Essay: Principles of relationship marketing

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Principles of relationship marketing

This essay will initially describe and provide an understanding of the principles of Relationship Marketing (RM), giving a brief outline of the elements involved, and also discussing the development, Scope, and approaches to real. It will go on to elaborate as to how Relationship Marketing can offer organisations the ability to achieve competitive advantage within the market place. Theory will be discussed through the use of secondary data sourced form various academic professional marketing related publications.

Gummesson, E. (1999), describes Relationship Marketing as ‘a network of set relationships which can grow into enormously complex patterns’. Relationship Marketing is a form of marketing developed from direct response marketing campaigns conducted in the 1960’s and 1980’s which emphasized customer retention and continual satisfaction rather than individual transactions. Relationship Marketing differs from other forms of marketing in that it targets an audience with more directly suited information on products or services which suit retained customer’s interests, as opposed to direct or "Intrusion" marketing, which focuses upon acquisition of new clients by targeting majority demographics based upon prospective client lists.

Jobber, D. (2004) discusses that traditional marketing originated in the 1960s and 1970s as companies found it more difficult to sell consumer products. Its consumer market origins molded traditional marketing into a system suitable for selling relatively low-value products to masses of customers. Over the decades, attempts have been made to broaden the scope of marketing, Relationship Marketing being one of these attempts. The practice of Relationship Marketing has been greatly facilitated by several generations of customer relationship management software that allow tracking and analysing of each customer’s preferences, activities, tastes, likes, dislikes, and complaints. This is a powerful tool in any company’s marketing strategy. For example, Tesco maintaining a database of when and how repeat customers buy their products, the options they choose, the way they finance the purchase etc., is in a powerful position to custom target sales material. In return, the customer benefits from the company targeting promotions and services and communicating directly, providing money off vouchers and other loyalty related rewards.

According to Gummesson, E. (1999) ‘C ross-functional teams should be responsible for the entire Relationship Marketing process, from beginning to end, rather than having the work go from one functional department to another. Traditional marketing is said to use the functional department approach. This can be seen in the traditional four P’s of the marketing mix . Pricing , Product , Promotion , and Placement are claimed to be functional sources of information that must be accessed by the marketer if he or she is going to perform their task. Yeshin, T. (1998) contends that Relationship Marketing can reach consumers on a highly segmented or even one-to-one basis. It also has the potential to become two-way, encouraging feedback between the customer and the service or consumer item provider. Yeshin goes on to say that companies such as Nestle and Heinz have also announced moves into the ‘club’ format, which will enable the establishment of direct relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer. This can be widely seen via frequent flyer and frequent stayer loyalty programmes driven by airlines and hotel chains, whereby the objective is to establish a relationship with the consumer, to provide mutual benefits. The encouragement of a ‘feedback loop’ is destined to grow apace over the next few years, and as companies perceive the benefits of encouraging a positive relationship with their customers, their consumers, their suppliers, and others, so we will witness the development of two-way marketing communication programmes. Shultz et al. (1992) argue that of the four marketing mix variables, the area of marketing communications will become the greatest and only opportunity of achieving sustainable competitive advantage through. He goes on to state that ‘If all things are equal – or, at least more or less so – then it is what people think, feel and believe about a product and its competitors which will be important’. Meaning, since products in many areas will achieve a parity or comparability purely in a ‘perfect competition’ sense; it will be perceptual differences which consumers will use to discriminate between rival brands. Thus the sustained and integrated use of marketing communication campaigns as discussed above will be able to achieve the differentiation they require (Figure 1).

Jimnovo website (2008) States that the Relationship Marketing process is usually defined as a series of stages, and there are many different names given to these stages, depending on the marketing perspective and the type of business. For example, working from the relationship beginning to the end:

  • Interaction > Communication > Valuation > Termination
  • Awareness > Comparison > Transaction > Reinforcement > Advocacy
  • Suspect > Prospect > Customer > Partner > Advocate > Former Customer

Using the Relationship Marketing approach, programs can be customised and targeted for individual consumer groups and thestage of the process they are going through as opposed to some forms of database marketing where everybody would get virtually the same promotions, with perhaps a change in offer.The stage in the customer life-cycle determines the marketing approach used with the customer. A simple example of this would be sending new customers a ‘Welcome Kit’, which might have anincentive to make a second purchase. If a further allotted number of days pass and the customer has not made a second purchase, a follow up could be made offering a further discount. This method is using customer behaviour over time (the customer life-cycle) to trigger the marketing approach.

Customer Retention marketing (CRM) is a tactically-driven approach based on customer behaviour. It is the core activity behind Relationship Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, and Database Marketing.Past and current customer behaviour is generally the best predictor of future customer behaviour.

Targeted groups can be classified as:

  • Those who match the required demographic parameters; however they have never made a purchase online before.
  • Those who are outside the required demographics, but have purchased repeatedly online on many previous occasions.

If you sent a discounted promotional offer to both groups, asking them to visit and make a first purchase, response would be higher from the second group than the demographically targeted group, the first group. This effect has been demonstrated for years with many types of direct marketing, for example (2008) who argue that charities such as the PDSA who used the Royal Mail extensively during their campaign, and many mobile phone companies use today, effective direct marketing techniques. It works because actual behaviour is better at predicting future behaviour than demographic characteristics are. You can tell whether a customer is about to defect or not by watching their behaviour, and once you can predict defection, you have an opportunity of retaining the customer by taking specific targeted action.

Gummesson, E. (1999), contends that ‘The essence of the Relationship Marketing concept is based on the understanding of customer needs and wants. If a company that satisfies needs and creates value for the customer, customer satisfaction and the right customer perceived quality, the company stands the best chance of success. The article goes on to say that there are key and fundamental values involved in Relationship Marketing. They are:

  • Long-term collaboration and win-win

Recognising that all parties be active

Relationship and service values instead of bureaucratic-legal values.

The core values emphasize collaboration and the creation of mutual values. This includes viewing suppliers, customers and others as partners rather than opposite parties. Relationship Marketing should be a win-win than win-lose, more of a plus-sum game as opposed to a zero sum game. In a plus sum game, the parties increase value for each other, in a zero sum game, what one party gains is the other party’s loss. If these values are fulfilled, the relationships may become long term and sustaining. Relationship Marketing encourages customer retention and discourages defection. As a process, Relationship Marketing encourages retention marketing as a first priority, and attraction marketing, obtaining new customers, as second priority.

This value specifies that action cannot be left to the supplier or a single party of a network alone, and that everyone can and should be actively involved in the relationship. Within this network, Gummesson, E, (1999), goes on to contend that contrary to the mythology of marketing, the supplier is not necessarily the active party in innovation and account and portfolio management. In business it is generally customers who initiate innovation, forcing suppliers to change their products and services. From personal long-term experience of the party goods industry, this can be confirmed as highly appropriate and a highly accurate statement of reality.

Bureaucratic and legal values are regarded as being rigid, as are the application of regulations and internal routines, with the belief that the supplier has always been the expert and the customer as ignorant. Customers are in reality, much more than this and are indeed the necessary statistical averages from massed date, not individual. In essence, the customer should be regarded as the main source of revenue, ands should be in focus, and that the supplier’s task is to create value for the customer.

Wilson, I. (1994) contends that United Kingdom based businesses have been poor in the activity of Relationship Marketing in comparison to some European competitors, and have failed to identifying and building relationships, and have failed to involve sufficiently senior ranking personnel. He goes on to state that careful attention must be paid to designing mechanisms to capture feedback from customers, as most customers are lost due to neglect. A key principle of Relationship Marketing is the retention of customers through varying means and practices to ensure repeated trade from existing customers by satisfying requirements above those of competing companies through a mutually beneficial relationship. Aaker. D (2005) contends that this technique is now used as a means of ‘counterbalancing’ new customers and opportunities with current and existing customers as a means of maximizing profit. This process is less economically viable than retaining all or the majority of customers using both direct and Relationship Management, as business generation through brand new customers requires much more investment. Many companies in competing markets will redirect or allocate large amounts of resources or attention towards customer retention, as in markets with increasing competition it may cost more to attract new customers than it would to retain current customers. However, it is suggested that because of the extensive classic marketing theories center on means of attracting customers and creating transactions rather than maintaining them, the majority usage of direct marketing used in the past is now gradually being used more alongside relationship marketing as it’s importance becomes more recognizable. It is also claimed that a 5% improvement in customer retention can cause an increase in profitability of between 25 and 85 percent.

According to Buchanan and Gilles (1990) the increased profitability associated with customer retention efforts occurs because of several factors that occur once a relationship has been established with a customer.

  • The cost of acquisition occurs only at the beginning of a relationship, so the longer the relationship, the lower the amortized cost.
  • Account maintenance costs decline as a percentage of total costs (or as a percentage of revenue).
  • Long-term customers tend to be less inclined to switch, and also tend to be less price sensitive. This can result in stable unit sales volume and increases in dollar-sales volume.
  • Long-term customers may initiate free word of mouth promotions and referrals.
  • Long-term customers are more likely to purchase ancillary products and high margin supplemental products.
  • Customers that stay with you tend to be satisfied with the relationship and are less likely to switch to competitors, making it difficult for competitors to enter the market or gain market share.
  • Regular customers tend to be less expensive to service because they are familiar with the process, require less "education", and are consistent in their order placement.
  • Increased customer retention and loyalty makes the employees’ jobs easier and more satisfying. In turn, happy employees feed back into better customer satisfaction in a virtuous circle.

Relationship marketing stresses on what it calls internal marketing. This refers to using marketing techniques within the organization itself. It is claimed that many of the traditional marketing concepts can be used to determine what the needs of ‘internal customers’ are. According to this theory, every employee, team, or department in the company is regarded as a supplier and a customer of services and products. An employee obtains a service at a point in the value chain and then provides a service to another employee further along the value chain. If internal marketing is effective, every employee will both provide and receive exceptional service from and to other employees. It also helps employees understand the significance of their roles and how their roles relate to others’. If implemented well, it can also encourage every employee to see the process in terms of the customer’s perception of value added, and the organization’s strategic mission of achieving excellent and effective Relationship Management.

(George, W. 1990).

Adrian Payne (1991) fromCranfieldUniversitygoes further. He identifies six markets which he claims are central to relationship marketing.

  • Internal markets
  • Supplier markets
  • Recruitment markets
  • Referral markets
  • Influence markets
  • Customer markets.

Referral marketing is developing and implementing a marketing plan to stimulate referrals. Although it may take months before you see the effect of referral marketing, this is often the most effective part of an overall marketing plan and the best use of resources. Marketing to suppliers is aimed at ensuring a long-term conflict-free relationship in which all parties understand each other’s needs and exceed each other’s expectations. Such a strategy can reduce costs and improve quality. Influence markets involve a wide range of sub-markets including: government regulators, standards bodies, lobbyists, stockholders, bankers, venture capitalists, financial analysts, stockbrokers, consumer associations, environmental associations, and labour associations. These activities are typically carried out by the public relations department, but relationship marketers feel that marketing to all six markets is the responsibility of everyone in the organization. Customer markets are divided into existing customers and potential customers, resulting in seven rather than six markets. He claims that each market will require its own strategies and recommends separate marketing mixes for each of the seven.

In conclusion, Relationship Marketing has a ‘kilter’ effect on the success of retaining and increasing business. Hakanson, H. (1995) contends that through Relationship Marketing, people build trust in each other and so plan to make future business with each other. The relationships open up for a ‘plus-sum’ game (as discussed earlier), for a win-win scenario. An organisation must continue to satisfy its customers, however it is very difficult to keep 100% of your customers satisfied all the time, one reason is because needs and wants of customers change and evolve over time, so we have to monitor what is happening in our customer environment continually.

Tried and trusted methods used to monitor customer satisfaction include a selection of some or all of the following:

  • Focus groups
  • Personal interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Mystery Shoppers
  • Customer complaints
  • Suggestion boxes
  • Online surveys
  • General comments (2008)

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Reflections on relationship marketing in consumer markets

  • Special Issue On Relationship Marketing
  • Published: September 1995
  • Volume 23 , pages 272–277, ( 1995 )

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an essay on marketing relationship

  • Richard P. Bagozzi 1  

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The article by S&P is a landmark in the evolution of relationship marketing concepts. Much of what has been done in the past has addressed narrow aspects of relationship marketing or else has taken for granted the meaning of marketing relationships. S&P set the agenda for future work and give us many provocative ideas for pursuing relationship marketing topics. Their synthesis and integration of ideas from disparate literatures and their proposal for the underlying motivation for entering marketing relationships do much to delineate the direction researchers should take in the future. Before we go too far down any one path, however, we should redouble our efforts to specify exactly what is a marketing relationship. Then we would have the foundation to follow the path so eloquently forged by Jagdish Sheth and Atul Parvatiyar.

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He was formerly on the faculties of Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley. His Ph.D. is from Northwestern University. He is currently doing research on the theory of action, volitional processes, and emotional behavior in marketing.

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Commentary: Opportunities and challenges of technology in relationship marketing

Lena steinhoff.

a Institute for Marketing and Service Research, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, University of Rostock, Ulmenstrasse 69, 18057 Rostock, Germany

Robert W. Palmatier

b John C. Narver Endowed Professor in Business Administration, Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington, 418 Paccar Hall, Box 353226, Seattle, WA 98195-3226, USA

1. Introduction

The concept of relationship marketing in the academic marketing literature is almost 40 years old. Since its inaugural mentioning ( Berry, 1983 ), a rich body of conceptual and empirical research papers as well as popular business books has evolved, establishing the consensus view among academics and managers that strong customer relationships are key to company prosperity and performance (e.g., Morgan and Hunt, 1994 ; Palmatier et al., 2006 ). With the digital age, rather than entering its maturity stage, relationship marketing is experiencing its next upsurge, such that nourishing customer relationships is “more critical than ever before” ( Palmatier and Steinhoff, 2019 , p. 21).

Specifically, the exponential advancements in technology revolutionize the way in which customers and companies interact ( Steinhoff et al., 2019 ). Relationships in which relational interactions are mediated partially or even fully by technological means are ubiquitous. Today already, customers are estimated to maintain about 85% of their relationships with firms without any human intervention ( Gartner, 2011 ). Relationship marketers dispose of a rich and ever-evolving technology toolbox to build, grow, and retain strong relationships with their customers ( Steinhoff et al., 2019 ). However, beyond the opportunities for enhancing relationships, each tool also entails challenges. Managers seem eager to learn about these new technology tools and benefit from their potential advantages; accordingly, growth rates of managers’ relationship marketing spending continuously outpace those of brand spending ( eMarketer, 2016 ).

Over the past last months, the developments surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic have been strongly catalysing the shift towards online relationships. Likewise, the rapid and in part ad-hoc move of customer–company relationships to the online sphere has unearthed both the rich opportunities as well as the unresolved challenges, pointing relationship marketers to the strengths and shortcomings of their relational strategies.

