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B2B Buying Behavior

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  • Jan. 2011
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Factors affecting consumer behavior in B2B markets in India

B2B buying behavior is influenced by a selection of variables. These variables are divided into four fundamental classes:

1. Environmental
2. Organizational
3. Interpersonal
4. Individual

Table below illustrates this classification and exemplifies variables being used. The variables are also grouped in task and nontask variables that apply to all other classes. The task variables are directly related to the buying problem, and the nontask variables are broaden beyond the specific buying problem. To separate variables into task and nontask are not always obvious, so the one being predominant ought to be chosen in many cases.

Table: Variables influencing organizational buying decisions (adapted from Webster & Wind, 1972, pp. 13).

| |Task |Nontask | |Environmental |Anticipated changes in prices |Political climate in an election year | |Organizational |Policy regarding local supplier preference |Methods of personnel evaluation | |Interpersonal |Meetings to set specifications |Informal, off-the-job-interaction | |Individual |Desire to obtain low prices |Personal values and needs |

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Market Segmentation in B2B markets in the Indian Context

B2B markets typically have far fewer behavioral or needs-based segments than is the case with consumer markets.  Whereas it is not uncommon for an FMCG market to boast 10, 12 or more segments, the average business-to-business study typically produces 3 or 4. Part of the reason for this is the smaller target audience in business-to-business markets.  In a consumer market with tens of thousands of potential customers, it is...