BMA calls on marketers to revitalize industry

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Chicago--The Business Marketing Association's annual conference, titled "Business Marketing with Passion," kicked off Thursday with a speech from incoming International Chairman Rip Ripley, who called on marketers to lead the charge in reviving the slumping b-to-b sector.

"If you have been in the world of business-to-business for more than the last 28 minutes, chances are pretty good you have experienced the wonders of corporate upsizing, downsizing, rightsizing, outsourcing. You've been re-engineered, decentralized, recentralized, diversified, divested, merged, purged, cost justified, cost cut and put through the business wringer," Ripley said to an audience of about 150 BMA members.

"You have experienced a lot of other just plain business BS in the name of returning shareholder value," said Ripley, who is COO of Brozena, Schaller, Menaker & Ripley Inc., a Denver-based marketing communications agency.

Ripley said marketers hold the keys to growth, profitability and customer relationships, and they are in a position to help companies emerge from the current downturn by reinvigorating the entire marketing process, from product development to customer relationships.

To help facilitate this revitalization, the BMA will actively seek members from all areas of marketing, not just marketing communications, including product development and sales functions. It will also add new educational resources, both online and offline, to help its members.

--Kate Maddox

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