ISBM Pulse: Channels and distribution

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Penn State’s Center of Supply Chain Research COVID-19 Resources

One of the research institutes at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State is the Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR). The CSCR website offers a wealth of COVID-19 resources focused on supply chain management, including weekly presentations and recordings, as well as a curated collection of websites, research, and recordings.

Marketing in Uncertain Times – a Town Hall Expert Panel Discussion (Joanne Smith, Sandy Jap, and Erich Joachimsthaler)

ISBM’s introductory episode of the Marketing in Uncertain Times series was an insightful look at the power of pricing , channels, and B2B Business Strategy during a time of crisis and disruption. ISBM partner and instructor, Ralph Cummins of EMM Group moderated this panel discussion addressing these areas of concern with candid responses of practical advice and foresight. Highlights of this Town Hall include pricing power, ‘Survivalist Entrepreneurship’, and the focus on existing customers.

Ferris wheel

Marketing Channel Management by Multinational Corporations in Foreign Markets (Grewal et al.)

Multinational corporations require ongoing management of marketing channels, leading to challenges rooted in complex relationships between HQ-subsidiaries, subsidiaries-local channel partners, and third-party mediators at each host country level. For effective channel management, HQ should align subsidiary goals with HQ’s strategic motives and leverage subsidiary networks. This could be achieved by informal decision-making processes with subsidiaries to boost performance, or by moving employees across subsidiary networks.

extended hand

Applications of Agency Theory in B2B Marketing: Review and Future Directions

Agency theory has proved to be useful as a theoretical and empirical lens for examining a wide range of issues in business to business markets. This chapter attempts to explore the current and potential (future) applications of agency theory in business markets. First, the chapter explains the major constructs embedded in agency theory, the assumptions underlying the theoretical structure, and the classes of problems to which this structure is inherently well suited. Next, the key characteristics of business to business marketing are discussed, as well as the demands that these characteristics impose on incumbent theories which seek to shed light on business markets. Following, the the range of issues in business markets to which agency theory might be productively applied is outlined, along with modifications/extensions required to accommodate unique features of these markets. Finally, emerging areas of interest are reviewed, identifying promising areas for future research.

a hand signing a business contract

Progress and Prospects for Governance Value Analysis in Marketing: When Porter meets Williamson

This chapter provides an analysis of how the Governance Value Analysis (GVA) framework offers a better understanding of how the design and management of cooperative inter-firm relationships (with suppliers, channel partners, and customers) is integrally tied to strategic marketing decisions. The fundamental links between a firms’ positioning choice and its inimitable resource profile with the attributes and governance design choices in the relationship, and their links to both value creating and claiming, are elaborated on. Implications for future research and applications in a wide variety of strategic marketing decisions including branding, design of pricing contracts, product-form choice (vertical positioning), and bundling are discussed. 

colorful pawns connected by a network

Network Governance

This chapter provides an overview of various network governance mechanisms in business markets, by discussing the control and coordination benefits as well as the constraints that result from firms and dyads being embedded in social networks. First, network control mechanisms are discussed that help firms monitor and steer the behaviors of their exchange partners. Second, the chapter covers how social networks can stimulate positive behavior and help align different parties for the sake of mutual gain. Third, a dark side of social networks is discussed.

chain

Competing Along the Value Chain in B2B2C (Jeff Bennett)

B2B companies frequently sell along complex value chains with multiple influencers and decision-makers. Too often, they can lose focus on the fact that there is ultimately a consumer or end-user at the end of that chain. With business models and competitors evolving, it is more important than ever that B2B companies expand their definition of ‘customer’ and understand the needs of this consumer. This presentation covers a set of concepts and practical frameworks that can help B2B companies address these issues. Several relevant case studies are presented.