markmaster.jpgSuccessful companies are always looking for ways to grow their business. Identifying opportunities and turning them into leads is key to getting new business. But finding business opportunities can be a time- and cost-intensive process in which marketing expenditures add up quickly. Small companies face additional challenges as they only have limited marketing resources to plan and invest in promotional activities. Competing against larger industry players effectively resembles David vs. Goliath.


Enter MarkMaster.


The Challenge

MarkMaster is a minority-owned manufacturer of marking and identification products. Founded in 1933, the Tampa-based company provides name badges, nameplates, rubber stamps, signs, banners, and decals to many Fortune 500 companies in banking, insurance, retail, entertainment, and other industries. But the industry is shrinking. With demand going down, MarkMaster was looking for new ways to grow its business. Limited marketing and IT resources made it difficult to find cost-effective promotional opportunities. In addition, customers are in constant need for office supplies, making it hard to conduct timed sales outreach. And while building strong, long-lasting relationships - especially with large customers - is a key to success for many companies, presenting a small company like MarkMaster as a reliable business partner can be challenging. In a world where large retail chains like OfficeMax, Office-Depot or Staples abound, competition can be tough. And while opportunities reserved for minority-owned businesses can be an important source of revenue, finding them isn't easy.

The Solution

MarkMaster started using Ariba Discovery to increase its exposure and discover new business opportunities. Having registered as a seller on Ariba Discovery, the manufacturer can now respond to business opportunities posted on the website - many of them by large companies from the Forbes Global 2000. Finding opportunities is quick and easy, with Ariba Discovery sending MarkMaster an email notification every time there is a new match. And as a seller on the Ariba Network - the world's largest trading partner community - MarkMaster can easily build credibility with prospects by showcasing its order history, established connections, and online commerce capabilities as well as Ariba Ready Silver membership. MarkMaster also benefits from networking activities at Ariba LIVE - Ariba's annual conference on spend management - which allows the company to maximize its visibility to current and potential customers. Last but not least, technical features on Ariba Discovery make it really easy for MarkMaster to be identified as a minority-owned business.

"Eighty percent of our orders come to us through Ariba. We grow 10 percent or more per year. We sell to 60 Fortune 500 companies. And almost all of it comes to us through Ariba Discovery. It's like Yellow Pages on steroids." Kevin Govin, CEO, MarkMaster


The Results

Ariba Discovery enabled MarkMaster to expedite is prospecting by putting its wares in front of potential customers. Leveraging the Ariba Discovery platform's ease of use, MarkMaster was able to reduce its RFQ response time to two days. Not only did the manufacturer find new customers, increased sales to existing clients, and created repeat customers using Ariba Discovery, it did so without adding much IT or business-process spending. By leveraging the Ariba Network and Ariba Discovery, MarkMaster grew its sales volume by 250 percent over the last 11 years while keeping the number of sales reps constant. Using Ariba Discovery, MarkMaster was also discovered by a large bank that had not considered the company before due to the supplier’s smaller size. Over all, leveraging the Ariba Network allowed MarkMaster to service nine of the top 10 banks and eight of the top 10 insurance companies in the U.S.


More Information

Watch the video below for more information on how MarkMaster uses Ariba to optimize its business.



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Download the MarkMaster Case Study.