Centennial marketing, past and present life about customer value

Why is “customer-centric” marketing common sense always being repeated? People are the animals of the environment, marketing is the product of the environment, marketing as a contingency management, its utilitarian side is easy to induce the center shift, to pursue the maximization of commercial interests, and the results are often counterproductive.

Marketing practice first, marketing theory appeared in a timely manner. The classic marketing practice theory tells us that marketing is first of all a social exchange, followed by economic exchange. In theory, relationship marketing emerged as a critique of transaction marketing. Then, is transaction marketing and relationship marketing two aspects of marketing, or is it an evolving process?

The authors say that the essence of the marketing function is to establish and maintain a trading relationship, and the sales function is to establish and improve trading conditions. It is just that Kotler’s theory is too strong. In the past 100 years, marketing has been basically equal to 4Ps, which has made it difficult to return.

Nowadays, with the tremendous changes in information technology and the arrival of the social age, are there any “wormholes” in relational marketing and transaction marketing? Perhaps the evolution from a hundred years of marketing history can better understand the significance of the Internet era for Chinese companies, and only recognize this point, and will not live up to this great era.

Customer Relationship: Inherent Trading Premise

Adam? When Smith demonstrated the origin of the division of labor in The Wealth of Nations (1776), it described the original intention of human exchange behavior: in a hunting or nomadic tribal group, a person who is better at making bows or making huts, often used Their own craftsmanship helps the neighbors, and the neighbors usually repay him with livestock or animal meat. Gradually, we found that this way of dividing labor and then exchanging each other is more favorable to each other, so the division of labor is determined, and exchange has become a common behavior.

From this we can see that the beginning of the exchange is not based on economic interests first, but on the mutual help of neighbors, families or tribes, and then obtains economically satisfactory returns and further deepening the relationship. Exchange becomes a daily behavior.

Obviously, the generation of human trading behavior depends not only on the trading conditions of economic interests, but also on the relationship between them. Relationships allow people to develop understanding, understanding and trust, and then they are willing to exchange with each other under equal economic conditions. Therefore, relationship is the primary basis of trading behavior, followed by trading conditions. After completing the first exchange, if the two parties are satisfied, the exchange will be continued and consolidated, otherwise it will be terminated.

Later, with the development of mass production, the distribution system became an intermediary between the company and the customer. The transaction behavior between the company and the customer was separated into the transaction behavior between the manufacturer (or supplier) and the dealer, dealer and customer. With the advancement of practice, marketing theory began to produce, enrich, improve and develop, and thus it has a history of centuries of marketing practice theory.

1. The pioneer of marketing practice

Drucker believes that “the economic revolution that the United States has set off since 1900 is mainly a marketing revolution” (Management of Management, 1954). In fact, modern marketing practices began in the second industrial revolution in the mid-19th century. At that time, the new development of natural science and the close integration with industrial production promoted the widespread application of electric power and internal combustion engines, the creation of new means of transportation, and the invention of new means of communication, which led to the creation of modern industrial and commercial enterprises with modern marketing functions. Especially after 1850, modern marketing practices have appeared in large numbers in US companies.

In the book “Hands That Can Be Seen”, Chandler demonstrated modernity through a detailed examination of the US food industry, the tobacco industry, the chemical industry, the rubber industry, the petroleum industry, the machinery manufacturing industry, and the meat processing industry. The birth of business enterprises is not only the result of technological development, but also the result of market and marketing development.

For example, Macys, founded in 1858, and Sears, the 1887 Sears, were the most typical marketing-based companies of the time. They define themselves as “customer’s purchaser”, develop product resources and even design products around customer needs; start to use advertisements to appropriately promote products and enterprises; and when customers are not satisfied, they can refund unconditionally. This is considered a significant advancement in marketing practices.