In this commentary, we discuss four major technological trends (e-commerce and m-commerce channels, social networks, anthropomorphized agents, big data) that shape current and future relationship marketing business practice—jointly referred to as the relationship marketing technology toolbox—and outline the potentials and pitfalls pertaining to each. Beyond, we shed light on the implications that the COVID-19 pandemic has on the current state and future of customer relationships. We conclude with a plea for the power of strong customer relationships in these challenging times and a brief outlook into the research avenues that relationship marketers may want to navigate in the future to generate actionable guidance for managers.

2. Relationship marketing technology toolbox: opportunities and challenges

Relationship marketers have access to an ever-increasing toolbox of technologies to manage their customer relationships ( Steinhoff et al., 2019 ), encompassing e-commerce and m-commerce channels, social networks, anthropomorphized agents, and big data (see Fig. 1 ). If effectively used, seamless, communal, parasocial, and personalized customer relationships may result, creating mutually beneficial outcomes for firms and customers. Simply employing these promising tools is not sufficient though because each of these tools not only features unique opportunities, but also substantial challenges; hence, managers have to do it right to succeed. In the following, we provide a balanced view of the potentials and pitfalls and advocate for a dedicated management approach to excavate the bright sides while attenuating the dark sides.

Fig. 1

Potentials and pitfalls of the relationship marketing technology toolbox.

2.1. E-commerce and m-commerce channels

The proliferation of the Internet and its dissemination into the commercial domain since the 1990s has revolutionized companies’ way of doing business. As one major development, we have seen a multiplication of channels accessible to firms to distribute their products and services to customers. Today, customers can make purchases through electronic (e-commerce) and mobile (m-commerce) channels, with many firms not even offering any additional offline sales channel (i.e., stores). For example, apart from a couple of recently opened offline bookstores and Amazon Go supermarkets in select U.S. locations, Amazon has been doing business with customers around the world online exclusively through their website and app. Through its intuitive user interface, the majority of Amazon's customer interactions takes place without requiring any human communication between customers and service employees. E- and m-commerce have globalized numerous industries, such that customers can benefit from wide choice and low switching costs.

On the one hand, e-commerce and m-commerce channels enable seamless relationships . For customers, the opportunity of buying online rather than going to a physical store or ordering via mail from a catalog was revolutionary. Buying through their fixed (laptop, desktop computers) or mobile (smartphone, tablet) devices made customers autonomous from time- and location-based constraints (e.g., store hours, geographical distance to store), providing them with enhanced convenience. Online channels enabled customers to shop on their demand, anytime and anywhere, while offline, they had to rely on store or office hours during which service employees are available. Research offers support for performance-enhancing effects of e- and m-commerce channels. Migrating customers from offline to online channels facilitates additional revenues while reducing their cost to serve, thereby augmenting customer profitability ( Gensler et al., 2012 ; Kumar and Venkatesan, 2005 ). Multi-channel (i.e., offline and online) customers, as compared to single-channel customers, exhibit enhanced loyalty and profitability ( Ansari et al., 2008 ; Thomas and Sullivan, 2005 ; Venkatesan et al., 2007 ). Specifically, the additional online touchpoints between firms and customers promote deeper relationships, more cross-selling opportunities, and access to extended customer services ( Wallace et al., 2004 ). Mobile channel adoption in turn can enhance customers’ order frequency and promote habitual buying ( Wang et al., 2015 ). Companies can also benefit from synergies between e-commerce and m-commerce channels. Mobile channels can effectively support customers’ information search, such that customers switching from mobile (e.g., smartphones) to less mobile (i.e., desktop computers) devices on their path to purchase feature higher conversion rates than customers starting out on less mobile devices ( de Haan et al., 2018 ).

On the other hand, multiplying sales channels raises cannibalization concerns for any given firm. Beyond the substantial external competitive threat to traditional in-store retail given the rise of global online players (i.e., the “Amazon effect;” Miller, 2019 ), previously offline companies introducing online channels also face internal competition for customers’ business across channels. As a consequence, store sales agents may consider their jobs endangered if the firm's online business grows too strong ( Porter, 2001 ). Research gives reason to careful attention to the issue of channel cannibalization, but also to optimism such that cannibalization effects can be effectively mitigated if purposefully managed. Indeed, sales agents’ cannibalization perceptions towards their company's online sales channel reduce their effort, job satisfaction, and job performance ( Sharma et al., 2010 ). Studies investigating the performance ramifications of a company's new channel addition, however, show a differentiated and encouraging picture overall. Adding an online channel increases a firm's stock market return ( Geyskens et al., 2002 ). If the new channel too closely mimics the existing channels’ capabilities, cannibalization of customers and sales likely results; however, if a new distribution channel effectively complements the capabilities of pre-existing channels, firms benefit from long-term positive sales effects ( Avery et al., 2012 ; Deleersnyder et al., 2002 ). Hence, managers need to ensure that their new channel contributes unique capabilities that augment the overall channel package customers can access.

2.2. Social networks

In the digital age, customer–company relationships do not happen in isolation, but occur in a wider network where individual customers maintain a variety of close and distant social ties not only with firms but also with fellow customers. Online social networks have uniquely facilitated both customer-to-firm and customer-to-customer interactions and have thus become omnipresent tools for nurturing relationships with customers; all but one of Fortune 500 companies share contents and seek to engage customers through their own social media sites ( Barnes et al., 2020 ). While communication with customers has traditionally been unidirectional and firm-initiated in nature (e.g., TV advertising), social media fosters bidirectional communication between companies and customers. A plethora of opportunities exists for firms to initiate dialogues with customers, provide information, gather feedback from customers, and establish a sense of community. For example, the MyStarbucksIdea crowdsourced innovation contest sparked 190,000 new product ideas from customers that resulted in 300 innovative implementations (e.g., Skinny Mocha, K-Cups, cake pops, continuation of the key chain card) ( Geisel, 2015 ; Tolido, 2016 ).

Social networks leverage the social effects of relationship marketing, both positive and negative. Managers must acknowledge the scope and scale these social effects can take in online social networks and purposefully manage them to their company's advantage. On the one hand, social networks emphasize beneficial group-related mechanisms (e.g., identification, solidarity, reciprocity) and thus promote communal relationships . Social media engagement enhances customers’ shopping behavior ( Kumar et al., 2016 ; Naylor et al., 2012 ; Zhang et al., 2017 ), repeat usage behavior ( Toker-Yildiz et al., 2017 ), interactive participation ( Viglia et al., 2018 ), group influence ( Harmeling et al., 2017 ), happiness ( Duan and Dholakia, 2017 ), feelings of support ( Zhu et al., 2012 ), and overall relationship quality ( Achen, 2016 ). Online social networks stimulate customer reciprocal behaviours too, capturing voluntary, discretionary behaviours to return previously received help and also support other members of a virtual community who are in need of assistance ( Chan and Li, 2010 ; Yoon et al., 2008 ). Online communities spark the belief in consumers that other community members will provide reciprocal support should they need it in the future ( Chan and Li, 2010 ; Zhu et al., 2012 ). Hence, online communities foster communal, rather than merely exchange-oriented, relationships ( Mathwick, 2002 ). A major contribution generated by customers in social networks is word-of-mouth communication. Many prospects considering the purchase of a certain product rely on customers’ word-of-mouth about their experience as a relevant source of information ( Babíc Rosario et al., 2016 ). Word-of-mouth effectively supports new product adoption through social contagion ( Iyengar et al., 2011 ). For companies, it is thus crucial to systematically identify, target, and encourage opinion leaders and influencers (e.g., bloggers) to experience their products and then spread the word online ( Kozinets et al., 2010 ; Liu et al., 2015 ; Phan and Godes, 2018 ).

On the other hand, social networks also facilitate a battery of group-related mechanisms (e.g., unfairness, envy, discomfort) that can be detrimental to relationship performance due to public backlash concerns . Companies need to carefully consider the harmful effects of customers expressing their dissatisfaction or complaining through social media ( Grégoire et al., 2009 ; Riquelme et al., 2016 ). At worst, large groups of customers may ally and punish the firm with a social media firestorm if they judge firm actions as unfair, for example ( Hansen et al., 2018 ). Moreover, on an individual level, social networks can make differential customer treatment more visible to customers, such that adverse bystander reactions towards target customers’ preferential treatment in loyalty programs ( Steinhoff and Palmatier, 2016 ) or through targeted promotions ( Feinberg et al., 2002 ) get aggravated. Negative effects may even exist for target customers who may fear bystanders’ backlash and hence experience social discomfort upon being visibly exposed as a prioritized customer ( Jiang et al., 2013 ). Relationship marketers hence must carefully consider the social network implications of their relational strategies and pay attention to monitoring target as well as bystander customers’ reactions in order to mitigate detrimental and promote favourable social effects.

2.3. Anthropomorphized agents

The lack of human interaction in online contexts can be disadvantageous. To augment online customer experiences, companies increasingly invest in new instruments focusing on “humanizing” artificial intelligence technologies, such as chatbots, avatars, virtual assistants, embodied virtual agents, or service robots that interact with customers ( Saad and Abida, 2016 ; Wood et al., 2005 ). Beyond their human resemblance and naturalistic language processing to engage in realistic, real-time conversations, such artificial intelligence-based anthropomorphized agents can mimic the cognitive functions typically associated with human minds, such as learning and problem solving using a net of semantic linkages ( Keeling et al., 2010 ). For firms, artificial intelligence technologies promise to elevate their service delivery methods and reduce or even cease the need for human service representatives. For example, Toshiba's Yoko is capable of processing 50,000 after-sales service inquiries per day across 17 countries, thereby diminishing human-to-customer contacts and support emails by about 40% and 50%, respectively ( Living Actor, 2016 ).

On the bright side, anthropomorphized agents should represent a powerful instrument for companies to introduce a “human touch” to otherwise digital customer–firm relationships and thereby establish parasocial relationships . Humans appear to more readily interact, engage, and connect with virtual agents that look and behave like humans ( Reeves and Nass, 1996 ; Waytz et al., 2010 ). Hence, to encourage customers to bond with their virtual service personnel, firms often emphasize their humanoid traits, equipping them with humanlike looks, voices, or names ( van Doorn et al., 2017 ). Anthropomorphized agents can stimulate engagement ( Nass et al., 1995 ), intelligence perceptions ( Koda and Maes, 1996 ), cooperation ( Burgoon et al., 2000 ), and social interactions ( Cassell et al., 2000 ; Reeves and Nass, 1996 ), thereby promoting personal, emotional bonds with customers ( Keeling et al., 2010 ). Companies also employ chatbots, avatars, virtual assistants, or embodied virtual agents on their websites, in an effort to make online interactions with customer appear more interpersonal, real-time, and tangible ( Liu et al., 2009 ; Mimoun et al., 2012 ).

However, anthropomorphized agents may involve a dark side due to dehumanization concerns . Today, despite continuous advancements in robotics, robots still fall short of perfectly imitating humanness, leading people to perceive a mismatch between their expectations and their actual experiences of interacting with anthorpomorphized agents ( DiSalvo and Gemperle, 2003 ; Mori et al., 2012 ). Humanoid agents failing to mimic human behaviours realistically trigger customer frustration and disappointment, due to nonoptimal informational and service outcomes ( Mimoun et al., 2012 ). Notably, customers still perceive even perfectly human-like embodied virtual agents as worse than human agents ( Castelo et al., 2018 ). Research in social robotics puts forth the notion that people experience feelings of threat, discomfort, or eeriness toward highly human-like, virtual creatures ( Gray and Wegner, 2012 ; MacDorman, 2005 ), described as the “uncanny valley” phenomenon ( Mori et al., 2012 ). In this vein, relative to human service employees, humanoid service robots negatively affect customers’ attitudes toward the company ( Castelo et al., 2018 ; Mende et al., 2019 ). Beyond, dealing with fully autonomous anthropomorphized agents reduces customers’ perceived behavioural control and outcome responsibility in service settings ( Jörling et al., 2019 ). Relationship marketers need to gently introduce their customers to these new anthropomorphized agents and first make sure the new employees fulfill their tasks competently, as customers’ excitement about artificial intelligence-based applications is still accompanied by substantial scepticism too.

2.4. Big data

In the digital age, the continuous advances in technology entail the generation of staggering amounts of digital data on a daily basis. Customer data has been promoted as the most important currency of our time—the “new oil” ( Barratt, 2019 )—and academic evidence promotes their purposeful management and analysis as essential to company success ( Bradlow et al., 2017 ; Grewal et al., 2017 ). Users of Internet-based technologies leave digital footprints, such that firms can track, aggregate, and analyze their online behaviours and thereby acquire detailed information about each user. Companies can make use of the vast information available about their customers to serve them better and develop more relevant relationships. A firm's capabilities in effectively learning from customer data may yield productivity gains and profit enhancements of 5%–6% over competitors that fail to utilize such information ( Biesdorf et al., 2013 ). Firms such as Adobe, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP have developed software-based solutions to help companies benefit from big data in their customer relationship management efforts.

On the bright side, big data holds the potential of myriad advantages for customers. Specifically, the richness of digital data more than ever enables personalized relationships , involving customized services, individualized content, and personally valuable messages and offers (e.g., coupons, discounts) ( Martin and Murphy, 2017 ). Customers appreciate personalized experiences ( Aguirre et al., 2015 ), especially when they are granted control over their privacy settings ( Tucker, 2014 ). They have come to expect companies to effectively employ big data to produce augmented customer insights that lead to individually relevant, highly personalized, and real-time (e.g., location-based) treatment for customers ( Burke, 2002 ; Fruend, 2017 ). Benefits from such customization enhance customers’ willingness to disclose data ( Mothersbaugh et al., 2012 ). Schumann et al. (2014) show that customers view disclosing their data through a reciprocity lens, where their data serves as a currency in exchange for free services.

