B2B Marketing Evolution

Image credit Flickr

NetProspex B2B Directory Hub will Revolutionize B2B sales
Image credit FlickrFor B2B marketers, the business conversation has moved from paper and phone to electronic communication via email and social channels in a single decade.. There are plenty of nay-sayers [KM1] regarding social media’s future and place in the business world, but my Tweetdeck provides daily conversation on important business topics, products, our company and our competitors and it’s growing weekly as more business people get on board. Add sales and marketing automation into the communication mix, and well, everything changes. I think it’s fair to say that B2B marketing will undergo a significant technological revolution in the next five years based on these tools and new ones that will inevitably follow. From where NetProspex sits, here’s what we can make of this changing landscape.

Technology brings us back to the roots of business information

Conversation on the docks and counting houses of the 18th century used to move markets. Newspapers and the telegraph allowed wider dissemination to millions of citizens in towns and countries and across empires. Opinion and analysis arrived to help people make sense when they didn’t posses the context or direct experience of the far off happenings. With opinion of course comes bias. With bias, an inherent potential for mistakes in business decision-making. Too much distance from market information causeslower reliability as evidenced recently in the debacle in the securitization markets[KM2] . Electronic conversation returns us to a mode of more authentic sharing of information and ultimately better decision-making which is critical to all sorts of business decisions.

Business conversations are scalable for the first time in history of mankind

Here’s the big news: thanks to email and social media, conversation is scalable for the first time and that impacts our social lives as well as our business lives. This is a huge transformation with the power to transcend traditional decision-making in business. There is no lack of information on the internet. What’s scarce is attention, but conversations have the advantage of allowing users to seek authenticity quickly and concisely. It’s easier and more credible in a conversation to figure out if someone knows what they are talking about. Read a person or organization’s blog, reach out andask them a couple of questions on Twitter . You  have your answer in the content and cadence of their words. Faced with a critical decision, would you rather rely on a piece of published information, or speak directly to a thought leader? Most would say “both”, so move over information and make some space for conversation.

We are entering a conversation economy

This addition of conversation and authentic dialogue begins with connection. To engage with other business people, a directory is pivotal to finding who you want to listen to or talk to. Not being able to find the right person within a company or industry is a friction that no longer needs to exist with the internet.

A business directory as a living thing

Visibility on who works for what company, in what position, and their accurate contact details is a simple concept that has been waiting to burst out of its box for over a decade and go beyond fragmented vertical business directories and the byzantine marketing list industry. The list industry is still unbelievably offline and extremely fragmented. Gathering basic directory information on every business decision-maker out there has become achievable by crowd-sourcing (users generating data) with tools like NetProspex’s contact exchange, allowing users to pool their business contacts. NetProspex aims to provide the connection across business executives across the global business community.

In effect, we see our mission to propel the old information economy into the new mixed information/conversation economy. It’s an online contact revolution. To achieve this, we recognize that information changes daily and is as fluid and shifting as the community of business people it represents. (In other words – people change jobs!) Contact information deteriorates at about 25% per year on average due to staff turnover. People are constantly moving, so gathering a massive business contact directory is only one part of the puzzle – keeping it clean is another. To maintain accuracy, NetProspex relies on proprietary technology to scrub the data and maintain a constant temperature of quality that is required for business interactions and systems like sales and marketing automation.

Authentic electronic business conversations are evolving

B2B marketers have realized that to break through the clutter and truly engage their audience, electronic conversation can be regularly used to deliver relevant information on webinars, podcasts and other learning materials so that when the buyer is ready they can make informed decisions. Social media makes this a two way conversation.  Now we can listen and interact with buyers who are talking about these solutions, and thought leaders who are propelling the trends.

Sales and marketing automation does the business

Sales prospect information has never been more leveragable when used in combination with sales and marketing automation. Automation changes the game, as it provides maximum efficiency, and because it makes quality an imperative. Deploying sales and marketing automation is equivalent to putting an engine into your revenue generation, and like any engine, it needs clean fuel. Otherwise, campaign deliverability and friction due to bad data causes the engine to misfire, and your efficiency to grind to a halt.

Open sesame CRM

Salesforce.com has opened up the CRM marketplace with an open platform model based on cloud computing, which has harnessed a bloom of innovation in sales and marketing automation. Salesforce.com has created an ecosystem of innovation.[1]  As a result, they are the darling of Wall Street, flourishing despite the recession. The other CRM players are following suite with open access API’s which provide a vector into the desktop of millions of B2B sales and marketing professionals. Large-scale pooling of contacts for corporations is now possible. We are not talking about pooling customer data, but pooling prospect data, and that’s the key to a truly connected business economy, and why corporations would do something so counter-intuitive as sharing information. By collaborating, corporations will benefit by creating much greater access into their markets.

