• Cooperative—The membership and list-specific cooperative databases offer solutions to the problems of navigating thousands of individual lists and losing names in the merge/purge as well as being limited to the lists of a single list firm.
Let’s further inspect this last source of B-to-B names to see what differences exist between the various offerings on the market.
Join the Club: Membership Databases
Abacus, in Broomfield, Colo., started the first membership database in 1998, the B2B Abacus Alliance. It now has 350 participants contributing 12 months of order history. The second is B2B Base, started in 2004 as a joint project by Experian, in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Merit Direct, in White Plains, N.Y. Both databases require you to contribute your own names and transaction history to the file before you can select names for prospecting.
The Abacus B2B Alliance holds a total of 75 million names at the company, site and contact level. The initial load of 12 months’ transaction history from each member was the starting point for monthly updates that have now accumulated 1.2 billion transactions at the order level. Additional content is provided by overlaying the customer information with D&B’s masterfile to provide selectability by SIC, employee size, sales volume and DUNS numbering to indicate enterprise, branch, headquarters or site locations. Modeling is provided by Abacus to find affinities between a member’s customers and prospects from other members’ files based on categories of merchandise purchased and factors such as the industry and size of the businesses. There is no membership fee; charges are approximately $85/M for net names selected for mailing.
As noted earlier, the Experian B2B Base is a joint venture of Experian and Merit Direct. Merit Direct is the exclusive list manager while Experian owns the B2B Base system itself. This membership database is smaller than the B2B Alliance, with 21 million names acquired from its 109 contributors. It is updated monthly by its members after an initial load of 60 months of transaction history that goes down to the SKU level. It is enhanced with the Experian National Business Database file, which supplies more than simple firmographics to include executive counts and credit status indicators. Modeling is provided by Experian. Similar to the Abacus B2B Alliance, B2B Base does not require a membership fee but does charge approximately $90/M for the net names selected for mailing.