11.27.2010

Are B2B Companies Strong These Days?

“Certainly, last year we did an episode about the census and sampling versus a direct statistic. You just said the word "census," and people fall asleep.” - Aaron Sorkin

Business and Industry – B2B
Last published in May 2010, the E-Stats report is tremendously valuable to businesses doing business both offline and online. The link, found here, is a .pdf file of the report. Interestingly, in 2008 B-to-B activity—transactions by Manufacturers and Merchant Wholesalers—accounted for most e-commerce (92 percent). Furthermore, B2B commerce relies heavily on databases, especially proprietary ones such as EDIs (electronic data interchange) systems. This is important information to marketers so that we know where businesses are getting information on their customers and how they’re using it.

The amount of business conducted online by manufacturing and merchant wholesale trade is staggering. E-commerce accounted for $2,154 billion of manufacturing shipments in 2008, up from $1,879 billion in 2007. (census.gov). U.S. merchant wholesalers including MSBOs reported total e-commerce sales of 3 $1,262 billion in 2008. (census.gov). This information would be important to company that conducts B2B marketing such as credit card processing companies. Sellers of financial products/processing would obviously want to gain market share in e-commerce.

Consumers and Households
What is most compelling in this section is that the Census Bureau is that it gives instructions to data users (i.e. marketers) on the appropriate way to use this information. It advises the user of possible changes since the last time the user may have used information from this area of the site. It states that information from the American Community Survey (ACS) may be collected and used differently than the U.S. Census Bureau and it explains the relationship between the ACS and the Census.   It also gives a chart with words like "compare (this section) with caution".  This helps the data user to be as informed as possible and to use the information as correctly as possible.  There is a plethora of information on this site and way too much to explain in a brief posting. 

So what does this information mean for B2C marketing?  The information about families and households gives an accurate picture of the community which helps us directly reach the target market (whatever that may be).  We can reach the target(s) by demographics and psychographics with much more accuracy than just conducting surveys ourselves. 

There are two primary means for the application of census data for most purposes: (1) the demographic information that describes the U.S. population in terms of count and character, and (2) the often overlooked “stamping” of a consistent, statically-valid and stable cartographic base. (Neilsen.com).  If we combine the information provided by the Census with our other research, we will serve our clients to the best of ability.  We can provide our clients with a much better ROI and ROM by using all of our resources. 

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