relevance. Comparably, the analysis of the associations and links entailed strict application of the fundamentals elaborated above, especially in the selection of the different elective sources (Creswell, 2009, pp.218). The application was a major aspect of the qualitative methodology given the utilization of research questions and keywords in the acknowledgeable evidence of subjects with a simultaneous control of the disparate systems of thematic analysis. This reduced the complexities and ensured that the research was not erroneous. Finally, the coding process exploited as an essential implement of the research and analysis of data from the different sources entailed an amalgamation of varying techniques, which included data acclimation, formulation of codes, and a framework aimed at minimizing the complexities experienced in the avowal of amenabilities (Creswell, 2009, pp.218). Other supplementary activities included classifying and rechristening of the patterns through a presentation that utilized operative apparatuses such as tables and figures.
Relationship Marketing as a ConceptThe development of relationships is as important to businesses as it is to people’s everyday lives. Ballantyne et al. (2003, pp.160) note that the formulation of relationships prevails as one of the effective ways of associating and communicating with people. Consequently, the concept of relationship marketing relates to the realization of contact and interaction between consumers and organizations. As a marketing approach, the concept is primarily about the acquisition of consumer shares as compared to segments of the markets for the establishment of associations with probable and existing consumers forming the foundation for maintaining them and fostering return purchases and retention (Ballantyne et al., 2003, pp.161). In the current corporate settings, the augmented rivalry among companies and consistent price demands are significant aspects that advocate for the establishment and maintenance of concrete relationships. Sheth (2017, pp.1) notes that the primary aim of this marketing perspective is formulating strong associations with relationships while simultaneously emphasizing on the utilization of marketing as an important approach in conducting corporate operations.
Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.699) define relationship marketing as a practice that develops from the identification of potential consumers to formulating associations with them as the initial steps for preserving and enhancing these connections for the generation of more and long-term business. Castro (2006, pp.2) and Jemaa and Tournois (2014, pp.7) all state that relationship marketing focuses on retaining consumers for the purpose of developing long-term connections that allude to the satisfaction of their demands and requirements. Consistent exchange of information, contact, and value prevail as the primary practices that are instrumental to successful relationship marketing. Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.700) argue that the type of marketing focused on relationship could be utilized in realizing long-haul contact in addition to links between an organization and its consumers that are cost-effective. The relationship marketing approach is capable of instigating increased success based on the formulation of relationships and an organization’s potential to retain loyal consumers while simultaneously strengthening their association with other existing consumers.
Harker and Egan (2006, pp.223) note that relationships could probably emanate from circumstances where the organization and client have a more incessant association. It could be in circumstances where administrations or products are conveyed over a particular time, or where the relationship is of significance. A relationship can be developed when the consumer associates with the organization and experience that there is something uncommon and essential in the contact with the organization; there exist a common state of mind between the two involved parties. The consumer likewise needs to feel that they acquire an incentive from the organization that they have an association with than from different choices accessible in the industry (Gilpin, 1995, pp.2).
Benouakarim and Kandoussi (2013, pp.148) claim that retaining the current consumers through more concrete associations and preservation of their loyalty make up the core of relationship marketing. Additionally, the formulation of these relationships might need the organizations to address every customer as an esteemed client and stakeholder. In other cases, the organizations might be required to transform indifferent consumers through going to great heights in an attempt to win their trust. The collective marketing processes and practices perceive the acquisition of new consumers as a transitional phase. Therefore, giving undivided attention and support to consumers even past the closing hours creates an atmosphere where the consumers respect the organizations more while simultaneously depicting their charisma towards the course (Benouakarim and Kandoussi, 2013, pp.148). Appreciation here is the key factor that improves the nature of connection on one hand and receives a positive result for the organizations on the other. As long as the consumers remain happy and content with the products and services they receive from an organization, they will remain loyal. However, Sheth (2017, pp.7) notes that this requires the observation of other few components such as accessibility of substitutes, consumer loyalty, trust, and the nature of products and administrations advertised.
Still, Gilpin (1995, pp.6) notes that consumers can be sometimes very particular about how they associate with different organizations. A comprehensive analysis of past encounters, prospects, and demands creates a practical understanding of consumer behavior as a significant aspect of relationship marketing processes utilized by an organization. Typically, these relationship marketing implements serve by gathering information alluding to the organizations that can easily identify their target populations of consumers and do a good job of achieving high-levels for retention (Castro, 2006, pp.7). Most of the organizations with comparable goals agree that consumer relational marketing programs are the preferable ways of realizing this. In fact, Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.699) highlight that most of the processes and practices covered under the concept of relationship marketing are part of the contemporary strategies utilized by organizations because of their ability to augment consumer trust and satisfaction while enhancing the benefits of both parties altogether.