Previous companies also focused on customer relationships, but mainly limited to the “customer” level, such as more contact with customers, timely delivery of information, to help customers improve accounting and display methods. Messi and Sears, obviously more concerned about building trust with customers, hope to use the “unconditional refund” to solve the worries of customers, which makes customers feel “self-respected” for the first time, rather than “your own money.” Be valued and willing to be their long-term customers.

This, in turn, will promote the further development of corporate marketing functions. For example, in order to reduce the probability of large-area refunds, companies must understand the changes in customer needs in a timely manner, and purchase or produce products that meet customer needs.

Advances in the commercial field have enabled the release of market potential. As technology advances, the conditions for the mass production and development of industrial enterprises to adopt new machines have created conditions, and great changes in marketing practices have emerged.

McCormick is an entrepreneur that Drucker calls “the master of marketing.” He “invented not only mechanical harvesters, but also invented some basic tools of modern marketing, such as installment payment methods, which made it impossible for customers to purchase. There are market research and market analysis, market position concept, price policy. “Service salesman, providing parts and maintenance services to customers,” and other marketing methods. McCormick canceled the wholesaler in 1881 and established a regional office throughout the United States. The office consisted of a sales manager and four assistants in charge of services, freight, collection, and accounting, and coordinated retailers. And sales work for service users. Expensive and complex equipment like mechanical harvesters, only to convince customers that companies can guarantee their convenient and efficient use of the machine, they will consider buying. McCormick’s marketing mix strategy effectively gained the trust of users.

McCormick’s marketing practices have had a huge impact on Drucker’s research. Known as the “father of modern management,” Drucker praised McCormick as the true father of business management, saying that his marketing practice that began in 1850 was not widely promoted by American companies until 50 years later. It was the marketing revolution that Drucker said.

2. The birth of initial marketing theory

Microeconomic theory can only explain a single activity, such as trading, distribution, or trade, that cannot explain the complex exchange behaviors and processes between firms and markets that are increasingly common. In the process of finding new theories, marketing theory was created.

In 1905, Crocey, a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania, used the concept of marketing for the first time in his product marketing course to express the process of “business bringing products to market”. Almost at the same time, many professors have successively opened courses on marketing, and modern marketing theory has received attention and research.

Since most of the early researchers were born in the field of economics, this has had two opposite effects: the positive side is to determine that exchange is the core proposition of marketing research; the negative side is to make distribution (secondarily advertising) a marketing research. The main area. Traditionally, economists have always believed that value is created in the production chain, and the exchange link is only the process of value realization. “Supply can automatically create demand” – the influence of Isa’s law throughout the 19th century. Therefore, the research in the field of economics during this period focused on the basic issues of input and output.

With the continuous development of the industrial society, supply and demand, selling and buying are further separated in time and space, which leads to a divergence between production and consumption. Especially after the second industrial revolution, the development of division of labor and the advancement of technology have brought about economies of scale in production. More and more enterprises are beginning to pursue mass production. Accordingly, the dependence on large-scale consumption is increasing. Strong, the market can no longer be localized, and companies need to continuously expand the scope of exchange to sell products to more consumers in a wider area. Companies need to deliver products to consumers and influence their needs through complex and diverse distribution systems and effective marketing. Traditional economics does not focus on this field, which provides an opportunity for marketing to separate from economics.

The birth of marketing management theory

1. The context of transaction marketing (1950-1980)

● Kotler’s marketing management

The study of marketing theory officially shifted from the traditional economics category to the management category, which began in 1957. John A. Howard, then a professor at the University of Chicago, published the book “Marketing Management: Analysis and Decision Making”, which advocates marketing theory and application from the perspective of marketing management. It points out that the essence of marketing management is the dynamic environment of enterprises. Creative adaptation.

Marketing to management orientation is a historical leap. At the beginning, the focus of marketing research has shifted to how to adapt companies to a changing environment through marketing strategies.

