Sample Business Paper on CRM and Customer Services

Compare and contrast customer-managed relationships and consumer-generated marketing. Respond in a few short paragraphs.

Both customer-managed relationships and consumer-generated marketing are mutually used in sales and marketing by companies and businesses. The two are mutually inclusive and work hand in hand to ensure that a business not only attracts clients but also maintains them. To begin with, consumer-generated marketing (CGM) is an effective marketing strategy that utilizes customer feedback and other customer-related materials in its advertising activities. The concept behind CGM is incorporating clients in the advertising ventures of a business. CGM can be achieved by allowing customers to take videos of themselves using a product and share it on their social platforms. Other methods include product reviews, website comments, photo sharing, and tagging friends and family on social media.

Secondly, a customer-managed relationship (CMR) is an association where a business uses software, methodology, and the internet to encourage customers to set up and manage the nature and duration of the relationship they want with the business. CMR involves allowing customers to control three key factors: access to their personal and inferred information, access to this information across all departments, and the system should revolve around striking a balance between the company’s desires and needs and the customer’s feelings and needs.

The first comparison between CGM and CMR is they are both aimed at increasing consumer loyalty. Secondly, they both involve the use of computer software and the internet; they are both virtual. Thirdly, they are both aimed at increasing consumer control. There are two contrasts between CGM and CMR. Firstly, while CGM allows customers to share and tag information to third parties, CMR only accommodates two parties; the consumer and the business. Secondly, while consumers under CGM store the information, customers under CMR have their information stored by the business.

Question 2

Marked out of 6

Marge Griffin operates a dress shop in a suburban mall. Her research budget is very small, so she uses low-cost or no-cost methods to gather research data. Which of the following would suit her needs of studying consumer trends at no additional cost?

Select one:

  1. informal surveys conducted by hired professionals
  2. sites like
  3. experiments and mechanical devices
  4. neuromarketing research

Question 3

Marked out of 7

Explain when you would be best, as a business owner, to sell your product/service online. Write a one-paragraph response.

The decision to sell online is dependent on several factors such as the nature of your customers, internet availability, and the availability of capital. While most customers can be sought and found online, some are harder to reach through this platform. Farmers and construction workers, for instance, find it easier to make their sales in physical locations than online. Some products are also easier purchased at physical locations than online since the latter allows for choosing. Secondly, online sales depend on the availability and stability of both electricity and a reliable internet connection. Lastly, setting up an online selling platform is dependent on the availability of capital except for social media platforms. A seller with abundant capital can set up an online selling platform like a website and even an application.

Question 4

Marked out of 6

Which of the following is true about customer relationship management (CRM)?

Select one:

  1. It eliminates the need to depend on information produced through primary research.
  2. Its aim is to directly maximize profit margins.
  3. Its aim is to establish cause-effect relationships between marketing strategies and consumption trends.
  4. Its aim is to maximize customer loyalty.

Question 5

Marked out of 6

__________ is the percentage of customers that purchase a product in the product’s category.

Select one:

  1. Share of customer
  2. Customer payoff
  3. Customer equity
  4. Customer cardinality

Question 6

Marked out of 7

Explain how the CRM model improves relationships with customers. Write a one-paragraph response.

CRM is an approach that aims to understand the behavior of customers and to modify how the business offers services or sells its products so as to ensure that customers are given the best treatment possible. CRM considers three key ‘know your customer’ elements: customers’ purchasing habits, customer latency, and customer loyalty (Nettleton, 2014). Customers have varying preferences that change from time to time. Businesses will have to adapt to these dynamic purchasing habits so as to be able to serve their current and future customers effectively. Secondly, customer latency refers to the time lapse between two successive purchases. Lastly, the concept of customer loyalty is the number of repetitive purchases done by the same customer. CRM aims to achieve customer orientation, satisfaction, retention, profitability, and loyalty (Stokes, 2018). Customer orientation is concerned with turning sales’ leads and potential customers into actual customers. Customer satisfaction is aimed at increasing the probability of turning a new customer into a loyal customer. Customer retention is the actual creation of a loyal customer from a one-time customer. Lastly, customer profitability is a measure of how profitable a single customer is. The CRM model is a framework that stipulates how a business will manage its relationship with customers from acquisition to retention. It is a step-by-step model that outlines how a customer’s trust will be won and nurtured for the benefit of both the customer and the business. The CRM model improves relationships with customers in three ways. The first is through collecting and analyzing their information from a mutual agreement perspective so as to treat them better. This information includes tastes and preferences, frequency and range of income, and consumer habits. The second is through personalizing the buying experience through customer profiling. This element entails allowing customers to be in charge of their purchasing activities. They choose when what, and how many to buy and even place orders for tailored products and services. Lastly, CRM improves customer relationships by creating a competitive advantage over other competitors. Per Raab, Ajami & Goddard (2016) there are three fundamental competitive advantages that can be fostered by CRM: global efficiency, multi-market flexibility, and worldwide learning.