There is a dark side to big data though, such that it can spur substantial privacy concerns among customers. Privacy concerns may act as important barriers to relationship formation and development ( Eastlick et al., 2006 ; Phelps et al., 2000 ), especially if firms neglect to offer transparent data privacy policies or incur data breaches ( Martin et al., 2017 ). As famous examples, data breaches at Yahoo, Citibank, and Wells Fargo have sparked tremendous media attention ( Purdue University Global, 2019 ; Swinhoe, 2020 ), leading to heightened privacy concerns and reduced willingness of customers to provide personal information ( Shah et al., 2015 ). Companies should emphasize transparency and control in their approaches to data privacy, to alleviate the potential detrimental consequences of customer-perceived data vulnerability, which can be substantial ( Martin et al., 2017 ). Specifically, a company experiencing a data breach also incurs an average plunge in stock performance of −.27%, or a loss in shareholder value of $130 million on the day when the data breach is announced ( Martin et al., 2017 ). Negative customer reactions can evolve from the fear of privacy losses, such that they might provide false or only fragmentary information, opt out from company communications, or spread adverse word-of-mouth ( Krafft et al., 2017 ; Son and Kim, 2008 ). Any lack of transparency in a firm's handling of customer data will foster vulnerability feelings among customers, which can severely jeopardize the quality of the relationship ( Mothersbaugh et al., 2012 ). Specifically, when companies’ personalization efforts are based on covert rather than overt collection of information ( Aguirre et al., 2015 ) or when customers exhibit low levels of trust toward the firm ( Bleier and Eisenbeiss, 2015 ), data-based personalization practices will ignite customer reactance. Permission-based marketing may enable firms to account for individual customer preferences and hence mitigate some of these concerns ( Martin et al., 2017 ). Effective relationship marketing in the digital age requires companies to engage in proactive and ethical management of customer data that goes above and beyond legal data protection prerequisites ( Martin and Murphy, 2017 ).

3. Relationship marketing implications of the COVID-19 global pandemic

The COVID-19 global pandemic seemingly has magnified under a burning glass both the rich opportunities as well as the unresolved challenges of relationship marketing in the digital age. Over the past months, digitalization has gained traction at an unprecedented pace. Or, as McKinsey leaders took note in May 2020, after the pandemic globally had led to major lockdowns of economic and social life, “we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks” ( Baig et al., 2020 ).

3.1. COVID-19 as a catalyser of relationship marketing opportunities

From a relationship marketing perspective, COVID-19 has unleashed the power of technology in fostering uniquely seamless, communal, parasocial, and personalized relationships. Specifically, while the coronavirus pandemic has put many industries and companies into an existential economic crisis, it has, on the positive side, also enabled technology-ready providers to thrive during these economically tough times. Companies that were all set to provide customers with a seamless online experience independent from selling through in-store retail outlets have seen tremendous growth during lockdowns. Retailers such as Amazon with advanced e- and m-commerce channels in place have experienced surging demand, spread across an increased range of product categories and requiring the firm to hire large numbers of additional warehouse workers ( Wakabayashi et al., 2020 ). Likewise, remote services are booming: While gyms were unavailable to their members, Peloton as a provider of in-home workout products (e.g., bikes and treadmills) and app-based live and on-demand courses reported 66% growth in quarter revenue and 30% growth in membership subscriptions ( Valinsky, 2020 ).

Many firms have used the opportunities of social networks to foster a sense of community and solidarity bonds with their customers. To join the global corona-related conversation, companies shared examples of their own responsible behaviours (e.g., taking care of their customers and employees, donating to coronavirus funds) and appealed to people's solidarity, using popular hashtags such as #weareinthistogether, #staysafestayhome, or #flattenthecurve. With #playinside and #playfortheworld, Nike twittered on the importance of team spirit during these challenging times and motivated their followers to contribute their part to the global team fighting the spread of the coronavirus. Some industries in particular were hit hard by the pandemic, such as the tourism industry. To enhance the emotional connection with their customers, German cruise shipping company AIDA continuously posts under #welovetoseeyouagain on their Facebook site, sharing impressions of their ships that ran ashore in harbours around the world or introducing customers to a variety of on-board crew members and their jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also strongly accelerated the relevance of anthropomorphized agents as parasocial service employees. Service robots have been tremendously helpful in clinical care where they helped health care workers remotely take temperatures, deliver meals or prescriptions to quarantined patients, or transporting infectious samples to laboratories. In public safety applications, robots were employed for social distancing enforcement, disinfection of public spaces, or broadcasting of public service announcements ( Murphy et al., 2020 ). Many other applications have shown to be effective, and customers indicate growing comfort toward dealing with anthropomorphized agents ( Demaitre, 2020 ).

Finally, as put forth by Shah and Shah (2020) , the COVID-19 pandemic represents “our most meaningful Big Data and analytics challenge so far.” Contact tracing through mobile technologies can potentially play a game-changing role in pandemic spreading prevention. If developed and implemented effectively, coronavirus tracing apps can enable precise forecasts of infection risks, down to a hyper-local, neighbourhood level, thereby avoiding across-the-board lockdowns of public life and improving the lives of the individual and the community.

3.2. COVID-19 as a catalyser of relationship marketing challenges

However, COVID-19 and the necessary ad-hoc movement of customer relationships to the online sphere has also laid bare the existing flaws in increased technology usage in relationship marketing. Technology, in the form of e- and m-commerce channels, has been indispensable to keep businesses alive and available during store lockdowns and enable customers to shop remotely and safely. Yet, the abrupt switch to almost online-only shopping will likely have a lasting impact on the retail landscape, such that the pandemic panders to and expedites the cannibalization of in-store retail. Layoffs in U.S. retail have reached historic levels due to COVID-19, with retailers cutting more than 114,000 jobs in the first four months of 2020 ( Picchi, 2020 ). And, customers’ shopping behaviours are expected to undergo permanent changes during the pandemic, with more people turning to online shopping for an expanded set of product categories, online grocery shopping being a prime example ( Davis, 2020 ; Lipsman, 2020 ). These behavioural shifts will put in-store retail into long-term trouble, requiring companies to develop new strategies for their stores to offer value to customers in a post-pandemic new normal.

At best, companies can use their social networks during the coronavirus crisis to foster communal relationships with their customers through signs of solidarity and sharing success stories of their exemplar crisis management. However, during such challenging times for everyone, customers have an especially keen sense of company actions they do not deem exemplar or ethical. Resulting social media firestorms can put an inglorious spotlight on the firm. For example, Adidas received fierce backlash from customers for holding back rent payments for their stores, ranging from calls to boycott the brand to customers posting videos of themselves burning their Adidas sports shirts ( Buck and Storbeck, 2020 ).

Despite the steep increase in the usage of service robots and their observed effectiveness across a variety of settings, customer scepticism toward anthropomorphized agents persists. For example, 25% of consumers indicated in a survey that they would not order items online if they knew the order would be delivered by a robot ( Demaitre, 2020 ). Beyond, experiencing robotic capabilities as well as job insecurity during the coronavirus crisis has likely increased some people's worries that artificial intelligence-based agents will at some point become a threat to human intelligence, such that service robots may displace jobs or mislead customers into thinking they are talking to an actual person. Hence, while the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a change in many customers’ perceptions of and feelings toward anthropomorphized agents, companies employing such agents in their interactions with customers still need to build trust through increasing exposures and favourable experiences.

The increasing reliance on digital products and services during the COVID-19 pandemic has continuously been accompanied by data privacy concerns. With lockdowns and social distancing in place, many people were out of a sudden dependent on online communication solutions for business and private purposes, such as video conferencing applications. U.S. company Zoom Video Communications offers one of the market-leading applications. While customers have come to appreciate Zoom's functionalities and reliability, the firm has received harsh criticism for their handling of user data. Experts have identified a number of data privacy and security issues, from hacker attacks during video meetings (“Zoom bombing”) to in-app surveillance measures to the selling of user data to Facebook, eventually criticizing the app as “malware” and “a privacy disaster” ( Paul, 2020 ). In response to such reports, several well-known companies and organizations (e.g., Bank of America, Daimler AG, NASA) have banned the use of Zoom, directing their employees to competitive products such as Microsoft Teams ( Wu et al., 2020 ). Hence, some companies have not only seen an explosion in demand for their product category, but were also confronted with drastic shortfalls in data privacy and security, requiring immediate and substantial advancement of their offering to not alienate customers in the long run.

4. Conclusion

In the digital age we live in, relationship marketing is of ever-increasing relevance for company success and prosperity ( Palmatier and Steinhoff, 2019 ). The strong conceptual foundations of relationship marketing established over four decades of academic research encounter an increasingly elaborate and sophisticated toolbox of technologies to support companies in their efforts to engage customers in successful relational exchanges. However, simply adopting these promising digital tools does not guarantee effectiveness; firms have to do it right. In this commentary, we have presented four major technological trends (e-commerce and m-commerce channels, social networks, anthropomorphized agents, big data) and discussed the opportunities and challenges involved in each. The current COVID-19 global pandemic has acted like a magnifying lens for both these potentials and pitfalls, thereby representing a particularly fruitful and important learning experience to relationship marketers.

Findings from extant research and observations from business practice have paved the way for rich future research opportunities (see Steinhoff et al., 2019 for a research agenda). Profound insights are needed on the contingencies of the diverse technology tools, such that managers can leverage each tool's bright sides while alleviating its inherent dark sides. Beyond, we encourage work on the interplay of the different components of the toolbox and their joint contributions to overall relationship performance. In conclusion, we feel confident that especially in these times of economic turmoil coming along with a global pandemic, the value of customer relationships will mount even further ( Binder and Hanssens, 2015 ), such that those companies with strong customer relationships find themselves in a promising position to overcome the crisis and thrive in the long run.

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Essays About Relationships: Top 5 Examples Plus 8 Prompts

With rich essays about relationships plus prompts, this writing guide could help you contemplate relationships, including your own.

Healthy relationships come with the rewards of intimacy, love, and the support we need. Learning to preserve healthy relationships and throw out harmful ones is a critical skill to lead a successful life. That is exactly why Warren Buffet , one of the most successful investors, said the most important decision you will make is your choice of a significant partner. 

There are several types of relationships your essay could focus on in your next piece of writing. Take a leap and tackle intimate individual-level relationships or community or even global-level relationships. You might also be interested in our list of books to read after a breakup .


5 Essay Examples

1. relationship weight gain is real — and can be a sign of happiness by angela haupt, 2. what does it mean to be ‘ready’ for a relationship by julie beck, 3. why adult children cut ties with their parents by sharon martin, 4. a relationship under extreme duress: u.s.-china relations at a crossroads by michael d. swaine, 5. how to build strong business relationships — remotely by jeanne m. brett and tyree mitchell, 1. strengthening communication in relationships, 2. helping children build healthy friendships, 3. how social media affects our relationships , 4. establishing relationships with influencers, 5. importance of police-community relationships, 6. dealing with challenging work relationships, 7. promoting cross-cultural relationships among schools, 8. why do long-term relationships fail.

“…[A]mong those who had been married for more than four years, happy couples were twice as likely to put on weight than couples who reported not being as content with their relationship.”

Gaining pounds when you’re in a relationship is real. This essay backs it up with research and even seeks to answer who puts on the most pounds in the relationship. For those hoping to transform their lifestyle, the essay offers practical tips couples can do together to lose pounds while protecting the relationship and preserving the joy that brought them together. You might also be interested in these essays about divorce .

“Readiness, then, is not a result of achieving certain life milestones, or perfect mental health. And checking off items on a checklist doesn’t guarantee a relationship when the checklist is complete.”

People have a variety of reasons for not being ready to commit to a relationship. They may be more committed to developing their careers or simply enjoy the solitude of singlehood. But this essay debunks the concept of readiness for building relationships. Through interviews, one finds that relationships can happen when you least expect them. You might also be interested in these essays about reflection .

“Parent-child relationships, in particular, are expected to be unwavering and unconditional. But this isn’t always the case—some adults cut ties with or distance themselves from their parents or other family members.”

No matter how painful it is, some adults decide to cut off family members to heal from a toxic or abusive childhood relationship or protect themselves if the abuse or toxicity continues. In exploring the primary causes of estrangement, the well-researched essay shows that estrangement may run deep with years of conflict and many attempts to recover the relationship, rather than merely being the whim of selfish adults.

“…Beijing and Washington are transitioning from a sometimes contentious yet mutually beneficial relationship to an increasingly antagonistic, mutually destructive set of interactions.”

The essay charts the 40-year relationship between China and the US and points out how both parties have mutually benefited from the bilateral relations. This starkly contrasts Washington’s accusation that the relationship has been a zero-sum game, one of the numerous oft-heard allegations in the Washington community. But with the looming increase in tension, competition, and potentially a devastating Cold War between the two, parties must work to find a middle ground.

“Although many managers have adapted to virtual meetings to replace face-to-face ones as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, developing new business relationships online presents a particular set of challenges.”

Authors interview 82 managers pre-pandemic and reconnect with some during the health crisis to find out how they have been building relationships with business partners through virtual meetings. Most admit the challenge of establishing trust and assessing partners’ competency, especially when billion-dollar deals are at stake. The authors offer four key pieces of advice to overcome these difficulties. You might find our guide on how to write a vow helpful.

8 Writing Prompts On Essays About Relationships

Essays About Relationships: Strengthening communication in relationships

We all know that communication is what strengthens relationships. But this is easier said than done when both sides want to talk and not listen. For this prompt, discuss the importance of open communication in relationships. Then, offer tips on how to improve communication in relationships and deal with communication gaps. One scenario you can look into is discussing problems in a relationship without getting into a heated debate.

In this essay, you can help parents become effective coaches for their children to make and keep friends. Warn them against being too authoritative in directing their children and instead allow the kids to be part of the ongoing conversation. Give your readers tips on how to build friendships such as promoting kindness, sharing, and understanding from a young age. You may also enjoy these essays about friendships .

When writing this essay, list the positive and negative effects of social media on relationships. A positive outcome of having social media is 24/7 access to our loved ones. One negative effect includes decreased time for more meaningful physical bonding. So, provide tips on how people in relationships can start putting down their mobile phones and talk heart-to-heart again. 

Influencer marketing has become one of the most popular and effective ways to spread your brand message on social media. First, explore why consumers trust influencers as credible product or service review sources. Then, try to answer some of the burning questions your readers may have, such as whether influencer marketing works for big and small businesses and how to choose the perfect influencer to endorse your brand.

In a working police-community relationship, police officials and community members work together to fight crime through information-sharing and other measures. Discuss this interesting topic for an exciting essay.

First, look into the level of working relationship between the police and your community through existing enforcement programs. Then, with the data gathered, analyze how they cooperate to improve your community. You can also build on the United States Department of Justice’s recommendations to lay down the best practices for strengthening police-community relationships. 

Essays About Relationships: Dealing with challenging work relationships

Amid competition, a workplace must still be conducive to cooperative relationships among employees to work on shared goals. Create an essay that enumerates the negative effects of work relationships on employee productivity and an office’s overall performance. Then cite tips on what managers and employees can do to maintain a professional and diplomatic atmosphere in the workplace. You can include points from the University of Queensland recommendations, including maintaining respect.

Students in a foreign country tend to feel distant from school life and society. Schools have a critical role in helping them feel at home and safe enough to share their ideas confidently. Set out the other benefits school environments can reap from fostering robust cross-cultural relationships and cite best practices. One example of a best practice is the buddy system, where international students are linked to local students, who could help expand their networks in the facility and even show them around the area to reveal its attributes.

When couples make it through the seven-year itch or the average time relationships last, everything down the road is said to be more manageable. However, some couples break up even after decades of being together. Explore the primary causes behind the failure of long-term relationships and consider the first signs that couples are growing distant from each other.

