Chicago—The Business Marketing Association, kicking off its 2012 International Conference here today, celebrated its 90th anniversary while acknowledging the milestone as a transition to the future.
“Those ideas that gave rise to BMA 90 years ago are still valid: to connect b-to-b marketers, to educate them about new trends and to serve them as a springboard for advancing their careers,” said Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-CMO at Motorola Solutions and incoming BMA chairman for 2012-13.
But in keeping with the event's title this year, “Grow,” Conrado said marketers must put behind them venerable but outdated marketing methods, including the “four Ps.”
“ 'Product' should evolve into solutions and the ultimate impact on customer need,” he said. “ 'Price' moves to value and the insights we offer for customers; 'promotion' evolves into education and how we engage with those customers; and 'place' is increasingly mobile these days.”
Conrado said more sophisticated marketing needs demand this kind of growth.
“What's the key to this growth?” asked Hugh Wiley, publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek
and another BMA keynoter. “It isn't always obvious. Last year it was the rise of social; but who could have predicted the demand for video would explode as it has. The key to growth is no longer about advertising channels but rather how you connect those channels to enhance the customer experience.”
Al Maag, chief communications officer at electronic components company Avnet Inc. and outgoing BMA chairman, cited a number of strides the association made during the last year, including boosting membership 12% to 2,450; creating a membership newsletter, “BMA Buzz,” published by BtoB
; and launching the BMA Go and Grow Road Show, an international conference series.
BMA's conference drew 690 attendees this year, a record and 19% higher that last year. The event concludes on Friday.