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Time stands still at the IDM B2B conference 7 March, 2007

Posted by Jay Ball in B2B, marketing.

So I spent yesterday at this year’s Institute of Direct Marketing Business-to-Business Conference. I rarely get to conferences. Even the ones I book on always seem to fall on days where ‘stuff happens’ and I become another no-show. But yesterday, I actually made it.

And wished I hadn’t.

The only reason I will go to events like these is to learn stuff. I’m not interested in the networking (probably because I’m rubbish at it) and catered food only holds so much appeal. It’s all about new thinking that challenges the mind and expands my understanding.

Apart from the odd mention of blogs and a good overview of search marketing (presented really well by Chris Warwick of Hoover’s) this could have been a conference in 1997 rather than 2007. We were told of the need to understand business customers as people. How marketing and sales really should get on better. And given an insight into how a campaign can progress from “frankly we don’t know what we’re doing” to “for the most part, we do know what we’re doing.”

I then joined the “marketing to corporates” stream that conscientiously avoided any mention whatsoever of how to market to corporates. Soon after, I lost the will to live.

Business-to-business has always been FMCG’s ugly sister. But the challenges and opportunities within B2B/considered purchase are (IMHO) far more interesting than FMCG. The complexity of the sales. The need to really engage with the market over a long period. The chance to partner with customers. All offer massive scope for innovative thinking and fresh approaches.

If what I saw yesterday is representative of where most of the industry is at, we should all be very afraid.



1. Chris Hoskin - 7 March, 2007


Try http://www.themarketingleaders.com

Chris from rawstylus.wordpress.com

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