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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Evert Gummesson and Francesco Polese

With B2B (business‐to‐business) and new developments in marketing as the springboard, this paper seeks to emphasize complexity and context in marketing systems, embracing…

Abstract

Purpose

With B2B (business‐to‐business) and new developments in marketing as the springboard, this paper seeks to emphasize complexity and context in marketing systems, embracing both B2B and B2C (business‐to‐consumer) marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a conceptual analysis of new developments in marketing through network theory and case study research.

Findings

Recent theory points to a network and systems approach to marketing and to changing roles between suppliers and customers. Both many‐to‐many marketing as a broadening of relational approaches and the service dominant (S‐D) logic stress consumer involvement, exposing the customer's interactive role. The IBM service science programme enrols research and education in developing more functional service systems. The conventional divide in goods and services marketing is dissolved in favour of supplier‐customer interaction.

Research limitations/implications

B2B and B2C are both part of complex contexts. Case study research and network theory allow complexity and context to come forward. Network theory should be applied in all marketing, and concepts in marketing need to be constantly evaluated as to validity and relevance. The conventional sectors (manufacturing, services, agriculture) are supplier‐centric whereas marketing prescribes customer centricity. By focusing on continuous theory generation better theory will replace previous theory.

Practical implications

Marketers overview the complexity of specific marketing situations, to systematically observe relational phenomena and the customer's role, and will be better able to foresee opportunities and avoid mistakes in marketing planning and execution.

Originality/value

The paper offers a network view which is little represented in research and education. With growing dependency on larger integrated systems such a coherent view becomes increasingly more urgent. In a new marketing logic of service and value creation, the reductionism, fragmentation and linearity of Western science are challenged in favour of a comprehensive network approach. B2B and B2C are treated as perspectives of a grander marketing context and not as independent categories, and the broadened role of customers in value networks is recognized. Goods and services can only be understood and handled in a unified context.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 24 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2007

Felicia Morgan, Dawn Deeter‐Schmelz and Christopher R. Moberg

By outsourcing or partnering with two or more firms to perform certain activities targeted toward customers, firms are engaging in service networks. This research begins…

Abstract

Purpose

By outsourcing or partnering with two or more firms to perform certain activities targeted toward customers, firms are engaging in service networks. This research begins to examine how customers evaluate firms in a strategic, B2B service network and how their assessment of firms involved in co‐producing after‐sales service affects their evaluations of a focal selling firm. These evaluations include the key relational outcomes of brand image, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual model examines the effects of partner firm performance on customers' evaluations of a focal selling firm. Key factors such as focal brand strength and the strength of the relationship between the partner firm and the focal selling firm are proposed to influence this relationship.

Findings

Post‐sale business services provided directly to the customer are likely to play an important role in building a firm's brand image and equity, whether those services are provided by the firm or its partners.

Research limitations/implications

The individual firm to individual customer dyad approach that currently dominates the literature does not adequately capture the complex nature of today's B2B service relationships. This research develops a conceptual model that directly addresses the way customers evaluate service when it is performed by multiple partners.

Practical implications

Discovering how customers evaluate service experiences in which multiple firms co‐produce the service within a B2B service network can provide firms with the guidance needed to improve the performance of the entire network and the overall service experience of network customers.

Originality/value

This paper presents new theoretical developments in the area of business‐to‐business service networks. This research also addresses several gaps in the industrial marketing literature, particularly B2B services and branding.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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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…

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2020

Conor Drummond, Thomas O'Toole and Helen McGrath

Digitalisation has increased the importance of online forms of marketing, including social media (SM) marketing, for entrepreneurial firms. This paper aims to identify…

Abstract

Purpose

Digitalisation has increased the importance of online forms of marketing, including social media (SM) marketing, for entrepreneurial firms. This paper aims to identify digital engagement strategies and tactics in developing SM marketing capability.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses ethnographic content analysis of an entrepreneurial firm and a network of business-to-business (B2B) actors to classify 1,248 B2B Facebook posts and Twitter tweets from a case of an artisan food producer in addition to semi-structured interviews with 26 networked actors.

