Application: the Marketing and Sale of All Offers Not Aimed at Consumers

The Concept

Much of the conceptualization, codification, and teaching of marketing has focused on the experience of consumer product companies: soap powder manufacturers, fizzy drink producers, cosmetics and the like. This is because many of its more prominent aspects (like advertising) caught the public imagination during the consumer boom in 1950s America. A vast number of businesses, though, exist to market and sell products and service to other businesses; the so called “B-to-B” markets. In fact, professional associations in many Western countries suggest that there are actually more marketers in business marketing than consumer.

In many respects there are similarities and common practices between consumer and business marketing. Marketing planning, segmentation, NPD/NSD, and communications techniques like advertising or digital marketing are all, for instance, routinely used. Yet, marketing and sales specialists in business-to-business organizations also deal with a range of issues which make them different from consumer markets. They include:

(i) Size

These markets are often smaller than the vast consumer markets. In some, for instance, marketers can virtually name all their buyers. So much so that, this can lead to “conflict issues”; suppliers working for the major organizations ...

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