Business-to-Business Marketing (SAGE Advanced Marketing Series) Paperback – 20 Oct 2010
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About the Author
Dr Ross Brennan is Professor of Industrial Marketing at the Hertfordshire Business School, University of Hertfordshire. His research interests are in business-to-business marketing strategy, macromarketing, cross-cultural marketing and marketing pedagogy. Ross Brennan’s research has been published in a wide range of academic journals including the European Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, the Journal of Macromarketing, the Journal of Marketing Education, the Journal of Marketing Management, and the Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing. Dr Brennan is active within the UK Academy of Marketing and the International Marketing & Purchasing Group (IMP) research networks, and is a member of the editorial board at five international academic journals, including Industrial Marketing Management and the Journal of Business to Business Marketing. Having formerly worked in business-to-business marketing and strategic management roles with BT plc, Dr Brennan’s professional interest in B2B relationships was further developed through a PhD investigating inter-firm buyer-seller relationships undertaken at the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology. His most recently published research addresses the implications of social media for B2B relationships.
Dr Louise Canning held international sales and marketing posts in the steel and engineering industries before moving into higher education as an ESCRC teaching fellow at UWE Bristol and completing her doctoral investigation of environmental adaptation in buyer-supplier relationships. Louise’s continued interest in sustainability and the interface between business and consumer markets has most recently included the examination of human disposition. Besides sustainability, Louise’s other research interests include business market communication and small business development, her work having been published in leading journals such as European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, and Journal of Services Marketing. Louise is an active member of the International Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) research group and regular reviewer for various publications, including Industrial Marketing Management. Louise was appointed Associate Professor at Kedge Business School, France in September 2013 having previously worked at the University of Birmingham, UK.
Ray McDowell is the Associate Dean of Resources and Planning, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, UK. The Department numbers about 100 permanent staff across the range of management disciplines and means that Ray is managing business-to-business relationships pretty much every day of the week. This comes as no surprise to him; all business is about managing relationships and he learnt that very early in his professional life. That professional life began in the private sector and before pursuing an academic career he occupied positions at GEC-Marconi leading the company’s involvement in a collection of international research collaborations. Those professional experiences fostered a particular interest in business-to-business marketing and relationships in particular that he has pursued ever since and which was magnified ten-fold as a consequence of his involvement with the work of the IMP Group of researchers.
Despite a role at the university that precludes as active an engagement with students as he used to have and that allows for as much involvement in business to business research as he’d probably prefer, he still gets a tremendous buzz from talking to companies about the sorts of business to business relationships they have. He is constantly amazed at the number of times he hears company directors describe the relationship they would like to have (rather than recognising the relationship they actually have) and bemoan the fact that counterparts don’t seem to treat them as they’d prefer. If only they all read business-to-business marketing books like this one.
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Title: Business-to-Business-Marketing, Advanced Marketing Series (AMS)
Authors: Ross Brennan, Louise Canning & Raymond McDowell
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd (18 Feb 2007)
Available: Amazon (£26.59 at Sept 2009)
Who are these authors?
The authors of this book have substantial experience of business-to-business marketing as practitioners, researchers and educators, making this exciting and challenging area accessible to advanced undergraduate and to postgraduate students of marketing, management and business studies.
* Dr Ross Brennan is Reader in Marketing, Middlesex University Business School.
* Dr Louise Canning is Lecturer in Marketing, University of Birmingham.
* Raymond McDowell is Head of Marketing School, University of the West of England.
What is the target readership?
Primarily undergraduates and post grads, although any B2B marketer could add to their knowledge as part of a continual personal development (CPD) plan.
Why did I choose this book to review?
The IDM is a charitable educational trust and as a long term and active member of the IDM B2B Marketing Council I've always been supportive of the IDM emphasising B2B as a specific career choice at graduate level.
B2B employers often tell us that they are disappointed in meeting too many marketing graduates who have not made an informed choice for a B2B career specifically, or they need considerable time and money spent on B2B development courses before they can start to contribute.
This book provides a very substantive introduction to the practical B2B skills and experiences that can help the graduate decide whether a B2B career is for them, it also supports real learning outcomes that are of immediate value to the employer and employee when starting work.
Finally, as a Visiting Professor and business practitioner myself, I can see how this book supports the achievement of academic and professional qualifications, also CPD and life-long learning.
What is covered in this book?
This book is one of very few B2B texts that originates in the European marketplace rather than the US. The three authors came together with the intent of producing a textbook which combines academic insights with practical experiences.
A website [...] accompanies this book and provides a lecturer's manual, powerpoint slides, links to case study organisations and key sources of B2B marketing intelligence.
Each chapter starts with a short set of `Learning Outcomes' and an introduction, enabling the reader to review just one chapter at a time dependant on their current needs. A substantial set of wider references are listed at the conclusion of each chapter and topic.
