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Full circle

Welcome to my new monthly column, in which I'll be covering many of the issues that will dominate B2B marketing in the future. I'll be investigating how the ideas of key/major account and mass marketing are influencing each other. These have been partly driven by the new capabilities of the Internet and contact centres, and supported by the ideas of CRM and the experiences of companies that have tried – successfully or unsuccessfully – to implement them. I'll be considering how the increasingly advanced information systems and database capabilities have changed what is possible in B2B marketing.

I'll be digging into some more complex areas, such as how some companies are moving from marketing products and services to solutions and outsourcing. I'll also be examining how developments in pricing made possible by new technology – such as online yield management – have affected how companies can manage customers more profitably while maintaining standards of service and customer satisfaction.

I'll be touching on controversial issues, such as the sometimes negative influence of consultants and other suppliers who claim to be able to transform their clients' marketing, and how to get rid of bad customers.