Findings

The authors derive a range of digital engagement strategies (8 in total) and tactics (15 in total) for the four defining layers of SM marketing capability, namely, connect, engage, co-ordinate and collaborate.

Research limitations/implications

This research focuses on a case study and a network of B2B actors within the artisan food sector. However, the strategies and tactics are applicable to other entrepreneurial firms and contexts.

Practical implications

The digital engagement strategies and tactics are of direct practical benefit to entrepreneurial firms willing to learn and develop SM marketing capability in interaction with their B2B partners.

Originality/value

This study investigates three under-researched areas, SM as it relates to B2B relationships, and entrepreneurship, and marketing capability gaps in an era of rapid digitalisation. The definition of SM marketing capability and associated digital engagement strategies and tactics are new to the extant literature moving forward the understanding of SM B2B marketing in theory and practice.

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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Zsófia Tóth, Peter Naudé, Stephan C. Henneberg and Carlos Adrian Diaz Ruiz

This paper aims to conceptualize corporate reference management as a strategic signaling activity in business networks. While research has extensively outlined how firms…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conceptualize corporate reference management as a strategic signaling activity in business networks. While research has extensively outlined how firms develop and maintain social capital through business-to-business (B2B) relationships, less is known about how they signal their participation in business networks to develop this social capital. Therefore, this paper conceptualizes B2B references, in particular corporate online references (COR), as a tool through which firms “borrow” attractiveness from their business network. Through the lens of structural social capital theory, COR is shown to capture advantages related to interconnectedness between firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports on a two-step qualitative and quantitative research design. First, the authors undertook a qualitative study that reports on the COR practices of senior business managers. A quantitative study then uses social network analysis (SNA) to audit a digital business network comprising 1,098 firms in a metropolitan area of the UK, referencing to each other through their corporate websites using COR.

Findings

The analyses find that COR practices contribute to building structural social capital in networks through strategic signaling. Firms do so by managing B2B references to craft strategic signals, using five steps: requesting, granting, curating, coding and decoding references. While the existing literature on business marketing portrays reference management as a routine and operational management practice, this investigation conceptualizes reference management, in particular COR, as a strategic activity.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to use SNA to represent B2B references in the form of COR as a network, which overlaps with (but is not entirely identical to) the business network. Further, the study re-conceptualizes reference management as a strategic signaling activity that leverages the firm’s participation in business networks to build structural social capital by borrowing attractiveness of prestigious business partners that leverages existing structural social capital. Finally, the paper coins and conceptualizes COR as an exemplar of referencing management and offers propositions for further research.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Arch Woodside, Samir Gupta and Jack Cadeaux

The Internet and its commercial applications in electronic commerce, particularly new ventures like B2B e‐markets, are experiencing a volatile introduction to the business…

Abstract

The Internet and its commercial applications in electronic commerce, particularly new ventures like B2B e‐markets, are experiencing a volatile introduction to the business environment. Businesses are restructuring and forming networks in an effort to accommodate and use this new phenomenon to their advantage. From this perspective, this article offers a conceptual framework on the process of creating these new ventures, the impact of network champions in the creation process and the strategic significance of the competency‐destroying innovation (Internet) for buyers and sellers who join the B2B e‐market. Several working propositions are developed from the extant literature that should be useful for empirical work on how new B2B e‐markets are implemented. The paper presents a refined proposition based on a field study of a B2B e‐market case.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

A. Noel Gould, Annie H. Liu and Yang Yu

This study examines the potential of foreign business-to-business (B2B) firms to select high-status local partners in emerging markets to achieve positive relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the potential of foreign business-to-business (B2B) firms to select high-status local partners in emerging markets to achieve positive relationship outcomes. Because a domestic firm’s high status may also promote opportunism, the study also examines if the foreign B2B firms may mitigate such behavior through either or both transaction-specific investments (TSIs) and socialization.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is conducted via a model that suggests a positive correlation between high local partner status and the focal relationship outcomes and the moderating effects of structural TSIs and social governance systems. The model was developed and empirically tested using data collected from 96 foreign firms operating in China.