The Correlation between the Application of Comprehensive Consumer Relationship Management Programs and Consumer SatisfactionIn their explications, most of contemporary publications indicate that organizations utilize consumer relationship marketing for a number of comparable reasons, for instance, attraction and retention of new consumers and development of a strong relationship with customers (Benoukarim & El Kandoussi, 2013, pp.150; Sheth, 2017, pp.7; Hosseini & Ganji, 2015, pp.579; Ibojo & Dunmade, 2016, pp.699). Additionally, a significant number of authors agree that the loss of consumers has a more negative impact as compared to the loss of products, particularly because it signifies the losing the collective process of purchases that consumers can make for the long-haul and the time that the buyer was associating with an organization. Therefore, organizations have a common goal of ensuring the increase their value in the eyes of the consumers to result in a lifetime association. The consumer value represents the worth of the gains received by a company that maintains it customers (Matagne & Gerard, 2013, pp.8). Additionally, there is increased evidence stating that efforts to maintain customers should ensure cost-effectiveness while alluding to the economic and corporate interests. Resolutely, the collective idea of maintaining consumers alludes to the subject of augmenting their loyalty toward the company. More so, relationship marketing, as a concept, proves to be an effective approach towards realizing increased consumer loyalty.
On the other hand, the description of the correlation between consumer relationship marketing and customer satisfaction mostly alludes to the relationship between the CRM programs and consumer loyalty (Hosseini & Ganji, 2015, pp.580; Follin & Fransson, 2013, 338). The analysis of information from different sources highlights trust as an important aspect of loyalty and strong relationships between consumer and organizations. The publications focusing on trust have numerous setting- specific influences. Notwithstanding, there is a concurred idea that trust is a security observation based on the conviction that individuals are enlivened with constructive and good rationale and not energized by the prospect of exploiting defenseless individuals. Typically, consumer trust is the principle point of the convergence of numerous speculations of relationship marketing. The nature of the relationship between consumers and organization relies upon trust and it is contended that the span of the association is additionally affected by the magnitude of trust prevalent (Lo, 2012, pp.91). Therefore, without a doubt, trust persuades long haul association instead of a speedy and short-term relationship. Due to the association based on trust, there is a development in superior quality, and as it was researchers agree that in a trust-based relationship, conflicts can be effortlessly comprehended in a considerate approach while, in the other hand, if no trust prevails in the connection between the organizations and its consumers, this can be seen as future complexity (Castro, 2006, pp.61; Lo, 2012, pp.91).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2: The Nature of the Association between Consumer Trust and Satisfaction. Available at:,%202(3)2473-2480,%202012.pdf
Decisively, the different sources utilized in the analysis demonstrate that consumer satisfaction and consumer trust have an emphatic correlation are emphatically related. Consumers with increased levels of satisfaction are eager to stay and safeguard the relationship that fulfills their demands and needs while the unsatisfied ones are more disposed to search for other association with different organizations (Velnampy & Sivesan, 2012, pp.319). There is a strong contention that the satisfaction of the consumer is identified with an assessment of varying factors of the subject organization, for instance, the quality of the administration, properties of the products and administrations provided, among others. In his study, Lo (2012, pp.91) explores the antecedents of consumer satisfaction with a focus on the anticipation-disconfirmation paradigm in an endeavor to portray the development of satisfaction judgments. The findings indicate that the collective satisfaction of the consumer can prevail as an element that alludes to all exchanges between the consumer and organization. Moreover, as per Ibojo and Dunmade (2016, pp.701), consumer loyalty is the central reason for consumer satisfaction and it is through relationship marketing that organizations can realize an ideal level of consumer satisfaction.
