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Conference paper

Strategic focus shift in marketing – evolution of relationship marketing paradigm

Matilda Dorotić ; Faculty of Economics-Split

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page 7-24

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In the era of intense competition and demanding mature markets, contemporary marketing thought has seen shift in paradigm. Strategic focus, in marketing discipline, once predominantly transactional and oriented toward exchanve and customer acquisition shifted towards developing and maintaining relationship with strategically important base of customers i.e. on customer retention. In particular, companies are trying to develop and maintain long-term relationships with customers and other partners in marketing channels, to establish and deepen stakeholders' loyalty to brands, products, company etc., which will, in turn, raise profitability and future prospects of the company. Customer retention in volatile and demanding markets could be obtained only by carefully establishing and nurturing „relationship“ between a company and an individual customer, in a way of constantly increasing value for customers. However, value creating process calls for enhancing partnership with all other important subjects in marketing channels.
The above mentioned presents the main arguments in favour of paradigm shift towards relationship marketing which have been marked contemporary marketing focus, and according to many marketing gurus, presents emerging marketing discipline. However, for a discipline to emerge, it is necessary to fully explore its domain and conceptual foundations. In this sense relationship marketing paradigm still presents a challenge for the future. This paper elaborates the occurence of a paradigm shift and evolution of relationship marketing, presenting its domain and conceptual foundations. Finally, it adresses strategic impact of relationship marketing in marketing strategy, seeking a strategic role of relationship-based competitive advantage.


relationship marketing; marketing paradigms; customer acquisition; customer retention; marketing strategy

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