Category Archives: B2B Marketing

Building a Prospect Database

We provide a service to the supermarket and CPG industries and need to reach corporate level executives, VP of Marketing, Director of In-Store Promotions, etc. We need names, titles and contact information whether that is an address, a phone number or an email address.  We have used the Market Guidebook and Hoover’s previously, and are aware of AdData Express, Redbooks and Ad Week’s Brandweek Directory.

Can you recommend any additional options?

CEO, Kiostar

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By Jim Sweeney

There are many ways to secure the contacts you are looking to target, including trade organizations, trade publication lists, trade shows, web site directories and list companies.

For example, you can tap into the International Home & Housewares Show (or any of a dozen other related shows) and rent or purchase their exhibitor and attendee lists. You can also contact leading trade magazines – like Progressive Grocer and Chain Store Age – and rent or purchase their lists.

If you have the time and the manpower, you can visit web sites and generate the lists yourselves. It is really not as difficult as it sounds.  Many of the industry trade shows (International Home & Housewares, Gourmet Show, etc.) post their exhibitor list with the contacts right on their web sites.  The exact contact may not always be listed, but a quick phone call will ensure you have the correct person on your list.  You can also try online directories like Spoke.com, ZoomInfo.com or Jigsaw.com.

And of course, there are endless mailing lists you can purchase from, including organizations like USADATA and InfoUSA. Determining the best approach for developing a database really depends on the specifics of what you are looking for, how much time you have and how much you want to spend.

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Using Social Media as a B2B Marketing Strategy

How does social media fit into B2B marketing?

Channel Development Manager, Aflac

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By Jim Sweeney

Social media fits into the B2B marketing model much the same way it fits into the consumer marketing model.

Because of its very nature, social media allows virtually anyone (or any organization) to communicate with virtually any audience on any scale. And because it allows for real-time, two-way communication with minimal or no interference (no gatekeepers), it is an ideal marketing strategy.

Social media sets the stage for meaningful, live engagement between your business and all of your target internal and external business audiences – employees, shareholders, retirees, customers, prospects, vendors, distributors, brokers, investors, consultants and on and on.

Unlike traditional media – which remains vital and essential in both the consumer and B2B marketing paradigms – social media allows you to connect directly to your audiences without the influence of gatekeepers, and allows them to communicate directly back to you (and anyone else who is participating) without interference and in real-time.

A recent Forrester Research study http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/the-down-economy-pushes-b-to-b-marketers-embrace-digital-tactics-409009_1.html of B2B marketing professionals indicates that more and more B2B marketers are beginning to embrace social media.  Unfortunately it appears that the economy and the need to get more results with fewer dollars is the primary driver.

Regardless, social media fits into B2B marketing in a wide array of ways.

•  Social Networking sites like LinkedIn (and yes, even Facebook) offer exceptional opportunities for B2B organizations to connect with target audiences on an individual and collective basis.  Industry-specific groups enable you to create and participate in dialogue with industry influentials, customers, prospects, etc.

•  Blogs have the potential to create invaluable communication with internal and external target audiences on a multitude of business topics.

•  Micro-blogging tools like Twitter allow you to maintain ongoing communication – text, links, photos, audio and video clips – with multiple core groups of individuals.

•  Video Sharing through mass appeal sites like YouTube or industry-specific business sites like Wistia enables you to effectively present your corporate and product brands on an entirely different level.  Podcasts and Webcasts are equally useful tools for engaging target audiences.

•  Tried and true strategies like e-mail marketing, online advertising, organic search optimization, blogger relations and industry discussion boards are digital and social media tools that should also be considered as part of the marketing mix.

Social media should be viewed as a viable strategy in a portfolio of techniques that best practice companies can use to create awareness, engage audiences, create links, drive leads, support sales and build relationships.