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Paper info: Is Customer Relationship Management a Useful Approach to Tapping the Market at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP)?

Title


Is Customer Relationship Management a Useful Approach to Tapping the Market at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP)?

Authors


Richard Fletcher and Tendai Chikweche

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.

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Abstract


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a relatively new concept that has as its focus a customer centric business culture. More recently its focus has been on the need for the firm to tap into social community networks as a means of developing and managing relationships with customers. Whilst the CRM approach has been applied in Western developed country markets, to date there is no evidence in the literature to establish its application and relevance in emerging markets especially those at the Bottom of the Pyramid(BOP) segment where two thirds of the world's population are to be found.This paper illustrates that CRM has the potentialto tap the BOP segment because social networks at the BOP are a means of coping with the problems of existence such as economic and politically induced shocks, infrastructure inadequacies, absence of the rule of law, endemic corruption and intermittent availability of goods. In thesecircumstances firms need to manage relationships with these social networks in order to both inform and getgoods to customers. The results of the study also show that atthe BOP, networks are important in the B2C context.