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Handbook of Strategic Account Management: A Comprehensive Resource by Diana Woodburn, Kevin Wilson

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Key strategic account management: where are we now?

by Editors Diana Woodburn and Kevin Wilson

Key account management has been around a long time. Obviously, business people from time immemorial have recognized the importance of their big buyers, but it took academics a while to acknowledge this simple fact; indeed, it is possible to accuse marketing in academia, which is overwhelmingly focused on consumers, of some responsibility for losing sight of it. Nevertheless, research into key account management kicked off in the 1980s, arguably initially in the USA and soon after, in Europe, fuelled by the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Group's work. At the same time, Citibank's first attempt at global account management (GAM) had been tried, proved successful with customers, been defeated by country managers and reinstated under pressure from strategic customers, all by 1985 (Buzzell). So it is surprising that many companies think key account management/key strategic account management is new, and that there is not a bigger body of research and greater recognition of the economic importance and potential for academic interest in it. We believe that the time has come for both business and academia to give KSAM the position it merits: hence this book.

We suppose that business-to-business (B2B) marketing is overlooked in favour of consumer marketing because anyone may have personal experience of the goods and services explored and the brands are household names, but we have ...

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