Balancing Transaction and Relationship Marketing in Retail Banking

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Over the last number of decades, as a result of regulatory, technological and changing consumer dynamics, many service organisations operate in an increasingly competitive and dynamic external environment. These changes have led to service companies trying to both recruit and retain profitable customers. In order to compete effectively, do companies focus on transaction and relationship marketing activities only or on the balanced delivery of both? Apart from a small body of work (Brodie et al. 1997; Coviello et al. 1997; 2002), the literature has treated transaction and relationship marketing in an isolated and non-integrated fashion. In particular there has been limited consideration of the pertinent issues facing service organisations trying to integrate these two perspectives in practice. This article describes an in-depth study of a service organisation's transaction and relationship marketing activities. In this study theory was used in the development of a conceptual model. This model was used as a framework to guide the study and data collection using one retail bank case. The data were analysed in relation to the transaction and relationship marketing focus and activities of the bank. The findings indicate that resource investment in some aspects of transaction and relationship marketing activities, in practice, was unbalanced compared to the resource investment in a wide range of support activities. The study has implications for research and theory and to those attempting to deliver both transaction and relationship marketing in the context of dynamic and competitive environments.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2004

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