As the 2010 Direct Marketing Association conference (DMA:2010) wrapped up, I took a minute to reflect on the conversations I had had with a wide variety of marketers over the past few days. As a B2B marketer, I have a special interest in the state of B2B direct marketing, so I focused on the conversations that I’d had with other B2B marketers and compared them to the conversations that I had with our consumer marketing brethren.
I sense some progress in leveraging all the tools available to us, but most of us lag behind consumer marketers. But you already knew that. What I did see, however, is more and more B2B marketers beginning to implement social media programs, put in place more formal lead management/nurturing programs, and execute more customer analytics activities instead of just talking about the need to do so.
These are tentative efforts in many cases, but I count it as progress. Most of these efforts will remain somewhat tentative until metrics are developed showing real ROI from these programs. Right now, B2B marketers know that they should be doing more in social media, for example, but they are unsure of the payback. Integrating online and offline customer data and using it to create new intelligence is going to be the key to unlocking the benefits and maximizing the impact of the new marketing channels available to B2B direct marketers.
Are you there yet?
If you missed DMA:2010 in San Francisco, you can check out highlights on the DMA’s new website.
About The Author:
George Hollister is a B2B Practice Leader with SIGMA Marketing Group, a marketing analytics agency. Connect with George on or follow him on .