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Chapter 3 - Lecture2b InterFirm(buyerseller Lecture2b:...

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Business-to-Business Marketing Lecture 2b Inter-Firm (buyer-seller)  Relationships and Networks
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B2B relationships Traditional approach  to B2B marketing (the 4 “Ps”) Seller and the buyer operate separately Seller and buyer conflicting cost-based interests Seller is “active” but buyer “passive” Marketing involves studying of the customer’s buying  process  Traditional approach in B2B criticized on the grounds: of lacking relevance to the “real” way business are taking  place nowadays, since the buyer is as active as the seller , thus the buying process involves  interaction  over time, so economic well-being  of both parts depends on the quality  of the  relationship Lecture 2b: Inter-firm Relationships and Networks
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As well as an  understanding of the behaviour of the  buying company business marketers also have to  understand the  relationship  between the buying company and the  selling company.   Relationships are two-sided ; treating customers as  passive recipients of the attentions of the marketer is a  na ï ve view of business marketing and inherently flawed .   Successful B2B means cultivating the  ability to reduce  the uncertainties  faced by both parties Lecture 2b: Inter-firm Relationships and Networks Example: Marks & Spencer called the “manufacturer without factories”!    see  box 3.1, pp.59  
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-Capacity uncertainty -Application  uncertainty -Transaction  uncertainty -Problem-solving  ability -Transfer ability SELLER e.g. clothing  co. -Need  uncertainty -Market uncertainty -Transaction  uncertainty -Demand ability -Transfer ability BUYER e.g. M&S Figure 3.1   Matching uncertainties and abilities ( Source : Ford et al., 1998:18)  Lecture 2b: Inter-firm Relationships and Networks what and how  much to buy whom to buy  from what happens if..  (exposure) Focus on solving  the customer’s  problem Min. exposure (e.g.  trials or short  contracts) how much to buy  (planning) what to buy  (planning) what happens if..  (exposure) Focus on solving  end-customers’  problems Min. exposure (e.g.  competitive retail  strategy)
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Relationship theories and variables A range of variables  can characterize business relationships Relationship-based theories” No scientific consensus on the sufficient set of variables (no  absolutely inclusive theory) Each theory tends to emphasise different relationship  aspects Depending on the issue in a relationship, draw useful  lessons from all perspectives Lecture 2b: Inter-firm Relationships and Networks
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Principal  variable(s) Level of emphasis Major theoretical  source Theory type Typical reference sources Risk and its  management Individual  transactions Agent
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