In 1960, Michigan State University professor Jerome? In his book “Basic Marketing”, McCarthy embodied the marketing mix theory as a classic marketing mix model – 4Ps theory: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, each of which There are also a number of specific variables below the P. The proposal of 4Ps theory is a milestone in the research of marketing theory. Its popularity time is long, the scope is wide, and there is no target. This is almost the highest penetration rate in the history of marketing theory for more than 100 years. Even many people equate marketing with 4Ps. This is a marketing mix strategy that companies are constantly adapting to the external environment.

In 1967, Professor Philip Kotler of Northwestern University inherited the idea of ​​marketing management, and on this basis integrated marketing mix theory, customer-oriented marketing concepts and marketing strategy theory, published “Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning and Control “This book. This collection of marketing textbooks is known as the foundation of modern marketing, the Bible in marketing history, and one of the 50 greatest management books of all time; Kotler himself was also selected as a marketing idea by the American Marketing Association. The first leader in the world.”

Since then, Kotler has continuously absorbed new research results in the field of marketing into his work, including positioning theory, product life cycle theory, customer relationship management theory, etc., and continues to revision and reprint. (This is China’s most popular theoretical system in the marketing industry after the implementation of the market economy in the reform and opening up. The impact is so great that even Kotler, who later made a special trip to China to participate in the forum activities, was also surprised.)

Kotler’s marketing theory can be summarized as the structure of “R+STP+4Ps”. Among them, STP comes from marketing strategy theory, 4Ps comes from marketing mix theory, and R is the common premise of marketing strategy theory and combination theory—enterprise must study customers and market, which is the specific way to implement customer-oriented marketing concept.

Kotler believes that this marketing concept and framework also applies to any non-commercial organization such as government, school, hospital or museum, because these institutions, like commercial organizations, face the same marketing task for the same goal – to complete the exchange – .

In Kotler’s marketing management science, the core concept of marketing theory is trading. It is believed that both market transactions between buyers and sellers, transactions between organizations and customers, in a general sense, are “one social unit to another.” The social unit seeks the process of value exchange.” Later researchers called the marketing theory of Kotler and others “transaction marketing theory.”

●Kotler’s marketing authority limits

Trading marketing theory matured in the 1970s. In essence, the limitations of this theory are obvious: it confuses marketing and marketing management and replaces marketing with marketing management. This led to the main focus of the marketing tools and technical aspects, which was the root of the subsequent marketing of 4P. “Starting from the marketing management theory, marketers are willing to look at marketing from an operational standpoint because it helps them develop a successful marketing plan.”

Kotler believes that this is in line with reality. “90% of the marketing management in the organization is concentrated on this marketing mix. Most of the marketing staff’s time, resources and budget are invested in the formation, implementation and control of the marketing mix.” Moreover, “If a company is able to produce the right product, set the right price, use the appropriate distribution channels, and supplement it with appropriate promotions, then the company will succeed”.

This concept swept through other marketing theories, so that the American Marketing Association also revised the marketing definition in 1985: “Promoting transactions by planning and implementing the design, pricing, promotion or distribution of ideas, products or services, The process of meeting individual and organizational goals.” (The definition given by the American Marketing Association in 1937 was: “Marketing is a business activity that drives the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers.”)

Later, Kotler acknowledged that “almost all people and organizations are engaged in marketing activities, not marketing, although both need to use the same skills.” But he thinks this is a misunderstanding of people, not the fault of the theory itself.

In fact, the root of the problem is that there is a serious flaw in the theory of transaction marketing. It points out that “the core issue of marketing is exchange”, but the exchange of intentions of people as an objective premise that does not need to be discussed, that exchange is a utility-based economic exchange, by providing something in return, from the other side The act of getting what you need.

This is related to the market background at the time. After World War II, the US economy experienced a period of rapid development of nearly 30 years, and market demand was very strong. This has enabled large-scale production methods to be strengthened. The marketing problems faced by enterprises are not fundamentally different from those of the early 20th century. They still distribute the mass-produced products, that is, through distribution, promotion, advertising and marketing, etc., to promote mass consumption. Mass production methods continue. At this time, the successful commercial enterprises such as Wal-Mart (“everyday low price”) and production companies such as Coca-Cola (marketing policy: “Let customers buy, buy, and be happy”) are based on this understanding.