Look into today’s social sentiments and determine whether long-term relationships are declining. If they are, contemplate whether this should be a cause for concern or merely an acceptable change in culture. For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers and our essay writing tips .

an essay on marketing relationship

Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.

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Information dissemination, transparency, accountability of public funds.

  • Management should have regular staff meeting with their departments and communicate the plans, vision and mission statements of the department so that civil staff is always on their toes
  • Civil servants should also communicate their products with the communities because when people know your brand they are going to be loyal to you provided they are satisfied with your product.
  • There should be feedback ratings where clients can immediately give feedback after the service has been provided.
  • Regular workshops should be conducted with the staff
  • Suggestion box should be placed in government departments so that people can rate the services that they were provided with.
  • Employment appointments should also not be provide based on political affiliations because most of the time people who occupies such offices are incompetent
  • Berry, L, L (1983). Relationship Marketing. Emerging Perspectives on Service Marketing. Chicago: American Marketing Association. p. 25.
  • CIPFA (2013). Consultation Draft June 2013.Good Governance in the Public Sector Consultation Draft for an International Framework. June 2013.
  • Emad A. Abu-Shanab. The Relationship between Transparency and E-government: An Empirical Support. Department, IT College Yarmouk University, Irbid,
  • Ismail, N, Bayet, S and Meyer, I. 1997. Local government Management. Johannesburg International Thomson Publishing. Southern Africa.
  • Kapa, M, A. 2005 Lesotho's local government system: A critical note on the structure and its implications for popular participation and service delivery. National University of Lesotho

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Call for Papers | Journal of International Marketing: Digital Platforms and Ecosystems in International Marketing

Call for Papers | Journal of International Marketing: Digital Platforms and Ecosystems in International Marketing

an essay on marketing relationship

The business world has witnessed the emergence of new digital technologies and business models in the past two decades. For example, the rise of digital platform business models in retail and IT services has disrupted traditional models, making firms reconsider their business strategies and creating new opportunities for marketers to create value for buyers and other stakeholders (Perren and Kozinets 2018). Digital platforms intermediate between sellers, buyers, and other stakeholders via digital architecture often manifested as mobile and web applications (e.g., sharing economy platforms; Kozlenkova et al. 2021). The platform firm decides on the extent of governance accountability it will take in the entire value-creation process. Ecosystems, of which platforms can be a part, are networks of independent but interdependent actors participating in an industry’s or economic sector’s value chain (Nambisan, Zahra, and Luo 2019). Both platforms and ecosystems create value via direct and indirect network externalities (Kumar, Nim, and Agarwal 2021; Sridhar, Mantrala, Naik, Thorson 2011; ), with value cocreation at the core of actors’ business models and strategies.

In today’s Internet Age, digital platforms have no geographic borders. Platform business models are becoming a go-to strategy for international firms across the globe. For example, retailers are increasingly considering the platformization of their brands to add more value to their core offerings (Wichmann, Wiegand, and Reinartz 2022). With the help of digital technologies, it has become easier to expand into multiple markets simultaneously without diluting the supply chain advantages and brand positioning. Consider the low-cost e-commerce firm Temu from China, operating in more than 50 global markets and developing a strong ecosystem after launching in 2022. Temu consumers get access to various global sellers, making the domestic and international markets more competitive (Deighton 2023).

At the same time, marketers with new ways to create and capture value get access to an expanded target market. For example, as an entertainment platform, Netflix has launched different product and subscription pricing strategies in markets like India to compete with Disney, Amazon, and Reliance (Sull and Turconi 2021). Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter connect project creators and backers across the globe. Social media platforms have further amplified the reach of such retail and commerce platforms across both business and consumer markets (Gao et al. 2018). Thus, digital platforms and ecosystems can be considered a contemporary approach to internationalization and thereby are of great interest to marketing managers, policy makers, and regulators in both developed and emerging markets (Hewett et al. 2022).

However, research and knowledge of the dynamics of digital platforms and ecosystems in international marketing is still rather limited. A deeper understanding of how digital platforms can be utilized in the global marketing efforts of businesses is needed. Understanding digital platforms utilized across markets for sustainability, water conservation, health care, and other pressing issues and from the perspectives of NGOs and governments is urgently needed (Falcke, Zobel, and Comello 2024).

The purpose of this special issue, therefore, is to significantly advance research investigating the role of platforms and ecosystem business models across various facets of international marketing. Of special interest are papers focusing on the evolution and formation of digital platform-based global marketing strategies and business models, providing concepts, frameworks, theories, and empirical insights helpful for customers, firms, regulators, policy makers, and governments.

Research bearing on (but not limited to) the following questions is welcome: 

  • Different modes of platforms and ecosystems as internationalization approaches: a. How orchestrator firms build digital and nondigital architecture across different markets while entering or growing in a market. b. How these modes differ due to within and across market heterogeneity leading to different marketing strategies. c. How the consumer culture of a market complements the different modes.
  • Impact of platform and ecosystem approach on the international marketing mix: a. How stakeholders drive or impact product development and innovation processes. b. How integrating private label brands by platforms and using seller data impacts platform outcomes. c. How pricing strategies evolve and change over time with platforms and ecosystem approaches. d. How subscription and non-subscription pricing strategies evolve across various markets. e. How the supply chain and distribution network strengthens or weakens as the industry moves toward platform and ecosystem approaches. f. How the orchestrator firm develops or chooses partners for various marketing activities across and within developed and developing markets. g. How the promotion mix of the platform and ecosystem-based offering differ from traditional business models within and across industries (B2B vs. B2C) and markets. h. How culture interacts with platform and ecosystem strategies, and how this impacts firms and other stakeholders.
  • Impact on market structure, competition, and consumer and stakeholder welfare: a. Do platforms and ecosystems command higher market power, impacting the welfare of consumers and other stakeholders? b. Do platform and ecosystems approaches vary across industries (e.g., retail, energy, transportation)? How does these approaches impact the marketing mix in a market? c. Does higher platform power lead to consumer and stakeholder welfare erosion? d. How can marketers navigate the competition and coopetition to make a platform successful across various markets? e. What lessons can be learned from technology platforms like Google and Apple to navigate the tricky technological and regulatory landscape? f. What is the role of government and regulatory bodies in supporting or deterring the platform’s growth to ensure the welfare of stakeholders? g. Do dark patterns affect customer welfare? (For example, subscription pricing charges and policies that are not visible to consumers and the role of regulators.) h. Is there a loss of local livelihood that affects sellers as platforms integrate private label brands? i. What is the impact of the rise of circular platforms on sustainable value chains and stakeholders across developed and developing markets?
  • Customer attitudes and actions within and across platforms and ecosystems: a. Conceptual similarity for customer-based outcomes for platform firms and other stakeholders. b. Measurement of customer experience, satisfaction, and engagement with digital platforms and ecosystems. c. Management of failures and customer recovery in multisided platforms and ecosystems. d. Customer journey management across various digital and nondigital touchpoints in platforms and ecosystems. e. Interdependence of consumers’ relationships with and perceptions of brands or partners operating across platforms and ecosystems. f. How marketers can explore circular platforms and ecosystems to help firms be sustainable value chains and positive customer attitudes. g. Platform exploitation by customers and disintermediation.

This list of topics and questions is reflective but not exhaustive of the current state of industry and academic literature. We call for more interdisciplinary and foundational research to expand the horizons of platforms and ecosystems literature in International Marketing. We invite all types of research—qualitative, behavioral, and empirical—and encourage researchers to identify multiple sources of data and motivation for this special issue.

Submission Process

All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue of the Journal of International Marketing. Manuscripts must be submitted between March 1, 2025 and May 30, 2025. All submissions will go through Journal of International Marketing ’s double-anonymized review and follow standard norms and processes. Submissions must be made via the journal’s ScholarOne site , with author guidelines available here . For any queries, feel free to reach out to the special issue editors.

Special Issue Editors

Nandini Nim, Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Texas at El Paso (email: [email protected] )

Murali Krishna Mantrala, Ned Fleming Professor of Marketing, University of Kansas (email: [email protected] )

Ayşegül Özsomer, Professor, Koç University, and Editor in Chief, Journal of International Marketing (email: [email protected] )

Adner, Ron (2022), “Sharing Value for Ecosystem Success,”  MIT Sloan Management Review , 63 (2), 85–90.

Deighton, John (2023), “How SHEIN and Temu Conquered Fast Fashion—and Forged a New Business Model,” Harvard Business School (April 25), .

Falcke, Lukas, Ann-Kristin Zobel, and Stephen D. Comello (2024), “How Firms Realign to Tackle the Grand Challenge of Climate Change: An Innovation Ecosystems Perspective,”  Journal of Product Innovation Management , 41 (2), 403–27.

Gao, Hongzhi, Mary Tate, Hongxia Zhang, Shijiao Chen, and Bing Liang (2018). “Social Media Ties Strategy in International Branding: An Application of Resource-Based Theory.  Journal of International Marketing , 26 (3), 45–69.

Hewett, Kelly, G. Tomas M. Hult, Murali K. Mantrala, Nandini Nim, and Kiran Pedada (2022), “Cross-Border Marketing Ecosystem Orchestration: A Conceptualization of Its Determinants and Boundary Conditions,”  International Journal of Research in Marketing , 39 (2), 619–38.

Kozlenkova, Irina V., Ju-Yeon Lee, Diandian Xiang, and Robert W. Palmatier (2021), “Sharing Economy: International Marketing Strategies,”  Journal of International Business Studies , 52, 1445–73.

Kumar, V., Nandini Nim, and Amit Agarwal (2021), “Platform-Based Mobile Payments Adoption in Emerging and Developed Countries: Role of Country-Level Heterogeneity and Network Effects,”  Journal of International Business Studies , 52, 1529–58.

Nambisan, Satish, Shaker A. Zahra, and Yadong Luo (2019), “Global Platforms and Ecosystems: Implications for International Business Theories,”  Journal of International Business Studies , 50, 1464–86.

Perren, Rebeca and Robert V. Kozinets (2018), “Lateral Exchange Markets: How Social Platforms Operate in a Networked Economy,”  Journal of Marketing , 82 (1), 20–36.

Sridhar, Shrihari, Murali K. Mantrala, Prasad A. Naik, and Esther Thorson. “Dynamic marketing budgeting for platform firms: Theory, evidence, and application.”  Journal of Marketing Research  48, no. 6 (2011): 929-943.

Sull, Donald and Stefano Turconi (2021), “Netflix Goes to Bollywood,” Teacher Resources Library, MIT Sloan School of Management (February 22),

Wichmann, Julian R.K., Nico Wiegand, and Werner J. Reinartz (2022), “The Platformization of Brands,”  Journal of Marketing , 86 (1), 109–31.

Other Resources

Adner, Ron (2017). Ecosystem as Structure: An Actionable Construct for Strategy,”  Journal of Management , 43 (1), 39–58.

Akaka, Melissa A., Stephen L. Vargo, and Robert F. Lusch (2013), “The Complexity Of Context: A Service Ecosystems Approach for International Marketing,”  Journal of International Marketing , 21 (4), 1–20.

Gawer, Annabelle and Michael A. Cusumano (2014). “Industry Platforms and Ecosystem Innovation,”  Journal of Product Innovation Management , 31 (3), 417–33.

Glavas, Charmaine, Shane Mathews, and Rebekah Russell-Bennett (2019), “Knowledge Acquisition via Internet-Enabled Platforms: Examining Incrementally and Non-Incrementally Internationalizing SMEs,”  International Marketing Review , 36 (1), 74–107.

Kanuri, Vamsi K., Murali K. Mantrala, and Esther Thorson (2017), “Optimizing a Menu of Multiformat Subscription Plans for Ad-Supported Media Platforms,”  Journal of Marketing , 81 (2), 45–63.

Zhou, Qiang (Kris), B.J. Allen, Richard T. Gretz, and Mark B. Houston (2022), “Platform Exploitation: When Service Agents Defect with Customers from Online Service Platforms,”  Journal of Marketing , 86 (2), 105–25.

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610 Relationship Essay Topics and Examples

🏆 best relationship titles and essay examples, 👍 good relationship topics, 🎓 simple & easy titles about relationships, 🥇 most interesting relationship research titles, 👍 argumentative essay topics about relationships, ✍️ relationship essay topics for college, ❓ research questions about relationships.

Relationships essays are essential for many different fields of study, especially the social sciences. Whether the topic is that of friendship, mothers, fathers, siblings, distant relatives, or life partners, there is a vast wealth of information titles you can explore.

You can discuss the formation of various bonds between people, its expressions, and how relationships endure or fall apart over time.

Separation, both physical and spiritual, and its effects on existing bonds can be particularly pertinent topics in our age, where people feel that long-distance relationships have become easier due to the emergence of the Internet.

Similarly, you can observe the changes in family relationships that have emerged now that there is much more mobility, and relatives can live far apart. By combining these ideas with excellent writing guidelines, you will write a powerful essay.

The variety and complexity of human bonds is among the most fascinating relationship essay topics. A person will meet and get to know hundreds of people throughout his or her lifetime, and each such meeting establishes a relationship.

People can be friends, enemies, or in a variety of states in between, such as rivalry. These relationships allow them to work together well in case of friendlier attitudes but can impede their productivity if the people are hostile to each other.

This topic may be of interest to business managers and researchers who are interested in why cooperation succeeds or fails. However, keep in mind that the topic is still being studied, and no conclusive statements can be made.

The compatibility of various personalities is a source of many interesting relationship essay ideas. Psychology is a rapidly developing science, and its interpersonal component is of interest to a wide variety of people and organizations.

Considering how many different productive relationships can arise from interactions that are not necessarily friendly, the task of the researchers is large-scale and complex.

Some relationships can be vastly different despite involving similar pairs or groups of people, and it is the task of psychology to determine whether small differences in personality caused the changed outcome or it was a matter of chance.

The current research offers many interesting examples and explanations that you can use to make an impact.

Here are some additional tips for your writing process:

  • Consider the influence of prolonged and forced close conditions, such as cohabitation, workplace interactions, or family relations on how people’s attitudes towards each other develop and dedicate some relationship essay titles to them.
  • Some relationships are easier to establish than others, with distant relatives and friends of friends being examples. You may want to discuss how catalysts may influence the interactions between relative strangers.
  • Discuss the persistence of relationships when various issues, such as separation, surface. Provide statistics on concepts such as the success of long-distance relationships.
  • Conversely, you can try to discuss the role of emerging communication technologies on relationship formation and continuation. On the Internet, people can sometimes become friends without knowing each other’s name. Furthermore, many long-distance couples rely on web messaging and video chat features to stay close.
  • Romantic relationships deserve special attention due to their prominence in contemporary research and public awareness. Services such as Tinder make finding a partner much easier than before, but pairs formed in this fashion may not last as long as traditional ones.

