B2B Pulse: Content Library

The ISBM Pulse content library contains archived copies of previous member meeting presentations, webinars, courses, articles/reports, and a multitude of other knowledge. This material is freely available for our ISBM members.

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Business-to-Business Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is a dynamic business decision process driven by a theory about how markets function. This chapter reviews B2B market segmentation from both academic and business perspectives to clarify its potential effectiveness. major challenges of using B2B market segmentation, followed by a consideration of several activities required to complete a successful segmentation process. This analysis sets the stage for a discussion of directions for research that should be considered to improve the process and practice of B2B market segmentation.

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Branding in B2B Firms

B2B branding is just as important to business buyers as B2C branding is to consumers. Yet, it seems that many B2B businesses do a poor job of developing and managing their corporate brands, sub-brands and other brands. The goal of this chapter is to answer the following questions to help B2B firms do a better job of branding: 1) Why do B2B firms often fail to make good use of branding? 2) Which major B2B firms make very good use of branding? 3) What does a B2B firm need to know about branding as a starting point? 4) What steps should a B2B firm take if it wants to build a strong brand?

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Trade Shows in the Business Marketing Communications Mix

Trade shows continue to occupy a prominent position within the B2B communications mix. This chapter on trade shows first provides an overview of the impact of the technological revolution on traditional trade show strategies. Next, relevant knowledge on trade shows along three perspectives is reviewed, starting with the exhibitor perspective where we cover issues related to the planning and execution of trade show strategy, followed by the viewpoints of trade show attendees and show management. The chapter concludes with an overview of implications and opportunities for academic research in this domain, as well as lessons for managers.

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Value-Based Pricing: A State-of-the-Art Review

Unlike pricing in consumer markets, pricing in business markets is underresearched. This chapter therefore reviews business market pricing literature, proposes a model for the strategic management of the pricing function and poses fundamental research questions. Because much of the development of pricing work is currently being done by practicing managers and consultants, this chapter takes a practice perspective. Furthermore the review focuses on the development and implementation of a value-based pricing strategy. This chapter defines pricing strategy and value pricing, and also provides an overview of the elements of a pricing strategy using the perspective of value-based pricing practices.

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Evolution of Buyer–Seller Relationships

The importance of understanding how interorganizational buyer–seller relationships are created, persist, sometimes destroyed and occasionally re-established has been raised in multiple contexts. For many reasons, continuity is a focal construct of interest in business marketing contexts. To date empirical research on buyer–seller relationships in business markets has largely concentrated on studying the status of an existing relationship, though, typically through cross-sectional investigations. Compared with longitudinal investigations, cross-sectional approaches have advantages, such as more cost effective data collection efforts. Many aspects of buyer–seller relationships in business markets evolve only slowly over time, in which cases cross-sectional studies are an acceptable approach. Considerably less attention has been devoted to the longitudinal aspects of relationships, though, so the objective of this chapter is to synthesize existing empirical research that examines the longitudinal aspects of buyer–seller relationships, with an eye to understanding how they form, evolve over time and sometimes break down.

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Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing (RM), in both business practice and academic research, has received ever increasing attention. This chapter provides a framework for understanding relationship marketing. It provides a review of the mechanisms that underlie the relationship process. Next, it highlights the importance of analyzing the multiple dyadic ties between firms at an aggregate level to appreciate the complementary nature of various types of relationships and their impact on performance. Furthermore, the chapter offers insights into the various drivers of inter-firm relationships and connect these relationships to previously measured performance-related outcomes. Following, the moderators that leverage the effectiveness of relationships are discussed. As a conclusion directions for additional research are suggested.

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Trust, Distrust and Confidence in B2B Relationships

Trust is central in B2B relationships. It increases the ‘ability to adapt to unforeseen problems in ways that are difficult to achieve through arm’s-length ties’ (Uzzi 1996, p. 678) and is the foundation for greater commitment and performance. Meta-analysis reveals that the ‘effect of trust on satisfaction and long-term orientation is even substantially larger than the direct effect of economic outcomes’ (Geyskens et al. 1998, p. 242). However, ‘while the effects of trust on attitudes and perceptions have been . . . fairly consistent and positive, its effects on behavior and performance’ have been weaker (Langfred 2004, p. 385). Although trust has been theorized to improve performance, its actual effect is questionable (Atuahene-Gima and Li 2002; Gundlach and Cannon 2010). Why does trust not consistently generate more favorable performance? Is this due to confusion about what trust is?

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Strategic Alliances in a Business-to-Business Environment

To acquire and utilize a diverse set of capabilities, firms develop alliance strategies that help integrate different disciplines and bodies of knowledge; provide access to technologies, markets and customers that might not be easily reached otherwise; enable the acquisition of R&D; and employ innovations that might otherwise be too costly to implement and might allow one technology or set of standards to dominate another. This chapter on strategic alliances begins by discussing the different conceptual frameworks used by scholars to develop the notion of alliances. Next, alliances are defined in the context of these prevailing conceptual frameworks. The stages of alliance development are discussed, beginning with strategic intent and partner selection. Then alliance governance is discussed. The chapter concludes with managerial and academic implications.

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Learning in Coopetitive Relationships

Current literature provides a deep understanding of firms’ vertical relationships, but knowledge of horizontal relationships among firms that occupy similar positions along a supply chain is rather limited. The main purpose of this chapter is to explicate issues related to cooperation among competitors, or ‘coopetition’. This chapter provides a broad overview of the major facets of coopetition. It seeks to increase awareness of this important strategic option among managers who plan to develop inter-firm collaborative relationships and to provoke further discussion and investigation of this phenomenon among marketing scholars.

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