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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2018

Anna-Greta Nyström, Jan-Åke Törnroos, Nikolina Koporcic and Maria Ivanova-Gongne

This final chapter of the book provides an up-to-date overview of research on B2B branding. The chapter discusses the current academic endeavors and propositions from…

Abstract

This final chapter of the book provides an up-to-date overview of research on B2B branding. The chapter discusses the current academic endeavors and propositions from researchers in the field, while focusing on the discipline of B2B marketing. It furthermore elaborates on the importance of brands and branding for decision-making processes by discussing the role of B2B buyers and sellers. Additionally, branding as part of marketing has been reviewed from its historical background and the first attempts to develop its conceptual background. The chapter then focuses on business buyers and their main characteristics with regard to brand relevance. Finally, the key challenges of developing a strong B2B brand are presented and discussed, after which future research avenues and upcoming trends within the B2B branding context are considered. Digitalization and the digital context are identified as important areas to know in the future, as they are increasingly becoming important stages for marketing activities within the B2B domain. The digital context is a specific platform to explore further. In addition, the intangible aspects of B2B branding that are still unknown to many managers and academics, such as emotions in situations of interaction and sales are explored. From a thematic point of view, sustainability issues will become increasingly important to handle in organizations, which will put pressure on B2B marketers, as sustainability can be communicated through the corporate brand and related branding efforts.

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Developing Insights on Branding in the B2B Context
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-276-9

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2021

David Marius Gligor, Ismail Golgeci, Carla Rego, Ivan Russo, Sıddık Bozkurt, Terrance Pohlen, Brian Hiatt and Vipul Garg

The purpose of this paper is to build on recent efforts occurring within business-to-business (B2B) marketing research to advance methodological developments. As phenomena…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to build on recent efforts occurring within business-to-business (B2B) marketing research to advance methodological developments. As phenomena within B2B relationships have become increasingly complex, marketing scholars have begun to point out the limitations associated with correlation-based methodological approaches and highlight the need for new developments in this area. One such development is the fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA).

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a literature review to examine the use of fsQCA in B2B marketing research.

Findings

First, the current manuscript presents the benefits that the application of fsQCA can offer to market researchers investigating B2B phenomena. Second, the paper presents the current state of fsQCA use within B2B marketing. Third, it suggests possible marketing B2B research topics that can be explored using fsQCA.

Originality/value

The study highlights the benefits of fsQCA, presents the current state of fsQCA use within B2B marketing and offers a rich future research agenda for B2B marketing scholars. This agenda can also help spur additional method developments in the discipline.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2020

Neeraj Pandey, Preeti Nayal and Abhijeet Singh Rathore

This study aims to analyze the available literature on the use of digital marketing in a business-to-business (B2B) context. It identifies gaps in the current research…

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7921

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the available literature on the use of digital marketing in a business-to-business (B2B) context. It identifies gaps in the current research knowledge and proposes a research agenda for scholars and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review has been conducted on B2B digital marketing. The various themes have been identified on the basis of the comprehensive analysis of extant literature. Also, semi-structured interviews with B2B marketing experts were also conducted to further refine the emerged digital marketing themes.

Findings

Although some B2B firms use digital marketing, most are unable to leverage its full benefits because of the dearth of comprehensive research on the subject. This review provides an insight into the emerging themes by developing a collaborative conceptual framework. The review highlights that few areas such as digital marketing communication and sales management have witnessed steady development while decision support systems, critical success factors, electronic marketing orientation (EMO), etc., were lesser explored. Furthermore, it identifies research gaps and highlights the emerging research themes for future researchers.

Practical implications

The collaborative framework will help organizations to align their digital marketing activities as per the changing market dynamics such as the focus on building social media capability, EMO and value co-creation.

Originality/value

Research on the use of digital marketing by B2B firms is still at the embryonic stage. This study is a pioneering effort to review the use of digital marketing in B2B organizations and identify research priorities for scholars and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2020

Susana C. Silva, Paulo Alexandre Oliveira Duarte and Sara Resende Almeida

The purpose of this study is to understand and compare how business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies evaluate the return on investment (ROI) on…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand and compare how business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies evaluate the return on investment (ROI) on their social media marketing (SMM) programmes and how the investment is handled in these type of marketing programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-methods approach involving multiple cases and a survey was used. Data were collected from personal interviews with eight professionals responsible for SMM management, from four B2B and four B2C companies, complemented with responses to a web-based survey by the other 28 companies’ marketing managers.

Findings

The results show that there are some differences between B2B and B2C companies regarding SMM evaluation and investment but in general marketing managers for both types of firms use simple metrics to evaluate their SMM programmes. The main measures used relate to awareness, engagement and reach and most of the metrics identified are interaction-related.