What does a true electronic marketplace for business contacts look like?

When I think about the future of our business, I look to the financial electronic markets which are furthest down the evolutionary path and where I started my career. Sure, trading and buying contacts electronically is a booming marketplace. But there’s so much more to share, such as real-time deliverability and accuracy information automatically detected, verified and distributed across the network.. Given the obligation of every business person to understand how the fast moving world of services and technologies can be leveraged to maximize profit and the uplift that frictionless communication will provide to the economy, a directory of business contacts is a small barrier. There may be plenty of companies who don’t want to participate, but our bet is that businesses will only be left behind if they are not part of such a business contact network. Ultimately, our goal is to take the friction out of the conversation between B2B buyers and sellers by lifting the veil on who works where, and how they can be contacted. We believe an electronic auto-clean directory in the heart of sales and marketing automation, available
to every CRM user, is a very significant transcending opportunity, and the future of B2B marketing.

About the author

Gary Halliwell has an intrinsic interest in information and how new technologies provide greater opportunity to deliver value to customers. Gary is a business information guy who has built successful companies across several technology transitions over the past fifteen years. Gary began his career providing electronic information to the financial markets and today runs NetProspex, a social media site for business people that allows sales and marketing people in B2B industries to share business contacts and find the most productive targets for conversations with the right business decision-makers.

NetProspex and Rapleaf Partner to Add Social Layer to Business Contacts

Netprospex Rapleaf Social Media

Fast-growing sales and marketing
database joins forces with social data provider to bring social media
components to directory of 9 million-plus verified business contacts

, March 1 — NetProspex Inc., the world’s most accurate and
fastest-growing sales and marketing contact database, today announced a
premiere partnership deal with Rapleaf.

and Rapleaf have joined forces to add a social layer of data to
NetProspex’s crowd-sourced business contact directory, which allows B2B
marketers to successfully decipher the social demographics of business
prospects and customers for the first time.

Rapleaf’s capabilities as the largest provider of online social data,
NetProspex now makes it possible for B2B marketers to pinpoint the most
socially-connected business decision-makers on the internet.

addition of social data to NetProspex’ business contact directory is
the Rosetta Stone between business people and their social presence,”
said Gary Halliwell, CEO of NetProspex.
“To be able to determine who are the most influential decision makers
allows B2B marketers to more efficiently segment markets and determine
the marketing mix for each segment. We are facilitating the
conversation through social media channels, allowing B2B marketers to
engage prospects, customers, and partners with a new level of insight
and intelligence.”

NetProspex customers will be able to:

  • Easily link to a business prospect’s social media persona
  • Let sales and marketing executives find and follow buyer conversations
  • Identify social influencers within customer and prospect groups

NetProspex’ focus on providing a crowd-sourced directory of accurate,
verified business contacts with social media information provides the
key to unlocking the potential of social media for business to business
communication,” adds Rapleaf CEO Auren Hoffman.

About NetProspex

is the world’s most accurate and fastest-growing sales and marketing
database, helping BtoB decision makers find, reach, and connect with
nearly 10 million sales prospects in a uniquely direct and measurable

Founded in 2006 by online publishing and marketing industry veterans Gary Halliwell and Jeff Clewley,
NetProspex understands that effective sales and marketing efforts
require the most in-depth and accurate prospect data. The core product
line overlays crowd-sourced, user-contributed contact information with
proprietary verification technology to produce an entirely unique and
highly effective sales and marketing contact database. With a 100%
replacement guarantee and continual data scrubbing, NetProspex is the
leading source of accurate, crowd-sourced business intelligence.

About Rapleaf

provides social data about a company’s customers to help businesses
gain audience insight, boost user engagement, and acquire more

particular, Rapleaf offers insight into customer influence and
sociability, social network use, demographics, lifestyles and
interests, purchase behavior, brand affinities, and more. This data
helps businesses improve their customer experience through the ability
to better segment customers, identify influencers, socialize CRM, and
to buy targeted display ads.

Rapleaf has fresh data on over 350 million people worldwide and helps
leading businesses from all industries drive conversions and optimize
both online and offline marketing efforts. For more information, please
visit www.rapleaf.com.

NetProspex Closes Record Fourth Quarter in 2009

Image Credit Sergio Martínez Lat, Flickr

WALTHAM, Mass. – January 26th, 2010 –

Image Credit Sergio Martínez Lat, FlickrCrowd-sourced business publishing start-up NetProspex today announced another record sales quarter in Q4 of 2009. NetPospex is a dynamic business contact directory built by and for the B2B sales and marketing community. The company’s sales results are attributed to rapid growth in its database of over 9 million user-contributed business contacts, and continued verification and cleansing from proprietary CleneStepTM technology.

