By Brian Howard
For B-to-B marketers, adapting direct marketing principles that work for selling widgets to the world of supplies and solutions is an ongoing process.
Because we're all aware of the vast potential that lies in getting it right, new ideas for obtaining a firmer handle on how and why companies buy spring eternal.
For instance, the time-honored practice of basing marketing decisions on firmographics can be misleading. As Steve Tinlin, vice president of the Business-to-Business Alliance at Abacus, explains, "industry classifications tell you nothing about the purchasing activity of a prospect."
Tinlin suggests marketers use transactional data. "But wait," you might say: "Isn't one of the problems with B-to-B marketing the relative scarcity of precisely this sort of data?"
Tinlin boldly proposes engaging in cooperative databases—files composed of the transactional data of numerous companies—to help all co-op members achieve a better view of their customers.
Also in this report, we look at new products from Experian and Venture Direct that aim to help marketers better understand business decision trees and optimize online lead generation, respectively. And we look at a multi-touch marketing campaign the Candle Corp. used to sell prospects not only on its products, but on its expertise in a burgeoning high-tech market.