DMA Begins BTB Initiative With Newsletter

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Direct Marketing Association members who are business-to-business direct marketers will receive a new, free newsletter in the mail this week.


The newsletter, called In Case You Missed It, includes summary articles from the DMA's Direct Marketing to Business Conference, held in Chicago last September. The 12-page newsletters will be sent six times a year to 3,000 to 4,000 people who have marketing, database marketing, circulation or sales positions at DMA member companies.


The newsletter is just one program the DMA is doing to improve member services for the BTB community, said David M. Smith, vice president of business and strategic development at the DMA.


"We see ourselves as becoming the source for marketing and sales information for BTB marketers utilizing direct marketing and interactive techniques," he said. "We want to educate [BTB marketers] in direct mail and telemarketing, e-mail and database marketing, sales force automation, customer relationship management, sales and marketing integration and public policy issues."


Smith oversees the DMA's BTB development, including reviewing and enhancing the association's relationship with BTB direct marketers and developing and implementing new member benefits and activities.


According to the DMA, BTB direct marketing generated about $792.8 billion in sales during 2000 and is growing at almost twice the rate of total U.S. BTB sales.


The DMA will publish a lead generation handbook, which will have a how-to section with step-by-step instructions to help BTB DMers generate leads, convert them to sales and retain customers. The book will list DMA members that are BTB-specific suppliers by category. The handbook, to be published in six to nine months, will have a member and a nonmember price. Prices are not available yet.


The DMA also plans to develop a manual of best practices that will include case studies and industry information targeted to BTB direct marketers. It is slated for next summer.


A section of the DMA's Web site (www.the-dma.org) will be dedicated to BTB direct marketers. The section should be operating in the fall.


Also, the association is developing two new BTB seminars -- basic and advanced -- that will launch early next year.


"Basically, our pie-in-the-sky goal is to grow the [BTB] marketplace as a whole, and the way to do that is to become the source of marketing and sales information for that marketplace," Smith said. "If we educate BTB marketers better, they become either better direct marketers or users of direct marketers."


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