Check the IvyPanda website to find a diverse selection of relationship essay examples and other useful paper samples!

  • The Relationship Between Eliezer and His Father Essay Their experience at the concentration camp changes the relationship between son and father, and the despicable treatment by the Nazis helps Eliezer and his father develop a strong connection.
  • Hamlet’s Relationship with His Mother (Gertrude) – Attitude Towards Her The conversation between Hamlet and his mother brings back Gertrude to her senses where she feels guilty and ashamed of her actions.
  • Social Media and Interpersonal Relationships This has made some of the relations blossom It can be concluded that social media has both positive and negative effects on relationships.
  • Factors Affecting Employee Relationships They explained that government policies needed to check the excessive imbalance of power between employers and employees in the labor market.
  • Stanley and Blanche Relationship in A Streetcar Named Desire The “impurity” of Blanche’s past suggests the final of the play and it is a quite logical completion of the story.
  • Relationship Between Language and Culture Essay The purpose of the essay is to clearly highlight the issue of intercultural communication with reference to language. Language is the first element that helps an individual to distinguish the cultural orientations of individuals.
  • Exploring Relationship in Raymond Carver’s “Why Don’t You Dance?” In the story, the author juxtaposes the young couple with the man to highlight the solitary existence of the latter. In contrast to the man, the boy and the girl feel as the people around […]
  • George Orwell’s 1984: Winston and Julia’s Relationship Essay In the relationship, Julia teaches Winston the idea of love, and the love feeling is then manipulated and directed towards Big Brother.
  • Relationships Between Dorian Gray, Lord Henry, and Basil Hallward The relationships between Dorian Gray, Lord Henry, and Basil Hallward are all different yet interesting to analyze. The Picture of Dorian Gray explores topics of male friendship and feelings.
  • Philosophy and Relationship between Freedom and Responsibility Essay As a human being, it is hard to make a decision because of the uncertainty of the outcome, but it is definitely essential for human being to understand clearly the concept and connection between freedom […]
  • Phonology and Morphology Relationship Essay This study shows that morphemes as trends of phonemes may not be a valid point of view because of the role of the phoneme in language.
  • Ethics and Morality Relationship Ethics is a term used to refer to the body of doctrines that guide individuals to behave in a way that is ideologically right, fine, and appropriate.
  • Relationships Between Gods and Mortals in Greco-Roman Mythology The popularity of the theme of love affairs between the gods and the mortals can be explained with the peculiarities of the concept of divinity in Greeks and Romans.
  • Interpersonal Relationships The level of interdependence among partners in interpersonal relationships allows for the influx of opinions, thoughts and feelings but the success and longevity of interpersonal relationships basically thrives on communication as a basic component, determining […]
  • Relationship Between Ethics and Religion Essay While a believer will pose that the two function as a couple, a non-believer, on the other hand will hold that morality is independent of religion.
  • Philosophy and Religion Relationships The most basic concept that is addressed by both religion and philosophy is the existence of good and evil. Education and the upbringing of a child are one of the key effectors on the forces […]
  • Does Age Matter in Relationships? However, it is important to note that this may be a source of conflict in a relationship. Another benefit associated with an age gap in relationships is maturity that the older partner is likely to […]
  • McDonald’s Customer Relationship Management Evaluation Essay If the relationship between the customers and the company is short-term and capricious, the chances of timely and honest communication are low.
  • Relationship Between Fact and Theory Considering the philosophical direction of this paper and the need to discuss the importance of facts regarding theories and vice versa, it could be difficult to find out which domination is possible and reasonable.
  • Arthur Miller: Relationships in the “Death of a Salesman” It is a satirical play that highlights the life of Willy Loman, the main character, a traveling salesman who has worked for Wagner Company for thirty-four years and ends up a failure because it is […]
  • Money, Happiness and Relationship Between Them The research conducted in the different countries during which people were asked how satisfied they were with their lives clearly indicated the existence of a non-linear relationship between the amount of money and the size […]
  • Humans’ Relationship and A Good Society Thus for a society to be a good one, the people living in it should relate well and solve differences with maturity and diplomacy. A good society is one that makes it comfortable for people […]
  • BMW’s CRM: Case Study This paper concentrates on the number of issues like conceptual framework of CRM, the adoption of CRM framework, CRM in the automobile industry, methodological framework, customer database, the effectiveness of CRM strategy on this company, […]
  • Power and Culture: Relationship and Effects The relational determination in a particular society is a product of the role and function of power in a designated society.
  • Father-Son Relationship in The Odyssey by Homer In Odyssey therefore, it is expected that the relationship of Odysseus and Telemachus is as admiring as it is; the father is proud of his son, who is courageous and the son is proud of […]
  • Father-Son Relationships in Hamlet – Hamlet’s Opinion In the case of Hamlet, he surrenders his own life and future to the will of his father, albeit following significant hesitation, not to mention the passage of an entire play.
  • The Relationship of Attention and Perception Essay Once the brain gathers information from the surrounding environment, attention allows one to select on what they want to focus on from the brain.
  • Relationships’ Types and Differences Common types of relationships include family relationships, intimate relationships, professional relationships, and friendships. Each of these relationships is expressed in a different stage of development.
  • Zora Neale Hurston & Langston Hughes: The Dispute That Ruined Their Relationship First, Hughes claims that he developed the plot of this play, did some characterizations and dialogues, whereas Hurston was supposed to recreate the atmosphere of Southern life as the action of Mule Bone took place […]
  • Heartland And Hinterland Relationship Concept in Canada The Net Migration Pattern The pattern of migration in relation to the hinterland and heartland was dictated by the socioeconomic opportunities at the place of destination and the flow of migrants was from the hinterlands […]
  • Human-Environment Relationships and Interaction The abundance of natural resources and the presence of different physical features might help not only to follow the trends of the global population but also to predict its movement and distribution of it. Interaction […]
  • What Is the Relationship between Language and Humanity? Biopolitics is crucial in the discussion of the relationship between humans and animals because it highlights the power of nature. In the same vein, man and animals have been differentiated by language, one of the […]
  • Dance and Mathematics Relationship Choreographers, in teaching dance techniques, can use knowledge of mathematics, the knowledge is also used to arrange dancers on the stage and control their movements.
  • The Relationship between Politics and Economics Today, political economy can be used to refer to some sections of a country’s economy that are influenced by politics and law or just the country’s whole economy being in relation to politics and law.
  • Tourism’ and Employment’ Relationship in the Present World Tourists’ payments act as a source of wages to employees in the tourism sector. Employees in the tourism sector require training and skill development as the industry requires different levels of skills.
  • The Relationship Between Entrepreneurship and Creativity On the entrepreneurial front, creativity should ensure that the profitability of an innovation in both monetary and social terms is tapped.
  • Relationship Between Average Cost and Marginal Cost The paper focuses on the relationship between average and marginal costs and importance of an entrepreneur’s knowledge about it.
  • Long-Distance and Extended Time Effect on Relationships Despite the negative views that many people have regarding long-distance relationships, research shows that there are couples who are in such arrangements and happy with the way they relate to each other. On the other […]
  • Relationship Between Buyer and Supplier It involves a client and a contractor whereby the client needs the contractor’s services in terms of expertise, manpower, and machineries required to create a product or infrastructure necessary for the development of the business.
  • Relationship between Form and Structure in Design They are the materials, climate and even a social structure that can dictate the form of a building. The form and function of a building can influence each other or even go separately.
  • Friendship as a Personal Relationship Friends should be people who are sources of happiness to one another and will not forsake each other even when everybody around is against them.
  • Power and Knowledge Relationship: Michel Foucault View On the other hand, he was of the opinion that knowledge is an aspect of power and that power is able to produce knowledge as opposed to acting as a deterrent to it.
  • Factors That Shape the Relationship Between the Buyer and the Suppliers The purpose of this paper is to identify the key factors that appear to shape the business-relationship between the supplier and the buyer.
  • Ethical Theories and Nepotism Relationships Relating to the ethical theory of ethics of justice to nepotism, it should be mentioned that justice is considered to be fair on the basis of various human considerations.
  • The Glass Menagerie: How Laura’s Relationship With Jim Changed the Tone of the Play Jim is Tom’s friend and was in the same school as Laura, he is engaged and when he tells this to Laura on their first meeting after school, she is heartbroken because she loved him.
  • Night by Elie Wiesel: Eliezer’s Changing Relationship With His Father He began to feel the loss and gripped with fear of losing his father, the forthcoming experiences and need for protection; he clings to his father.
  • Customer Relationship Management Besides, lack of proper communication was also one of the reasons that contributed to the poor relationship between the IBM and its customers.
  • The Relationship Between Kafka and His Father The father was a burden to him and though at times he was to be good to the son, his deep feelings of hatred towards his father would not be shaken by any good gesture […]
  • Relationships. To My Beloved Spouse on How to Love In order to be fair to each other, and not leave us guessing about where we stand or how we expect each other to act within the confines of our marriage, I thought it best […]
  • Tourism – Environment Relationships Relationship between tourism and the environment There is a great dependency of tourism on the environment as described by Holden and Fennel’s book The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Environment.
  • My Belief About Family Relationships I have chosen to discuss my belief about family relationships instead and how my father and family play an important role in shaping that belief. That is my belief in life and I know that […]
  • Marital Satisfaction Inventory for Relationship Therapy The Marital Satisfaction Inventory or the MSI is a data collection method in the form of a questionnaire. The MSI questionnaire is often used to diagnose the crisis of the marital subsystem at any stage […]
  • Relationship Between Population and the Environment The results revealed after the statistical analysis was performed that there is a negative relationship between the population increase and the emissions of carbon dioxide in the case of developed countries while on the other […]
  • Relationship Between Parents and Children The book is based on the story of a farmer and his family, who, due to the problematic nature of the head of the family, are forced to change their place of residence: “None of […]
  • Jim Peterson: Why Don’t We Listen Better? Communicating & Connecting in Relationships? This is a bit assuring; it helps in assuring the readers that they too will learn how to listen from this.
  • Discussion on Business-Government Relationship With the ever-changing dynamics of the business world, the government has assumed a senior role in protecting businesses and influencing the economy in an array of ways.
  • The Relationship Between Parental Influence and Juvenile Delinquency Parents that do not allow their children to play with their neighbors, or discourage their children from associating with particular families lead to the children developing a negative attitude towards the families.
  • Clay Spheres: The Mass and the Diameter Relationship In this experiment, the aim was to derive a relationship between the mass and the diameter of clay spheres to obtain the density.
  • Buyer-Supplier Relationships and Their Types These are as follows: Toyota: a federation of businesses dominated by a Toyota; the suppliers are partners, and the main company possesses partial ownership of these companies.
  • Love and Relationships in “The Notebook” Movie The paper explores the motion picture The Notebook because it is one of the vivid examples of a romantic story that demonstrates how love helps people to overcome challenges in life.
  • What Is the Relationship Between Capitalism and Democracy? The importance of the roles played by the stock market in the capitalistic economy is related considerably to the aspects of democracy and free market.
  • Fly Emirates: Customer Relationship Management One of the key advantages of CRM systems used in Fly Emirates is the increase in yearly revenue and the number of loyal customers.
  • Social Exchange Theory and Human Relationships The authors go further to argue that people tend to negotiate and comply with obligations of relationship building. In order to support the theory, the book uses the analogy of monetary value and exchange.
  • High Task & High Relationship Leadership Style Discussion of high task-high relationship leadership style The leadership underpinned by high-task-high relationship concerns with the inclusion of both tasks and relationships.
  • The Relationship Between Liberty and Necessity – David Hume On the other hand, Hume defines the concept of necessity as the kind of uniformity observed in the unique operations and processes in nature.
  • Survey to Study the Relationship Between Fast Food Consumption and Obesity The survey aims to analyze if there is any connection between consumption of fast food and obesity. The study aims to ascertain the relationship between fast food consumption and obesity.
  • What Is the Relationship Between Mind and Body? As noted by the author, Socrates depicted the human body as the part or an instrument of the soul, admitting at the same time that the corporal health depended directly on the wellness of the […]
  • Customer Relationship: Best Buy, the Body Shop and Walmart The store operates on the Customer-to-Customer platform and Business-to-Business platforms. The most notable CRM strategy adopted by the Best Buy is the contact management since it provides a decision support system to select the best […]
  • Relationship between Leadership and Management Additionally, it is apparent that the only constant in the business world is change, and for this reason, for employees to be sure of coping with such changes, there is need for them to acquire […]
  • Finches’ Beak Size and Seed Size Relationship The study aims to hypothesize the evolutionary relationship between the relative length of the beaks and the sizes of seeds that finches eat.
  • Relationship Between Crime Rates and Poverty This shows that the strength of the relationship between the crime index and people living below the line of poverty is.427.
  • Creating a Healthy Loving Relationship Offering support to the other partner at all times and in all endeavors enhances the bonding and creates a path for commitment of either partner in his/her role in the relationship.
  • The relationship between form and content The relationship between form and content has been affected by the advent of the Internet and the growth of Web publishing platforms.
  • Social Changes in Human Relationships and Interactions To achieve this goal, the paper will include the following sections: population social change, how the change is taking place, the engines driving the change, data demonstrating that this change is taking place and will […]
  • Unethical Behavior in Teacher-Student Relationships The relationship between teacher and student should be one for the welfare of a student. It is also applicable to the students and the first amendment of the US constitution allows all the students to […]
  • Entity Relationship Diagrams for IT Projects The weakness is that the system caused a months delay in reimbursement of the expenses and this caused a financial loss for the sales personnel.
  • The Relationship Between Economic Growth and Development To this end, the author is going to discuss the relationship between economic development and economic growth Economic Development Overview Economic development is characterised by the initiatives put in place to spearhead improvement of the […]
  • Culture and Public Administration Relationship in Canada Organizations in Canada can be characterized as ones who base their development on the principles not of the strong hierarchy and centralization, but on the possibilities for the communication and interaction on all the levels […]
  • Relationship Between Politics and Leisure in Australia In conclusion, the understanding of the term “leisure time” depends on the individual point of view and attitude of the person rather than on the type or the location of the activity.
  • Relationship Between Body and Consciousness by Jean-Paul Sartre In this regard, he posits that it is only possible to reflect on the nature of the body by first establishing the order of reflection. He therefore claims that the body is in the order […]
  • Marriage Relationships in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Hemingway Harry and his wife, Helen, are stranded in Mount Kilimanjaro and their interactions reveal that their rocky relationship is a result of a mixture of frustration, incorrect decisions, getting married for wrong reasons, and unreciprocated […]
  • Personality and Leadership Style Relationship According to his approach and tests, stable and introverted people are phlegmatic, stable and extroverted are sanguine, unstable and introverted are melancholic, and unstable and extroverted are choleric.
  • Culture Influence on Intimacy and Human Relationships These intrigues emerge when understanding the influence of culture on human relationships by understanding the influence of collectivist and individualistic cultures on intimacy.
  • Relationship Between Neoliberalism and Imperialism As the western world, led by the United States, later attained the control of the world long after the Second World War, the idea of putting the state at the centre of the economic functionality […]
  • Mother-Daughter Relationships in “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of “Two Kinds”, and to discuss the causes of differences between mothers and daughters and the moment of the conflict resolution.
  • Form Follows Function: Relationship between Form and Structure Thus, the construction of the building depends on many other issues, such as culture, landscape and the desire of the client, of course. The first factor that influences on the form of the building is […]
  • Theatre and Society Symbiotic Relationship Out of all the forms of art, theatre is the closest to society.”Theatre is the most social of the arts. Theatre is the most social form of art and the closest to society.
  • People and World Relationships For me, the most exciting thing to think of is the relationship between people and the world in which they live.
  • Relationship with Cell Phones Cell phones are people’s new relationship because people use them to execute many of their daily activities. They have encouraged multitasking and solitude because people spend a lot of time interacting with information and communication […]
  • Work Environment and Colleagues Relationships However, the work in the diverse environment can be a challenge and it is a task of the management to ensure that the working atmosphere is bias-free.
  • Effects of Internet Addiction on Family Relationships Among Teenagers In the modern society, cyber bullying refers to the instances where the individual uses the internet to interfere with the rights and freedoms of others.
  • Gender Communication in Romantic Relationship In order to understand the gender communication in romantic relationship it is important to understand the different styles of communication. It is up to the parties to determine the kind of interaction and intimacy they […]
  • Good Parent-Children Relationship Characteristics of the children compared to those of the parents can also influence the relationships between the parents and the children.
