B2B in Cultural and Creative Industries


Business-to-Business Marketing in the Cultural and Creative Industries: Opportunities and Challenges, Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management; Deadline 1 Oct 2023

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Selma Kadić-Maglajlić

Call for Papers


Business-to-Business Marketing in the Cultural and Creative Industries: Opportunities and Challenges

Deadline for submission: October 1st, 2023

Overview and purpose of the special issue

In a recent editorial outlining how to develop original, courageous ideas in business marketing research, Lindgreen, di Benedetto and Kock (2020) propose the OBC model, namely, to “observe the world, bridge disciplines, and challenge assumptions and theories” (p. A1).  Grounded in the growth and prominence of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) worldwide (UNCTAD, 2021), this call for papers invites scholars to observe the CCIs, to bridge disciplines that explore these vibrant sectors and to challenge long-held assumptions in industrial marketing research.

In this call for papers, we adopt the definition of CCIs[1] proposed by Caves (2000): “industries supplying goods and services that we broadly associate with cultural, artistic or simply entertainment values.” (p. 1). In line with this diversity, the CCIs have been investigated from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, ranging from geography to economics, from media studies to business and management (Jones, Lorensen and Sapsed, 2015; Comunian, 2019). Building on this multidisciplinary background, we call for an in-depth exploration of business-to business (B2B) marketing of these important sectors. Several converging trends make the connection between B2B marketing and CCIs more interesting than ever. To begin with, the increased technological dimensions of many creative products and services (e.g., movies, visual arts, performing arts, advertising and marketing) lead to more opportunities for interaction between CCI businesses and businesses in technology sectors (Benghozi, Salvador and Simon, 2015). At the same time, new forms of interactions between traditional businesses and CCIs are emerging in the form of creative interventions or arts-based methods (Lewandowska, 2016). Moreover, gamification and mixed reality, recently identified as key future trends in B2B businesses (de Jong et al., 2021), are expected to increase interactions between B2B business and the CCIs.

This call aims at building on and expanding on the occasional presence of CCIs in research about B2B marketing issues, briefly outlined here. For example, the music, movie and media industries have been recognized as non-traditional “technology-intensive” industries affected by the disruptive impact of emerging technologies (Srinivasan, 2008). Product placements in movies has proved to be an effective promotional tool for B2B firms (Lord and Gupta, 2010). Furthermore, the connection between the CCIs and B2B marketing is often explored in a network perspective. Major changes in the creative industries ― such as the lack of support by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group for the DVD format ― have been shown to have significant impact on B2B firms and their partnerships (Oberg et al., 2016). B2B relationships between specialist companies and organizations in the artistic sector have been touched upon from an industrial marketing and purchasing perspective (Finch, Wagner, and Hynes, 2010). Aligned with a network view, the importance of partnership reputations is acknowledged ― although not fully explored ― as being crucial in the sports and cultural sectors (Money et al., 2010). CCIs have also been at the center of B2B research about competence creation within creative processes (Oberg, 2013) or about negotiations, leading to identification of industry-specific types (Sigurdardottir, Ujwary-Gil and Candi, 2018). The French music industry provided the data and context for an investigation of the evolution of an industry-wide vocabulary (Blanc and Huault, 2019). Key B2B topics such as the use of social media in a B2B2C context have been investigated in a highly creative setting such as the movie industry (Cheng et al., 2021).

Beyond B2B marketing specialist outlets, scholarly research has either directly or indirectly touched upon B2B topics in the CCIs. Arts marketing scholars have acknowledged the presence of a B2B dimension in these sectors (e.g., Evrard and Colbert, 2000). Relationship marketing proved to be a relevant approach in the context of festivals (Collin-Lachaud and Duyck, 2002). Ambidexterity (Wu and Wu, 2016), as well as internal and external coopetition dynamics, have been fruitfully investigated in the video game (Chiambaretto et al., 2019) and architecture industry (Pellegrin-Boucher and Roy, 2019). Broekhuizen, Lampel, and Rietveld (2013) explored alternative distribution channels for video games, while Castaldi (2018) focused on the use of trademarks in the CCIs, thereby expanding existing knowledge in manufacturing and specific service sectors. Benghozi, Salvador and Jones (2021) looked at strategic options available to organizations in the creative sectors facing digital disruptions, while Sigurdardottir and Candi (2019) focused on growth strategies. As interfirm collaboration is at the heart of many CCIs, previous research has explored the network evolution of traditionally project-based organizations in the creative sector, with a particular focus on film and TV production (Manning, 2017). Moreover, looking at supply chain and value chain in the context of CCIs (Abecassis-Moedas and Benghozi, 2012; Horng et al. 2015; Jones, Lorensen and Sapsed, 2015) necessarily calls for a reflection in terms of B2B dynamics. To account for such complex interdependencies and interactions between organizations operating in the CCI context, scholars have suggested to refer to the notions of ecology (Hearn, Roodhouse, and Blakey, 2007) or systems (Andres and Chapain, 2015). More recently, complexity theory has been advocated as a useful theoretical lens to investigate the micro, meso- and macro-dynamics at play in the CCIs (Comunian, 2019).

