Many small and midsize companies (SMBs) offer products and services that serve specialized or niche markets. This makes them ideal “sellers” for buyers that fall into their narrow customer base – but it also makes it harder for sellers to find their ideal customers. It’s a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.
Given that most small companies have rather limited marketing budgets and resources, they can’t afford to cast a very wide marketing net the old fashioned way – by buying lists, sending direct mail, attending trade shows, making calls, and following up on leads. Plus, as SMB, it’s even harder to capture the attention of a large enterprise customer that can catapult business growth.
So to drive sales, niche SMB companies need to work smarter and more efficiently. And business networks with services like Ariba Discovery can help. Consider the recent experience of Blue Marble Media – a full-service film, video, and motion graphics agency that specializes in B2B communications. With only one person handling marketing, they couldn’t afford to spread their lead generation activities far enough to drive faster growth. And even when they did get their foot in the door of a large business, it took weeks to go through their supplier vetting process, resulting in a long, drawn-out sales process.
“Joining the Ariba Network is a great investment if you are looking for quality customers – it gives you a leg up,” said Cal Miller, VP of Business Development at Blue Marble Media. “And using Ariba Discovery, we can get lots of visibility with middle and upper management-level executives at the right companies.”
For example, the Ariba Discovery matching service automates the process of finding those “needle-in-the-haystack” opportunities for niche SMBs. In the case of Blue Marble Media, they received 40 quality leads in the first six months, started building new relationships with nine large buying organizations, and quickly secured a $35,000 contract with a large bank. Because they are already on the Network, vetting processes can take just one week. And their one-person marketing department saved over 80 hours of work in research alone, freeing this individual to focus on initiatives that will boost the bottom line.
You can learn more about how they achieved these results so quickly – and apply key learnings to your own business: Watch a replay of Blue Marble Media’s session from Ariba LIVE last month, listen to their podcast from BriefingsDirect, and read the press release.