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About the course

Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy teaches you how to use the marketing function as a pivotal tool in building better customer relationships when the customer is an organization, not an individual or household.

Targeted to marketing, sales and product managers involved in the design of marketing strategy, the program is also valuable to general managers who seek to build an efficient marketing and sales function.

The program covers both strategic marketing issues (e.g. how to build a B2B brand for sustainable competitive advantage) as well as key aspects of implementation (e.g. how to align the sales force to customers’ decision processes).

In addition, the program includes many industry contexts, from commodities to differentiated products and services and highlights how some of the modern tools of marketing, like social media, can be used in a B2B environment. Case studies cover companies in industries like shipping, media and medical technology, among others.

Participants will enjoy a variety of teaching methods, as well: discussions, lectures, case studies, group work – where you become the decision maker.

Sample topics include the following:

  • How to build powerful B2B brands
  • How to differentiate from competitors
  • How to develop B2B Pricing contracts and methods
  • How to design, compensate and motivate the sales force
  • How to use social media for B2B marketing

The goal of Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy is to teach you how to become even more customer oriented in a business-to-business setting.

Impact

While the program focuses on helping you design a consistent marketing strategy, it will also make you familiar with a number of tools that help you analyze the environment and implement your plan:

  • "Perceptual mapping" for differentiation and brand design
  • "Funnel analysis" for choosing the right communication channels and allocating optimal budgets to them
  • A methodology to determine the best sales force size
  • A framework to design an effective compensation system for the sales force
  • "Conjoint analysis" for optimal product/service design, pricing and sales forecasting

When you return to your organization after taking Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy, you will be more efficient at leading a productive sales and marketing team and will be able to integrate the marketing function into your company’s strategy-building process.

Program Structure

All three days of Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy use robust case studies to help participants dive deep into the topics.

Day One focuses on B2B branding strategy, key issues and techniques.

Participants will discuss the Becton Dickinson case, which provides rich material on the role of a B2B brand in creating competitive advantage. The day also includes a study of Bloomberg: how it took over Reuters and how and whether it might be challenged today with new social media technologies.

Day Two covers B2B pricing and communications, including social media marketing.

The case used will show how careful pricing can help avoid head-on competition. In addition, participants will focus on pricing contracts and how they distort or modify negotiation incentives. Finally, participants will learn how to analyze customers¹ decision-making process in the B2B sector and how to deploy communications strategies to address this process.

Day Three culminates in sales force management.

The day¹s case will cover soft incentives in sales, showing important design principles, and participants will learn the key concepts, tools and principles of sales force management – all building from cases studied earlier in the program.

Who should attend

Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy applies to you if you:

  • Have been promoted to a marketing position in a B2B company and want to get a comprehensive and efficient coverage of the state of the art in B2B marketing
  • Have been in a marketing position in a B2B company but want to get new ideas to reinvigorate marketing operations – especially related to social media
  • Are running a sales force and would like to improve the marketing-sales interface in your B2B firm.

Trust the experts

Miklos Sarvary

Biography Miklos Sarvary is the Carson Family Professor of Business and the faculty lead for the Media and Technology Program at Columbia Business School. Miklos' broad research agenda focuses on media and information marketing. His most recent papers are studying agenda setting, user-generated ...

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