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Companies must evolve with technology, develop new services: MeritDirect Co-op

B-to-b marketers should expect realistic growth, evolve with new technologies, and use data to drive business decisions, said Terry Jukes, president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence, a marketing services consultancy, on July 14.

Companies should expect 3% to 5% annual growth over the next five years as the economy recovers, Jukes said at the MeritDirect Business Mailers’ Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference in White Plains, NY. Strong companies, he said, will thrive, while weak companies grow weaker during the recovery.

B-to-b marketers must evolve with the explosion of technology that is driving one-to-one customer relationships, said Jukes, during the event’s keynote address.

“The Web allows small players to be hyper-targeted and focused. The market is moving to near-perfect information. We’ve got to have excruciating focus on doing the right things and doing them perfectly,” he said. “Non-mission critical tasks need to be outsourced. If I want something in your catalog, I don’t need your catalog and I don’t need you to find it. I can go to Google.”

Jukes said marketers should focus on six things “before we have another recession or shock to the system.” These strategies are product and service innovation; leveraging knowledge and content; providing consultative selling; leveraging integrated marketing tactics; using data to drive business decisions; and taking advantage of online marketing.

Within those tactics, he also advised that companies should spend 30% of their marketing energy on developing new products and services. New products should generate 15% to 30% of annual sales, said Jukes.

“We are merchants first,” he said. “Build new, unique and hard to find products.”

Jukes also said that a key component of serving clients is integrating tactics driven by interaction data.

“Collect data unique to your business,” he said. “Look at data to validate a hypothesis, but it will also tell you things you don’t know that will lead to a new hypothesis.”

However, he added that companies that leverage data to drive online traffic and content “should be wary of spending more than 20% to 30% of your time on online activity. That’s too much.”

“We got drunk on technology in the early 2000s,” he said.

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