This is a typical sales strategy. It is determined that the customer is a passive recipient of information. The enterprise only needs to “do something to the customer” to cause the purchase. The “economic man” hypothesis is used as the basis for human exchange behavior, that is, people are The behavior is rational, based on the premise that they get the most benefit from the exchange, and have complete information about the possible choices in the exchange, and these exchanges are relatively unaffected by the outside world. But obviously, this is only a representation of a specific period and context, and it is not in line with human characteristics.

In fact, trading conditions are easily defeated by two factors: one is the imitation of competitors; the other is the change in customer demand. Once the trading conditions are invalid, the trading behavior will be terminated immediately, and the customer will not give the enterprise the opportunity to adjust and improve.

Transaction marketing theory ignores the social nature of people. As early as the Hawthorne test, Mayo pointed out that people are living, “social people” with thoughts, feelings, and personality, not machines and animals. As a complex social person, economic rewards such as money and material have an important influence on human behavior, but it is not these economic rewards that determine the factors, but the interpersonal relationships that people develop in their work and life. This means that exchange is first and foremost a social exchange, followed by economic exchange.

In fact, after a golden age of nearly 30 years of high growth, low unemployment, and low inflation, the US economy began to enter the stagflation period of low growth, high unemployment, and high inflation for 10 years. Reversal, the growth rate of demand declined, and the competition for supply increased. At this time, marketing practitioners and researchers found that trading marketing theory failed.

2. The context of relationship marketing theory (1980-1990)

● Industrial perspective: relationship is the most important asset

The emphasis on the value of the relationship between the company and the customer first occurred in the field of durable consumer goods and industrial products. The value derived from these fields needs to be continuously reflected for a long time, rather than being consumed once. Its marketing behavior requires frequent after-sales service, so there is a continuous development relationship between the company and its customers. As mentioned earlier, McCormick Harvester began marketing practice in the last 50 years of the 19th century.

Henry in the 1920s? Ford also recognized: “When a transaction is completed, the relationship between the company and the customer is actually not over, but it is just the beginning… Once the customer has purchased our car, he is given the right to continue using it. If there is any problem with his car, it will be our responsibility.”

But for a long time, for most companies, “relationships” have not been used as the primary principle of marketing, and have not been used as an important basis for generating trading behavior, but often in the form of trading or confrontation. The relationship between the buyer and the seller ends with the end of the transaction. “This is usually the root cause of the failure of just-in-time production by US companies learning Japanese companies. The company regards the relationship between the two parties as a simple transaction, ignoring the common interests and common values.”

In the 1980s, competitive pressures in the global market forced many companies to change their relationship with customers: from alienated, simple trading relationships to close, interdependent partnerships. For example, in the automotive industry, due to the emphasis on trading relationships, the rapid development of Japanese companies such as Toyota has been boosted, which has brought strong pressure on US and European competitors to force them to start making changes.

In the study of marketing theory, recognizing the strategic value of trading relationships began with Theodore Levitt’s research on industrial product marketing. In 1983, Levitt pointed out in the paper “After the sale is completed” that the relationship with customers is the most important asset of the company. “Sales are just the end of the marriage proposal, and marriage begins. The marital status depends on how the seller handles each other’s relationship. The quality of the marriage determines whether the business continues or expands, or is it a contradiction and eventually divorce… The purchase decision is not about one. Kind of item (a casual choice), but a contractual relationship (marriage relationship).”

Levitt pointed out that the focus of corporate marketing efforts is not to cultivate excellent salespeople and rely on their charm to reach a deal, but to develop lasting relationships with customers. In order to overcome the tendency of the natural decline of the relationship, the seller should regard the generation of the transaction as the buyer’s patronage of himself, rather than the concession of his own business conditions, to evaluate the relationship with the customer at all times, and to systemize the relationship. Management.

