Communication Strategies in B2B Markets

A high degree of innovation and the impact on several departments make purchasing decisions in B2B markets very complex. Therefore suppliers in B2B markets have to inform their customers very well to reduce the buyers’ risks on the one hand and to strengthen their own competitive position on the other hand.

Objectives of communication

  • inform prospects about company’s products/services
  • provide information to give potential customers the opportunity to check products according to their needs
  • offer possibility for immediate trial of products/services
  • aim regular purchasing
  • create large sales volume

Communication tools

  • personal selling
  • advertising
  • Internet
  • Direct Mail
  • seminars
  • trade fairs
  • press releases
  • telesales

Choose appropriate communication tools for different objectives

increase knowledge about products: advertising, trade fairs, public relations
create positive image: advertising, trade fairs, public relations
decrease cost of demand: trade fairs, public relations
create trust in quality of products/services: personal selling, public relations
create trust in performance of company: trade fairs, personal selling, public relations

Timeline of communication process

  1. public relations – to create knowledge
  2. advertising –  to provide information about products and company
  3. sales promotion/trade fairs – give information about usage of products, communicate advantages for customers
  4. personal selling – persuade customer that product/service is the appropriate tool to solve customer’s problem

Public relations

have to address the following publics:

  • customers
  • employees and unions
  • shareholders and banks
  • suppliers
  • government authorities
  • media and other opinion leaders

Questions

  1. What are the aims of marketing communication in B2B markets?
  2. Name classical communication tools affecting the customer
  3. Describe the different stages of the communication process in B2B markets
  4. How are information and risk linked in B2B purchasing decisions?
  5. Why might public relations be more important in B2B markets than in B2C markets?
  6. Explain the function of PR.
  7. Name the most important publics/target groups of public relations in B2B markets?

Literature:

Godefroid, P. (2003). Business-to-Business-Marketing. In H. C. Weis (Hrsg.) Modernes Marketing für Studium und Praxis. Ludwigshafen (Rhein): Kiehl

Securities and Stock Exchange

Lesson Plan Stock Market

Curriculum:

4th form of Handelsakademie
Subject Business Adminstration

Objectives:

Students will

  • Become familiar with different types of investment
  • Differentiate between stock market and bond market, equity and debt securities
  • Navigate efficiently on the website of Vienna Stock Exchange, Financial Times, and other similar sites
  • Define stock market terms
  • Learn stock market math
  • Assess various forms of investment according to their own risk taking behaviour
  • Evaluate companies according to their performance using news from various media
  • Learn that long-term planning and investing can make dreams come true

Procedure (for a sequence of 6-10 units):

  1. The PowerPoint Presentation provides an overview of different types of securities.
  2. The website of Wiener Börse (Vienna Stock Exchange) contains several tools for teaching in pdf-format unfortunately only in German  though the website is also available in English.
  3. Students have to go through the different online-books prior to and accompanying the lessons in English.
  4. Vocabulary sheet: students have to complete the English terms with the German translation and a definition in English as well.
  5. What companies are in the stock market? The answer to this question is provided by the Vienna Stock Exchange in a pdf-folder covering the different market segments and the Austrian companies trading in that segment.
  6. Company preferences: students express their opinions about some of the companies described in the folder. Do they like particular companies? Why and why not?
  7. Collect information about European and Global companies.
  8. Use one favourite company to illustrate important terms. What is a stock? Why do stock prices change? Forecast a stocks price performance by collecting news and information.
  9. Learn stock market math. How to calculate price-earnings ratio, interest of bonds, investment funds etc.?
  10. The students could pick investments and set up a class portfolio similar to the stock market games offered by some banks.
  11. Create a sample portfolio e.g. at Financial Times website, etc.
    The following weeks are used for checking the progress of the class portfolio, discussing and reporting on it.
  12. Students have to pass a revision showing their knowledge of vocabulary and concepts.
  13. Last but not least the students write an article. The successful student investor:  Showing how much money they could have made from investing their per week allowance in a savings account first during their lower grades and later buying stocks. It should be enough to buy a car and pay for the driving licence education class.

Material:

  • PowerPoint Presentation, Projector
  • Computers (students are sitting in a Notebook-classroom with their own individual computer)
  • Websites of Vienna Stock Exchange, Financial Times, others
  • Vocabulary lists
  • Excel style sheets