Digital Media as a Game-Changer in B2B Buyer-Vendor Relationships


  • Werner Krings Department of Marketing, College of Business, Framingham State University, Framingham, MA 01701, USA
  • Roger Palmer Henley Business School, University of Reading, Greenlands, Advising Faculty of the Doctoral Program Marketing & Reputation, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 3AU, UK
  • Michael J Harrison Department of Marketing, College of Business, Framingham State University, Framingham, MA 01701, USA
  • Alessandro Inversini Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Route de Cojonnex 18, 1000 Lausanne 25, Switzerland



Purpose: The article examines the role of digital and, in particular, social media in business-to-business marketing in the international software industry. The authors responded to calls for empirical research on how these media impact buyer-vendor relationships and the conjunction of the marketing and sales processes, particularly the distribution of complex software solutions. This paper develops a digital framework and discusses the managerial consequences. Design/methodology/approach: The model arises by merging themes derived from literature, experts, and job descriptions. Mixed Methods included conducting semi-structured interviews across marketing, business development, and sales executives from buyers, vendors, and third parties of various industries, supplemented by a survey of 530+ executives. Findings: Multinational companies secure competitive advantage through agile business processes to improve buyer-vendor relationships in the digital era. Digital media enable vendors to interact continuously with buyers, gather intelligence, and foster mutually beneficial, trustworthy, long-term relationships. The objective is to prompt transactions and secure revenue streams. Research limitations/implications: The outcomes of this research center on North America, Western Europe (including the UK), and DACH (Germany-Austria-Switzerland), affecting the generalizability. Originality/value: The research is novel and bridges several gaps concerning industrial relationships in digitalization: it merges buyer, vendor, and third-party’s perspectives on an international scale. It provides deeper insights into existing and new relationships by identifying relevant digital/social media platforms, the underlying usage motivation, and fundamental B2B processes. Finally, it equips practitioners with metrics to improve performance.


Digital/social media; Business-to-Business; Buyer-Vendor relationships; Marketing & Sales Alignment; Business performance


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How to Cite

Krings, W., Palmer, R., Harrison, M. J., & Inversini, A. (2022). Digital Media as a Game-Changer in B2B Buyer-Vendor Relationships. Journal of Sustainable Business and Economics, 5(3), 27–43.


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