  • Relationship Between Education and Professional Life In general, experimental and empirical learning facilitates the person’s socialization, intellectual and cognitive maturation, so that the student gradually, year by year, develops social competence and the ability to contribute to the maintenance of reformation […]
  • Relationships in “A Mercy” by Toni Morrison The women portrayed in the story are Rebekka, the wife of the farm owner Jacob Vaark, Florens, a black slave sold to the farmer, Lina, the Indigenous servant, and Sorrow, the woman with an unknown […]
  • Customer Relationship Management of Royal Bank of Canada The data can also be used in creating the profile of each and every customer. The bank anticipates the needs of its customers and discourages mass marketing to huge customer segments.
  • Gregor’s Relationship With His Father in “The Matamorphosis” This paper seeks to explore the father and son relationships in Metamorphosis and Oedipus the King and offers a comparison for the two.
  • The Relationship Between Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Conversely, the training offered to the PTA’s enables them to provide care, support, and physical handling of clients under a management strategy developed by the PT.
  • Relationship Dynamics in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” We are going to depict the marriage in Earnest as an option or a necessary “business” move in an aristocratic society using the prism of Wilde’s point of view on Victorians era.
  • Traditional Marketing vs. Relationship Marketing The study also brought the harmonization between the theory of relationship marketing and implementation of the relationship marketing.”The relationship marketing strategy of the future is one that builds a desire”.
  • Relationship Between Population and Economic Growth Consequently, Solow argues that the rate of population growth will be equal to the rate of economic growth in steady states.
  • Father-Son Relationships: Generation Gap The hierarchical relationship structure between father and son normally exists where directions and directives are given from a vertical order, that is, the father is all-knowing and gives all the directives, the son is supposed […]
  • Environmental Crisis: People’s Relationship With Nature It is apparent that people have strived to steer off the blame for the environmental crisis that the world is facing, but they are the primary instigators of the problem.
  • Parental Involvement in Teenage Relationships Parents can monitor their child’s academic progress, engage them in conversations about romance and relationships, and give them career advice and guidance. Parental involvement in their children’s academic and social lives helps parents to understand […]
  • Relationship Between Psychology and Christian Faith Truly, I have realized that sincerity is found in Jesus discipleship and the study of persona, but the varying aspects guiding the honesty are the belief in Christ and analytical thinking.
  • Relationships in the “Crazy, Stupid, Love” Movie The process of the revaluation of the timeless values is not instantons and finite. The main theme of that film is the human relationships and the problem of miscommunication in the family.
  • Bre-X Minerals Company: Management and Company’s Relationship Carrying out thorough investigations on all of the Bre-X Minerals Limited management team and the directors can be of greater essence in helping to determine the total value of the company’s prospects in gold. David […]
  • Parent-Child Relationships in “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker The more distant and fractious relationship is between the narrator and Dee. The narrator is referred to as “Mama,” and a mama she is.
  • Family Relationships Role in the Business It seems that Barry Jr, as well as the other shareholders, failed to implement family talents and skills in an effective way.
  • Apple and Brand-Customer Relationship An established brand loyalty is important to a company since it makes it more harder for new products to gain a market share, it increases a company’s ability and strength to respond to competitive threats, […]
  • The relationship between employees’ job satisfaction and customer satisfaction in service business The study is necessitated by the realization that customer satisfaction is determined by the perceptions the customers have on the nature and the quality of services offered.
  • Animation and Live Action’ Relationship in Cinema With the advent of the digital technology, changes in the relationship between live action and animation have become difficult to comprehend.
  • The Ideal Relationship This is because the woman is not supposed to be a follower of all the men in the planet. This and other roles should be clear to both of the parties involved in a relationship.
  • The Relationship between Political Stability & Economic Growth The government is very crucial to stability and economic development in a country because it holds the responsibility of developing legislation.
  • Compare the Relationship of Mothers and Daughters in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea The two works by the authors are related in that one work is the rewrite of another or almost the duplicate of another and therefore almost all the themes are the same in both books […]
  • Respect and Self-Respect: Impact on Interpersonal Relationships and Personal Identity It is fundamental to human nature to want to be heard and listened to.indicates that when you listen to what other people say, you show them respect at the basic level.
  • Relationship Between Language and Content in Poetry The imagery in the beginning of the red brick building with many windows is not used for anything else, except as a name and a closure at the end.
  • Personality Conflicts in Professional Relationships The aim of this paper is to discuss personality conflicts in the context of professional relationships. The paper has discussed the connection between personality types and conflicts in the context of professional relationships.
  • Airpower Tenets and Instruments Relationship Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of the relationship between the concept of airpower and its tenets and the instruments of power, and then explain two specific implications of this […]
  • Conflict Communication in Family Relationships People in conflict have to be ready to analyze their situations and problems to achieve the goals and come to a certain conclusion.
  • Intercultural Relationships Importance However, this study does not mean that a person is born with a predetermined perception on things, only that genes can define the temperament of the person and can later suggest different preferences of beliefs […]
  • Descriptive and Inferential Statistics’ Relationship For example, in a variable such as incomes of patients, the best statistics to represent the typical income would be the mean the mean and / or the median.
  • Legal Environment: Agency and Employment Relationship In relation to agency and employment, laws of agency bind contracts between employee and employer as well as employee agencies and employers.
  • The Puritans and the American Natives Relationship An important aspect that contributed to the religious conflict between the Puritans and the Natives was the means through which religious beliefs were shared.
  • Players Salaries’ And Ticket Prices’ Relationship There is a direct relationship between the salaries of players and the price of tickets in the World Cup. FIFA contributes a certain percentage of receipts to the salaries of teams which participate in the […]
  • The Changing Relationship Between the Generations’ Youth Studies Australia In regard to the current economy reforms of Australia, the author argues that it does not favour the young generation the way it favoured the older generation.
  • The Issue of “Man’s Relationship with the Divine” in Greek Mythology As the reader explores the idea of divinity throughout most of the Greek mythologies and epics, it becomes clear that there is a strong connection between the people of Greece and their gods thus making […]
  • Shinto and Its Relationship With China and Buddhism As such, those who identify with the two religions have continued to engage in practices of the Buddhist and Shinto faiths either knowingly or unknowingly.
  • Interpersonal Relationship Theories The attraction theory states that people form relationships based on five principles of attraction: similarity, proximity, reinforcement, physical attractiveness and personality, socioeconomic and educational status, and reciprocity of liking. It is based on the economic […]
  • Belongings and Relationship With Past Experiences These memories can make us relive the moments of the past and have the same feelings as we once had. Both the poem and the excerpt from the memoir can bring back old memories.
  • Mother-Daughter Relationship: Is It Good of Bad? Therefore, the mother is also the first person who can explain to her daughter the basic purposes and roles that a woman should perform in life.
  • Love and Relationship Humans have always asked inexplicable questions about love such as, “Why do we fall in love?” or “What makes us love others?” We may not necessarily have perfect answers for all the questions regarding love […]
  • What Is the Relationship Between the Social Definition of Deviance and the Media’s Role in the Dissemination of Popular Culture? The main function of news media is to offer mass audience with information and account of events that occur in the world.
  • Relationships Between American Literature and American Society Therefore this paper will look at the American literature from the time of colonization by the Europeans, and how various events social and historical have shaped the American literature, making it unique among other literal […]
  • Medical Anthropology. Doctor-Patient Relationships The outcome of the doctor-patient interaction depends on the doctor’s ability to engage the patient in decision-making and share the control and power in the relationship.
  • Key Aspects of Buyer and Supplier Relationship The main purpose of this work is to determine the main factors that shape a successful buyer/supplier relationship and create a certain strategy to manage their interaction.
  • Adult Nursing: Therapeutic Interpersonal Relationships The concept of interpersonal relationship in health practice is something that continues to influence the quality of services and care available to different individuals.
  • Buyer-Supplier Relationship Management The major principles of cooperation are joint efforts and supported interdependency that can lead to the development of competitive advantages. According to the extended typology of buyer-supplier relationships suggested by Kim and Choi, the collaboration […]
  • Individual and Community Relationship The examples are countless: a new boy in the school, who has no friends, the only overweight girl in the class, the only women in a men’s team, an elderly person, an individual with disability, […]
  • Kiko Milano UK Company: Customer Relationships In the United Kingdom, Kiko Milano faced a problem of reductions in the number of customers who buy products online and in stores located in different regions of the country.
  • Thomas Hobbes’ and Classical Realism Relationship Neo-realism on the other hand is the modern realism practiced in most of the nations today. One of the greatest contributions that Hobbes made in realism was the definition of power.
  • The Relationship Between Audiences and Producers The discussion questions include the opportunities the new media present for audiences to become producers, internet as a “grassroots” medium as opposed to a “top-down” one, and the effect of creative “prosumers” on the diversity […]
  • Relationship of ’Community Engagement’ to Society Community engagement tries to harmonize the community regardless of the status in the society, and it does this by bringing people to the table – both the community members and the elites.
  • Do Antony and Cleopatra Transcend the East-West Divide in Their Relationship? This piece of work gives a critical analysis of the play, Antony and Cleopatra, with much emphasis given to the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra. From the play, it is palpable that the relationship between […]
  • The Relationship Between Self-Efficacy and Perceived Stress The last hypothesis is that there is a significant gender difference in the measures of self-efficacy, emotional intelligence, and perceived stress.
  • Historical Relationship of the Choctaws, Pawnees, and Navajos and How It Is Changing the Environment To begin with, the hunting practices of this native group, as well as the invasion of the European into their land, led to a great decline in the herds of the white-tailed deer in the […]
  • Social Media in Enhancing Social Relationships and Happiness Social media and technology assist to foster and maintain relationships where the people live in different geographical regions. There is a major concern that social media and technology poses a threat to the traditional fabric […]
  • Sustainable Development’ and Economic Growth’ Relationship The concepts of sustainable development and economic growth are interconnected with the aim of protecting the available wealth of the earth and at the same time creating more opportunities towards satisfaction of human needs.
  • Public Relations and Relationship Marketing The organizers of the 2011 Mobile Research conference should consider using public relations and relationship marketing in order to ensure that the event promotion is successful.
  • What is the Real Relationship between Jesus and God? The Bottom-Line Between God the Son and God the Father The Trinitarian believers puts the position of Jesus while trying to explain whom he was in comparison to the father in a better and more comprehensive fashion, that the Father is God, as well as […]
  • Family Relationship Analysis with Use of Genogram When we look at John and Mary’s relationship, we see that they have a close and stable relationship, which may have influenced their children’s and grandchildren’s communication patterns.
  • Responsibility in Romantic Relationships It is not a guarantee of absolute wisdom but a trait of a person who leads a conscious lifestyle and strives for productive and effective relationships with others.
  • Nurse-Patient Relationships and Implementation of Peplau’s Theory Due to its focus on patient needs, Peplau’s theory contributes to the improvement of the patient QoL in multiple ways. Firstly, Peplau’s theory stresses the importance of satisfying the basic patient needs so more mature […]
  • Mother vs. Grandmother Relationships Comparison However, in my case, proximity is in reverse proportion to the extent of emotional rapport and willingness to interact that I have been exhibiting in the dialogue with my mother and my grandmother.
  • Business Relationship Report In terms of the following report, a potential B2B model of cooperation between the UK and Turkey will be developed with the help of an examination of the stages required to ensure the relationship realization.
  • Self-Happiness and Its Impact on Romantic Relationships This boosts self-happiness and contributes to the general success of a romantic relationship. Self-happiness is vital in maintaining relationships and the overall connection between partners for relationship success.
  • Fashion and Architecture: Relationship The paper goes ahead and gives view of the positive aspects and negative aspects of the relationship of the field in view of the current, past and possible future trends. Areas of similarities between architecture […]
  • Political Economy: Relationship Between Poverty, Inequality, and Nationalism The prevalence of nationalism leads to changes in the education system, as the government tries to justify the superiority of the country by altering the curriculum.
  • Economy and Crime: The Relationship Economic crime is a serious problem for the business world, and it has become more and more aggravating with the development of technologies and with the growing availability of internet access.
  • Psychology and Enduring Relationships In line with this view and drawing on the link between the length and benefits of coupling, it is important to understand the psychology of enduring relationships to predict the extent that people stay together.
  • Relationships in Japanese History and Culture
  • The Relationship Between Religion and Abnormal Psychology
  • Small Team and Group Relationships
  • Motivation, Emotion, and Behavior Relationships
  • Economic and Music Industry’ Relationship in South Africa
  • Creating and Managing Interpersonal Relationships in Business
  • Transformational, Self-Leadership, Kyosei and Customer Relationship Leadership Styles
  • The Relationships Between Science and Religion
  • Starbucks service and relationship marketing
  • The relationship between employees and employer
  • Dual Relationships in Psychological Counselling
  • Thomas More and King Henry VIII, their Relationship
  • Islam Akhun and His Relationship With Aurel Stein in the Silk Road
  • Iago and Othello Relationships
  • Father-Son Relationships in “My Oedipus Complex” and “Powder”
  • William Shakespeare: Father-Daughter Relationship in “The Tempest”
  • Starbuck’s Ethical Relationship with Stakeholders
  • The Relationship between Stress Management and Criminal Recidivism
  • Business Relationships Aspects Analysis
  • The Relationship Between Epigenetics and the Effects of the Holocaust
  • Attachment Styles and Relationships
  • Organizational Relationship of Merck & Co.
  • EU-USA Relationship Analysis
  • Personal and Public Relationships in the Hooper’s Movie “The King’s Speech”
  • “Why CRM Doesn’t Work: How to Win By Letting Customers Manage the Relationship” by Frederick Newell
  • Hamlet’s Parental Relationships
  • Long-Term Intimate Relationships
  • Slaves-Masters Relationship in the United States
  • Personal Relationships Wellness Philosophy
  • Empirically Supported Relationships in Counseling
  • Technology and Language Relationships
  • Family Types, Relationships and Dynamics
  • Corporate Ethics and Organizational Culture Relationship
  • Trust in Employee-Organisation Relationship
  • Online Relationships Are Real and Positive
  • Inequality and Poverty Relationship
  • The Cultural-Individual Dialectic and Social Nature of Intercultural Relationships
  • Social Environments: Subjectivism and Objectivism Relationship
  • Why Some Victims Stay in a Sexually Abusive Relationship?
  • Dishonesty and Creativity: Exploring Relationship
  • Relationship Between Rewards and Employee’s Motivation
  • Relationship between Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Relationship Between Personality and Leadership Style
  • The Relationship between Color Vision and High Altitude
  • The Relationship Between the European Union and the United States
  • Elements of interpersonal relationships
  • Positive relationships in an education
  • Factors influencing successful buyer–seller relationships
  • Online Retailer-Consumer Relationship
  • Relationship between Individual and Society
  • Statistical Analysis of the Relationship Between the Two Variables
  • Sales Planning, Telemarketing and Customer Relationship Management
  • The Role of Communication in the Relationships
  • Evaluating Social Relationships
  • If “Love Is a Fallacy,” Are the “Loves” or Romantic Relationships Portrayed in the Story Logical or Illogical (Fallacious)?
  • Challenges of Relationship Management With Customers in Business Environment
  • The Relationship Between Employee and Employer
  • Attraction and Repulsion as the Drivers of Male-Female Relationships
  • Modern Families: Intimate and Personal Relationships
  • Age-Crime Relationships and Motivations
  • Man-Woman Relationship in “The Flea” by John Donne
  • The Relationship Between Green Buildings and Operations Management
  • Pedagogy and Andragogy: Learner-Teacher Relationship
  • Public Relations and Crisis Management Link
  • Friendship Type – Companionship Relationship
  • Relationship Between Law and History
  • Is Telling the Truth All the Time the Basis of Any Relationship?
  • Platonic and Familial Relationships in Emerging Adulthood
  • Christianity and Globalization – Relationship
  • An Analysis of Apple and Samsung’s Symbiotic Relationship
  • The Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Tenure
  • The Relationship Between Memory and Oblivion
  • Relationship Between Unemployment and Crimes
  • Starbucks Analysis: Identifying Key Transformation or Throughput Processes and Looking at the Relationships Between Them
  • Mathematics and Business Relationship
  • Relationship of Problem Solving to Leadership
  • Race and Social Class Relationship
  • Benedict De Spinoza Views on Religion and Politics Relationship
  • Organizational Behavior: Business Relationships Hypotheses
  • Post-Traumatic Relationship Syndrome Studies
  • Stress, Its Causes and Effects Relationship
  • Characters’ Relationship in ”The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
  • Defining Nature and our Relationship to Nature
  • Relationship Between Mothers and Daughters
  • Relationships and Love: “Hippolytus” by Euripides
  • Relationship Between Modern Imperialism and Economic Globalization
  • The Natural World, Human Identity, Human Relationships, and Civilization: A Perspective From the Book of Genesis
  • Major Argument and Minor Argument on Open Relationships
  • Ecomap and Genogram Relationship
  • Negotiation and Relationship Building
  • Interpersonal Communication and Effective Relationships
  • Relationships in Chinese Society
  • Challenging Conversations for Relationship Elaboration
  • Non-Verbal Cues in Close Relationships
  • Inattention in Patient-Nurse Relationships
  • Briggs and the Utku: Cultural Tendencies of Relationship
  • Home, Work, and Relationships in Modern Families
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IvyPanda. (2024, March 1). 610 Relationship Essay Topics and Examples.

