Industrial marketing transactions account for nearly 50% of the value of the global GDP. Industrial markets, or B2B marketing, tend to differ from consumer markets in aspects such as number and size of buyers, demand and buying patterns. The impact of these differences from consumer markets will be the starting point of this course and used to underline the peculiar nature of industrial and trade marketing strategies, operations and tools.
The course will hence emphasize the relational nature of industrial marketing by highlighting key aspects of the buyer-seller relationship. It also aims to provide students with a good insight of the differences between B2C and B2B marketing.
Besides providing insights and knowledge on B2B marketing, the course also aims to provide the student with the theoretical and operational knowledge for trade management. Specifically, the course deals with issues related to the distribution channels development, customer/channel portfolio management, trade marketing mix, sales negotiation techniques, etc.
At the end of this course, students should be able to segment an industrial market, understand the importance of sourcing in a B2B marketing relationship, understand the specificities of selling industrial products and services, organize distribution and sales channels strategically and effectively.
After completing the course, the student will be able to:
o account for key concepts within industrial and trade marketing;
o account for the distinctive traits of the industrial market and the difference between marketing on consumer markets and industrial marketing;
o make conscious choices of models of analysis and other theoretical tools designed for the challenges that companies in B2B markets face;
o use theory to critically analyze firm specific issues in B2B markets;
o understand how to manage relationships with trade partners;
o understand the strategic role that trade and distribution partners can bring to industrial companies;
o critically assess the value of the brand to grant the industrial firm’s competitive position in its value chain both up and down-stream.
Topics include (but are not limited to):
o Purchasing strategy and buying orientation
o Organizational buying behavior
o Client portfolio management
o Distribution strategy
o Network management
o B2B branding
This course is based on both traditional one-to-many lectures also involving industry experts and in-class discussion of relevant cases as well as group-learning methodology, which requires cooperation among students and individual commitment. In this spirit, the course is designed to allow the students to both learn and apply knowledge developed in the classroom and through their individual study to the solution of real cases. For the whole duration of the course, attending students will work on a big marketing plan project for industrial marketing in tandem with a real B2B company.
Students are required to:
- Attend at least 75% of the classes in order to participate actively in the work group and business testimonials, in order to put into practice the knowledge acquired
- participate actively in class case discussions, general discussions in order to develop the collective learning process;
- read papers and other material in advance and contribute to the discussion at the end of students’ presentation;
- write case study reports in groups and deliver for reviews to activate the skills related to the topics;
- in-person attendance is preferred to remote participation.
For attendant students:
1. Group/individual assignments during the course (60 % of course grade)
2.Final examination (40 % of course grade, based on the course textbook and the other course readings)
For non-attendant students:
Grade will be based on the course textbook and the other course readings.