Alright, time to take a look at another major online industrial directory…
GlobalSpec came out of the internet bubble, and maintains a pretty strong marketing program that makes them look like the big boys in B2B online directories.
I’ll give them credit for sticking to their guns and requiring visitors to be logged in to view product information. Advertisers could get a report of everyone who looked at their pages on GlobalSpec. This was actually a problem, as marketers were getting ‘leads’ that were really just incidental web surfers. I think they’ve tuned their service and educated their advertisers to treat the site activity reports appropriately.
Of all the directories, they are maybe the only one to offer product-level content, which is most valuable in their sweet-spot of component selection. And their parametric search makes this data useful in most cases.
They’ve also successfully developed email campaign programs based on their requirement of registration. Whether they get paid advertisements or clicks back to their site, they win either way.
In the last couple years, GlobalSpec has been working on parlaying their audience info and segmented markets into online trade show events. I’m still not a fan of this type of event, but for those with a message to go out, this is a compelling opportunity to find an audience.
Just recently I got this promo email:
Looks like they are further refining their market segmentation and making their website work better. Mind blowing? Maybe not, but the site is slick enough to blow away the competition. While the biggest challenge of directories is getting visitors to click on category after category, and listing after listing, I think showing listings like this with pictures is very well done, and ensures click-thrus.
As this industry matures, GlobalSpec has continued to improve their product while sticking to its core mission and strategy. As a potential advertiser, your biggest question still should be about results, but they at least have their act together.