New Marketing faculty shows that "Thank-you's" pay off | CoB News | SIU

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New Marketing faculty shows that "Thank-you's" pay off

September 16, 2009, Adam Casper

${image-alt} Cheryl Burke Jarvis

One of the Southern Illinois University College of Business’s newest faculty members is already helping to generate positive research publicity for the College and her department.

Dr. Cheryl Burke Jarvis, a newly hired Associate Professor of Marketing, recently had a study published in the September issue for the Journal of Marketing. The Journal of Marketing has been the recognized leader in its field for more than seven decades.

The article, titled “The Role of Customer Gratitude in Relationship Marketing” was the result of a Meta analysis of the well established commitment-trust-mediated model of relationship marketing.

The study aimed to fill in a key gap of the model, which was to determine the effect gratitude, from the customer’s point of view, had on relationship marketing. What Burke Jarvis and three of her peers found in respect to relationship marketing was that gratitude, when accounted for, really helped to complete the model.

Said Burke Jarvis regarding the study, “We were the first to really demonstrate the role of gratitude in relationship marketing in terms of generating outcome. In doing so, we have given managers a way to make their relationship marketing programs more effective.”

The study tracked the impact of gratitude over time and looked at what factors influenced gratitude. There were a multitude of factors they took into account, such as the perceived risk by a customer of a salesperson’s generosity. In other words, the customer would decipher what it was costing the salesperson to be generous and if it was normal behavior or not; just how genuine was the act. What they found was that as gratitude rose, so did many other factors. Some of the factors tied to the rise in gratitude were: purchase intentions, actual purchase (sales revenue), share of wallet, as well as, actual sales growth.

While it may seem logical to believe a more grateful customer would respond with more purchases, the actual effects of gratitude have never really been studied. Burke Jarvis echoed this sentiment, “It’s surprising to me that we haven’t look more rigorously at gratitude. What also surprised me, in the end, was just how strong and robust the overall effects were.”