ITMA presses industry to keep up with trends

The ITMA is calling on the industry to keep up with market sector trends as changes develop in the use of corporate events and incentive travel. The association’s recently released briefing document says the automotive and IT industries are evolving and urges agencies to take on a consultative rather than reactive role in client relationships. "Market trends have shown that agencies need to be focused on customer needs and provide business solutions as the market develops," said ITMA executive director Charles Robinson. "They need to be experts in their clients’ field as well as in their own." The document shows the car industry is being influenced by the expected relaxation of rules governing the sale of vehicles in the UK. It is expected that EU legislation will enable car dealers to sell more than one make of car in any location and cut car prices. The implications for the C&I industry are that manufacturers will need to incentivise dealers to sell cars more proactively and generate more income after sales. Tactical and strategic campaigns should therefore embrace the whole consumer process. In the IT sector, the ITMA sees the market converging. It maintains companies are forging alliances and entering new markets, one example being Microsoft’s move into mobile telecoms. These companies are opting to market their products in a face-to-face format and are talking to customers via training events where they take the product directly to the market. Agencies will be looking to produce roadshows and seminars to meet these needs. "Agencies should be anticipating trends to be able to offer the appropriate solutions," said Robinson. "They also need to act like a partner to clients, rather than simply a service provider." Further research into the market in general suggests the economic climate in the UK to be robust. "The Gulf war led to a greater drop in business than that prompted by 11 September," said Robinson. "But we still need to be cautious and there are still fears of further terrorist activity."

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