Typically, relationship marketing is mainly focused on the development of associations at all levels of interaction between the organizations and consumers. Therefore, the different CRM programs focus on creating an atmosphere that will result in mutual benefits between the companies and their consumers. Typically, the collective relationship marketing approach centers around recognizing factors influencing consumer association with firms and works towards those elements keeping in mind the end goal to achieve customer retention. In most areas of business operations and industries, more consideration should be averted towards the consumers (Ballantyne et al., 2003, pp.163; Gilaninia & Ghashlagh, 2012, pp.2475). Consumer satisfaction assumes a key part in affecting the dangers on returns of an organization’s pillories. Research on the relationship has proposed that there exists a positive relationship between consumer satisfaction and productivity baselines. This has additionally turned into the driving component in a plethora of exchanges between organizations and their consumers. Therefore, before prior to making any proceedings on relationship marketing, assessment of execution of the organization, including the imperative basis of consumer satisfaction is similarly vital as that of the profits received for the sale of products and administrations (Matagne & Gerard, 2013, pp.3). Conversely, organizations might be subject to increased hindrances and limited opportunities for making additional benefits.
Notably, different studies and experiments have attempted to establish the influence of relationship marketing programs on the degree in addition to the heterogeneity of consumer satisfaction. As a result, varying viewpoints develop as key factors in positively influencing consumer value as components of the different relationship marketing initiatives. The consumer-related information acquired amid short-run influences a company’s execution over the long haul. In the contemporary business settings, management bodies are allocated the undertaking of striking a strong association between client retention strategies and obtaining consumers (Sheth, 2017, pp.5; Ibojo & Dunmade, 2016, pp.702). This prevails as an approach that improves the situation following out the development prospects of the firm. The validity of an organization as far as execution and benefit according to the consumers relies on the whole execution of the different components of relationship marketing. Resolutely, the consumer relationship concept in a prevalent factor that stakeholders utilize in assessing the benefits of an organization (Hosseini & Ganji, 2015, pp.579). Therefore, the association between consumer relationship marketing programs and customer satisfaction relatively compares to the customer-loyalty link in that these initiatives help create stronger relationships based on trust and mutual benefit, which is critical in the definition of an organization’s performance.
Role of Organizations in Relationship Marketing and Consumer BehaviorUnder the relationship marketing realm, management bodies and the organizations altogether have been subject to increased developments in their overview and consideration of the internal and external settings. Consequently, increased authors agree that companies have gained an understanding and recognition of the associations in existent between different stakeholders that rationalize and provide the resources for the growth and development of the organization (Sheth, 2017, pp7; Asamoah, 2012, pp.21; Hosseini & Ganji, 2015, pp.582). Therefore, the role of organizations in relationship marketing emanates from the nature of the mutually inclusive association between all the factors attributed to the sustainability of the organizations, which includes long-lasting relationships with consumers. It is the responsibility of organizations to manage the relationship dynamics apparent in all the fronts of conducting business operations and practices. Consequently, in the modern business environment, the comprehension of this element has instigated the management perception and method for orienting and imbibing relationship marketing as one of the critical philosophies in the organization (Sheth, 2017, pp7; Asamoah, 2012, pp.21; Hosseini & Ganji, 2015, pp.582).
Extensive literature indicates that organizations are keen to recognize all stakeholders in their associations. Customarily, the consumer was considered as a component of the market. However, contemporary developments and increased competitiveness demand that organizations pay more close attention to their associations with consumers prompting them to introduce and incorporate programs focused on relationship marketing (Matagne & Gerard, 2013, pp.7). Typically, companies have constant interactions and associations both intrinsically and extrinsically at varying levels and tiers of corporate tiers. Therefore, in regards to relationship marketing, the organization have to ensure it develops concrete and long-term association with consumers and other intermediary players of business, for instance, suppliers. The relationship platform has become a contributory factor to the consistent exchanges between organizations and consumers (Velnampy & Sivesan, 2012, pp.319). However, unlike the consumers who are exposed to increased alternatives organizations must strive to create appeal for stronger and consistent interactions.
The number of relationships that the organization is required to oversee is spread to more than a few regions. Continuous relationship marketing with existing consumers and potential customers turns out to be critical for the Organization as the human assets are key resources for its business (Ibojo & Dunmade, 2016, pp.235). Other than the customers, representatives, providers, and intermediaries, the company has a duty to initiate associations that should focus on other involved parties including the general population, government, and the media as well. In this way, it ought to be unmistakably comprehended that relationship marketing is a business reasoning and not an advertising procedure (Lo, 2012, pp.91). Evidently, the marketing system and arrangement are worked around this structural logic and estimation of relationship marketing.
