Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing
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Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing

Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal

This insightful Handbook provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of business-to-business marketing. It supplies an overview and pioneers new ideas relating to the activity of building mutually value-generating relationships between organizations – from businesses to government agencies to not-for-profit organizations – and the many individuals within them.
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Chapter 2: A High-level Overview: A Value Perspective on the Practice of Business-to-Business Marketing

Ralph Oliva


Ralph Oliva The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of the practice of B2B marketing for practitioners and outline the research issues for academics researching the field. After setting the stage and some foundation principles behind the practice, the chapter is organized following a framework developed in the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM), headquartered in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State, and illustrated in Figure 2.1. In the common parlance and practice of marketing, the term ‘marketing’ itself is often misunderstood and is subject to a wide variety of interpretations, depending on the context of the discussion (for relevant online resources and a glossary of important B2B terms used in practice, please see the online Web Appendix for this chapter at http://handbook.isbm.org). In general parlance, the term is often used as a synonym for ‘advertising’ or other parts of the process and is generally associated with marketing B2C products and services. The American Marketing Association provides a broad definition of the term ‘marketing’: ‘Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.’ In my view, in B2B markets it is important to recognize the value of marketing to the Chief Financial Officer as well. I would thus propose another definition of B2B marketing: ‘The set of processes and activities that optimize the value of a firm’s assets – and free cash flow – by connecting...

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