Experience in using the Six Markets model

The Six Markets model revised

Since the development of the Six Markets model our work has emphasized the need to break all of the markets, or what are now 26 Relationship Marketing Alliance Supplier Intermediary Influencer Internal Consumer Figure 1.9 Later iteration of the Six Markets model. Source: Peck (1997).40 called ‘market domains’, into relevant constituent parts. The discussigning the first publication to incorporate the Six Markets model11 also described the downstream relationships in the marketing channel, including final consumers and intermediaries or direct customer (p. 15); it also emphasized the need to undertake segmentation based on both traditional criteria as well as more relational-based segmentation criteria such as service requirements. With the customer market, particular emphasis should be placed on understanding two major tasks – attracting new customers and retaining existing customers. These two broad pivotal activities are important regardless of what level of the customer chain is considered.

To operationalize the Six Markets model, a process was developed to address each market domain in greater detail.52 This consisted of: 1 Identify key participants, or segments, within each of the markets. 2 Research to identify expectations and needs of key participants. 3 Review current and proposed level of emphasis in each market. 4 Formulate desired relationship strategy and determine if a formal markiting plan is necessary.


From our work it is clear that a contingency approach to the six markets is appropriate and the issue ofwhat are relevant market domains needs to be considered at the firm level. The Six Market model we use in this book is not meant as a straitjacket; it may well be developed into further variants as our on-going experience in specific market sectors develops and empirical research is undertaken. What is important is that an individual organization needs to recognize that relationship marketing activities directed at customers are necessary but not sufficient. The organization also needs to identify the other relevant market domains, and then groups or segments within them. Appropriate marketing strategies can then be developed for them.


This chapter has demonstrated that relationship marketing has emerged in parallel to the new organizational forms which continue to evolve, to exploit a business environment characterized by constant change. The new organizational structures and relationship marketing are related and complementary, but not as cause and effect. Both are more likely to succeed if guided by a customer orientation, because a customer orientation is adaptive to environmental change. Relationship marketing, through internal marketing, fosters the development of this customer orientation within the company and therefore aids market-led organizational transformations. Relationship marketing is therefore a market-led, customer oriented, general management concept, based in part on a return to marketing’s roots and the original marketing concept. Its wider remit is to form and sustain profitable, mutually beneficial, relationships by bringing together the necessary parties and resources to deliver the best possible value proposition for the customer.


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