The first half of the book (chapters 1 to 6) lays the foundations:
1. Business-to-Business Markets and Marketing
2. Buyer Behaviour
3. Inter-Firm Relationships and Networks
4. Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy
5. Researching Business-to-Business Markets
6. Business Market Segmentation
The second half (chapters 7 to 12) moves on to discuss the practicalities of B2B marketing management:
7. Market Communication
8. Relationship Communication
9. Relationship Portfolio Management
10. Managing Product Offerings
11. Routes to Market
12. Price-Setting in Business-to-Business Markets
Digital or e-marketing is covered at many points in the book as the authors believe it affects so many different aspects of B2B, including IT to facilitate distribution, channel coordination, electronic media in marketing communications, the impact of IT on buying behaviour and the effects of online auctions on B2B buying, selling and pricing decisions.
Introduction to the book on Amazon:
"Is there really a difference between business-to-business marketing and consumer marketing? This book helps students answer this question by examining views that argue B2B marketing is simply a variant of consumer marketing or is only concerned with inter-organizational relationship management".
"Written from a European perspective and recognizing that organizational markets can be very different, the ideas and examples used in this book are based on the latest research and scholarship. Chapters include learning outcomes and objectives, discussion questions and small cases to help readers consolidate their learning".
Comments and conclusions:
B2B marketing students are increasingly aiming to achieve professional marketing qualifications that help prove their practical standing to potential employers, this seems to be a particularly important criteria for mature students when selecting a university course to attend.
This book provides a sound theoretical base for the B2B marketer, adding practical case studies and examples that will help any student or reader be better prepared for professional examinations or to engage quickly as a productive team member in a new B2B marketing role.
Selected industry case studies (e.g. Reseller relationship portfolio management at O2, pages 258-261) may initially seem dated by their year, but in fact this and other B2B examples provide timeless messages that will last for most, if not all, of a B2B career. In areas such as B2B advertising and digital campaigns the very latest case studies can also be useful, so the IDM makes available supplementary examples from current IDM award winners.
The Amazon introduction challenges the book to identify the differences between B2B and B2C marketing. Of course there are many similarities as well as differences, particularly when the choices of many SME's (which is a volume market) are strongly influenced by owners who are also consumers.
The authors also highlight the importance of `inter firm relationships' alongside marketing processes, also the essential role of intermediaries and the use of B2B techniques with them. Overlaying the downstream value chain then requires the B2B marketer to understand the eventual consumer and the combination of B2B and B2C (and even B2Employee) skills required within a best-practice B2B marketing organisation.
Perhaps most importantly the book recognises the importance in current day marketing of helping clients prepare to buy, not only selling `to' them. This is a foundation stone of successful marketing and sales which is insufficiently addressed in so many US based business publications.
Other recommended reading:
Also consider as complementary books:
* `Marketing Revolution' by Paul Gamble, Alan Tapp, Anthony Marsella & Merlin Stone. Packed with leading edge B2B case studies and practical advice this book builds on the base provide by `Business-to-Business Marketing'.
* `Key Account Management' & `Global Account Management' by Peter Cheverton. These easy-to-digest books provide practical business models for developing high value relationships with selected key accounts, whether local, international or global.
* `Business Solutions on Demand' by Mark Cerasale and Merlin Stone. Increasingly B2B marketing has become solutions marketing, where success is dependent upon understanding and integrating with your client's transformation objectives and outcomes. This book goes beyond traditional marketing to provide examples of mutual engagement.
Bryan Foss is a Visiting Professor with Bristol Business School, also a non-executive board director with various commercial and UK public sector organisations and a retired IBM executive. Bryan has been an active member of the IDM B2B Marketing Council for many years.
With a hybrid professional and academic background he now researches and provides business and technical advice to many types of organisation, he also blogs and writes on a wide range of topics relevant to today's board members and those near to them.
Details of the aims and membership of the IDM B2B Marketing Council can be found at [...]
Good overall summary of buyer behaviour as well. Cleverly written chapter on company strategy, and deep thoughts on Sales Force philosophy. Marketing is "iterative and not something that the seller does to the purchaser". Naturally, this is easier to say than to practise.
The Preface, written by all three authors is somewhat misleading. This is not a European B2B Marketing book, for there is no "European B2B Marketing" per se. As a fact, most conceptual models in this book came from early American scholars.
Second, other topics covered in the book are quite similar than much older texts. Nothing new on Market Research, or Market Segmentation from 1980s Fred Webster texts.
Overall, a good book for the reflective practitioner who likes to be aware of the raison d'être before practise.
Claudio Saavedra, MBA., PhD
Professor of Industrial Marketing
Santiago - Chile
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