Direct Marketing News
While B2C marketing has matured significantly over the past two decades, the B2B world remains stuck in the Stone Age, says Jim Swift, president and CEO of B2B insights provider Cortera.
“Companies are going through this process of trying to understand who their companies are [and] figure out how to get more like them, and they’re still relying on demographic data largely,” Swift says. By contrast, B2C marketers have evolved past that stage and are now using online and purchase behavior data to make decisions.
Swift partially attributes B2B’s late-bloomer development to the challenge of discovering innovative ways to describe businesses. Traditionally, these businesses use Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, (which are four digit business identification codes assigned by the U.S. government), sales volumes, or employee headcount. Swift also says that the large number of privately-owned businesses, which aren’t obliged to release financial figures, can also hinder business’s abilities to build profiles and indentify prospects. According to research by Harvard University and New York University, there are approximately 6 million private employer firms in the United States.