We have been building customized business contact and decision maker lists for over five years now. We have built them for military technology companies, for data systems integration companies, for logistics software, healthcare systems...you name it. We have helped companies identify target decision makers in Swiss banks, French aerospace companies, Spanish telecom companies, the Pentagon and the CIA.
We've learned something new with every single customer of ours and their target verticals but all said and done, the end product or database of their target decision makers look similar if you see them structurally and don't look into the details. The data sheets have the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of the decision makers or executives. They will all go back to our customer and those decision makers are going to to be contacted through a phone call, email or a direct mail.
Now for the spin...I built a tiny list of my own a little while ago today. Last night we finalized some details on a series of interviews we plan to do on our blog which will feature some stalwarts of the B2B marketing world to get some insights and perspectives on marketing database management. The obvious next step for me was to identify who we would like to talk to for the first few interviews and as with any situation where you have a campaign planned (even a tiny one like this) the natural next step was to build a list! It wasn't till after I built my mini list did it hit me what was so strikingly different from this list.
There were no phone numbers, no email addresses, and no postal addresses. The key fields were a name, company name, website and Twitter i. I didn't consciously make a decision to skip the other details which no normal target list would be complete with, I simply decided, I am going to use twitter to talk to our possible blog guests to see if they would be open to doing an interview with us. Last month when we did a post on B2B Marketing Data Forecast - Blog, Twitter & Linkedin Info A Standard Data Field , @nix left a comment on the post which echoes what I personally feel and I'm sure a lot of professionals in a lot of businesses think as well. @nix said:
we love recieving a direct message on Linkedin, a comment posted to our blog or a tweet from one of our Twitter followers. I’m sure when phones were still new, executives were happy to answer calls but times have changed and more often than not, they aren’t always excited about incoming phone calls.When I look at this mini list I wonder when a customer would approach us and say something like "we are doing a survey for our CRM analytics and we need to identify and build a list of 300 CRM managers or administrators with their Twitter id's so that we can approach them to see if we can have about 50-100 take part in our research". The day that happens, I would probably have witnessed one of the biggest turns in prospect list building. I'm convinced that day is not too far off. Are you?