In summary, this call intends to give centre stage to CCIs in B2B marketing research to better understand how organizations interact as part of production, delivery and marketing of cultural, creative and entertainment products and services in today’s globalised and digital marketplace. Therefore, with this special issue call, IMM invites the submission of theoretical and empirical studies that develop and link current industrial marketing topics with the CCIs.

Sample Topics

This special issue invites manuscripts both of conceptual and empirical nature, drawing on multiple methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, case studies or triangulation of methods. Multidisciplinary approaches are welcome. All manuscripts should have a clear relevance to the CCIs and B2B marketing. Potential contributions to the Special Issue could address, but are not limited to the following topics:

  • B2B interactions, relationships and networks involved in the production and delivery of creative products and services
  • Interaction between more traditional industrial B2B companies and those in the CCIs
  • Interfirm dynamics associated with project-based organizations and networks in the CCIs
  • B2B business models in the CCIs
  • B2B marketing mix issues in CCI
  • Collaboration for innovation in the CCIs
  • Coopetition dynamics within the CCIs
  • The interface between B2B marketing and supply chain management in the CCIs
  • The role of B2B marketing within value chains and ecosystems in the CCIs
  • The B2B sales process and the CCIs
  • B2B buyer behavior in the CCI context
  • B2B marketing innovation in the CCIs
  • CCI logics and practices and their application or use in B2B

For enquiries regarding this call, please contact one of the guest editors:

* Main contact

Preparation and submission of paper and review process

Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be about 6,000-8,000 words in length. Manuscripts should be uploaded on Industrial Marketing Management’s homepage through the Editorial management system. To submit to the special issue, select B2B Marketing in the CCIs from the dropdown menu for special issues. For guidelines, visit:


Manuscripts not complying with the notes for contributors (cf. homepage) or manuscripts that do not fit the topic of the special issue, as well as poorly written manuscripts will be desk rejected. The review process will be double-blind. Hence, authors must not identify themselves in the body of their paper. Manuscripts within the scope of the special issue (as described above) and deemed to have a reasonable chance of conditional acceptance after no more than two rounds of revisions will enter the review process.

Paper Development Workshop

Free of charge paper development workshop is foreseen in May/June 2023. Only authors of selected extended abstracts will be invited to this workshop. The selection process will be based on the submission of the extended abstracts. Please note that presentation at the workshop is not a guarantee of acceptance of a paper for publication and that participation in the workshop is not a prerequisite for acceptance of the paper and publication in the special issue.

The goal of the workshop is to (1) facilitate a scholarly discussion on the topics highlighted in this call for papers, and (2) provide prospective authors an opportunity to receive feedback and constructive comments on their papers. The special issue guest editors will be present at the workshop to provide developmental feedback to authors of the extended abstracts ahead of the submission of the full-length manuscript and to enhance the quality and contribution of submissions in order to maximize the impact of the SI.

Further details will be forthcoming via an ELMAR posting. In the meantime, interested parties are encouraged to reach out to one of the guest editors.

Important dates

  • Submission opens: August 1, 2023
  • Deadline for submission: October 1, 2023


Abecassis‐Moedas, C., & Benghozi, P. J. (2012). Efficiency and innovativeness as determinants of design architecture choices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 29(3), 405-418.

Andres, L. & Chapain, C. (2015), Creative systems: A new integrated approach to understanding the complexity of cultural and creative industries in Eastern and Western countries, in Handbook of Service Business: Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation, pp. 349 – 370

Benghozi P.-J., Salvador E. & Simon J.‐P. (2015), Technical Innovations. Looking for R&D in the creative industries, Communications & Stratégies, n° 99 (3rd Q),. 171‐181.

Benghozi, P.-J, Salvador, E. & Simon, J.-P. (2021). Strategies in the cultural and creative industries: static but flexible vs dynamic and liquid. The emergence of a new model in the digital age. Revue d’économie industrielle, 174, 117-157.

Blanc, A., & Huault, I. (2019). The maintenance of macro-vocabularies in an industry: The case of the France’s recorded music industry. Industrial Marketing Management, 80, 280-295.

