As consumers we encounter thousands of marketing messages every day and so form the impression that marketing is something that is carried out by businesses with the aim of persuading consumers to buy their products and services. Perhaps, every now and then, something happens to make us contemplate the fact that consumer purchases can only be made possible if a chain of prior transactions between businesses take place. For example, many European consumers were dismayed in the hot summer of 2018 when they had difficulty obtaining their favourite fizzy drinks. Shortages of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks occurred in several countries, and most consumers were probably just annoyed that buying their beer, cola or lemonade became much more difficult than usual. However, many consumers also became aware that the production of carbonated drinks relies on a steady supply of carbon dioxide. Rather surprisingly, the news reports quickly established that carbon dioxide is generally regarded as a by-product of the production of ammonia for use in fertiliser production. Since farmers require little fertiliser in the summer months, many ammonia production facilities had closed-down for maintenance, so reducing the availability of carbon dioxide. The effects of the carbon dioxide shortage extended to some food packaging and even to meat production, since the gas is used to extend the shelf-life of some food products and for stunning animals prior to slaughter. In cases like the carbon dioxide shortage, consumers get a brief insight into the complex web of business-to-business transactions that underpin the more visible consumer economy. The brewers and the soft drink producers are only the tip of the business-to-business iceberg. This book is concerned not with the final consumer transaction – buying the beer or lemonade to enjoy on a pleasant summer evening – but with the network of business-to-business transactions, usually invisible to the final consumer, that underlies it.
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||424|
|ISBN (Print)||9781526494399, 9781526494405|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2020|