• June 2, 2005
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Experian Delivers Small-B2B Marketing Intelligence

Global information broker Experian announced the expansion of its Business Owner Link marketing tool this week. The file now includes links between consumer and business owner data, allowing Experian clients to track down more than 3.7 million small-business owners at home. In addition, Experian has included a separate data file on small businesses that are arranged as corporations, allowing better targeted marketing. Business Owner Link is, in essence, a business-marketing database used by Experian clients who want to target their marketing efforts to small-business owners. "We help business marketers get inroads to new and existing clients by providing data from both proprietary and publicly-available sources," says Denise Hopkins, senior director of business marketing solutions for Experian. "We wanted to add consumer demographic information about the business owner, because small-business owners behave a lot like regular consumers when making business decisions," Hopkins says. Personal data is culled from hundreds of public and proprietary sources to build the consumer database, according to Hopkins. The business file is built from on-file, public sources, as well as purchased lists when possible. Experian's homegrown search and match technology digests the mass of data and creates exploitable links between businesses and their owners' personal lives. Users of Experian's information services now have access to such data as a business owner's estimated age, approximate personal and family income, marital status, type and duration of residence, personal interests, and education level. In certain cases the credit history of both the business and its owner are also available, subject to requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Another addition, Business Owner Link--Corporate File, uses the data gathered to identify small businesses that are corporations in fact, but behave more like sole proprietorships or partnerships in day-to-day operations. Corporate File allows users to reach and focus quickly upon key decision-makers. According to Hopkins, this information gives marketers an edge in targeting new prospects and building existing relationships. Demographic and credit information can also be used to identify the best business customers, improving return rates from marketing campaigns. For some prospects who may be turned off by receiving home phone calls about the businesses, Hopkins says that individuals "who are really concerned can opt out of the list just like any other consumer." Related articles: Consumers Are Feeling the Pinch of Rising Rates
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