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Why is relationship marketing critical?

Today, marketers are facing more challenges than ever. In a borderless, interconnected and hypercompetitive market, customer needs and demands are becoming more specific. To maintain sustainable competitive advantage, organisations need to constantly evolve and differentiate against their competitors. When quality, cost and productivity become a common standard and are no longer sources of competitive advantage, organisations are searching for sustainable differentiation in the market place.

Retaining and growing existing customers are as important as acquiring new customers. It is important for organisations to understand their customers from multiple perspectives and customise the services in such a way so as to develop long-term and lasting relationship through personalised, relevant and timely interactions.

The importance of having a long term relationship is no longer the privilege of the few; rather, it is an important driver today, built into organisational structure, practices and culture. Organisations are focusing on developing an effective and efficient long term relationship with their customers based on increased satisfaction, trust, commitment and loyalty. Certainly, there is a shift in the focus of marketing from the conventional transactional marketing towards Relationship Marketing.

Relationship Marketing serves as a critical bridge to enable firms to stay competitive through the help of personalisation, digitalisation and data analytics. Organisations can grow their relationship assets through various Loyalty and Engagement programs with the help of myriad of advanced database technologies, analytics and omni-channel marketing.

In recent years, an increasing number of organisations are integrating relationship marketing strategies into their business operations. There is no short-cut to achieving quick success in relationship marketing initiatives in an organisation. Organisations must understand that relationship knowledge is built over period of time. Once relational knowledge is developed,  only then lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with customers can be established.

The Loyalty and Engagement finalists are flag bearers of the industry and the market. These agencies have brought forward the creativity and strategies to create innovative loyalty and engagement programs for their clients. It is the result of their passion and dedication to deliver not only the best but also take the industry forward.

The writer is JB Ray, managing director, Edenred Singapore.

Edenred Singapore is the Gold Sponsor at the Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2015, to be held on 13 August, 2015 at The Shangri-la Singapore.

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