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A critical analysis of the relationship between marketing agencies and their clients in the banking and telecom service sector in Pakistan

Wajid, Nauman (2018) A critical analysis of the relationship between marketing agencies and their clients in the banking and telecom service sector in Pakistan. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This research explores business-to-business (B2B) relationships between marketing agencies and their clients in the banking and telecom service sectors in Pakistan and identifies the key determinants that play a key role in strengthening their relationship. The review of existing literature suggested that the relationship marketing (RM) discipline addresses the formation and management of B2B relationships. Based on the existing literature on relationship marketing (RM) and agency-client relationships, a conceptual theoretical framework was developed that highlights the stages of relationships and the key determinants that influence these associations between the selected marketing agencies and their clients. The conceptual theoretical framework helped in designing the data collection procedure, which included conducting 21 semi-structured interviews with selected clients and their marketing agencies’ personnel. Data were collected from three banks and five telecom service providers and their marketing agencies in Pakistan, and a thematic analysis was performed for the analysis of the data. The findings from this research helped in the formation of an agency-client relationship framework highlighting five key stages of agency-client relationships along with the main factors that play a significant role in each stage of the relationship. The findings of this research explored the influence of social exchange theory (SET) and social network theory (SNT) in agency-client relationships, finding that the evaluation of marketing agencies’ performance by their clients is based significantly on the behavioural context of the marketing agency rather than the financial context. Particularly, keeping in line with the principles of social network theory (SNT), this research found that marketing agency business networks constitute a key factor in the selection criteria used to pursue clients. The findings showed that clients from the banking sector prefer to hire a marketing agency that has a local/nationwide business network, whereas telecom firms prefer to hire a marketing agency that has a network expanded to other countries and thus has more resources. Furthermore, key differences and similarities were highlighted in terms of the way relationships are managed between marketing agencies and clients in the banking and telecom sectors in Pakistan.

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