Marketing can be defined both as a business philosophy, and a collection of management techniques, orientated towards providing value to consumers, organisations and society. Traditional marketing aimed to achieve financial performance without considering the customers role in this process.
Nowadays, marketing has evolved from a product and transaction oriented process to a customer and relationship oriented approach, with increasing focus on the long-term and mutual benefits to customers. Therefore, companies will need to develop a clear position on sustainability issues if they want to attract and retain the support of new customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders in order to sustain their own growth and future success whilst minimising negative environmental and social impacts. However, for many companies the pursuit of sustainability confronts them with many new and difficult questions.
Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage record and evaluate customer interactions in order to drive sales growth by fostering relationships with their customer bases. The basic idea of sustainability CRM is integrating the economic, environmental, and social sustainability dimensions in the core areas of CRM, such as: marketing, sales, and service. Being close to customers and understanding their needs through all phases of the relationship requires efficient and effective operational CRM processes. Moreover, companies highlight the role of societal marketing in the business field. Societal marketing aims to generate customer satisfaction and maintain long term consumer and public welfare as the key to satisfying organisational goals and responsibilities.
The teaching material tries:
- to explain why companies should have a clear customer orientation
- to implement the strategies in the field of complaint management
- to discuss and integrate sustainability into the customer relationship
- to bring business partners into the classroom
- to develop an e-newsletter or blog with topics that would be of interest to companies to earn customer loyalty
- to build network between companies and students
Case study teaching
Students will be divided into small groups within a lecture to work through some case studies about CRM aspects that could be connected to companies that assure sustainability. After reading the case study in class, students explore the problem and discuss the case. In addition, different types of companies will be part as societal stakeholders, therefore, students will have the possibility to gain knowledge from different business stakeholders engaged on CRM. Furthermore, the workshop discussions aim to promote dialogue among students and stakeholders from the perspective of Interdisciplinary exchange. Finally, the reflection portion of this classroom will be a key component to the active learning process; therefore the lecturer would have to spend additional time to maintain this reflection portion, which will be presented in blog format. The lecturer will be able to monitor these comments that are provided by the students, and encourage everyone to post, and reply to their peer’s thoughts.