BST 9815 Business-to-business Marketing

Norwegian version

BST 9815 Business-to-business Marketing

Responsible for the course
Jon Bingen Sande, Morten H Abrahamsen

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

This course in combination with BTH 9816 Bachelor thesis - Business-to-business marketing, 15 credits represent a specialisation of 30 credits. Applies to students at Bachelor Programme in Marketing Management and Retail Management who will get the specialisation specified on their Diploma. Other students can choose to take the course as elective courses in their 3rd year.

The Specialisation require basic knowledge of disciplines such as logistics and distribution; some knowledge of different theoretical perspectives on business relationships, such as transaction cost theory and principal-agent theory; and an understanding that creation of value is not an internal matter but occurs between businesses. The course fits well with the courses Professionally sales and negotiations, Strategy and International Marketing.

The vast majority of companies are involved in some form of interaction or cooperation with other companies, and most companies involved in larger network of other businesses, customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. According to estimates more than half of all transactions in developed economies between companies. Procurement of products and services are typically for around 50% of company costs. More than 90% of all e-commerce between businesses.

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing differs from consumer marketing in several ways:

  • Many decisions in B2B marketing is strategic decisions for the company, sometimes even choices of individual customers
  • The culture of B2B businesses are more technical and production oriented
  • Production and procurement processes are often highly complex and often involves a network of individuals and departments of both the customer and supplier
  • Marketers must integrate and adapt their products to existing value chains
  • In B2B there are usually a few large customers rather than many small, and the transactions are often extensive and complicated
  • Value is created in interaction with other actors, not isolated in the individual enterprise
  • Customer relationships are often permanent (they may extend over many decades) and is both formalized (f. Ex. Through contracts) and informal (based on trust and mutual adaptation)
  • Customer relations are linked in networks across industries and sectors. This provides both opportunities and constraints for the individual company's strategic choices.

Please note!
This course overlaps with MRK 3500 B2B marketing and sales, and can’t be combined with this Specialisation in B2B marketing.

Learning outcome
Acquired Knowledge
After completed course students should have:
  • Learned the difference between B2B marketing and Consumer Marketing
  • Learned the key issues and decisions in B2B marketing, and the impact these decisions have for the individual company
  • Acquired understanding of how key concepts, models and theories can be used to analyze customer and supplier relationships, value chains and networks
  • Knowledge and understanding of the main methods and analysis techniques used in B2B marketing

Acquired Skills
After completed course students should be able to:
  • Analyze a B2B relationship to identify value creation potential
  • To plan and carry problemformulerings- and problem solving processes in B2B relationships
  • Identify sources of cooperation issues in B2B relationships and different ways of dealing with these problems through formal and informal mechanisms
  • Conduct simple research network in terms of value creation and value potential hijacking
  • Plan and carry out market research and segmenteringssundersøkelser in B2B markets
  • To design a B2B marketing strategy

  • Students will be able to recognize and evaluate the ethical and social issues and trade-offs related to B2B relationships and B2B marketing strategies
  • Students will develop an understanding of how decisions within B2B marketing can have externalities and affect conditions such as health, safety, the environment, jobs and society as a whole.

The course requires two years of college education in marketing, business administration or equivalent. It will be an advantage with knowledge in logistics / marketing channels and sales / negotiation.

Compulsory reading
Nes, Erik B., Harald Biong og Jon Bingen Sande. 2009. Markedsføring på bedriftsmarkedet. 3. utg. Universitetsforlaget

Collection of articles:
Abrahamsen og Sande. Artikkelsamling til B2B markedsføring. Oversikt over artikler og cases som inngår publiseres på Itslearning

Recommended reading

Course outline

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    Learning process and workload


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