The effectiveness of a multi-channel marketing approach for relationship management: a study in the context of private pension plans

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The relational approach is based on a model that uses multiple marketing channels and services to promote contacts between the customer and the firm. But to which extent do firms benefit from using multiple marketing channels with their customers? This study aims to understand the effectiveness of adopting a multi-channel approach. This effectiveness is measured with the impact on customer lifetime value (CLV). We argue that not all marketing channels have a significant, positive effect on customer value, and that when it is significant, that effect is moderated by the customer time of permanence in the firm, and by the amount of products held by the customer. We find that not all channels have a positive and significant effect over CLV, and thus, firms may want to re-consider the allocation of resources to some of the used channels. We also confirm the moderating effect of the considerable variables for some of the channels. This research contributes to marketing theory in the sense that it shows that not all marketing channels have a significant impact over customer value. It also provides an insightful way of categorizing marketing channels, distinguishing between push and pull channels. In managerial terms, results indicate that marketing managers can enhance customer value, redefining marketing strategies and relationships through the provision and activation of multiple contact channels with customers, yet properly selected as not all channels have a positive impact on CLV.

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