Broekhuizen, T. L., Lampel, J., & Rietveld, J. (2013). New horizons or a strategic mirage? Artist-led-distribution versus alliance strategy in the video game industry. Research Policy, 42(4), 954-964.

Castaldi, C. (2018). To trademark or not to trademark: The case of the creative and cultural industries. Research Policy, 47(3), 606-616.

Caves, R. E. (2000). Creative industries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Cheng, M., Liu, J., Qi, J., & Wan, F. (2021). Differential effects of firm generated content on consumer digital engagement and firm performance: An outside-in perspective. Industrial Marketing Management, 98, 41-58.

Chiambaretto, P., Massé, D., & Mirc, M. (2019), “All for One and One for All?”-Knowledge broker roles in managing tensions of internal coopetition: The Ubisoft case, Research Policy, 48(3), 584-600

Collin-Lachaud, I., & Duyck, J. (2002). Relationship Marketing as a Paradigm for Festivals: A Case Study of the Francofolies of La Rochelle, France. International Journal of Arts Management, 4(3), 56-70.

de Jong, A., De Ruyter, K., Keeling, D. I., Polyakova, A., & Ringberg, T. (2021). Key trends in business-to-business services marketing strategies: Developing a practice-based research agenda. Industrial Marketing Management, 93, 1-9.

Evrard, Y., & Colbert, F. (2000). Arts Management: A New Discipline Entering the Millennium? International Journal of Arts Management, 2(2), 4-13.

Finch, J., Wagner, B. & Hynes, N. (2010), Trust and forms of capital in business-to-business activities and relationships, Industrial Marketing Management, 39(6) 1019-1027.

Hearn, G., Roodhouse, S., & Blakey, J. (2007). From value chain to value creating ecology: Implications for creative industries development policy. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 13(4), 419-436.

Horng, S. C., Chang, A. H., & Chen, K. Y. (2016). The business model and value chain of cultural and creative industry. In Thriving in a new world economy (pp. 198-203). Springer, Cham.

Lewandowska, K. (2016). It’s not all about the profit: an analysis of changes in arts and business relations. Economics and Business Review, 2(1), 107-126.

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Lord , K. R. & Gupta P. N. (2010), Response of buying‐center participants to B2B product placements, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 25 (3): 188-195.

Manning, S. (2017). The rise of project network organizations: Building core teams and flexible partner pools for interorganizational projects. Research Policy, 46(8), 1399-1415.

Money, K. Hillenbrand, C. Daya, M. & Magnan G. M. (2010), Exploring reputation of B2B partnerships: Extending the study of reputation from the perception of single firms to the perception of inter-firm partnerships, Industrial Marketing Management, 39(5), 761-768.

Napier, N. & Nilsson, M. (2006), The Development of Creative Capabilities in and out of Creative Organizations: Three Case Studies. Creativity and Innovation Management, 15 (3), 268-278.

Oberg, C. (2013), Competence integration in creative processes, Industrial Marketing Management, 42(1), 113-124

Öberg, C. Tsung-Ying Shih, T. & Chou, H. (2016), Network strategies and effects in an interactive context, Industrial Marketing Management, 52, 117-127

Pellegrin-Boucher, E. & Roy, P. (2019), Coopetition Between Architects: Designing Innovative Projects with Competitors, Chapter 7, in Estelle Pellegrin-Boucher, Pierre Roy (Eds.), Innovation in the Cultural and Creative Industries, Vol. 8, Wiley, 159-178.

Sigurdardottir, A. G., Ujwary-Gil, A., & Candi, M. (2018). B2B negotiation tactics in creative sectors. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 33(4), pp. 429-441.

Sigurdardottir, M. S., & Candi, M. (2019). Growth strategies in creative industries. Creativity and Innovation Management, 28(4), 477-485.

Srinivasan, R. (2008), Sources, characteristics and effects of emerging technologies: Research opportunities in innovation, Industrial Marketing Management, 37(6), 633-640.

Wu, Y., & Wu, S. (2016). Managing ambidexterity in creative industries: A survey. Journal of Business Research, 69(7), 2388-2396.

UNCTAD (2021), “The Creative Economy Programme”, Available at : https://unctad.org/topic/trade-analysis/creative-economy-programme  (accessed on December 16, 2021)

[1] The definition of the CCIs and their boundaries have been, and still are, at the center of a debate involving policymakers, academics and practitioners which is beyond the scope of this CfP. For an overview of such a debate, please see Jones, Lorensen and Sapsed, (2015) and Dharmani, Das, and Prashar (2021).