Harvard Business Review Article Proposal

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Harvard Business Review Article Proposal
“Putting the ‘R’ Back into CRM”
By Susan Fournier (Boston University) and Jill Avery (Simmons College)
November 17, 2009

1.) What is the central message (the “aha”) of the article you propose to write? What is important, useful, new, or counterintuitive about your idea? Why do managers need to know about it?

Ten years ago, Fournier et al.’s Harvard Business Review article, “Preventing the Premature Death of Relationship Marketing,” charged that “the very things that marketers were doing to build relationships with their customers were destroying those relationships at the core.” According to the authors, relationship marketing was “powerful in theory, but troubled in practice” because marketers did not fundamentally understand what relationships with customers were all about or how they should be built and maintained.

Ten years later, this seminal article continues to be a bestseller for the Harvard Business Review, is widely cited by academics (406 citations in Google Scholar), is incorporated frequently into MBA, executive education and doctoral curricula, and, importantly, has been a guiding force for managers from diverse industries who are interested in establishing stronger customer relationships. What accounts for the enduring appeal of the “Premature Death” article? We argue that the fundamental lessons offered in this article are as relevant today as they were ten years ago. In fact, our failure to appreciate relationship fundamentals is even more extraordinary in today’s relationship-savvy business climate than it was in 1998 when Customer Relationship Management (CRM) theory and practice were in their infancy. Businesses have now lived through a decade of investment in CRM: the systems, programs, and processes that identify prospects, create customer knowledge, and build customer…...

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