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Article

Jagdish N. Sheth and Arun Sharma

Business‐to‐business marketing has come of age in the last three decades and research in this area has been extensive and impressive. This paper examines the extant body…

Abstract

Purpose

Business‐to‐business marketing has come of age in the last three decades and research in this area has been extensive and impressive. This paper examines the extant body of business‐to‐business marketing research and identifies surpluses and shortages with the goal of stimulating future research.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focuses on two questions regarding future business‐to business marketing. First, what has been the focus of understanding in business‐to‐business marketing theory and what should be its future focus? Second, what has been the purpose or objective to study business‐to‐business marketing and what should be the future objective for research?

Findings

It is found that research in business‐to‐business marketing is fundamentally changing and will continue to change. The paper identifies areas of business‐to‐business marketing research that have received surplus attention and areas that require additional attention.

Practical implications

The paper provides guidelines for future exploration of the business‐to‐business research domain.

Originality/value

The paper is analogous to the widely cited paper by Sheth (1979) that reviewed the state of consumer behavior research and identified areas that had been unexplored or under‐explored, and in the process provided an impetus for new research in consumer behavor.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Ming-Tsang Lu, Shu-Kung Hu, Li-Hua Huang and Gwo-Hshiung Tzeng

The invention and use of mobile commerce (m-commerce) technology have progressed in recent years. In small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the decision to implement…

Abstract

Purpose

The invention and use of mobile commerce (m-commerce) technology have progressed in recent years. In small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the decision to implement business-to-business m-commerce is a multiple-criteria decision analysis problem that involves both qualitative and quantitative factors, and its evaluation may be based on imprecise information or uncertain data. Furthermore, there may be significant dependences or important feedback among different levels of criteria or alternatives. However, most conventional decision models cannot capture these complex interrelationships. The purpose of this paper is to adopt a new hybrid multiple attribute decision model (MADM) model to evaluate the implementation of business-to-business m-commerce by SMEs in Taiwan to enhance the thinking of management and improve decision gaps.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the authors present the use of a new hybrid MADM combined with a decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method to construct an influential network relationship map (INRM) and find the influential weights of DANP (DEMATEL-based ANP) in criteria from the influential relationship matrix, and the modified VIKOR method using influential weights to evaluate and integrate the criteria performance in the gaps and to analyze how to reduce the gaps to evaluate the decision to implement business-to-business m-commerce by SMEs based on INRM.

Findings

The findings of using the new hybrid MADM model can efficiently and successfully be applied to the business-to-business m-commerce of SMEs to improve and reduce the performance gaps among each criterion/aspect when setting improvement strategies for achieving an aspiration level based on INRM.

Originality/value

This study achieves the following: successfully building a decision network (called an influential network relation map (INRM)) of the technological advances and implementations of business-to-business m-commerce for solving the inter-dependence and feedback of criteria/aspects in the real world problem; how changing effective solutions from existing performance of situations/alternatives into aspiration levels to fit the current competitive markets in the business-to-business m-commerce of SMEs; and efficiently shifting from ranking and selection when determining the most preferable approaches to performance improvement by modified VIKOR methods.

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Article

Tim Benijts, Wim Lagae and Benedict Vanclooster

This study seeks to examine how a sport league, a unique feature of professional sport, influences the business‐to‐business marketing of teams participating in the sport league.

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to examine how a sport league, a unique feature of professional sport, influences the business‐to‐business marketing of teams participating in the sport league.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a qualitative research design based on a single case study, the UCI ProTour in professional road cycling. The primary sources consist of 27 semi‐structured interviews complemented by written sources and controlled for construct validity, external validity and reliability.

Findings

From a theoretical point of view, a sport league is a marketing channel network (a specific type of an intentionally developed business network or IDBN). Theoretical analysis also reveals that the teams' business‐to‐business marketing is positively related to the network's value‐creating system. Empirically, it is argued that the introduction of a marketing channel network has a positive influence on the financial value of the teams' business‐to‐business market but does not result in a change in the business demographics of corporate sponsors.