Notably, management teams have to effectively adjust to the idea of inner and outside relationship marketing as a requirement for enjoying increased profits from it. On the internal level, the idea of an inward client has yielded enormous beneficial and achieved efficiencies in activities. Different methods of insight have been effectively executed because of the principal idea of inner clients and consumer loyalty (Benouakrim & El Kandoussi, 2013, pp.151; Das, 2009, pp.326- 341). Aside from promoting and deals capacities which are presented to the Customers and markets and henceforth should be sharpened and situated towards relationship administration, the Organizations have understood the need to sharpen alternate offices. Some of these divisions are Finance, HR, Technical Service, Customer Service and also the Product Development and legitimate offices; all of which impact relationship management with the clients (Sheth, 2017, pp.7; Weckman, 2009, pp.6). Decisively, this introduction has profited the Organizations colossally close to changing the administration progression for the clients.
Implementation of CRM in Saudi Arabian Pharmaceutical Distribution Companies for Increased Consumer SatisfactionBased on the established relationship variables and the current stature of the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry, the implementation of relationship marketing should prevail as an approach that focuses on the realization of consumer loyalty and repeat transactions based on growing concrete, positive associations. Additionally, the effectiveness of the CRM programs should be based on a number of factors that focus on the key operations of the participating companies, that is, distribution and supply (Matagne & Gerard, 2013, pp.8). Given the extensive evidence on the effectiveness of the CRM, it can be a primary element in the development of successful relationship between the distribution companies and their client, particularly through focusing on the augmentation of consumer loyalty and interaction for engagements that are constant and prevail for the long-haul (Gilaninia & Ghashlagh, 2012, pp.2475).
On the other hand, the context of relationship marketing can help the distribution companies to develop a better understanding of their consumers through the exchange of information that alludes to the defined demands and requirements of their clients and with a consideration of the nature of the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry. Contrary to the customary and existing practices in the market, the relationship marketing approach demands an advanced recognition of emotions as the standard and firm foundation for the provision of better experiences and practices that go far beyond the distribution process (Matagne & Gerard, 2013, pp.42). The distribution companies can exploit effective relationship marketing in an attempt to develop bonds with clients that will act as the focal point of their association and operations. Even so, the execution and implementation of the CRM programs require strategic planning that focuses on three key elements, that is, attract, retain, and develop consumers; as requirements that address the current situation of increased competition from multinational corporations.
Customer Experience Management prevails as the best approach to define and execute relationship marketing. More so, the different facets of the method apply even long after companies have established relationships with their consumers. Essentially, managing the experience of the clients should focus on a variety of factors that concern both the distribution companies and their consumers.
Service Quality05560695Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3: Summary of Service QualityFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3: Summary of Service Qualityleft142688900The improvement of service quality mostly alludes to the professionalism, skills, attitude, and behavior of the employees and other organizational stakeholders that interact with the consumers. Consequently, through an incorporation of these components as part of the overall strategy; the CRM programs utilized by the distribution companies can result in increased consumer satisfaction. Primarily, the employees working in the companies should strive to display expert knowledge of the practices and activities prevalent in Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry (Matagne & Gerard, 2013, pp.8). The information gathered displays expertise and increased understanding that can be utilized in the establishment of trust-based relationships between the customers and employees (who represent the organizations). The understanding can be coupled with consistent monitoring of the pharmaceutical industry for the acquisition of updated information and realization of evolution between the consumers – organizations relationships.
On the other hand, transparency has a positive correlation with consumer satisfaction and alludes to the employees’ abilities to comprehend and integrate the needs and demands of the consumers for practical responses (Lo, 2012, pp.92). Typically, when it comes to the attitude and behavior of the employees, the distribution companies can supplement these elements by focusing on other relative elements such as accessibility, flexibility, reliability, and trustworthiness. Still, service recovery can be contributory to consumer satisfaction, especially in situations where the clients feel the company has failed. It is significant that the management teams of the distribution companies show concern through analyzing such circumstances and discussing with the consumers.
Brand ImageAs part of the relationship marketing programs, the distribution companies can focus on improving and embellishing their brand image in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry. Specific processes used for this purpose can be by means of media partnership, for instance, radio diffusion and social media campaigns. The general idea is initiating communication with the consumers using other platforms that they are more conversant with and can appreciate.
32842201875790Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4: Summary of Brand ImageFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4: Summary of Brand Image328484176185300More so, the realization of a positive brand image can result in increased trust among the clients hence develop loyalty and satisfaction among the different customers (Velnampy & Sivesan, 2012, pp.2). Brand image ought to be considered as an important aspect that drives varying practices focused on displaying the positive culture of the distribution companies. Finally, in addition to utilizing media partnerships, the companies can exploit the word-of-mouth dimensions as one of the important approaches that contribute to stronger relationships. Consequently, the distribution companies can use the satisfied customers to spread the word about their products and administrations.