Findings

Using multiple regressions, the findings suggest that foreign B2B firms are likely to achieve more beneficial relationship outcomes with high-status local partners. Standing alone, foreign B2B firms’ TSIs mitigate the positive relationship outcomes, whereas their socialization with the high-status partners enhances the beneficial outcomes. Most importantly, combining socialization with TSIs increases beneficial outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

This study adds to B2B marketing, status theory and the application of transaction cost economics (TCE) and social exchange theory to foreign-local B2B exchange relationships in emerging markets. The findings confirm the attractiveness of high status in emerging markets by exploring how the selection, formation and chosen B2B governance processes may lead to competing outcomes of opportunism or success. Future research will benefit from simultaneously securing data from both sides of the dyad.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that foreign B2B firms consider high status as a key criterion in selecting local partners in emerging markets and the importance of managing high-status partners’ potential opportunism by effective governance mechanisms.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to apply and explore the workings of status theory in the foreign-local B2B partner selection process and relationship outcomes in emerging markets and thereby contributes to B2B marketing, status theory and both TCE and social exchange theories in the focal foreign-local B2B context.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Olga A. Tretyak and Nikita I. Popov

The purpose of this paper is to extend existing theories of b2b networks over non‐profit networks.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend existing theories of b2b networks over non‐profit networks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper sheds light on the network organisational forms recently implanted in the academic community. the analytic induction method is used to extend b2b network concepts to a non‐profit context. The concepts of b2b networks are critically analysed and applied to explorative case studies of networks in academia. The paradox of open knowledge exchange in these networks is revealed and an attempt is made to elucidate it.

Findings

B2b network concepts should be modified before being extended to non‐profits. Propositions are suggested to adapt b2b network concepts to explain non‐profit networks. Questions to address in further research are developed.

Research limitations/implications

The main conclusions are only applicable to specific types of networks. Only academic networks are reviewed. The case study approach does not allow for generalizing the findings and deriving a set of concepts for non‐profit networks, and thus, calls for further research.

Practical implications

There may be space for achieving excellence in research by facilitating interpersonal rather than interorganisational research networks. This is important, since by facilitating interpersonal networks one can escape from organisational bureaucracy.

Originality/value

The study reports networking between the non‐profits, an issue largely neglected by marketing researchers, and contributes to its understanding in the frame of existing b2b network concepts.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 24 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

John V. Mullane, Michael H. Peters and Kimball E. Bullington

Business‐to‐business (B2B) e‐commerce activity provides many growth opportunities for firms willing to explore this new approach. While B2B is often considered the domain…

Abstract

Business‐to‐business (B2B) e‐commerce activity provides many growth opportunities for firms willing to explore this new approach. While B2B is often considered the domain of larger firms, the potential benefits of access to new clients, access to new global markets, and product line expansion are of particular importance to entrepreneurial suppliers. This article examines these benefits, as well as various mistakes an entrepreneurial firm may make in pursuing B2B e‐commerce. From this discussion, we recommend five action steps a firm should take to reap the tremendous benefits of supplying through a B2B network.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2021

Prathamesh Kittur, Swagato Chatterjee and Amit Upadhyay

This study aims to identify evolution and advancement in the field of business-to-business (B2B) loyalty knowledge area by analyzing its intellectual structure.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify evolution and advancement in the field of business-to-business (B2B) loyalty knowledge area by analyzing its intellectual structure.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use bibliometric analysis for quantitative evaluation of scholarly studies published on B2B loyalty area over a period of 27 years (1993–2020). The authors analyze intellectual knowledge base of B2B loyalty area by looking into 263 studies with 14,028 references authored by 693 researchers.

Findings

The results provide a comprehensive review of B2B loyalty area by identifying its foundations, influential works and intellectual communication linkage between these works. Notably, the analysis reveals most cited studies, key authors, important keywords, intellectual turning points and emerging trends of research in the discipline.

Research limitations/implications

This study creates a baseline for presenting precise and comprehensive insights into research themes in B2B loyalty area, and identifies progressive trends over a period. This study is also helpful for researchers in identifying future directions of research in the discipline.

Originality/value

This study reveals the intellectual structure of B2B loyalty area.

Details

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

Keywords

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