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Paper info: Exploring relationship value on the business-to-business market


Exploring relationship value on the business-to-business market


Beatrix Lanyi,
Tibor MANDJAK and Zoltan Veres

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.


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In our paper "relationship marketing" is analysed and considered as a specific marketingstrategy to achieve a high perceived customer value of a professional service client. This valuemust be considered by the client as a higher one than the competing offerings (Anderson-Narus 1999). The higher the perceived value the stronger the client's commitment to developor to maintain a long-term business relationship with the service provider. The long-termrelationship has a certain type of usefulness for both the client and the supplier. For the clientthe consequences of a long-term business relationship are the loyalty, a higher perceivedservice quality, a better knowledge and the reducing of the risk. The consequences of a longtermbusiness relationship for the service provider are more exact ideas about the customer'sneeds and wants and a more effective product, service and process development. The value ofa long-term business relationship is depending on the presence and the intensity of theseelements of usefulness for both parties. In our exploratory study based on in-depth interviewswith a quality management consulting firm and its long term clients in Hungary, we havefound again that a long term relationship in this professional service business could beestablished by a mutual developing of information exchange, communication, helpfulness andflexibility.Client and supplier firms are increasingly engaged in co-operative inter-organisationalrelationships. This activity is frequently referred to as ?relationship marketing?, and describesa situation where customers and suppliers seek to form long-term, mutually supportive, social,economic, service and technical ties (Boughton et al. 1966). This paper discusses therelationship marketing approach on the business to business market but in a special aspect,namely from the point of view of consulting. The focus is on the interface of relationshipmarketing, business marketing and services marketing. Many papers have dealt with therelationship marketing in case of services (Berry 1995, Bitner 1995, Buttle 1996, Christopheret al. 1994, Colgate, Steward 1997, Grönroos 1991, 2000, Gummesson 1994, Mattson 1997,Ravald, Grönroos 1996 etc). This paper advances an empirically grounded approach to thestudy of relationship value in the business to business market. As a means of exploring therelationship value, a model was developed. The model will be explained through the factorsobserved in the case of consulting. On our findings new result variables have to be added tothe relationship model and the contribution of these variables to the relationship value issignificantly different.