Research limitations

The study has possible sport‐specific limitations.

Practical implications

Business‐to‐business marketers and sport league managers should pay attention to the characteristics of the sport league as these influence the teams' business‐to‐business market. This is especially valid for sports in which teams rely strongly on sport sponsoring and, to a lesser extend, on gate revenues, television rights and prize money.

Originality/value

For the first time, this study examines and provides data on the business‐to‐business environment of teams in professional road cycling. It contributes to the literature of international sport marketing and professional road cycling, a sport gaining momentum in various countries and which is understudied in comparison to other sports.

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Article

Xia Zhu and Judy Zolkiewski

– This study aims to explore how business-to-business service failures manifest in a manufacturing context.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how business-to-business service failures manifest in a manufacturing context.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical research involved two case studies: case study one included 20 interviews in the metal finishing industry; case study two included 20 interviews in the paint and coatings industry. In both case studies, suppliers and customers’ perceptions were obtained to facilitate a dyadic understanding of the phenomena.

Findings

Business-to-business service failure is a complex, dynamic and interactive process. It varies according to type of service, services supporting the products and services supporting the customers, service quality dimensions and the source of the failure. It can have a more profound impact than service failure in a consumer context because it may cause disruption to customers’ production and have a negative influence of failure on their clients in the network.

Research limitations/implications

Business customers may play a role in value co-destruction rather than value co-creation by causing service failures due to errors on their part. The consequences of the domino effects revealed in this study need to be given careful consideration by managers. The research is exploratory, and the findings may be influenced by the manufacturing sector in which the case study firms are based.

Originality/value

Business-to-business service failure has its own distinct characteristics, as it may impact widely in the business-to-business network. Domino effects implicitly dominate business-to-business service failure episodes where negative outcomes cascade downstream and affect service recipients’ customers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article

Carsten Baumgarth

The purpose of this paper is to design and test a model for the internal anchorage of a business‐to‐business brand via corporate brand orientation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design and test a model for the internal anchorage of a business‐to‐business brand via corporate brand orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 261 usable responses to a questionnaire distributed in the German business‐to‐business sector, were applied to model estimation by the “soft modelling” partial‐least‐squares regression technique.

Findings

The structure of the brand orientation model is supported by the results. The findings demonstrate the positive influence of brand orientation on market and economic performance. Smaller business‐to‐business companies exhibit lower levels of brand orientation than larger counterparts, to their strategic disadvantage. Line of business and management type had no influence on brand orientation in this survey.

Practical implications

Business‐to‐business brand managers now have empirically‐based evidence for the benefits of intensive implementation of brand orientation. The associated four‐level conceptual model of the phenomenon offers them an enhanced understanding of the process, procedures and probable outcomes. It can be used for management control as well as strategic planning and implementation.

Originality/value

The paper is the first empirical study to examine the internal aspects of branding in the business‐to‐business sector, and one of the first large‐scale surveys that is not industry‐specific to analyse the link between brand management and company performance.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article

Fabio Cassia and Francesca Magno

The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively explore marketing issues for foreign industrial companies of large, small and medium size entering emerging markets (EMs)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively explore marketing issues for foreign industrial companies of large, small and medium size entering emerging markets (EMs), particularly transition economies in Eastern Europe. The vast majority of current studies about EMs focus only on defining suitable strategies related to large consumer goods corporations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopted a multiple case study approach. Five Italian companies belonging to different business-to-business industries that have entered emerging countries in Eastern Europe were selected for investigation.

Findings

Empirical analysis uncovered recurring issues related to: institutional factors causing market uncertainty and instability; difficulties in building a sales network; a need for product adaptation to guarantee satisfactory performance; choices related to communication, branding and trade fairs; and considerations about competition and first mover advantage. Results can be interpreted as an extension of the analysis of institutional voids by Khanna and Palepu (1997).