Value OffersSome of the recently published literature shows that value offers can be contributory to the formulation of stronger consumer relationships and satisfaction. Typically, the value offers positively influence and augment the consumers’ perceived value offers. The distribution companies can include value package offers for some of the loyal and consistent consumers or, if possible, for all their clients, particularly during holidays (Matagne & Gerard, 2013, pp.12). The approach guarantees increased consumer satisfaction by creating the image that the companies can sacrifice for their clients. The association between the companies and their consumers will develop given that the clients feel a sense of belonging (Asamoah, 2012, pp. 24). Nonetheless, it is important that the value offers prevail in an amalgamation of the other approaches and incorporations of the relationship marketing programs on implemented in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical environment since it key role does not focus on augmenting consumer satisfaction.
CommunicationMost organizations utilize direct communication tools as an important aspect of marketing. However, as part of the CRM programs, the distribution companies should not necessarily focus on gaining consumer satisfaction. Instead, they can use it to gather information 02352040Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5: Summary of CommunicationFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5: Summary of Communication0104775000on trends (e-business frameworks) and establish positions that depict themselves as accessible players in the pharmaceutical industry (Sheth, 2017, pp.9). Additionally, the direct marketing communication tools can apply in improving the comprehension of consumer needs and buyer behavior as aspects that are imperative for customer satisfaction. Essentially, the latter use of communication is critical for the formulation of better relationships between the companies and their consumers since human capital oriented communication results in increased opportunities for consumer satisfaction.
SummaryThe comprehensive analysis of the data collected from the secondary sources proved to be instrumental in addressing the primary research question. As indicated by the discoveries from the research, there exists a positive correlation between the application of extensive customer relationship management programs and consumer satisfaction. Primarily, effective relationship marketing initiatives augment consumer satisfaction, especially with keen consideration and understanding of relative elements of significance such as buyer behavior, trust, and long-term goals. Still, the realization of increased satisfaction by organizations helps them improve their relationship marketing endeavors based on the quality information exchanges that they enjoy from having stronger relationships with their consumers. Consequently, it is apparent that the relationship marketing programs can be implemented by distribution companies in the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry for increased consumer satisfaction. However, it would be effective if the different modules of the CRM programs focus on improving service quality, developing a positive brand name, incorporating value offers, and enhancing communications for a better understanding of the consumers.
CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONSThe findings of the research evidently depict the significance of effective consumer relationship management programs as influences of long-term engagement between consumers and organizations. More so, through relationship marketing and relative programs, companies can easily foster consumer satisfaction and loyalty as the better elements compared to short-term objectives, for instance, singular sales and consumer acquisition. The insight from the different sources and literature used affirms that relationship marketing aims at developing concrete relationships with the consumer through direct exchanges and interactions that address their defined requirements and interests. Additionally, open communications between the organization and its consumers are identified as a core determinant of the effectiveness of the CRM programs.
On the other hand, given the demanding stature of the Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical industry, distribution companies can utilize CRM programs as implements for increased benefits such as increased customer satisfaction. Most of the advantages are guaranteed since the focus switches from the constant efforts to acquire new consumers to a better comprehension of behavior, demands, needs, and interests of the current consumers. Therefore, by establishing relationship marketing as a primary aspect of their organizational culture, the distribution companies can pay more attention to the development of synergetic association with their customers through improved service quality, positive brand names, value offers, and enhanced communication. Such incorporations into the CRM programs can result in the effective development of foundations that reciprocate trust so customers experience personal connections and become more satisfied.
In addition to the integration of the identified factors into the CRM programs, it would be important if the distribution companies utilize other approaches that focus on enhancing the personal connections between them and their consumers for increased customer satisfaction. Some of the recommended approaches include:
Customization – Since the extension of consumer services prevails as an effective tool for retaining consumers, the distribution companies should acquire as much information as possible about their target clients. As a result, they can use this information to provide tailored experiences to different customers based on their preferences.
Gratitude – As a primary social component of the established relationships, gratitude can apply in the development of more respect towards the distribution companies resulting in increased loyalty and consumer satisfaction. Some of the approaches to consider for this include trying out after sale services, providing some services even after closing hours, or switching costs.
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