Audience Dialogue

Gummesson's 30 Rs

and Audience Dialogue's 6 Ss

When we looked for a list of Gummesson's 30 Rs (30 types of business relationship) on the web, we couldn't find it. That's easily fixed; it's more or less the contents page of Gummesson's Total Relationship Marketing.

Classic market relationships
1. Supplier and customer
2. The customer - supplier - competitor triangle
3. Network - distribution channels

Special market relationships
4. Full-time marketers and part-time marketers
5. Customer and service provider
6. Many-headed customer and many-headed supplier
7. Relationship to the customer's customer
8. Close versus distant relationship
9. Dissatisfied customer
10. Monopoly relationship: customer or supplier as prisoner
11. Customer as "member"
12. Electronic relationship
13. Parasocial relationships, with symbols and objects
14. Noncommercial relationship
15. The green relationship
16. The law-based relationship
17. The criminal network

Mega relationships
18. Personal and social networks
19. Mega marketing - the real "customer" is not always found in the marketplace
20. Alliances change the market mechanism
21. The knowledge relationship
22. Mega alliances change the basic conditions for marketing
23. Mass media relationship

Nano relationships
24. Market mechanisms are brought inside the company
25. Internal customer relationships
26. Quality providing a relationship between operations management and marketing
27. Internal marketing - relationships with the employee market
28. Two-dimensional matrix relationship
29. Relationship to external providers of marketing services
30. Owner and financier relationship

Is that all possible relationships? Can there be more? The list is quite comprehensive, even though it's not laid out to show that.

Audience Dialogue's approach

When we tried to list all types of relationship that an organization might have with its stakeholders, we thought in terms of roles and functions, not specific relationships. We came up with a list of six types of stakeholder. After using this for several years, we haven't found a relationship that doesn't fit into these 6 Ss ...

1. Suppliers - who provide goods and services to the organization ("upstream")
2. Customers - who the organization supplies to - directly or indirectly ("downstream")
3. Regulators - those with power over the organization (governments, boards, etc.)
4. Dependents - those over whom the organization has some sort of power (e.g. staff)
5. Peers - competitors, industry associations, neighbours, etc.
6. Media and information channels.

A relationship map for any organization (or other entity) can be made by plotting these six on a graph, with suppliers/customers on a horizontal scale, and regulators/dependents on a vertical scale. Using separate symbols, peers and media can also be plotted on that graph, considering those two dimensions:
1. do we serve them more, or do they serve us more? (i.e. in which direction does money travel?)
2. what is their relative power over us (or vice versa)?

Put the core organization right at the centre of the graph, and plot the main stakeholders and groups relative to that. The most important ones can be shown individually, and the smaller ones as groups (if these are homogeneous). Each can be plotted with a symbol showing the importance of that stakeholder or group. And often it's useful to draw lines between the symbols, to show the groups that have active relationships with each other.

Ebert Gummesson's home page

More about Total Relationship Marketing (Amazon Books, UK - I couldn't find a review)

Back to Audience Dialogue's perspective on social marketing