● Service industry perspective: Marketing is a promise

The earliest and clear “relationship marketing” was Professor Leonard Berry of Texas A&M University. In 1983, Berry introduced the concept of relationship marketing to the service industry, pointing out that attracting new customers is only the first step in marketing. Consolidating relationships and turning ordinary customers into loyal customers is also marketing; and, in terms of the continued success of marketing, It is more important for old customers to provide services than to win new customers.

Berry believes that if the company is in the industry, the customer has long-term requirements for the service, the customer has the right to choose the service provider, and there are many alternative service providers, then the company must adopt relationship marketing. Companies can benefit from attracting, maintaining, and expanding customer relationships through one or more of five marketing programs—core service strategy, relationship specialization, service enhancement, relationship pricing, and internal marketing—to implement relationship marketing.

In 1985, Barbara Bender Jackson, vice president of Indexing Systems Consulting, conducted a research on “relationship marketing” and “transaction marketing” based on the research of Levitt and Berry, pointing out that there are two customer purchase behaviors. Typical model: One type is “there is always a model”. The cost of switching customers to such customers is very low. They usually establish contact with many sellers, distribute one order to multiple sellers, or give each order to different sellers. This type of customer is suitable for “transaction marketing”; the other is “forever lost mode”, the cost of switching customers to such customers is high, and they are willing to look at the relationship with the seller in the long run, and will not easily change the seller, but they are not satisfied. When the transaction is terminated, it is very difficult to get back. This type of customer is suitable for “relationship marketing.”

By analyzing customer buying behavior and switching costs, companies can assess the appropriateness of their closeness to customers. Conversely, for customers who “have always have a model”, using relationship marketing may be half the battle. However, this division is not static. Enterprises can use relationship marketing to “create a system that is more closely linked with customers, and push customers closer to ‘forever lost one class… although it takes a long time to consistently coordinate internal resources to satisfy customers. Current and future needs, but once successful, will make the company first in a favorable position.” (Editor’s Note: This can correspond to the Drip Express driver hitting the event)

In 1986, Henrik Kalonius of the Hankang School of Economics in Finland introduced the concept of “commitment” to marketing. He believed that fulfilling promises was the most important factor in marketing, and it was the fundamental to maintain the relationship between the company and the customers and retain the customers. It is an agreement that Carlonius defines commitment as “the upper and lower limits of a behavior set for the other party or by himself.”

In 1987, Professor Evert Gerson of the University of Stockholm in Sweden further proposed that the marketing function is not only in the marketing department, but in the entire company. This further illustrates Drucker’s philosophy that marketing is a core function of the business, not just the marketing department. “All departments and people in the organization must be customer-oriented and customer-centric.”

In 1990, Christie Grorus, a representative of the Nordic Nordic School of Service, and the Hanken School of Economics in Finland, combined the views of other scholars and himself to define marketing from a relationship perspective: “Building, maintaining and strengthening business and The relationship between the customer and other partners—not necessarily long-term relationships, and commoditization, ultimately achieving the goals of the parties involved in a mutual transaction and commitment.” The company believes that the focus should be on developing and sustaining the long-term. In customer relations, through the implementation of relationship marketing, to develop loyal customers, while reducing transaction costs. Establishing a service culture and launching internal marketing are two important means of implementing relationship marketing proposed by Grorus. They are interrelated and mutually reinforcing.

In 1994, Professor Robert of the University of Alabama, USA? Morgan and Texas Tech Professor Shelby Hunter pointed out that the key to implementing relationship marketing is to build commitment and trust. “Only a partnership based on commitment and trust, not power, can establish and maintain a benign relationship. The process of commitment and trust enables the parties to continue to invest in relationships in a cooperative manner to jointly resist short-term temptations. For long-term interests, I believe that the other party will not opportunistically evade behaviors that are only beneficial to them.” Once a company has established trust with its customers through commitment and its redemption process, customers will choose to cooperate with the company rather than confrontational transactions. The gains that companies receive from their relationships with customers will outweigh the benefits of their own efforts.

