Idealist and philosopher Confucius was born on September 28, 551 B.C. Confucius never ran a business or pitched a client. In fact, Confucius touted a hard-line negative perspective about profit-seeking activities and believed that business, if it existed at all, should be an ethical economic system serving the well-being of all people. He felt business should demand enduring, deep-rooted relationships, far beyond any single sales transaction.
B2B entrepreneurs may not all agree on a "gold standard" for ethics and marketing, but we can infuse our businesses with accountability, transparency, trust and meaningful customer conversations. In honor of Confucius, here are some thoughtful meditation tools for your B2B marketing toolbox:
For inspiration and insight, read Marketing the Professional Services Firm by Laura Mazur and Laurie Young. Also of note: Powerful Proposals by David Pugh and Terry Bacon. It's featured on the American Management Association's "2005 Business Reading List."
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Plan to attend The Direct Marketing Association's B-to-B Marketing Conference, scheduled for Sept. 13-15 in Tucson, Arizona. Visit www.the-dma.org/conferences/btob.shtml to register.
Kirsten Osolind is CEO and founder of re:invention inc., a Chicago-based marketing consulting company.