DBM conference Bond with clientschicago: A u.s. marketing professor told a database marketing conference here that demand among top executives for greater accountability, along with the need for more precise targetting will put da…

Philip Kotler, author and professor of international marketing at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, told more than 500 direct marketers at the 10th National Centre for Database Marketing Conference last week that one-to-one marketing and customer retention...

Philip Kotler, author and professor of international marketing at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, told more than 500 direct marketers at the 10th National Centre for Database Marketing Conference last week that one-to-one marketing and customer retention will be major themes of this decade.

Kotler says a strong bond between customer and brand greatly aids customer retention and cites five levels of customer relationships that lead to that bonding: bare bones; reactive; accountable; proactive and, finally, partnership.

He says relatively few brands (typically those with high margins and few customers) can create and maintain partnership status, which he describes as the seller saying: ‘I want to help you succeed in every way.’

Many more will be non-relationships of the ‘bare bones’ variety, i