Purpose - The strategy of carefully selecting the most important group of business customers for special treatment - for which several terms are in use - has come in for considerable recent attention from both academics and practitioners. The purpose of this paper Is to examine "strategic account management" at a large telecommunications operator in a developing country ("Arab Telco")
Design/methodology/approach - The paper presents an in-depth single-company case study
Findings - The approach to strategic account management employed by Arab Telco shows excellent fit with the recommendations of Western authorities about the implementation of such programs in particular, there is evidence that the program is being implemented sincerely, with the allocation of additional resources to the strategic account function and the delivery of special treatment to strategic account customers. However, the strategic account program is still relatively immature and the term "key account management" is also in use at Arab Telco, this term refers to many customers who are not of particular strategic significance to the company.
Research limitations/implications - Further research is needed into the impact of culture-specific factors on the implementation of strategic account management The transference of Western marketing models to emerging economies offers fruitful scope for additional research
Originality/value - The paper examines the direct transfer of a well-known Western management technique - i.e. strategic account management to a major company in an emerging economy in the Arab world