Position in the Curriculum Part of module International Business
Type Lecture
Term Winter term
Language English
Credit Points 2 ECTS
Target group Students of Industrial Engineering Management
StudIP Link
Contact person Jee Su Lee

General description and course goals

Business-to-business (B2B) markets play an important role in most economies. At the same time, B2B markets differ strongly from consumer goods markets. For example, companies’ buying decisions follow different rules than those of consuming individuals. Consequently, marketing mix decisions in B2B markets need to follow the specific circumstances in such markets.
The aim of this lecture is to enable students to understand the specifics of marketing in B2B markets. At the beginning, students learn which strategic marketing decisions may be most appropriate in industrial markets. Following that, the lecture will focus more on different options to design marketing mix elements – Pricing, Communication and Distribution – in B2B markets. We extend the student’s basic knowhow in marketing and focus on the specific requirements in B2B markets.


Students will gain an introduction and good overview of the following topics:

  • The importance, specific characteristics and developments of B2B markets today.
  • Organizational buying behavior and the corporate buying process.
  • B2B marketing strategies regarding modes and time of market entry with focus on innovative industrial products.
  • Types of project-related cooperation in the B2B project business.
  • Specific operational marketing methods in communication (success factors of fares and exhibitions, importance of public relations for B2B markets); pricing (measuring willingness-to-pay via auctions; value-based pricing in industrial markets, bidding models and auctioning); distribution and channel strategies for B2B markets.
  • Marketing in complex value chains: Solving the problem of direct customers’ unwillingness to adopt innovative products by directly addressing indirect customers.

Selected Literature

  • Blythe, J., Zimmerman, A. (2005): Business-to-Business Marketing: A global perspective. Thomson, London.
  • Monroe, K. (2002): Pricing: Making Profitable Decisions. Third Edition, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Morris, M., Pitt, L., Honeycutt, E. (2001): Business-to-Business Marketing. Third edition, Sage Publishing, New York.
  • Nagle, T., Hogan, J., Zale, J. (2009): Strategy and Tactics of Pricing. Fifth Edition, Prentice Hall, New York.