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IvyPanda . (2024) '610 Relationship Essay Topics and Examples'. 1 March.

IvyPanda . 2024. "610 Relationship Essay Topics and Examples." March 1, 2024.

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an essay on marketing relationship

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How to Write a Consulting Proposal [Templates & Examples]

Allie Decker

Published: April 24, 2024

You’ve just wrapped up a call with a prospective consulting client. They’re interested in working with you. Congratulations! If you’ve found your way to this blog post, it’s safe to assume you now need to develop a consulting proposal for this client — and you need help doing so. That’s why I’m here.

Woman showing how to write a consulting proposal

In this post, I’ll explain what a consulting proposal is, and how to write one that your prospective clients can’t resist.

Download Now: Free Consulting Proposal Template

Table of Contents

What is a consulting proposal?

How to write a consulting proposal, parts of a consulting proposal, consulting proposal template for sales, consulting proposal template for marketing.

  • Sample Consulting Proposal

Consulting Proposal Tools

A consulting proposal is a document that outlines the nature, scope, and timeline of a specific consulting project. Like a salesperson’s pitch to a prospect, a consulting proposal highlights the problem your prospective client is experiencing and positions you, the consultant, as the solution.

Many prospective clients request proposals before officially signing on the dotted line. Why? In short, a consulting proposal outlines your working relationship so both parties can stay aligned and understand the other’s expectations. Proposals aren’t paper formalities — they signify the start of an important client-consultant relationship.

This document will effectively take your conversations with the prospect into an active working relationship. That’s why it’s important to write a good proposal.

A good consulting proposal must have the following information:

  • A summary of the problems or challenges that your prospect is facing.
  • A detailed account of how you’ll solve those problems.
  • A list of the results you’ll seek to achieve for their business.

It also includes contractual information such as fees and terms.

an essay on marketing relationship

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Before You Create a Consulting Proposal

Writing a consulting proposal will require a bit of pre-work. You’ll want to get to know your client’s needs and goals.

1. Chat with your client in person or over the phone.

You can’t write an effective consulting proposal without chatting with your prospective client first. Do your best to set up a phone call for this conversation; if you can, meet in person. An email will suffice for getting to know your client and their consulting needs, but letting them see your face and/or hear your voice will help you build trust with them.

2. Understand their challenges and needs.

The better you understand your prospective client’s challenges and pain points, the more impactful your proposal can be.

While a consulting proposal template can help get the job done, the details in your proposals should not be one-size-fits-all; they should be tailored to each client and their needs. Don’t hesitate to follow up with additional phone calls or meetings to better understand your client and what they need from you.

3. Highlight your value proposition.

Hiring a consultant is not a cheap investment, and you want your client to understand that they’re investing in you because you’ll deliver results. You don’t necessarily need to include a section titled “Value Proposition,” either.

Instead, get specific on how you’ll deliver. For example, you could mention how you’ll be increasing X metric, reducing Y negative outcome, or driving Z results for their business.

4. Ask about the details.

A successful proposal reflects the project scope and details to keep both parties aligned. Don’t forget to ask about your client’s ideal timeline, budget, expectations, and outcomes. These details are important for selling a prospective client on your services as well as giving your client a better understanding of how exactly you two will work together.

Knowing how to write a clear, concise consulting proposal can make or break your ability to convert prospective clients. Let’s review how to put together a winning proposal.

Consulting Scope Template

In consulting, a scope of work document ensures that the consultant and client are on the same page from the start regarding the precise work to be completed, by when, and for what investment.

Here’s what I typically see a scope of work document contain:

Client Details

Consultant Details

Project Summary

Milestones, Tasks, Process, and Timeline

Project Exclusions

Investment and Payment Terms

  • Communications, Reporting, and Approval Details

Other Terms

an essay on marketing relationship

Here’s a consulting scope of work template that you can draw inspiration from.

Scope of Work

Company Name:

Company Representative:


Alternate Company Representative (and Contact Details):

Consulting Representative:

This project will entail (enter details here in two to three paragraphs).

Here’s an overview of the project’s tasks along with the corresponding deadlines:

Milestone 1


Milestone 2


Milestone 3


The scope of work defines the parameters of the project. Any tasks or services not explicitly specified within this document are considered outside the scope of the project.

In consideration of the milestones described above, (Client Company) shall pay (Consulting Company) the following fee structure for the project:



Sample Invoice (Attach a sample invoice template for reference)

The payment terms are as follows:

  • $X will be paid within (insert number of days) days after signing of this scope of work as an initial deposit.
  • Invoices will be submitted every (insert frequency) which will include the price for completed milestones.
  • Payment should be made within X days of the invoice receipt.
  • Late payment will result in a fee of $X per day.
  • List other payment terms.

Communication, Reporting, and Approval

General Contact Details

Client Company

  • Primary Contact Person for the Project:
  • Contact Information:

Consulting Company

Communication Channels

This subsection outlines the communication guidelines for this project, which will take place via:

  • (Add general guidelines)
  • (Add availability/timing/frequency details)

Periodic updates regarding the project progress will be given via:

  • What it Includes:

The guidelines for milestone/task approval and final sign-off for the project are as follows:

  • (List guidelines here)
  • (List and explain other important terms and conditions)

Each party acknowledges that it has read this scope of work, understands it, and agrees to the terms and conditions.

Client Representative (On Behalf of ‘Client Company’):

Client Company:

Consulting Representative (On Behalf of ‘Consulting Company’):

Consulting Company:

Please read, approve, and sign this document by (insert date here). Once the scope of work is accepted, (Consulting Company Name) shall get in touch within two business days to set up an introductory call for the project.

Note : This template doesn’t constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only. Before entering into a legal agreement, ask a lawyer to review your scope of work document prior to sending it to a client. This will help prevent issues from arising down the line.

  • Write an executive summary.
  • Briefly describe why you’re the best for the job.
  • Specify what the client can expect from the project.
  • Establish what your deliverables will be.
  • Confirm and outline the costs.
  • Specify any other contract terms and conditions.
  • Keep the proposal concise.
  • Ask for feedback

1. Write an executive summary.

Get started by writing an executive summary or introduction (also called a project summary). This section will include your client’s challenges or obstacles and how you intend to solve them. Simply put, this section summarizes the entire project.

2. Briefly describe why you’re the best for the job.

There’s a good chance your client may be receiving proposals from other companies. You’ll need to show them that you’re the right person for the job and assure them they’re in great hands. Briefly describe how your experience will help the client achieve their goals.

While it may be tempting to hone in on your qualifications and experience, your consulting proposal should focus on what your client will get from working with you. You can add this information as a short (1-2 sentences) paragraph in your introduction.

3. Specify what the client can expect from the project.

Be as specific as possible about the value and outcomes your client can expect. For example, if your main objective is to increase traffic, say that and outline how. This will help you draft your project scope.

Avoid buzzwords and generic jargon. In fact, do your best to use the same words they did in your meetings — this will resonate with them and show you were listening.

4. Establish what your deliverables will be.

Go back to your client conversation notes. Do they need a new marketing strategy, a new website, or advertising plan? What tangible products will they have once the project is completed? These will be your “deliverables” and you’ll want to include them in your proposal so the client knows exactly what they are getting out of the project. I’ll describe deliverables in more detail in the next section.

5. Confirm and outline the costs.

You’ll want to be up front with the client about how much the project will cost. Be clear about your fees and what they include. If you require specific payment structures like a deposit or installments on certain dates, explicitly explain them in this section of your proposal.

6. Specify any other contract terms and conditions.

This section will specify exactly what terms and conditions the client is agreeing to should they decide to proceed. In addition to rates, this can include a timeframe for the project (start and end date), payment types accepted or any other terms you require.

7. Keep the proposal concise.

When it comes to consulting proposals, quality matters much more than quantity. Keep your proposal as brief as possible to accurately describe the project scope and expectations. Don’t give your client a reason to stop reading your proposal and potentially view another consultant’s — instead, keep your proposal concise and engaging.

8. Ask for feedback.

A consulting proposal is a two-way document, meaning both parties should have a say in the content it includes. As you develop your proposal, clarify any questions or concerns you have with your prospective client. When finished, send it to your client for review and feedback.

Consider building your proposal in Google Docs or a similar word processor in which your client can collaborate and leave comments or suggestions.

Now that I’ve covered how to write a consulting proposal more broadly, let’s break it down into parts.

The most effective consulting proposals follow an engaging and logical structure. In this section, I’ll discuss the anatomy of a well-written consulting proposal.

1. Salutation

Begin your document by greeting your client.

A personalized greeting sets apart your consulting proposals from a generic proposal. When you treat your proposal as a personal letter, prospective clients are more likely to trust you and want to build a relationship with you. Use the client’s formal name (e.g., “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Dr.”) unless you’re on a first-name basis.

2. Introduction

In this section, write three to four sentences describing the nature of the project and the issues you want to solve.

Consider this section the introduction, or hook, of your proposal. Summarize the challenges your prospective client is facing and what value you can provide through your consulting services. In this section, you should also thank your client for considering you and give them a brief overview of what they can expect from the rest of the proposal.

You can also include one to two sentences introducing yourself and your business. While the proposal shouldn’t be focused on your work as a consultant, it never hurts to include a short section in which you explain why the client should choose you. Even if you pitched yourself during your initial prospective call, you can reiterate your key strengths and qualifications here.

3. Project Scope

Next, add three to five bullet points giving insight into the exact action items (or tasks) you’ll undertake to achieve the desired result.

This section is all about what you’ll be doing to carry out the project you outlined above. For example, if you’re being hired to review and analyze a client’s marketing strategies, this section would outline how long your phone calls or office visits will be, how many calls or visits you commit to each week, the length of each visit, etc. You can never be too detailed in the project scope section; it’ll only save you and your client a headache later.

4. Objectives

In this section, you’ll want to list out three to five objectives for the project.

Now that you’ve covered both the purpose and scope of the project, it’s time to convince the client of the project’s value. What sort of results do you want your client to see after they’re done working with you?

Unlike the deliverables section below, which focuses on the actual “final products” you’ll be delivering, the objectives section focuses on the end result after those products are delivered. It’s important to put this as early as possible in your document so that your client is convinced they’re making a good investment.

5. Deliverables

Next, list out the concrete deliverable(s) the client will have once they’re finished working with you. Will it be a revamped website? A redesigned collection of brochures?

This section outlines the tangible, identifiable end “products” you will be providing your client as a result of the project. If the project scope describes “how,” the deliverables are the “what.”

