Academic journal article Competition Forum

CRM as an Outreach and Communication Strategy with Graduates of the Master's Degree in Marketing Management

Academic journal article Competition Forum

CRM as an Outreach and Communication Strategy with Graduates of the Master's Degree in Marketing Management

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The Master's Degree in Marketing Management was founded in 2000 and was established with the main objective of preparing highly qualified marketing professionals. The Master's Degree has been recognized by the CONACYT's National Program of Quality Postgraduate Degrees since 2008 and has a professionalizing focus. One of the main remarks made by CONACYT in 2012 expressed that there needed to be a follow-up program for the Master's Degree graduates. Currently, such a program does not exist in a fully developed or suitable form independently of new technologies, such as those used for social networking. A strategic model of Customer Relationship Management is needed to develop close relationships with customers -in this case, the graduates of the Master's Degree in Marketing Management of the University Center of Economical and Administrative Sciences of the University of Guadalajara.

Maroofi, Aliabadi, Fakhri, and Hadikolivand (2013) state that due to changes and innovation in technology, CRM has evolved in such way that it must be considered a strategy to keep a long-term relationship with customers. CRM acknowledges that each one of the customers is a person with needs, aspirations, and wishes of their own. Thinking of graduates as customers, the Master's Degree in Marketing Management will start treating them as they would want to be treated, not just as another graduate. This will be particularly useful for keeping in touch even if graduates move far away.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM began to gain prominence in the 1990s and the early years of the 2000s. It was initially focused on commercialization, however, it is a broad term. Zablah, Bellenger and Johnston (2004) have identified up to 45 definitions for CRM due to the wide range of CRM facets, such as process, strategy, technological tool, ability or even philosophy (Ahearne, Rapp, Mariadoss, & Ganesan, 2012). Some authors like Rigby and Bilodeau (2009) have observed the results of some reports in which CRM was the most widely used tool (not strategy) in 2008. Therefore, even today, many researchers see CRM as a technological application only. Public institutions face greater risks than private companies when implementing CRM, since they have limited resources and are financed by requesting federal subsidies (Lawson-Body, Willoughby, Mukankusi, & Logossah, 2011).

According to Kale (2004), as cited by Mukerjee and Singh (2009), CRM researchshows that 60% to 80% of CRM projects end in failure. Nevertheless, Mukerjee and Singh (2009) also state that, despite failure, CRM is used to keeping existing customers and increasing the quantity of customers, therefore becoming an influence in the development of new products and services.

CRM is defined as a strategic approach that enables organizations to use internal resources (i.e., Technology, people, and processes) to manage relationships with customers for the whole of their life cycles in order to create a competitive advantage and improve an organization's performance. (Mohammed & Rashid, 2012). For Darvish, Kafashzadeh, and Ahmadnia, (2012), CRM is defined as a customer focused management strategy, with the objective of establishing long-term relationships with profitable customers, by using an exhaustive knowledge of the customer. CRM is not a product or a service but a business strategy designed to optimize profitability, income, and customer satisfaction. It is an integrated business strategy that places the customer at the center of entrepreneurial awareness (Kavitha & Palanivelu, 2012).

New CRM concept

The new emerging point of view on CRM establishes a more collaborative approach and a network focused on customer relationship management. Tags such as "Social CRM" or "CRM 2.0" have been used to describe this new way of developing and keeping relationships with the customers in the current business and information technology landscape (Trainor, 2012). …

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