Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal
Chapter 10: B2B Marketing Communication in a Transformational Marketplace
Don E. Schultz B2B MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION IN A LINEAR, SUPPLY CHAIN SELLING SYSTEM Almost all sales and marketing activities, particularly those in B2B markets, are the children of the industrial revolution of some 200 years ago. The producing firm created or developed products for sale, commonly inventoried them, pushed them out into the marketplace and then tried to create sales and selling situations in which customers could or would buy (Morris et al. 2001). The approach commonly was based on a supply chain structure, where economies of scale generally provided the returns and profit margins to the seller. Thus efficient volume has been the major determinant of either the success or failure of the firm. A typical supply chain model is illustrated in Figure 10.1. As it shows, the manufacturing firm sources raw materials from suppliers, processes those raw materials in various ways and embeds what are perceived to be forms and levels of value into the products, which upon purchase by the buyer can be extracted and enjoyed. Often the purchaser creates additional value by combining several benefits into products and offers that can be developed and delivered further downstream. The primary focus of the B2B firm therefore has always been to build various types of value propositions (Gronroos 2007) that would benefit buyers immediately or could be combined to serve downstream markets. Because many B2B ‘value propositions’ involve complex offers, multiple buying decision points and long-cycle selling situations, B2B organizations have relied on fieldbased sales forces to...
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