Question 7

Marked out of 7

How does CRM impact marketing? Write a one-paragraph response.

CRM enhances the overall consumer experience by enabling a business to better manage its direct association with the consumers. This association transcends making purchases and includes sales, marketing, and customer service. Marketing should not be mistaken with sales. While the latter refers to the activities that lead to the selling of goods and services, the former refers to the process of arousing interest among potential consumers in the goods and services being sold. As aforementioned, CRM transcends the process of making sales and includes that of marketing also. CRM has a positive impact on marketing through the following three ways: improving products and services, identifying and managing leads, and anticipating customer needs. Businesses can improve their products and services by consistently collecting customer feedback and integrating it into the business’ CRM. This information, when analyzed over time, provides a better comprehension of changing consumer preferences and expectations. A business can use this analysis to improve their goods and services and hence better their marketing leads. Secondly, CRM comes in handy in anticipating customer needs. The analysis of CRM information such as purchase history, contact information, and consumer latency can be used to anticipate when a customer will be making their next sales. This information is crucial in marketing since it will determine when the business will market its existing or new and better products to its customer base. Lastly, CRM has made it easy to identify and manage leads which is a marketing function. The information gathered through CRM allows for timely customized follow-up actions. This mode of operation allows the marketing team to manage their marketing activities better while reducing response times considerably.

Question 8

Marked out of 7

Qualitative or quantitative: which type of research is the Internet best suited to conduct? Support your answer with a one-paragraph response.

Qualitative and quantitative research are the most common types of research. Qualitative research involves examining and reflecting on the less tangible aspects of s research subject such as feelings, impressions, values, perceptions, and attitudes. This kind of research is more subjective than the quantitative method and easier to start. However, interpreting and presenting its findings is often difficult. The quantitative research approach is centered upon collecting and analyzing numerical data by measuring the scale, range, and frequency of the variables. This kind of research is usually harder to design initially. Nevertheless, it is highly structured, detailed, and its results are easily collated and presented statistically. The internet is a vast resource that contains mainly secondary data. Although it contains interviews, answering surveys, and questionnaires, these are contained in a secondary nature since a researcher does not do any fieldwork when using the internet except for conducting online interviews and receiving filled questionnaires and surveys. The internet can be used to conduct both qualitative and quantitative research. However, it is best suited for quantitative research because it contains a lot of numeric data that is easily accessible. The internet makes it easy, for instance, to access numerical data from governmental institutions, international agencies, and independent bodies. A researcher only needs to know how and where to access the data. Conducting qualitative research through the internet can be difficult because a researcher needs to create a rapport with the data source before engaging them. Certain methods of qualitative research such as ethnography cannot be done over the interment. Moreover, the internet is susceptible to data theft, manipulation, and lose making it a less valuable source for qualitative research.

Question 9

Marked out of 7

You are an assistant marketing director for a firm in a market with many low-margin customers. Describe which type of relationships would be most profitable for you to develop with these customers. Write a paragraph response.

There are five marquee types of relationships that firms can create with customers. These are basic, reactive, accountable, proactive, and partnership relationships. The basic relationship is only intended to create sales and nothing else. The reactive relationship is aimed at getting customer feedback after making sales. The accountable relationship is aimed at reaching out to your customers after making a purchase with the intention of promoting customer confidence. A good way of doing this is by responding to customer feedback whether it was positive or negative. The proactive relationship entails keeping regular communication with the customer and using gathered information to improve its goods and services. Lastly, the partnership relationship is aimed at maintaining customer satisfaction through a mutual agreement with another business. A club program is a good example of a partnership relationship.

As an assistant marketing director for a firm in a market with many low-margin customers, I would find the basic type of relationship as the most profitable to develop with these customers. Low-margin customers generate low margins due to several factors but mainly lack repeat sales. The basic type of relationship is best suited for such customers since its focus is solely on creating sales. This relationship type involves conveying customers’ focus to the pricing and value created by the goods and services offered. Advertisements using successful individuals such as popular celebrities and sports athletes can be used to create a basic relationship.

Question 10

Marked out of 7

Explain the importance of supply chain management for marketers. Write a paragraph response.

Supply chain management (SCM) involves the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion and logistics management. As such the scope of supply chain management is closely related and integrated with marketing. SCM is important to marketers in the following three ways. To begin with, supply in a firm is overseen by the SCM while demand is overseen by marketers. Thanks to SCM, a firm can efficiently provide the products its marketing personnel promoted. While marketing recognizes and establishes what customers need, SCM delivers these goods and services. As such, SCM completes and supplements the work of marketers. Secondly, SCM prevents the inherent risk of stock-outs following a successful marketing campaign. The positive impact made by marketers should be followed by an efficient stock resupply system to ensure that the marketers do not market goods and services that are unavailable. Lastly, SCM is essential to brand quality which is a staple for marketers. Marketers will often try to convey the best message concerning the brand quality of a certain product. The SCM should ensure that this message is backed up by soliciting and procuring the best quality input so as to produce the best quality output. Marketing becomes complete and effective if the SCM team can deliver to the standards established by the marketers. Failure to do this could be translated as falsified information conveyed by the marketers and hence lead to the loss of customers.