The company combines crowd-sourcing with verification technology to create a turbo-charged rolodex for opportunity creation that integrates into sales and marketing automation for thousands of customers, including many Fortune 1000 companies.

With the easy to use business contact recycling system, users can trade old business contacts for new, targeted prospects that have been scrubbed by NetProspex’ CleneStepTM trade processing technologies.

NetProspex’ mission is to create the largest, most accurate directory of business people available, making it easy to find decision-makers across all demographics, including electronic and social media.

Gary Halliwell, founder and CEO of NetProspex, said “NetProspex takes a useless by-product of the sales process – gathered sales leads – and turns them into an accurate business contact directory open to all. The key to success in business information is data accuracy. Our customers need quality data in their automated marketing systems and sales processes.”

About NetProspex

NetProspex was founded in 2006 by Gary Halliwell and Jeff Clewley, two veterans of the electronic financial information market. NetProspex understands that effective sales efforts require the most in-depth and accurate prospect data. The company’s core product line overlays crowd-sourced, user-contributed contact information with multiple layers of quality control to produce an entirely unique and highly effective sales and marketing contact database. With over 9 million accurate business contacts across over 800,000 companies, NetProspex is a major new source of B2B prospects – including difficult-to-find mid-management decision makers across North American businesses. For more information or a free membership, visit www.netprospex.com.


NetProspex presenting at SIIA’s Information Industry Summit in New York

Image Credit siiadc, Flickr

NetProspex will present this week as part of the 2010 SIIA Information
Industry Summit’s Previews program as the company’s progress continues to attract attention (see Outsell’s Top 30 to Watch).

Image Credit siiadc, FlickrSIIA’s Previews program showcases innovative new companies — B2B
publishers, content aggregators, and technology plays — to an audience of
information industry partners, customers, investors, acquirers and other

Past presenting companies include:

  • Associated Content, closed $6 Million in Series C Funding
  • FeeDisclosure, purchased by Bankrate
  • Generate, Inc, purchased by Dow Jones
  • Keibi Technologies, purchased by Lithium Technologies

In addition to SIIA Previews presentations, the Information Industry Summit
will feature sessions that will help hundreds of executives from digital
content providers, aggregators and syndicators overcome post-recession
hurdles and identify growth opportunities. Many leading information industry
innovators are confirmed to speak at the Summit.

Judges for the Previews program included:

  • Larry Schwartz, President, Newstex
  • Ed Keating, VP Content Division, SIIA
  • Teri Mendelsohn, President, Mendelsohn Consulting
  • Somak Chattopadhyay, VP, Greenhill SAVP
  • Ed Reitler, Partner, Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt
  • Randy Marcinko, CEO, MEI
  • Claudia Flowers, VP, Business Development, Outsell, Inc.

“We’re honored by this recognition and opportunity from SIIA, and look
forward to sharing our story with attendees of the summit. This event is
meant to showcase the future of the industry, and we’re excited to be a part
of that. NetProspex is looking to raise the bar across our industry with new
standards of data quality.”

See the rest of the presenting organizations:

Zombie attack!?


What’s with the zombie in our booth at MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Summit??

Meet our contact zombie: (we’ve named him Harold.) Harold’s mailbox is active, but he’s left the company. Your email is deliverable, and some data companies think that’s enough to qualify him as accurate.

Well.. Harold’s not reading your email.. and he’s definitely not buying your product.

NetProspex phone verifies contacts traded in to protect your list from containing zombies- active mailboxes with no live recipient.  That way, you can reach a real, live, person, and see your response rates soar.

Accuracy is everything for us, and email marketers love our data, because it lowers their bounce rates and makes them look great- to their customers and ESPs.

After all, you can’t sell to a zombie…

…unless you’re selling brraaaaiinnnnsss.

Check out the rest of our photos from MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Summit 2010, and let us know if we can give you a sample list to try the accuracy of our data for yourself.

NetProspex named a “company to watch”, alongside Google, Apple, Blackboard, TechCrunch, and more.

NetProspex on Outsell

Our friends at Outsell Inc. have named NetProspex as one of 30 organizations to watch in their new report: “Information Industry Outlook 2010: A New Dawn, New Day, New Decade.” The report includes “30 to Watch”, a compendium of companies who they believe will have an important impact on the publishing and information provider community.

Outsell’s “30 to Watch” features “companies that are innovative, disrupt the status quo,
or are creating unique experiences. They include Apple, Blackboard,
Bloomberg, E Ink, Giunti Labs, Kaplan, National Public Radio and

“NetProspex is working hard to differentiate ourselves in 2010 and beyond with our directory of crowd-sourced, verified B2B prospects,” said NetProspex CEO, Gary Halliwell.

“Our verification model, which provides higher quality business contact data than previously offered in the online contact space, is setting new standards of accuracy. We’re thrilled to be included in Outsell’s report, among such impressive company, and will deliver on their prediction of shaking things up in 2010.”

