*Burrus Challenges DMers to Predict Future

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NEW YORK -- In a speech to the American Booksellers Association in 1993, Daniel Burrus laid out a road map to create an online bookseller -- he predicted what became Amazon.com. Burrus drew a similar map for direct marketers at the sparsely attended opening keynote address of DM Days here, Technotrends: Using Technology to Go Beyond Your Competition, and challenged them to change the rules of finding, selling and keeping customers.


"Technology will allow you to do things you thought were impossible," said Burrus, president of Burrus Research Associates, Milwaukee, and a leading technology forecaster and futurist.


To become 21st-century marketers, Burrus said actionable knowledge and wisdom rather than simple data and information, must be gathered and dispensed. Marketing in the next century will be about communicating with customers via the listen and learn model not informing customers via the tell and sell model.


In the next century, companies won't compete on price but on how they change the customer experience. Time will be more valuable in the economy of the 21st century than money and marketers that give time back to their customers will keep them. By getting to know your customers through the Web and other interactive technologies, Burrus said, you can get to know you customer so well, they will tell you what they want.


So how do you arm yourselves to compete? Burrus suggested combining the technical knowledge of younger workers with the marketing wisdom of veterans and giving people jobs that fit their personalities.

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