Nottingham University Business School
  • Print

Strategic Market Relations: Building, managing, and leveraging market relationships

Please note that the following information may be subject to change.

Module Convenor:  Linda D. Peters

Module Content:
Session 1: What is a Market? A service ecosystem approach to understanding markets
We examine the argument that marketing produces markets and that marketing practices and theories play a significant role in the production of markets. We explore the view that markets are systems, specifically service ecosystems, which are relatively self-contained and self-adjusting systems of resource integrating actors connected by shared institutional logics and mutual value creation through service exchange.

Session 2: Organisational buying behaviour and market structures
We examine the types of organisational buyer and their buying needs. The influence of macro and micro factors on organisational decision making are considered, as are differing types of market structures on buying processes.

Session 3: How do markets work? Creating and shaping new markets and maintaining market dynamics.
We examine why partnerships and alliances form between organisations. Market transactions and relational exchanges are contrasted, and the role of relationship dynamics (such as power and dependence, commitment, and mutual benefits) is considered. We also look at some of the reasons why inter-organisational relationships may fail.

Session 4: Market relations and sustainable competitive advantage
We explore how upstream suppliers, downstream distribution channels, and intermediaries contribute to sustainable competitive advantage and how building up strategic alliances between companies with relational fit and complementary resources/capabilities can contribute to creating sustainable competitive advantage.

Session 5: Forming business networks: business network partnership attraction
The network perspective is compared and contrasted with the supply chain and marketing channel concepts and is used to capture the interconnectedness of business interactions. We look at the value of a stakeholder perspective and the embeddedness of firms within networks. We examine how and why firms are attracted to each other to form networks, and the role of characteristics such as trust in their formation.

Session 6: Business-to-Business marketing strategies
How do issues of "management" and "managing" marketing strategy relate to business networks? What do we understand by segmentation, targeting and positioning in business-to-business markets, and how do we undertake this?

Session 7: Innovation in business networks
Issues such as customisation and personalisation are explored, and we take a network perspective on innovation processes and how this raises issues of confidentiality and neutrality in new product and service development in networks. We also look at the rising importance of business services available to client organisations, and the challenges of managing marketing in professional service organisations.

Session 8: Managing business networks: communication, coordination and learning in business networks
We examine the role of the modern salesforce and its relationship to strategic networks, including approaches to Key Account Management. We look at the role of communication and coordination as ways of facilitating learning in strategic business networks, and ask: what do we mean by learning in network?

Session 9: Strategic Market Relations in the Digital World
We examine how technology and digital media is impacting strategic market relations, in particular: marketing actions such as price setting and competitive bidding processes through online auctions; strategizing in business-to-business e-commerce platforms; the use of social media to build and maintain business networks; and the use of digital media to extend market reach and support customer relationship management.

Session 10: Branding and building loyalty: value co-creation in network partnerships
We explore the significance of business customer value perceptions and the development of a business brand both in terms of how marketing communications can be linked to the nature of inter-organisational relationships, and how branding can act as facilitator for value co-creation and loyalty in business markets.

Module Aims:
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the main theoretical and managerial concepts and issues in the area of business-to-business marketing and strategic market relations. We explore the complex dynamics of networked relationships between buying and selling organisations. Such networks offer organisations the opportunity to learn and create value in novel and innovative ways. However, they also constrain the actions of individual organisations in the network. Thus, strategic market relations require firms to understand how to build, manage, and leverage their market relationships.

Module Assessment:
Individual Assignment (Case Study; 2,000 words) (50%); Individual Essay Assignment (2,000 words) (50%)

Back to Module List


Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6602
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 6667