Question 11

Marked out of 6

Which of the following is an example of consumer-generated marketing? Write a paragraph response describing your rationale.

Select one:

  1. Toyota’s page on Facebook, which provides information about its upcoming cars to its customers.
  2. Nike’s Nike Plus website, which helps its customers to customize their shoes.
  3. BMW’s use of brand-related videos posted on video-sharing websites by its customers.
  4. Neiman Marcus’s In Circle Rewards program for its best customers.

Consumer-generated marketing is a marketing strategy that is used by established brands and involves the use of consumer-created content and reviews. This form of marketing includes the use of both videos and photos that have been taken, posted, and shared by customers. The firm just uses this content as it is instead of producing new content for its marketing team. Toyota’s page on Facebook which provides information about its upcoming cars to its customers is not an example of customer-generated marketing since the content is created by the Toyota marketing team. Nike’s Nike Plus website which helps its customers to customize their shoes is also not an example of customer-generated marketing. The customers are only creating their preferential Nike shoes and not sharing this information. As such, this is an example of the proactive relationship level between customers and a firm. Neiman Marcus’s In Circle Rewards program for its best customers is also not an example of customer-generated marketing as it does not involve the customers creating any content for sharing with their peers, friends, and family. Conversely, this is an example of the partnership relationship level between clients and a firm. However, BMW’s use of brand-related videos posted on video-sharing websites by its customers is an ideal instance of customer-generated marketing since the customers voluntarily create the brand-related videos and share them on the video-sharing websites out of their own accord.

Question 12

Marked out of 7

Describe why customers, knowledge and a retail location are benefits of selling through others. Write a one-paragraph response.

Selling through others entails supplying to second and third parties who then sell to the final customer. This method of selling is preferred by some firms because of its benefits which include customers, knowledge, and a retail location (Ashton, 2012). Firstly, selling through others, for instance, distributors, introduces the firm to an established and loyal group of customers who are attached to the distributor or seller. The firm stands to benefit from immediate sales instead of having to undertake costly product promotion campaigns. Secondly, selling through others introduces a firm to knowledge benefits due to the experience that the distributor may have that the firm lacks as a result of relating with the product and the customers for a long time. Instead of waiting to learn this knowledge for itself, a firm can just take advantage of the available other sellers. Lastly, selling through others benefits a firm with an established and profitable retail location. Most of these retail locations are strategically located and have been in existence for a very long time hence having loyal frequenters. A new firm, for instance, can benefit from these advantages by selling through others rather than opening its own retail location.

Question 13

Marked out of 6

The Nike town running club that organizes twice-weekly evening runs for Nike customers is an example of a ________.

Select one:

  1. frequency marketing program
  2. customer-driven marketing event
  3. club marketing program
  4. consumer-generated marketing program

Question 14

Marked out of 7

Which type of customer relationship group has the highest level of profitability in the short term? Support your answer with a paragraph response.

There are five types of customer relationships between a firm and its customers. These are the basic, reactive, accountable, proactive, and partnership relationships. This customer relationship also shows the different hierarchical levels of the customer relationship. The most profitable type of customer relationship in the short term is the basic relationship. This relationship is only aimed at making sales in the short term. It has no plans for long-term associations with the customer. The relationship ends when the customer makes a purchase. The remaining four types of customer relationships have a long-term angle and their highest level of profitability is seen in the long term. Moreover, the basic relationship entails the use of product promotion campaigns that are aimed at emphasizing a product’s price and the value it delivers with an intention to woo a new buyer. These campaigns are not followed by any reviews and are changed when they fail to deliver in terms of short-term sales.

Question 15

Marked out of 7

Describe an extranet and why a company may want other companies to access their information through it. Write a one-paragraph response.

An extranet is a controlled, private network that allows a firm to collaborate and exchange information with both its internal team members and a consortium of external stakeholders including third parties like suppliers, clients, and vendors. A company may want other companies to access their information through an extranet because it is safe and secure. An extranet keeps your documents securely stored with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL encryption) and updated. It also allows one to monitor guests who access these documents by providing an audit trail upon request. An extranet thus provides great access control to important documents that can be used to limit the frequency and identity of guests accessing such documents.



Ashton, R. (2012). Brilliant checklists for entrepreneurs: Your shortcut to success (3rd Ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press.

Nettleton, D. (2014). Commercial data mining: processing, analysis and modeling for predictive analytics projects. Elsevier.

Raab, G., Ajami, R. A., & Goddard, G. J. (2016). Customer relationship management: A global perspective. CRC Press.

Stokes, R. (2013). eMarketing: The Essential Guide to Marketing in a Digital World (5th Ed.). Red &​Yellow.