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Abstract

Managing customers based on customer equity (CE) has emerged as the most effective way of doing business because of its ability to foster profitable customer relationship management (CRM) through appropriate marketing activities. Most research studies provide conceptual and empirical evidence of the positive link between CE and firm performance. However, regarding this possibility, it has been suggested by some researchers that this link may not hold true for other firms with different firmographic factors, such as firm growth rate, size, and resources. As previous research emphasizes that marketing managers should implement a strategy based on their unique business environment, our study addresses this issue by extending the framework to a different industry setting to investigate the impact of CE on firm performance. We develop a model for examining the relationship between the firm`s estimated CE and firm performance by each time period using a distributed lagged model. Then, we investigate the effect of CE on the firm`s profitability using a regression analysis. Finally, even though CRM is in increasing demand and firms are focusing on the customer as an asset, we conclude that there is a limited condition for this positive effect of CE. When the life cycle was divided by growth rate, CE was shown to have a distinctive effect on profit. In the case of a highgrowth stage, the effect of CE on profit is positive because of its potential customer base, whereas the effect is not significant in a low-growth stage. That is, when the business environment is saturated and the firms are no longer competing in the market, CRM may not be effective. In other words, a long-term performance orientation may not be as effective as previously believed. This research contributes to the previous literature, providing a counterintuitive suggestion that firm managers should be cautious about implementing a CRM strategy and should allocate resources properly in terms of their resource capabilities and ability depending on their situation.

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