Consumers in B2B Markets

18. January 2010 – 23:25

For being successful in B2B marketing it’s crucial to understand the structure, organisation and processes of B2B procurement. B2B customers can be classified according to the following criteria: users of products and organisational goals.


User, consumer
The classic customer in B2B markets buys a product for production of other goods or services. Products in this context are investment goods and capital equipment like machinery, computer, office furniture, vehicle fleet but also raw materials and supplies.
User, OEM
Firms buying products to assemble them unchanged into their own products are called user or OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) e.g. component suppliers in the auto industry (tyres of Conti etc…). The origin of component can be seen differently sometimes highly important to the costumer (Intel inside …) and to the marketer.
Traders and distributors
These organisations buy products of one or more manufacturers and distribute the products together with own products and services to users.
Engineering and consultancy firms
Their formal position is a consulting one. They create and design the requirement profile for the new facility or application. They are paid by the customer, act independently from suppliers and are eminently respectable.
Types of customers according to company goals

Enterprises – their overall aim is achieving profit
Government authorities – their procurement has to follow budget rules; they have to prefer suppliers from a certain region to secure jobs.
Other organisations – private and public organisations like churches, political parties, environment organisations….behave as government authorities when following budget rules, have a different goal system when privately organised.
Revision questions
Which types of consumers appear in B2B markets?

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