Recovering markets and continuing consolidation

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AS THE U.S. ECONOMY begins its slow march toward recovery, survivors of the dot-com blowout are again making a case for their services or looking around for premium properties and people to acquire.

On Page 1 of this issue we look at how the largest industry-backed exchanges, which face dubious participants and investors, are faring. As BtoB has often reported, the e-marketplace phenomenon has been an important, if consternating, one. In the beginning, these hubs had the lofty goal of transforming basic business processes by bringing suppliers and buyers together online. But critical mass didn’t happen. As I’ve written before in this space, e-hub proponents largely failed to appreciate the monumental marketing task of convincing entire industries to move decades-old processes onto the Web. Contributing editor David Joachim uncovers how survivors such as Covisint and Transora are more modestly marketing themselves these days.

Also on Page 1, we look at e-mail agencies, a category once dominated by boutique firms that has been consolidating at a brisk pace. Contributing writer Pamela Moran documents the mergers and acquisitions that have swept through the category.

Contributing editor Sean Callahan takes a look at the ugly proxy battle over Hewlett-Packard Co.’s proposed acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. Will the heated marketing campaign waged in the pages of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have a lasting impact on HP? Read this Page 1 story for insight.

Also, this issue of BtoB features our Who’s Who 2002, a compendium of 100 profiles about the movers and shakers in the b-to-b universe. The Who’s Who list starts on Page 22.

————— This issue of BtoB inaugurates a new section called CRM. While we’ve covered customer relationship management since our first issue, the significance of this technology to marketing efforts has grown exponentially. The new CRM section will provide topical news and tactical case studies.

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