Customer retention: a potentially potent marketing management strategy

Rizal Ahmad, Francis Buttle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The traditional marketing approach advocates the marketing mix principles and the quest for market share dominance through mass marketing techniques and a focus on new customer acquisition. This approach has guided managers for decades in planning and implementing their marketing srategies. However, several author s have drawn attention to the inadequacies of the traditional marketing approach, which led to the birth of relationship marketing (RM). RM advocates supplier- customer interaction and maintaining long-term relationships with a focus on customer retention. Customer retention, in the traditional marketing approach, is however seen as the `end’ rather than the means to deliver ing long-term profitability to firms. This paper discusses key issues pertaining to customer retention management, namely its definition, forms of measure, benefits and potential strategies for application. It uses examples from a variety of contexts. It is proposed that customer retention should be part of the strategic marketing planning process. Customer retention, we envisage, is a potentially potent marketing management strategy. Further research is also recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • customer retention
  • marketing plans
  • relationship marketing


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