Research limitations/implications

Given the complex and sensitive nature of the subject, more research is needed focussed on providing additional evidence from a larger sample of B2B and B2C organizations to allow the extension of the finding to the population as the non-probabilistic nature and size of the current sample impose that the findings should be interpreted carefully. Future research should focus on understanding what the firm’s characteristics predict the importance and level of effort placed in SMM and the barriers to ROI measurement in SMM programmes, especially in B2B firms.

Practical implications

The current findings confirm that the topic of SMM ROI evaluation is not a priority for B2C or B2B companies. There is a need for an update of their online marketing strategy, namely, on budget definition and allocation. Furthermore, companies should increase the autonomy of SM managers, as they are dependent from marketing managers and hire specialized professionals devoted to SMM in both B2C and B2B companies.

Originality/value

The findings of this study contribute to improve the understanding of the evaluation of SMM and to extend the literature on the subject. It also provides a relevant advance into the assessment and understanding on the measures used to evaluate the effectiveness of SMM programmes by offering a comparison on how B2B and B2C use metrics and allocate resources to the SMM management.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Sharad Sarin

This paper aims to review the author's association with the discipline of business‐to‐business (B2B) marketing for nearly 40 years. Of these, 34 were spent teaching in a…

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3523

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the author's association with the discipline of business‐to‐business (B2B) marketing for nearly 40 years. Of these, 34 were spent teaching in a postgraduate institute, i.e. the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, India.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is organized around nine lenses for reflection. These provide a comprehensive coverage of the author's experiences. The paper critically evaluates the author's performance as a B2B marketing instructor, researcher, trainer and consultant. It examines the evolution of B2B markets and marketing in India and traces the symbiotic relationship between academics and practice.

Findings

The reflection reveals that B2B marketing practices have benefited and improved a great deal in India due to interventions from academia. However, the most disturbing aspect of B2B marketing practices in India is all‐pervasive corruption. There seems to be no solution for it.

Practical implications

An important audience for this paper is young faculty members. It is hoped the paper will be able to motivate them for more research and publications. The challenge for B2B marketing is to fuel the declining interest in the discipline. The B2B marketing discipline in India needs more faculty members, and substantial home‐grown research articles and cases.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates that the Indian B2B scenario has changed a great deal: the impact of competition and globalisation has transformed B2B marketing practices beyond recognition.

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2019

Keith Pyper, Anne Marie Doherty, Spiros Gounaris and Alan Wilson

Drawing on Resource-based Theory, the purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effect of International Strategic Brand Management (SBM) on export performance…

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1084

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on Resource-based Theory, the purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effect of International Strategic Brand Management (SBM) on export performance within the Business-to-Business (B2B) context. To be able to purposely assess the relationship, this paper also sets out to discover what antecedent international resources, (financial resources) and international capabilities (market information, branding and marketing planning) contribute to the ability of B2B exporters to effectively manage their brands abroad.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method firm-level approach was employed. First, a qualitative study of 34 in-depth interviews explored the focal inter-relationships and constructs identified within the literature. A survey of 208 successful UK exporters was then conducted and the results were analysed using structured equation modelling.

Findings

The results confirm that certain marketing capabilities (branding and marketing planning) are advantageous antecedents to the employment of effective SBM in foreign markets which, in turn, leads to increased financial and market performance internationally.

Practical implications

This paper outlines practical brand management considerations managers need to account for to achieve effective exporting. Practitioners are advised to prioritise the development of robust international branding and marketing planning capabilities which can enable them to exploit their limited financial resources for optimal benefits. Furthermore, by developing these capabilities, firms can focus on the essence of their brand and communicate their brand image through the effective strategic management of their brand to business customers, evoking positive brand associations, enhanced perceived brand value and the achievement of increased export performance.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to focus on international SBM as the deterministic factor leading to improved B2B export performance. An innovative framework is offered which positions the pivotal role of International SBM as the central focus. The construct for international branding capabilities is extended specifically for use in the B2B domain.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Timothy Cawsey and Jennifer Rowley

The purpose of this paper is to provide a unique overview of business-to-business (B2B) companies engagement with and strategic approach to use of social media in brand…

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15862

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a unique overview of business-to-business (B2B) companies engagement with and strategic approach to use of social media in brand building. This research complements the much more extensive knowledge base regarding social media use in business-to-consumer (B2C) contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

Since social media marketing is a relatively new activity for B2B companies an interpretivist stance that is inductive in nature is adopted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing professionals involved in managing social media programmes in France, Ireland, the UK and the USA.

Findings

The study found that the level of enagement with social media marketing varied, as summarised in the B2B Social Media Engagement Taxonomy. Enhancing brand image, extending brand awareness and facilitating customer engagement were the most common social media objectives. There was no evidence to suggest that companies saw social media as heralding a paradigm shift in brand management and control of the kind discussed and experienced in B2C social media contexts. The B2B social media strategy framework is proposed; this identifies the following six components of a social media strategy: monitoring and listening, empowering and enagaging employees, creating compelling content, stimulating electronic word of mouth, evaluating and selecting channels, and enhacning brand presence through integrating social media.

