B-to-B Prospecting Data Just Keeps Getting Better
Some of the more intriguing fields now available to marketers include:
- Spending levels on legal services, insurance, advertising, accounting services, utilities and office equipment (Infogroup)
- Self-identifying keywords used on the company website (ALC)
- Technology usage "intensity" score, by product (HG Data)
- Out-of-business indicator, plus credit rating and parent/subsidiary linkages (Salesforce.com)
- Company SWOT analysis (OneSource)
- Whether the company conducts e-commerce (ALC)
- List of company competitors (OneSource)
- Biographies of company contacts (OneSource)
- Employees who travel internationally (Harte-Hanks)
- Employees who use mobile technology (Harte-Hanks)
- Links to LinkedIn profiles of company managers (Stirista)
- Executive race, religion, country of origin and second language (Stirista)
Imagine what marketers could do with a treasure trove of data elements like these to help identify high-potential prospects.
Matter of fact, we asked the vendors to tell us the fields that their clients find most valuable for predictive purposes. Several fresh and interesting ideas surfaced:
- A venture capital trigger, from OneSource, indicating that a firm has received fresh funding and thus has budget to spend.
- Tech purchase likelihood scores from Harte-Hanks, built from internal models and appended to enhance the profile of each account.
- A "prospectability" score custom-modeled by OneSource to match target accounts with specific sales efforts.
- PRISM-like business clusters offered by Salesforce.com (appended from D&B), which provide a simple profile for gaining customer insights and finding look-alikes.
- "Call status code," Infogroup's assessment of the authenticity of the company record, based on Infogroup's ongoing phone-based data verification program.
We conclude from this study that B-to-B prospecting data is richer and more varied than most marketers would have thought. We recommend that marketers test several vendors, to see which best suit their needs, and conduct a comparative test before you buy.
Readers who would like to see our past studies on the quality and quantity of prospecting data available in business markets can access them here. Bernice and I are always open to ideas for future studies. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.
Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, and teaches marketing at companies and business schools around the world. She is past chair of the DMA Business-to-Business Council, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York. Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain's BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She is the author of Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, and Trade Show and Event Marketing. Ruth serves as a director of Edmund Optics, Inc. She has held senior marketing positions at Time Warner, Ziff-Davis, and IBM and holds an MBA from Columbia University.