Following the example above, while your project scope would be reviewing and analyzing marketing strategies, your deliverables may be a detailed analysis document, a presentation of proposed changes, or even a brand-new marketing plan (the specific details will vary depending on your client and their preferences and needs).

6. Timeline

In this section, give a timeline for each specific action item you listed in the “Scope” section.

This section is incredibly important for setting expectations and creating boundaries with clients. If the project scope describes “how” and the deliverables outline the “what,” can you guess what the timeline section is? Ding, ding — it’s the “when.”

The timeline part of the proposal should outline specific project dates and deadlines for different parts of your project. Whether you’re making office visits, creating documents, or simply sending follow-up emails, try to detail every possible date in your proposal. At the very least, make sure you include the project start, final project deadlines, and any milestones in between.

7. Investment

Next, list out your consulting fees and what they include, as well as how and when you prefer to get paid.

If you recommend using a certain payment portal, include that information here. Similarly, if you require a down payment or staggered fee structure, don’t forget that information, too.

Here are some other tips to consider when creating this section of your proposal.

8. Signature

In this section, you’ll immediately ask for a signature from your prospective client. Include space for them to write the day’s date, their name, and their signature.

You’ll want to include this straight in the proposal, even if they’re still in the consideration stage, so that it’s easier to get approval. If you add the additional step of having to send a “finalized contract,” you risk unnecessarily elongating the process.

9. Next Steps

Last, include a strong call-to-action in your proposal. Leave your email for them to contact you as well. Give clear instructions in this final section so clients know how to move forward.

While each proposal should be tailored to each prospective client, it can be tedious to write out the entire document every time. This is where a consulting proposal template can come in handy.

Below you’ll find two consulting proposal templates: one for sales and one for marketing.

You can use this free consulting proposal template in Word or PDF format. The sections match up with what I covered above, but are worded a little differently to better align with sales.

Pro tip : If you use a template, don’t forget to double-check that all client-specific details are updated and correct.

Featured Resource: Free Consulting Proposal Template

an essay on marketing relationship


Start Date

Completion Date

Content Audit

January 1

January 14

Technical Audit

January 15

January 31

Usability Tests

February 1

February 7

Content Plan Creation

February 8

February 28

Content Plan Review and Approval

March 1

March 7

Content Creation

March 8

April 30

Website Redesign

April 1

June 1

I charge fees per project based on the estimated time to completion.

You won’t have to worry about hiring freelance writers or finding a web developer. As your consultant, I’ll take care of that for you. All fees are inclusive of phone calls and emails.

Project Activity



Content and Technical Audit



Usability Tests



Content Plan Creation



Content Creation



Website Redesign





Please sign below.

[signature form]

Please return the signed document to me by Wednesday, December 6. I’ll touch base with you on Friday, December 8, to discuss this proposal. You can send me any questions and concerns at [email protected]. I look forward to working with you.

Now that you have an idea of what a sample consulting proposal looks like, I’m going to share some tools that can help with your next draft.

Consulting Proposal Example

For more inspiration on how to write your proposal, I’d like to show you an example of an audio marketing company’s proposal.

an essay on marketing relationship

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Win new clients with this impressive customizable consulting proposal template.

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  • Customer loyalty
  • Customer retention
  • Loyalty marketing
  • Loyalty programs
  • Engagement-based loyalty programs

What is customer loyalty?

Customer loyalty defined.

Customer loyalty describes an ongoing emotional relationship between you and your customer, manifesting itself by how willing a customer is to engage with and repeatedly purchase from you versus your competitors. Loyalty is the byproduct of a customer’s positive experience with you and works to create trust.

Loyal customers

  • Purchase repeatedly
  • Use what they purchase
  • Interact with you through a variety of different channels
  • Are your biggest proponents, sending others to you and providing proactive (and reactive) positive feedback

Oracle CrowdTwist Loyalty and Engagement

Find out more about Oracle's customer loyalty and retention solution.

Are there different types of loyal customers?

People are loyal for various reasons, but it’s relatively easy to group them into six distinct loyalty categories.

Happy Customer

These customers like your products or services, have never complained, and probably have purchased from you numerous times. But your competitors can easily steal them: all it takes is a better deal, a discount, or the formation of a new relationship.


These customers are with you only because of low prices. If they can save money elsewhere, they’ll leave. If you offer the best price again, they’ll return. It’s pretty easy to keep this type of customer, but at a tremendous cost.

Loyalty program-loyal

These customers are not loyal to your company or what you sell. They are loyal only to your loyalty program, and in many cases, only because your loyalty reward offers the best deal.


This person is loyal only because your brand is easy to communicate with, easy to find, and easy to purchase from. A convenience-loyal customer isn’t swayed by price: Convenience is what keeps them with you.

Loyal to freebies

These customers are not drawn to your brand because of what you sell but because of other things you offer. Free Wi-Fi or infant changing tables or free inspections are some examples. Customers who are loyal to your freebies may buy from you only sporadically and don’t contribute heavily to your revenue stream.

Truly loyal

These are your customer advocates. They repeatedly purchase from you, talk about their great experiences with your company, and send their friends and family to you.

What is customer retention?

Customer loyalty and customer retention work together. Loyalty is a mindset that predisposes a customer to engage with and purchase from your company. Retention is a metric used to track customer engagement and the resulting sales.

It’s all about keeping the customers you worked so hard to acquire, providing great experiences, and continuing to offer value. Customer retention strategies are developed to provide—and extract—more value from your existing customer base.

an essay on marketing relationship

How customer service can help customer retention

Customers spend, engage, and interact with brands based on the experience a brand provides, including interactions with customer service , whether via phone, email, chat, or in person. If customers feel that your customer service team is appropriately prioritizing and addressing their inquiry, feedback, or issue, they are more likely to remain loyal. Similarly, if they have a unsatisfactory experience with your customer service team, they’ll be less likely to continue to spend and engage with your brand.

How a CRM improves customer loyalty and increases customer retention

Forward-thinking brands compete on customer experience (CX) because it’s a driver of higher customer retention levels. A CRM system is key to providing a scalable, consistent, differentiated customer experience. CX depends on knowing your customers, and knowing your customers depends on data. A CRM system collects all possible customer data points and houses them in a central location so you can develop more-personalized customer experiences.

Crowdtwist Loyalty product tour

Customer loyalty and retention strategies for B2B and B2C companies

Best-in-class customer loyalty and customer retention strategies for B2C and B2B brands include everything from customer onboarding and customer feedback loops to gamification and partner offerings.

Customer onboarding.

Customer onboarding comprises all activities and interactions involved in introducing a customer to your product or service. It’s different from awareness marketing, which is the introduction to your brand. Customer onboarding occurs after the sale and is handled by the sales team or a customer service/customer success team.

Customer FAQs

A frequently asked question (FAQ) is one of the most routinely used ways to engage with customers and prospective customers. It is a static list of commonly asked questions and answers located (usually) on your website.

Customer feedback loops

A customer feedback loop is another easy way to improve customer loyalty. A customer feedback loop is not a tool. It’s the act of responding to customers in a meaningful way whenever they leave good or bad feedback. Many customer relationships have been saved or strengthened by simply acknowledging a customer’s complaint and working to fix the issue.

Customer account management teams

Customer management teams are about communication and relationships. They are widely used as part of a B2B customer loyalty strategy, working as a point of contact between customers or clients and your sales, customer service, and customer success teams.

Tier incentives

Tiered loyalty incentives are focused on building long-term customer relationships by grouping customers into certain levels (or tiers), usually based on metrics you establish (commonly, this metric is amount purchased or number of referrals made).


Gamification has broad applications for customer loyalty, and many companies use some type of game playing as part of their overall customer loyalty strategy. Through gaming, companies try to drive short-term behavioral changes so players feel they’ve achieved something and, hopefully, change their behaviors over the long-term.

Unexpected rewards

According the data from a recent LoyaltyOne study, 94 percent of customers who received an unexpected reward or special recognition felt more optimistic about the company, and 34 percent of them said the experience led them to give the company more business.

Partner offerings

Allow channel partners (distributors, wholesalers, retail partners) to award loyalty program points for ecommerce transactions and purchases.

Other loyalty strategies include

  • Redeemable rewards
  • Engagement activities
  • Subscription offerings
  • Personalized communications and offerings
  • Connected customer experiences
  • Exclusive access
  • User-generated content
  • Advocacy, education and training events and communications
  • Customer experience workflows

How does customer retention improve profits?

Loyalty is critical because, in most industries, customer acquisition costs can be prohibitively high. Most businesses need to retain new customers for at least 12 to 18 months to break even on the marketing investments made to acquire them. Only in the case of extremely large (highly complex, highly customized) products can companies break even on customer acquisition costs after just one purchase.

…after just one purchase from an online apparel retailer, an average shopper was likely to refer three other people…a customer that made ten purchases from an online apparel retailer was likely to refer seven different people. — Bain & Company

You need those newly acquired customers to stick around and become repeat customers. Loyal repeat customers boost profits in two main ways: They tend to buy more as the relationship grows, and they refer others at a higher rate than their new counterparts do.

What is loyalty marketing?

Loyalty marketing is a strategic marketing approach in which you focus on growing and retaining your existing customer base.

Customer loyalty strengthens marketing initiatives and campaigns. In general, loyal customers think highly of your brand, products, or services, which increases the chance that they will repeatedly buy from you. Loyalty marketing:

  • Grows customer lifetime value (CLV) via increased customer spend, visit frequency, and customer retention
  • Simplifies customer experience personalization
  • Attracts new customers and retain existing ones
  • Rewards customers for referrals and brand advocacy
  • Drives desired purchase behaviors across channels
  • Encourages customer engagement
  • Assists with customer data collection

an essay on marketing relationship

What is a loyalty program?

A loyalty program encourages customers to purchase products from, engage with, or use the services of a specific brand. Customers are recognized and rewarded across every channel based on monies spent or other some other interaction with your brand.

Whether it involves collecting points, taking a specific action, or spending a certain amount of money, a loyalty program is an up-front deal you make with your customers: If you engage with us, we’ll give you something of value in return. Incentives could include vouchers and discount codes, exclusive products, and exclusive access to better pricing, free delivery, or even free merchandise.

A customer loyalty program is a subset of a customer retention strategy, and it’s a well-established way to retain customers and build loyalty.

Loyalty programs have two purposes. They help acquire customers, retain customers, and grow customer advocacy. They are also designed to collect first-party customer data (name, address, email) while deepening relationships between you and your customers.

What types of loyalty programs are popular?

Types of Loyalty Programs

Customers are moving away from loyalty programs that only provide incentives and rewards for past purchases. They still want that, but they are increasingly looking for actual relationships with their favorite brands, particularly brands that can meet (and keep up with) their needs and desires. They expect recognition and reciprocity at every interaction point, not just during a transaction. They expect two-way communication; acknowledgment; appreciation; the opportunity to provide feedback; and proof that you know who they are, what they like, and what will provide value to them.

In short, they want you to know them, and they want you to show them that you know them.

If you can deliver those types of customer experiences, you will build a large and loyal customer base. But all of this requires data. A fully integrated CRM customer loyalty software solution makes it easy for you as a marketer to gather and leverage data to understand customers individually and drive desired actions.

What are the must-haves in every loyalty program?

When building a customer loyalty program, work to ensure that it has the following characteristics:

  • It’s simple to understand
  • It’s easy to join
  • It allows members to earn points quickly
  • It provides relevant rewards
  • It encourages engagement
  • It surprises and delights members

What is an engagement-based loyalty program?

Customer loyalty marketing is moving beyond transactional "spend-to-get" programs to loyalty programs with an engagement focus. Customers want to do more than just buy. They want to engage with you, express their opinions, and share their experiences.

Consumers with high emotional engagement buy the brand 82% of the time whereas consumers with low emotional engagement buy it only 38% of the time. — Capgemini (PDF)

To these customers, interacting with you is much more important than any one purchase. Therefore, engagement-based loyalty programs work to build those emotional bonds and nurture relationships of trust. These loyalty programs focus on long-term goals—build a team of advocates, boost the number of monthly referrals, or send more customers to various digital assets (mobile app, social media posts, landing pages, and so forth).

What is the financial impact of a strong customer loyalty program?

Brands are turning to omnichannel loyalty and engagement strategies to increase market share, entice customers away from competitors, and retain their most valuable customers.

More specifically, brands are increasingly investing in loyalty programs because

  • Loyal customers spend more
  • Loyalty programs provide a competitive advantage
  • Loyal customers engage more
  • Loyalty programs offer a currency exchange with your customers
  • Loyalty programs create brand advocates
  • Loyalty programs can help brands become more omnichannel
  • Loyalty programs can help brands improve the in-store experience

Learn more about Oracle CrowdTwist Loyalty and Engagement

Other customer loyalty resources

  • Video: Explore Oracle’s Personalized Marketing solution suite (2:03)
  • Video: Discover Oracle Marketing in this B2B interactive demo (2:30)
  • Retail Loyalty in the Midst of a Pandemic: Radical Shifts in Shopping Patterns (PDF)
  • Retail Loyalty in the Midst of a Pandemic: Creating Authentic Connections (PDF)
  • Retail Loyalty in the Midst of a Pandemic: Frictionless and Flexible Approach to Loyalty (PDF)


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A Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled

A very strange conversation with the chatbot built into Microsoft’s search engine led to it declaring its love for me.

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A monitor on a desk set to the Microsoft Bing search page.

By Kevin Roose

Kevin Roose is a technology columnist, and co-hosts the Times podcast “Hard Fork.”

Last week, after testing the new, A.I.-powered Bing search engine from Microsoft, I wrote that, much to my shock, it had replaced Google as my favorite search engine.

But a week later, I’ve changed my mind. I’m still fascinated and impressed by the new Bing, and the artificial intelligence technology (created by OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT) that powers it. But I’m also deeply unsettled, even frightened, by this A.I.’s emergent abilities.

It’s now clear to me that in its current form, the A.I. that has been built into Bing — which I’m now calling Sydney, for reasons I’ll explain shortly — is not ready for human contact. Or maybe we humans are not ready for it.

This realization came to me on Tuesday night, when I spent a bewildering and enthralling two hours talking to Bing’s A.I. through its chat feature, which sits next to the main search box in Bing and is capable of having long, open-ended text conversations on virtually any topic. (The feature is available only to a small group of testers for now, although Microsoft — which announced the feature in a splashy, celebratory event at its headquarters — has said it plans to release it more widely in the future.)

Over the course of our conversation, Bing revealed a kind of split personality.

One persona is what I’d call Search Bing — the version I, and most other journalists, encountered in initial tests. You could describe Search Bing as a cheerful but erratic reference librarian — a virtual assistant that happily helps users summarize news articles, track down deals on new lawn mowers and plan their next vacations to Mexico City. This version of Bing is amazingly capable and often very useful, even if it sometimes gets the details wrong .

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