Business-to-business (B2B) marketing has huge economic importance. B2B transactions accounted for nearly 42% of all reported US revenues in 2010 (Lilien, 2016, doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2016.01.003), and in 2012 B2B firms accounted for 37% of all US employment (Delgado & Mills, 2017, doi:10.2139/ssrn.3050296). Input-output tables from Statistics Norway (Statistics Norway, 2018) suggest that the relative size of B2B transactions in Norway is about as high as in the US. 

Because of the size and importance of B2B firms, many marketing students find jobs in B2B firms. However, B2B marketing and B2B firms are different from business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing and B2C firms. For example, B2B firms produce inputs that enter the value chains of other businesses, non-profit organizations and the government. Also, B2B firms tend to have a more technically oriented culture; they often help their customers to innovate; and their customers emphasize the tangible value-in-use of the products and services they procure. Transactions in B2B markets also tend to be larger and more complex and strategic, involve more decision participants, and emphasize ongoing and often personal relationships and process management. Customers of B2B firms tend to be geographically more concentrated, as opposed to consumers that are located everywhere. Because of these, and other differences, B2B marketing requires different skills than B2C marketing. 

This course aims to introduce you to B2B marketing to develop your skills as a B2B marketing manager in two main areas: 1) B2B marketing strategy analysis and formulation, and 2) B2B marketing strategy implementation. The course also provides an up-to-date description of B2B marketing practice, including topics such as analytics, data-driven strategy development, e-commerce, servitization and solutions-selling.

This course is taught using a combination of interactive lectures, data analytics tutorials for the Marketing Engineering software, and a practice-oriented group project. 

Course content

B2B Marketing Strategy Analysis and Formulation

  • Foundations of B2B marketing strategy
    • Understanding buyer behavior in B2B markets
    • Understanding value creation and value capture in B2B marketing
    • Understanding cooperation and coordination problems in B2B transactions
  • Analyzing B2B markets
  • Segmentation, targeting, and positioning in B2B markets
  • Formulating, evaluating, and selecting B2B marketing strategies

Implementing B2B Marketing Strategies

  • Managing customer relationships, individually and as a portfolio
  • Innovation management
  • Brand management 
  • Value-based pricing in business markets
  • Sales management and marketing channels management


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.