• Mind the Gap: Exploring the Links between the Expectations of Relationship Marketing and the Reality of Electronic-CRM

      Doherty, Neil F.; Lockett, Nigel (2008)
      The much debated relationship marketing paradigm suggests that the marketing strategy should try to develop long-term and mutually rewarding customer relationships, rather than simply focusing upon the promotion and selling of products and services and electronic CRM software, is often promoted as the ideal mechanism for implementing relationship marketing, on a company-wide basis. However, it has not been empirically demonstrated that the application of e-CRM software produces these benefits. This study develops a conceptual framework, which models the links between relationship marketing and e-CRM, and uses it to explore the outcomes of the adoption e-CRM applications by a sample of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), operating in the mail order sector. The key findings, presented in this paper, are twofold: the driver for e-CRM adoption has primarily been the need to integrate the front and back offices; when operating in an increasingly complex multi-channel environment, and consequently, e-CRM hasn¿t delivered the anticipated benefits of relationship marketing such as customer retention or ¿share of pocket¿.