Evaluation and Control of Marketing Activities
In Chapter 8 we come to the final stage of the effective management process model: connecting with customers (see Figure 8.1).
As the previous seven chapters have demonstrated, connecting with customers does not happen by chance or just because the marketer wants it to. Connecting is the final result of a series of demanding steps, carefully and expertly executed. It begins with a firm commitment on the part of all employees that their jobs are not well done unless they contribute to this connection. When a firm achieves excellence in making this connection, it results in the kind of mutually beneficial exchange relationships that customers find so satisfying; competition is irrelevant. That is, customer loyalty is so firmly entrenched
that they do not evaluate competitors’ products when making purchase decisions. When they decide to make a purchase-you are it. This is a rare kind of connection. Yet as difficult as it is to achieve, it is a worthy goal for marketers and can be the ultimate result of following the effective marketing management process. Evidence has shown the power of such connections, but also the difficulty in achieving them. Research results indicate that if customer satisfaction is measured on a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 representing “completely satisfied,” those customers who are at a 5 are six times less likely to defect to competitors (i.e., are six times more brand loyal) than customers who are at a 4 on the scale.1