There are increasing signs that business‐to‐business marketers are targeting the 50 percent of all US companies which are family firms. New theory from the family business studies field creates a reasonable expectation that the buyer behavior of family firms is distinctive, but there has been, to date, no empirical validation of this hypothesis. This exploratory study of 124 businesses contrasts family and non‐family firms on four dimensions of purchasing and finds that family business engage in more protracted pre‐purchase search processes, and require more interaction with their providers but reward providers with higher propensity to engage in positive word‐of‐mouth behaviors and repurchase intentions. These findings are both consistent with emerging theory in the field and relevant to marketers to family businesses.
Maru File, K., Mack, J.L. and Prince, R.A. (1994), "Marketing to the Family Firm: A New Consideration for Business‐to‐Business Marketers", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 64-72. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858629410066908Download as .RIS
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