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American Marketing Association Launches Series to Help Companies Increase Impact of Marketing on Sales Effectiveness

American Marketing Association and Founding CMM Sponsor iCentera Provide Insight on Improving Marketing and Sales Effectiveness

CHICAGO, IL. January 07, 2005—The American Marketing Association (AMA) wants to help companies increase the impact of Marketing on Sales effectiveness. To accomplish this, the AMA is announcing a new series of new educational programming aimed at helping Marketers transform their 30,000-foot brand promises and positioning into more consistent and compelling selling messages used in the 3.5-foot customer buying conversation.

The newly expanded Customer Message Management Forum will provide educational programming specifically aimed at helping companies:

  • Avoid parity in their value propositions
  • Elevate from product to solution-oriented sell
  • Deliver more useful and accessible sales-ready support tools
  • Establish consistent, high-quality "single voice" across multiple touch-points

By providing best practices and practical examples of how companies can push their brand messaging further 'downstream,' the AMA will help marketers have a more relevant and serious impact on revenue-generating activities, according to Dennis Dunlap the AMA's chief executive.

"The Marketer's most powerful, but often overlooked branding tool is the field sales force," says Dunlap. "Driving the brand from the company down through its selling channels -- is what separates great brands from also-rans. And, that's where we plan to focus our Marketing and Sales integration efforts.

To accomplish this, the AMA is expanding its popular Customer Message Management Forum initiative (www.marketingpower.com/cmm). Five new sponsors have joined in partnership with the AMA to help grow the program, which has been developing over the last two years.

Founding sponsors include: Avitage (www.avitage.com), iCentera (www.icentera.com), and CMM Group (www.customermessage.com). The Associate Sponsors include: Interwoven (www.interwoven.com), and The SAVO Group (www.savogroup.com).

The Customer Message Management Forum initially started in 2002 as a group of sales and marketing experts and thought leaders brought together by the AMA. The objective was to discuss the long-standing disconnect between these two departments, and begin building best practices that focused on how both groups could better facilitate the customer buying process.

Improving the "customer conversation" emerged as the key missing link, where Marketing and Sales could come together to increase a company's selling effectiveness.

"In today's highly competitive and perceived parity markets, it's not what you sell, but how you sell that matters," says Dunlap. "Salespeople will tell me: 'It's not about where I show up; it's about what I say when I get there that really counts.' The customer conversation has become the last bastion of competitive differentiation.

A schedule of upcoming Customer Message Management Forum events and registration information is available on the web at www.marketingpower.com/cmm. Educational and training opportunities include Internet Radio Programs, Monthly Web Seminars, Regional Conferences and Published Content.

Companies that will benefit the most from participating in the Customer Message Management Forum events are the ones looking to:

  • Avoid parity in their value propositions
  • Elevate from product to solution-oriented sell
  • Deliver more useful and accessible sales-ready support tools
  • Establish consistent, high-quality "single voice" across multiple touch-points

"There needs to be a sense of urgency around solving these problems," Dunlap adds. "So, the AMA will be presenting concepts that can be applied immediately to improve the consistency and quality of your company's customer conversations in ways that can impact your quarterly results."

Customer Message Management Forum Sponsors: