Repositioned BTB Show Pulls Positive Reaction

PHOENIX — The first B-to-B Marketing Conference here last week ended with most attendees pleased with the show's emphasis on all facets of business-to-business marketing, not just direct marketing.

The show replaces one of the two annual DMA Direct Marketing to Business conferences, which focus strictly on DM. The DMA will continue to host a spring DMB show.

Consultant and DM News columnist Ruth Stevens thinks last week's show benefited marketers by broadening the attendee and exhibitor audience.

“It's a good change and a good stance for the DMA to take by saying that 'we are not just about direct marketing but now we are also about business marketing,' ” she said. “I think they are on to something with this because not only will it attract more attendees and exhibitors, but that can result in them bringing aboard new members.”

She said that taking the words “direct marketing” out of the title will help companies see the benefit in attending the show.

“The needs of business marketers are better business marketing and getting more business,” she said. “And for the DMA to serve that need is good. They can't talk about direct marketing only, they have to tell these companies how they can get more business.”

The show drew 24 exhibitors, said Christina Duffney, director of media relations and corporate communications at the DMA.

Tamara Fillhart, vertical sales associate, BTB markets, at Google, said the show produced good contacts.

“There were a lot of key people here that were decision makers within their companies,” Fillhart said. “There's a niche market at this show, and it is a group of people we wanted to talk to.”

Robert McKim, CEO of Los Angeles-based SourceLink, acknowledged the DMA's attempt to focus more on BTB, but said sessions were too general.

“These things just aren't specific enough,” he said. “People want to learn about what has worked in their specific industry. This is just not tailored enough.”

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