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The relational oxymoron and personalisation pragmatism

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Although very much in vogue in both academic discourse and practitioner rhetoric, presents a case for a need to be concerned over the use of the "R" (relational) word in marketing. But even this needs to be implemented with caution and sensitivity as evidence on how consumers react to the approach shows. In an era of self service and disintermediation, marketers are increasingly turning to customer data instead of the tacit understanding of customers they used to possess when interaction was on a more personal basis. There are, however, concerns over the nature of the data collected and the way in which it is used, that lead to a proposition that relationship marketing can be an oxymoron. Also, however, suggests a number of compromise solutions in an era in which marketers are unlikely to abandon the paradigm. If marketing reverted to earlier paradigms rather than promising cynical consumers a "relationship", perhaps all parties might actually start to gain more trust in each other. Personal rather than relational interaction would indeed be more pragmatic.
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Keywords: Interpersonal relations; Relationship marketing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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