An investigation into customer profitability analysis and relationship marketing strategy : a New Zealand case study.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
There has been an increasing recognition of the importance of customer profitability analysis and its use in a relationship marketing strategy (Carrol, 1992-1993; Johnson, 1992; Storbacka, 1993). Yet, to date, this has largely been unsubstantiated by academic research. A case study was conducted at a bank to describe a relationship marketing strategy and a customer profitability analysis (CPA) system and to discover how the customer profitability information provided by the CPA system is used to support the relationship marketing strategy. The Bank follows a relationship marketing strategy as described by Christopher et al (1991). It was found that the bank currently has a first generation CPA system (Bellis-Jones, 1989). Recognising the limitations of such an analysis, the bank is in the process of designing and implementing a new CPA system, which clearly exhibits the characteristics of second generation CPA (Foster & Gupta, 1994). It was found that customer revenue is easily definable, yet customer costs and customer risk pose a significant issue when included in a CPA system. A number of cost and risk areas are still unresolved, as are some issues regarding the use of the customer profitability information. The Bank does not use customer profitability as the basis of its customer segmentation due to the inadequacy of the current CPA system to accurately determine customer profitability. Instead, income is used as a substitute for profitability and it is income that forms the basis of the bank's customer segmentation. It was also found that the Bank intends to merge CPA information with customer relationship information, once the new customer profitability system is implemented. Despite limitations, this thesis extends the body of knowledge concerning management accounting information and relationship marketing, by providing a valuable insight into these areas in a New Zealand context.