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The New Marketing Conversation: Creating and Strengthening Relationships Between Buyers and Sellers

How to turn marketing into a satisfying dialogue.

This book expands on a metaphor about the often-neglected wisdom behind satisfying conversations in daily life. In social life, we know that it is important to be a good listener, to make conversations shared experiences, to speak our partner's language, and so on. The New Marketing Conversation makes good sense because it translates valuable social skills for the professional arena.

Every marketer is aware of the need to compete for attention—and the challenges of doing so. As the authors write, "Gone are the days when the family sat around one television set rapt with attention." Instead, "Today's family is likely to be receiving hundreds of concurrent messages via dozens of media and devices." As a result consumers review, consider, and often ignore or reject media messages. So both "targeted marketing" and "integrated marketing," though useful, are not enough. Marketers need to cultivate customer relationships across multiple media by building an engaging and ongoing conversation.

After elaborating on the concept of "the new marketing conversation," the authors describe the role that is ideally suited for each of eight types of media in the "total integrated conversation"—direct mail, telemarketing, radio, television, newsletters, e-mail, Web sites, wireless messaging, and other new technologies. Tips and tools are provided to put together an effective integrated media plan. The last section of the book, "marketing conversation in action," discusses implementation. The book winds up with six brief case studies of "conversations" in action. Baier Stein has more than twenty years' experience in copywriting; MacAaron is the director of communications for the New England Direct Marketing Association.—Poping Lin