B-to-B Cataloging: The Multiprong Assault
Site penetration — mailing multiple pieces to qualified recipients at one business location — is a proven response-boosting technique. At a minimum, multiple contacts indicate you’ve identified a significant business and not a SOHO (small office/home office) with one part-time employee. At its best, the technique can capture the entire market within your target company so you become its sole supplier.
For some B-to-B catalogers, certain job titles, such as human resources director, can identify potential customers. But other catalogers can’t easily narrow their customer bases to a single contact. Their products appeal to employees across an organization with a variety of job titles.
If you market nursing uniforms, for example, every nurse in a given hospital is a potential customer. Here, managing multiple site contacts is essential.
Here’s how to best identify qualified contacts at each site in your database and get your catalogs past their gatekeepers.
Mining Qualified Contacts
Here are two ways to identify additional qualified contacts at each site in your database.
1. Ask. When customers recommend your company to colleagues, you have a good chance of capturing that new business. Ask your current customers for the names and titles of co-workers who may be interested in receiving your catalog. While your reps are on the phone, can they view all contacts at that site? If so, have them verify that the other contacts still work for that company.
2. Model. Various B-to-B list brokers can model your housefile to identify additional contacts at your sites. These models are straightforward to run, often cost only for the names that you select and can be an effective way to identify additional qualified buyers.
Beating the Gatekeeper
The following three techniques can help you get past the most important gatekeeper at your target sites — the mail-room attendant.
A columnist for Retail Online Integration, George founded HAGUEdirect, a marketing agency. Previously he was a member of the Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based consulting and creative agency J. Schmid & Assoc. He has more than 10 years of experience in circulation, advertising, consulting and financial strategy in the catalog/retail industry. George's expertise includes circulation strategy, mailing execution, response analysis and financial planning. Before joining J. Schmid, George worked as catalog marketing director at Dynamic Resource Group, where he was responsible for marketing and merchandising for the Annie's Attic Needlecraft catalog, the Clotilde Sewing Notions catalog, the House of White Birches Quilter's catalog and three book clubs. George also worked on corporate acquisitions.