Speaker: Relationships Key To Dispelling BTB Myths

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PHOENIX-Wunderman New York president/CEO David Sable told attendees at the B-to-B Marketing Conference luncheon here yesterday that many of the concepts that business-to-business marketers hold as truths are nothing more than myths.

He said that building relationships is just as important for business-to-business marketers as for consumer marketers. Talking to a packed auditorium of 200 people, he said the three biggest myths regarding BTB marketing are that you can't market to a CEO, that BTB catalog marketing isn't J.Crew and that line managers are too busy and jaded to look at direct mail.

The secret for marketers is effective relationship marketing.

"Know your audience, understand their needs and provide solutions," he said. "The key to marketing or BTB marketing is to create relationships. That is the key to good effective marketing."

Too many people rely on technology and data compiled on customers, he said, but technology should be an enabler and not a solution.

"You and I and your customers are not one-dimensional or statistics," he said. "Your customers are people and need to be spoken to like people. Don't get seduced by the amount of data."

In fact, he said marketers should worry about how potential customers can use technology to keep away marketers.

"So how do we get past the barriers and in front of people?" he asked. "We build brand resonance. Usage leads to an experience and a positive experience leads to brand resonance."

Sable said that when a marketer develops brand resonance with a customer that customer would be willing to pay a premium for the service nearly 70 percent of the time.

"Create a community-like environment where they can relate to other customers or feel like part of a club," he said. "As BTB marketers you can create events and sponsorships that will help bring them closer to you."

He finished by saying that regardless of how advanced the technology has become, the customer is still king and still defines the relationship between customer and marketer.

"Technology hasn't changed people's needs and it can't define your customer," he said. "Relationship marketing creates demand. It fulfills their needs and from there builds even more demand."


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