3. Development of relationship marketing theory (1990-2009)

Relationship marketing theory believes that establishing, maintaining and strengthening customer relationships is the key to long-term performance. Therefore, the core purpose of relationship marketing is to develop loyal customers. In general, loyal customers have three obvious advantages: First, the longer the customer stays in business with the company, the more likely it is to repeat the purchase, and may even be the sole supplier; second, serving the customer The cost is relatively low; third, loyal customers are less likely to be shaken simply because of price factors. “Relational marketing can reduce transaction costs and time. At its best, transactions can be changed from customary to customary.”

The establishment of a relationship is a long-term process. Adrian Payne, a professor at Cranfield University in the UK, uses the “Customer Loyalty Ladder” to express several distinct stages in the process of developing long-term customer relationships (see chart on next page). Relationship marketing is to constantly push customers to a higher level through the various methods.

Relationship marketing theory believes that whether a customer can be retained and promoted to a higher level of the loyalty ladder depends on its level of satisfaction. This has promoted a large number of researchers to combine the customer satisfaction concept generated in transaction marketing into the relationship marketing theory, thus promoting the maturity of relationship marketing theory.

●Customer value theory

In the early 1990s, some researchers in the process of exploring the causes of customer satisfaction, through a large number of empirical research found that “customer value determines customer satisfaction level.” The generally accepted logic is that the growth and profitability of a company is mainly determined by customer loyalty, customer loyalty is determined by customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction is determined by customer perceived value, and customer value ultimately depends on efficient Employees who are loyal to the company are created, and whether the employees are loyal depends on whether they are satisfied with the company. Whether the employees are satisfied or not depends on whether the company gives employees high quality internal services. These concepts have further promoted the expansion of the relationship of relationship marketing.

In the 1950s, Drucker pointed out that customers are not products but value. In the 1980s, Harvard professor Michael Porter proposed the value chain theory, pointing out that the competitive advantage of enterprises comes from the connection between their own value chain and the customer value chain. Since the 1990s, the relationship between customer value and customer loyalty has become one of the hot topics in marketing research. Some researchers believe that creating value for customers is the main driver of lifelong customers, “is the next major source of competitive advantage.”

Transaction marketing theory and relationship marketing theory have significant differences in the identification of customer value. Transaction marketing theory believes that customer value refers to “exchange value”, which is the value created by the enterprise, which exists in the product and exchanges with the customer’s currency, and is “the correct combination of quality, service and price”; relationship marketing The theory absorbs the idea of ​​“customer perceived value” and believes that customer value is “value in use” and is created by the interaction between customers and enterprises in the relationship process. “On the customer side, not the product manufacturer side” .

The widely recognized “CPC” theory was proposed by Duke University’s Varari Zesman in 1988: “Customers usually weigh products based on their perceived gains and perceived gains or losses. The value of the service.” Zeissmann defines perceived benefits, including physical factors, service factors, and technical support related to product use; perceived loss, including purchase price, acquisition cost, transportation, installation, order processing All costs incurred in the purchase, maintenance, etc., and the failure of the purchase or failure to achieve the expected risk. This means that companies can increase customer value by increasing “perceived gains” or reducing “perceived gains and losses”.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Grorus further defined customer value from the perspective of “relationship”. The relationship between the enterprise and the customer is a long-term interactive process. The customer value is created in the process and perceived by the customer. Grorus refers to this as the “customer value process”. Grorus believes that “the enterprise produces and provides only the value appeal – a value suggestion, not the value itself; the real value is done in the customer’s value production process”, which is the customer perceived value. When customers are highly engaged in the process of interacting with the company, they are more inclined to trust each other than the company, rather than blaming or complaining, which will have a positive impact on the formation of customer perceived value and facilitate the deepening of customer relationship. Moreover, when a customer learns to use a product or service, the interaction process with the enterprise can not only promote the improvement of the productivity of the enterprise, but also promote the simultaneous improvement of the perceived value of the customer.

●Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Although customer relationship management has been widely respected in the new century, its application effect is not satisfactory. The survey shows that the main reason for the failure of customer relationship management is the organizational obstacles and cultural barriers. Customer relationship management requires companies to place customers at the core of their organization and processes, and businesses must operate around them. But traditionally, the management model of the enterprise is still self-centered, just treating customers as the target to be influenced. This fundamental obstacle has led to the use of customer relationship management in most companies. But this is not a problem with CRM itself, but a question of how to apply it.

Evaluation of relationship marketing theory

Relationship marketing is proposed as a critique of transaction marketing. It has gained wide acceptance in the field of industrial products and services, and has gained more profound influence as the service industry develops. The American Marketing Association therefore revised the definition of marketing in 2004 to bring it closer to reality: “Marketing is the creation, communication, and delivery of value for customers, and the organizational functions of managing customer relationships in ways that benefit organizations and stakeholders. A set of processes.”

But the fundamental purpose of relationship marketing is to long-term customers, which essentially means “relationship” as a means of saving transaction costs or gaining proliferation benefits, rather than as a basis and premise for generating transactions. This kind of misunderstanding makes relationship marketing theory unable to fully explain marketing practice: in some cases, the cost of establishing and maintaining a relationship is very high, and it becomes a heavy burden for enterprises; in other cases, enterprises that pay more attention to relationships have more emphasis on price. enterprise. These two situations often occur even in the industrial and service industries. This makes the relationship marketing theory in a state of embarrassment. On the one hand, it continues to emphasize the importance of the relationship, and regards the importance relationship as a key feature of criticizing the transaction marketing theory. On the other hand, the relationship marketing theory also recognizes that there are different transaction marketing theories. Different adaptation areas, “Although the relationship with customers is valuable in many cases, we can’t extend it to it, and customer relationship management is not universal.”

Grorus explained the conflict between relationship marketing and transaction marketing with the concept of contingency. He believes that marketing management is a kind of contingency management. Relationship marketing and transaction marketing each occupy one end of the marketing strategy bipolar sequence (see table above), which is suitable for different situations. Companies need to adopt different marketing strategies based on different product types, market segments and competitive environments.

However, the particularity of marketing by different industries is not only inappropriate, but also masks the essence of marketing. Marketing in different industries has the same goal—creating value for customers in the form of exchanges, and the same attributes—the core functions of the firm—which determines the unity of relationship marketing and transaction marketing. To find this unity, we must go back to the historical development of marketing practice and go back to the source of marketing: why individuals or organizations have to exchange, and how exchanges are generated, completed, or avoided.

Adam Smith’s description of the division of labor, as mentioned at the beginning of the article. In fact, the generation of trading behavior depends on two preconditions: first, the trading relationship, followed by the trading conditions. The core of the transaction relationship is trust. The two parties have the basis of trust. They believe that the other party has good intentions, and the things they do will not be unfavorable to them. The uncertainty or risk of trading with the other party is small, and the possibility of generating transactions will occur. . However, the trading relationship does not play a separate role to generate trading behavior, and must also have appropriate trading conditions to meet the principles of fairness, reciprocity and compensation. The two work together and promote and strengthen each other. Transaction marketing theory pays more attention to the establishment of trading conditions, ignoring another more fundamental factor in the trading base, which is the trading relationship. The relationship marketing theory, on the one hand, just happens to be contrary to the transaction marketing theory, ignoring the trading conditions and emphasizing the importance of the relationship; on the other hand, its understanding of the attributes of the relationship is seriously deviated, and the relationship is used as a strategic means to save transaction costs. . The transaction relationship emphasizes how the transaction can occur, which is the basis and premise of the transaction. The essence of the marketing function is to establish and maintain a trading relationship, and the sales function is to establish and improve trading conditions. The two have been born from the beginning, and the interaction is two aspects of the trading function of the enterprise, which jointly promote the generation of trading behavior.