Marta Maria Montella, Patrizia Silvestrelli

Heritage and Relationship Marketing for Italian agri-food firms

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Relationship marketing, heritage marketing, stakeholder engagement, agri-food industry, agri-products distribution.

The paper addresses two issues that are becoming increasingly important within the business management literature and in relation to which good practices are implemented: i) building and management long-term relationships with the main stakeholders through relationship marketing strategies; ii) enhancing the firm’s historical and cultural heritage for promoting relevant stakeholder engagement processes, through heritage marketing strategies. The aim is to highlight the relevance of these strategies for Italian companies operating in the agri-food sector. Due to its specific features, this sector is suitable to verify how heritage enhancement can take place thanks to a system of relationships among different organizations; through their interaction and mutual functionality, they generate an overall value, improving not only local firms’ performance, but also the whole territory. For this purpose, the case study of a distributor specialized in promotion and online distribution of typical local products of Marche Region is analyzed. It represents an emblematic example of relationship marketing, where degree of involvement and role of stakeholders (producers first of all) have realized effective strategies, aimed at valuing both the products and the whole territory. The theoretical background and the analysis of the case study can provide some meaningful thoughts for the scientific debate on heritage marketing, seen as a strategy suitable to develop not only the firm’s strategy and competitiveness, but also its legitimacy as promoter of a specific economic and cultural context.

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