Originality/value

The research contributes to the knowledge base associated with social media marketing by offering insights into and a framework summarising B2B social media strategy.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2021

Lujie Chen, Mengqi Jiang, Fu Jia and Guoquan Liu

The purpose of this study is to develop a synthesized conceptual framework for artificial intelligence (AI) adoption in the field of business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a synthesized conceptual framework for artificial intelligence (AI) adoption in the field of business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual development approach has been adopted, based on a content analysis of 59 papers in peer-reviewed academic journals, to identify drivers, barriers, practices and consequences of AI adoption in B2B marketing. Based on these analyses and findings, a conceptual model is developed.

Findings

This paper identifies the following two key drivers of AI adoption: the shortcomings of current marketing activities and the external pressure imposed by informatization. Seven outcomes are identified, namely, efficiency improvements, accuracy improvements, better decision-making, customer relationship improvements, sales increases, cost reductions and risk reductions. Based on information processing theory and organizational learning theory (OLT), an integrated conceptual framework is developed to explain the relationship between each construct of AI adoption in B2B marketing.

Originality/value

This study is the first conceptual paper that synthesizes drivers, barriers and outcomes of AI adoption in B2B marketing. The conceptual model derived from the combination of information processing theory and OLT provides a comprehensive framework for future work and opens avenues of research on this topic. This paper contributes to both AI literature and B2B literature.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2021

Runyue Han, Hugo K.S. Lam, Yuanzhu Zhan, Yichuan Wang, Yogesh K. Dwivedi and Kim Hua Tan

Although the value of artificial intelligence (AI) has been acknowledged by companies, the literature shows challenges concerning AI-enabled business-to-business (B2B

Abstract

Purpose

Although the value of artificial intelligence (AI) has been acknowledged by companies, the literature shows challenges concerning AI-enabled business-to-business (B2B) marketing innovation, as well as the diversity of roles AI can play in this regard. Accordingly, this study investigates the approaches that AI can be used for enabling B2B marketing innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying a bibliometric research method, this study systematically investigates the literature regarding AI-enabled B2B marketing. It synthesises state-of-the-art knowledge from 221 journal articles published between 1990 and 2021.

Findings

Apart from offering specific information regarding the most influential authors and most frequently cited articles, the study further categorises the use of AI for innovation in B2B marketing into five domains, identifying the main trends in the literature and suggesting directions for future research.

Practical implications

Through the five identified domains, practitioners can assess their current use of AI and identify their future needs in the relevant domains in order to make appropriate decisions on how to invest in AI. Thus, the research enables companies to realise their digital marketing innovation strategies through AI.

Originality/value

The research represents one of the first large-scale reviews of relevant literature on AI in B2B marketing by (1) obtaining and comparing the most influential works based on a series of analyses; (2) identifying five domains of research into how AI can be used for facilitating B2B marketing innovation and (3) classifying relevant articles into five different time periods in order to identify both past trends and future directions in this specific field.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 121 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2020

Yun Wang, Michel Rod, Qi Deng and Shaobo Ji

Based on an organizational capability perspective, this paper aims to propose a development model for social media analytics (SMA) capability that can be applied to…

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1092

Abstract

Purpose

Based on an organizational capability perspective, this paper aims to propose a development model for social media analytics (SMA) capability that can be applied to business-to-business (B2B) marketing, with the aim of facilitating the use and integration of SMA in B2B marketing and maximizing the benefits of business networks in the age of social media.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a critical interpretive synthesis of SMA publications collected from academic journals, business magazines and the SMA service industry. In addition, an inter-disciplinary approach was adopted by drawing upon both marketing and information systems literature. In total, 123 academic papers, 106 industry case studies and 141 magazine papers were identified and analyzed. The findings were synthesized and compiled to address the predefined research question.

Findings

An SMA capability development model is proposed. The proposed model consists of four inter-dependent levels (technological, operational, managed and strategic) that collectively transfer the technological capability of SMA to the dynamic organizational capability. Each level of SMA capability is detailed. SMA-in-B2B marketing is highlighted as a socio-technical phenomenon, in which a technological level SMA capability is emphasized as the foundation for developing organizational level SMA capabilities and organizational capabilities, in turn, supporting and managing SMA activities and practices (e.g. strategic planning, social and cultural changes, skills and resources, measurements and values).

Practical implications

The proposed research framework may have implications for the operational level SMA development and the investigations on the direct and/or indirect measurements to help firms see the impact of SMA on their business.

Originality/value

This study may have implications for the adoption, use, integration and management of SMA in B2B marketing. The proposed model is grounded on the integrated insights from academia and industry. It is particularly relevant to B2B firms that have engaged in or plan to engage in applying SMA to extract insights from their online networks and is relevant to B2B researchers who are interested in SMA, big data and information technology organization integration studies.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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