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on the analysis of five case studies of companies operating in specific EMs, namely in Eastern Europe Countries (EEc) Further research based on different samples and different emerging countries is needed before generalizing results.

Practical implications

The study shows that the main institutional void affecting business-to-business companies entering EMs is the lack of locally developed sales and after-sales networks. This institutional void slows the entry process of business-to-business companies in EMs. Given these constraints, from the perspective of business-to-business SMEs, it may be fruitful to pursue niche positioning in EMs.

Originality/value

The study analyzes EMs opportunities and entry strategies from the business-to-business marketing perspective, uncovering the most critical issues.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

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Article

Alan Miciak and Mike Desmarais

Service quality performance is benchmarked at business‐to‐business and business‐to‐consumer call centers. Differences between call center types are observed including…

Abstract

Service quality performance is benchmarked at business‐to‐business and business‐to‐consumer call centers. Differences between call center types are observed including characteristics of operation, customer ratings of service quality performance, and employee ratings of workplace issues. Business‐to‐business call centers are challenged by customers who have higher expectations for service performance and who are more critical evaluators of organizational service performance. Implications for customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty are discussed.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Raymond Kong and Michael C. Mayo

Develops a model of the service delivery process in thebusiness‐to‐business context which extends the well‐known Gaps Model andaccounts for major differences between the…

Abstract

Develops a model of the service delivery process in the business‐to‐business context which extends the well‐known Gaps Model and accounts for major differences between the provider/consumer model and business‐to‐business relationships. Describes ongoing efforts to measure service quality in different business‐to‐business settings and contrasts them with the SERVQUAL approach. Also describes a new approach for creating business‐to‐business relationships as well as implications for managers given the task of creating a competitive advantage through a service quality initiative.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Xia Zhu and Judy Zolkiewski

This study investigates service adaptation in a business-to-business context and explores the characteristics of service adaptation and how it takes place in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates service adaptation in a business-to-business context and explores the characteristics of service adaptation and how it takes place in business-to-business markets.

Design/methodology/approach

Two case studies were employed to obtain both suppliers’ and customers’ perceptions of service adaptation in a business-to-business context.

Findings

The findings captured both suppliers’ and customers’ adaptation in a business-to-business service context. It revealed customers’ active adaptation in assisting suppliers in the business-to-business service process. Suppliers’ willingness to make adaptation appears to have an impact on their relationships with customers. Business-to-business service adaptation is a dynamic and interactive process.

Research limitations/implications

The findings shed light for practitioners not to neglect customers’ active participation, but to understand customers’ role in making adaptation with suppliers in the service process to enhance their service experience and business-to-business relationships. The research is exploratory and the findings of these two case studies may be influenced by the manufacturing sector in which the case study firms are based.

Originality/value

This paper illustrates that the interactive nature of service adaptation is particularly pertinent in a business-to-business context and that the phenomena needs much more careful attention as it provides a potential area for marketing managers to achieve service differentiation.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Book part

Robert B Woodruff and Daniel J Flint

In today’s markets, many organizations feel pressure to become more responsive to their customers. Managing your business to deliver superior value to targeted customers…

Abstract

In today’s markets, many organizations feel pressure to become more responsive to their customers. Managing your business to deliver superior value to targeted customers may provide a strong avenue to improved performance. The route from value-based strategies to share holder value can be complicated, however. These strategies have the most direct impact on performance with your customers in the form of customer satisfaction, word of mouth and loyalty. Successful customer performance should translate into higher market performance, as evidenced by a supplier’s higher customer retention rates and sales. Finally, market performance provides the engine for increasing company performance or shareholder value. Attaining shareholder value through customer value strategies requires committing major management attention to how best to create, deliver and communicate superior value to targeted customers.

Details

Evaluating Marketing Actions and Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-046-3

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