Marketing Research for Breakfast

When and why do customer solutions pay off in B2B (Business-to-business) markets? Associate Professor Stefan Worm presents new insights.

Associate Professor Stefan Worm at BI Norwegian Business School will give a lecture on “When and why do customer solutions pay off in B2B markets?”. You are then invited to discuss how his findings may influence your company and business practice.

In the B2B sector, expanding from products into services is often seen as a surefire way to improve firm performance—particularly when commoditization drives down prices. Many manufacturers are nowadays moving beyond “simple” services. They invest in customer solutions to differentiate themselves from competitors and sustain profitability in the face of declining margins from goods sales. However, B2B managers are experiencing  mixed success with  their solutions strategies. And despite strong managerial interest, a systematic examination of whether, and explanations for when and why, solutions offerings translate into superior performance are lacking.

This study is the first to examine these questions empirically. It uses primary and secondary data collected from 175 manufacturers, supplemented with in-depth interviews from managers. The findings suggest that, in comparison with other service offerings, a strategy of solutions offerings is associated with increased return on sales. Moreover, the positive effect on profitability is enhanced in firms with greater sales capabilities. The desirable effect is stronger in industries with greater buyer power but weaker in industries with high technology intensity. Thus, solutions strategies work very well for certain firms and industries, but they are far from being a silver bullet to gaining competitive advantage.

Marketing Research for Breakfast is a meeting place for researchers and practitioners in marketing. BI’s marketing experts present their latest research results on relevant business topics. You – as a participant – get the opportunity to discuss how these results influence your company and business practice.

Free participation. Make sure to register as space is limited.

Practical information

  • Time:Thursday, 15 February 2018 08:00 - 09:45
  • Place:Campus Oslo
  • Contact:Hilde Spæren (


  • Time
  • Title
  • Registration and light breakfast

  • When and why do customer solutions pay off in B2B markets?

    Associate Professor Stefan Worm, BI Norwegian Business School.

  • Discussion

About Stefan Worm

Stefan Worm is Associate Professor at the BI Marketing Department. He holds a doctoral degree in Marketing and a master’s degree with majors in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering from University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Prior to joining BI, he was on the faculty of HEC Paris, France. He also teaches in the Executive MBA program at Hamburg School of Business Administration, Germany. He has previously been a visiting professor at Singapore Management University and Indian School of business, and a visiting scholar at Emory University, USA. Stefan’s research interest centers on the impact of marketing strategies on firm value, with a focus on B2B markets.

Link to his faculty homepage.