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Customers' perceptions on the role of direct marketing in developing effective relationships with training companies in a BTB context in Portugal.

Sargaço Reis, Raquel (2009) Customers' perceptions on the role of direct marketing in developing effective relationships with training companies in a BTB context in Portugal. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Relationships in business are and will always be of extreme importance. Marketing is not an exception to this generalised idea, developing relationships with customers being hence one of its key aims. Undoubtedly, relationship marketing (RM) is a major field of research nowadays, with a massive literature in this subject. The relevance of direct marketing (OM) as a powerful tool to achieve RM aims is also clearly recognised. Therefore, these two marketing areas are closely linked by many authors. Surprisingly, there is a significant lack of empirical evidence on how the relationship development through OM "really happens". It is not sufficient to state that OM has an important role in RM. It is needed to understand how this link between OM and RM "works", namely which are the activities and processes behind it. Moreover, the current literature linking OM and RM is almost entirely focused on business-to-consumer (BTC) markets, being more quantitative-oriented, and neglecting the customers' side of this "relationship" development. This research covered these gaps found in the literature, exploring qualitatively customers' perceptions on the relationship development through OM, in a business-to-business (BTB) context, using a grounded theory approach. No " empirical study 'was found examining this particular combination. 30 semistructured interviews were conducted with training customers, specifically training directors and participants of 30 different companies" in Portugal. This research contributes significantly to the OM and RM literature, both as a link and also to each of them individually. It explains which are the OM key roles in the relationship development, namely in its different stages of establishment, maintenance and enhancement. Moreover, differences among customers were found, some of them being more, tran~actional others more relationshiporiented: Finally, customers have entirely different perceptions regarding OM received in a BTC or in a BTB setting. The research findings will be applied to the marketing practices of the training company where the author works in Portugal; the aim being to develop better and more effective relationships - through OM with their customers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.537969
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 14:07
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 14:07
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14984

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