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Want to know why you should prepare for a marketing automation implementation as you would the Boston Marathon? How about what the future holds for traditional media? And do you ever wonder whether the term “marketing” has become too elastic? These are just a few of the topics addressed in BtoBlog, the newest feature on our website. Rolled out last month, BtoBlog (www.btobonline.com/btoblog) brings together blog posts from nearly two dozen top b-to-b marketers and industry analysts. Among the companies represented on the BtoBlog roster are Approva, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Intel and Novell. Our aim with BtoBlog is to provide a forum for marketers to learn best practices from their peers and gain valuable insights from top thought leaders. We hope you find the information analytical and amusing by turns, and always thought-provoking. Among the early posts: Blogger Jeff Ernst, principal analyst at Forrester Research, says that while he was running the last few miles of this year's Boston Marathon, he “couldn't help thinking about the similarities between tackling a 26.2-mile running endeavor and taking on a marketing automation initiative.” He continues, “Imagine if you decided to run your first marathon, went over to your local running store to buy those high-performance running shoes, stuffed a few Power Gels in your pocket and showed up at the starting line? Well, chances are you wouldn't achieve your goal. You need to be prepared for how to pace, hydrate and fuel yourself. You need to spend the time to condition your muscles for the abuse of several hours of rigorous use. And you'd want to have people along the route to support you.” As for the likelihood of traditional media fading away, Rich Vancil, VP-executive advisory group at IDC, writes: “Old media can get entirely eclipsed by the new, but more often new media formats tend to get lumped on top of old ones and the stack just continues to morph and grow. The TV didn't put the radio out of business, as many feared. And the VCR didn't put the movie theaters out of business.” Ginger Shimp, marketing director for small and midsize enterprises at SAP America, traces her aversion to the term “marketing” to a young woman she knew who drove the Wienermobile: “When she first mentioned she was in marketing for Oscar Mayer, I was impressed; when I discovered she was touring county fairs in a fiberglass hot dog, I was somewhat less impressed. To be fair, she was, in fact, in marketing for Oscar Mayer. As she was only 21, it's possible that she went on to be chief marketing officer of an international sausage conglomerate. I suspect not, but it's possible.” We hope you enjoy BtoBlog, and we encourage your comments. An early sampling of responses can be found in the Readers Comments section of this page—including a spirited defense of the Wienermobile and its drivers. John Obrecht is editor of BtoB and BtoB's Media Business. He can be reached at jobrecht@crain.com.
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