video montage of Glengarry Glen Ross courtesy of walkingf00l
The recent acquisition of Jigsaw by Salesforce is a good sign of the times for Net-Centric Marketing. By including Jigsaw’s 21 million B2B contacts as part of its AppExchange service offering, Saleforce makes a more seamless process out of your email marketing efforts. By having the data needed to drive your revenue available in a convenient way, you no longer need to hunt down your own lists and prepare them for importing into your Salesforce account
This acquistion gives Salesforce an additional differentiator over rivals like Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Netsuite because as any battle-scarred Marketer knows, email marketing campaigns have a lot of “moving parts” which imply “weak links” when you are manually configuring all those parts for execution. By smoothing out the steps of acquiring leads and placing them in your CRM, your demand generation process has one less point of failure. However, there is another company which makes list procurement very easy.
NetProspex, another leading online B2B leads provider with 13 million verified B2B contacts, has other angles that may be of extreme interest to you. They have taken a great initiative in associating social media/networking IDs to full business contact details, which means you can see which contacts have Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Companies can now append their B2B customer and prospect database with social network addresses, enabling them to engage with audiences across multiple channels. Additionally, Netprospex allows you to contribute leads in exchange for leads – a novel idea for collaboration. NetProspex’s data is verifed via phone and automated methods to provide more accurate and they offer credits for leads that are deemed inaccurate. The Marketing Consigliere has personally used NetProspex, who was the biggest sponsor of the 2009 B2B Twitterer of the Year Awards and was very pleased with the ease of use of the service, and was impressed with the veracity of the leads themselves.
He happily sees more Marketers relying on online, automated sources for leads; this is especially good for companies that already know who they want to reach. However, for old fashioned direct mail efforts or even to get a layer of good consultative guidance, it is still wise to have a relationship with a list broker. This may seem counterintuitive to what he blogs about (marketing automation), but it can be prudent to have a healthy mix of both. Over the years The Marketing Consigliere has trusted firms like TargetRight Marketing for understanding about lists that have already been created to buy from sources like publishers and what the trade offs are in buying one list versus another. It would probably be best to use an online source such as Netprospex or Jigsaw but to also use list brokers who have years of experience in direct marketing and can give you valuable insight into other lists that you can purchase.