Outsell release here: http://www.outsellinc.com/press/press_releases/outlook_2010

View the report here: http://www.outsellinc.com/store/products/897

NetProspex Hires Michael Bird as Chief Revenue Officer

Michael Bird, NetProspex


Waltham, MA (January 6, 2010) – NetProspex Inc., provider of verified, crowd-sourced business contact information, has hired Michael C. Bird as Chief Revenue Officer.
Michael has over twenty years experience igniting revenue growth and managing business expansion for leading online and social media companies.

 For the last three years, Michael has been the Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development, for BzzAgent, a leading word-of-mouth marketing and social media network. Under his leadership, the company more than doubled its annual bookings, implemented over 250 campaigns for clients such as P&G, SC Johnson, Unilever and Pepsi Co and expanded into the UK and Canada.

Prior to BzzAgent, Michael spent nearly six years with CNET Networks where he lead international network sales as the Vice President of Global Solutions. He also served as the Vice President of Sales and Research for CNET’s Business Media Network, which included brands such as ZDNet, TechRepublic and BNET. 

Michael was also a partner in the early stage technology venture capital firm, Stonepath Group.

Previously, Michael spent 13 years in various management and sales roles at Ziff-Davis Publishing, including 2 years as the Associate Publisher, Integrated Media for Smart Business and 4 years of service as the Director of Corporate Sales.

“Mike’s global revenue and business development experience, a proven track record of success, and his enthusiasm for innovation will be key to NetProspex’s growth,” said Gary Halliwell, CEO and co-founder of NetProspex. Michael’s specialties also include building high performance field sales organizations, strategic planning, training and entrepreneurial leadership.

About NetProspex

NetProspex’s mission is to build the fastest growing and most accurate resource for business contact information. The company was founded in 2006 by Gary Halliwell and Jeff Clewley, two veterans of the electronic financial information market. NetProspex understands that effective sales and marketing efforts require the most in-depth and accurate prospect data. The core product line overlays crowd-sourced, user-contributed contact information with proprietary verification technology to produce an entirely unique and highly effective sales and marketing contact database. With over 9 million accurate business contacts, NetProspex is a fast-growing and extremely accurate new source of B2B prospects – including difficult-to-find mid-management decision makers across North American businesses. For more information or a free membership, visit www.netprospex.com.



Search Job Function and Title Keyword

NetProspex Job Title Search

Tue, 01/05/2010 – 11:25am — Eric Carlstrom

One of our current projects here at NetProspex is to get our customers intothe zone quicker by rounding up related job titles into common job functions. In essence, you could search our database for only the specific job functions of your target audience.

Click here to try the job function or title keyword search.

Our aim is to make it easier to find what you want, no matter how bizarre the title.

With over 9 million business contacts contributed by our user community,the range of job titles in the database is huge.  There are some funny ones, some confusing ones, some incredibly long ones, but they’re all available in the NetProspex database.

Click here for the weirdest job titles in the NetProspex database.

NetProspex a key content resource for InsideView’s new “SalesView” – Dreamforce 2009 – via BNET


Excerpt from David Weir’s BNET article: “InsideView Disrupts Legacy Business Info Publishers Like Hoover’s”

– – –

While wandering around this week’s “DreamForce” event in San Francisco, which is the annual event hosted by Salesforce.com, and contemplating how cloud computing is sweeping the planet, I asked Rand Shulman, the Chief Marketing Officer of InsideView,
to explain to me what companies like his are doing to take on the
legacy business information segment of the publishing industry.
“Well, the challenge is that, with the Internet, there is way too
much information now,” he said.  “Plus things are changing inside
companies much more quickly than in the past. So much of the
information out there is just plain wrong.

“Our approach is to apply algorithms that weight and rate 20,000
sources of data in order to determine what is true, and relevant.”

As part of this process, his four-year-old company sifts through social media content from Facebook, Twitter, LinkenIn, Google Blog Search, plus business-oriented services like Jigsaw and NetProspex
in order to develop the most accurate “corporate family tree” profiles
possible for its 200 or so corporate customers. They also mix some of
the traditional business information services, including Thomson Reuters, Capital IQ, and Cortera into the resulting mash-up.

This kind of large-scale data filtering service has obvious
implications for the advertising sales teams that represent a major
portion of the headcount in most media companies (25 percent or 500,
for example, at The New York Times, according to Gregg Vivolo, of the company’s Regional Newspaper Group.)

InsideView’s customized solution for sales teams, which is dubbed
“SalesView,” and was featured at DreamForce this week, is positioned to
help sales people evolve into what Shulman calls “content engineers,”
who stay on top of constantly updating data flows in order to generate
new sales leads and keep in touch with their networks at large.

– – –

Full article