. In relation to marketing today, its history is more recent. Michael Morris, Leyland Pitt and Earl Dwight Honeycutt say that for several years business marketing took “a back seat” to consumer marketing. This entailed providers of goods or services selling directly to households through mass media and retail channels. David Lichtenthal (professor of marketing at Zicklin School of Business) notes in his research that business marketing has existed since the mid-19th century. He adds that the bulk of research on business marketing has come in the last 25 years.
This began to change in the middle to late 1970s. Academic periodicals, including the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing and the Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing now publish studies on the subject regularly. Professional conferences on business marketing are held every year and courses are commonplace at many universities today. According to Jeremy Kourdi, more than half of marketing majors start their careers in business marketing rather than consumer marketing.
Business and consu successfully match the product or service strengths with the needs of a definable target market;
position and price to align the product or service with its market, often an intricate balance; and
communicate and sell it in the fashion that demonstrates its value effectively to the target market.
While “other businesses” might seem like the simple answer, Dwyer and Tanner say business customers fall into four broad categories: companies that consume products or services, government agencies, institutions and resellers.
The first category includes original equipment manufacturers, such as large auto-makers who buy gauges to put in their cars and also small firms owned by 1-2 individuals who purchase products to run their business. The second category – government agencies, is the biggest. In fact, the U.S. government is the biggest single purchaser of products and services in the country, spending more than $300 billion annually. But this category also includes state and local governments. The third category, institutions, includes schools, hospitals and nursing homes, churches and charities. Finally, resellers consist of wholesalers, brokers and industrial distributors.