B-to-B : Love Your List
4 creative ways to build direct marketing lists for B-to-B campaignsApril 2013 By Rich Carango
Most B-to-B marketers are drawn to practices that are simple and proven to work. In a deadline-driven, fast-paced world, marketers need to rely on proven techniques to avoid paths that might cause them to stumble. This is especially true when it comes to building a direct marketing list, whether it is for a calling campaign, direct mail or email.
B-to-B marketers who have witnessed the digital revolution firsthand know how difficult it can be to acquire quality contact lists. Part of the challenge is wading through the explosion of communication vehicles to find good lists. Subscription-based websites, social media and blogs all have the potential to generate good lists, but the business market is slower to adopt newer channels. So these sources often don't produce the volume of names needed for a significant campaign. Thus, many are finding that partnerships with media publishers are still the most valuable in B-to-B.
1. Media Lists
In-house and agency communicators are using concentrated subscription lists for lead gen. During the digital revolution, publications were forced to either evolve or die. Only the strong survived, adapting quickly to the online landscape—so-called "media Darwinism."
While many marketers cried at this loss, it had value. Because only the most relevant and reader-valued publications survived, the lists have become distilled. The remaining loyal readership is smaller but more committed. Their focus is more refined, and their interest in the topic more pronounced. This makes for lists that are more likely to yield positive results for direct marketing campaigns.
Publishers rely on their lists far more than B-to-B marketers do; maintaining an up-to-date database and providing relevant content are crucial to the publication's ability to keep a strong connection with its readers and grow its base. What results is a strength that we, as communicators, can tap into.
Smart B-to-B marketers also understand that a broad reach doesn't necessarily mean bigger and better results. The beauty of a distilled list is you are far more likely to reach the right people.
2. Media and Organization Partnerships
Trust is the core of relationships between marketers and the media. Just as publications trust marketers will provide valuable content through their public relations and content marketing efforts, marketers trust the media will connect their content with an interested audience.