Social Media Marketing and Salesforce.com

22 09 2009

Joe Keller Photo

I spoke to Joe Keller this morning about some of the work he has been doing with Salesforce.com software for some the startup companies he has been working with.  One example he gave was particularly interesting; Jigsaw.

Jigsaw provides business information services that is essentially a database of company information and contacts at those companies.  The service is popular with sales professionals and marketing people looking to run targeted marketing campaigns.  What is particularly interesting about Jigsaw  is that they use crowdsourcing techniques to collect current contact information on the companies that they track.

There are two ways to get access to customer contact information withing the Jigsaw service:

  1. You can contribute contacts to Jigsaw.  For every contact you contribute, Jigsaw awards points that can be used to search for and retrieve new contacts.
  2. You can just pay to use the Jigsaw service and find contacts that way.

Jigsaw claims 900,000 members in their B2B community, so they have collected a lot of contact information.  (Note: Jigsaw will not accept or publish any personal information about the contacts that they track.)

The Jigsaw Sales Model

  • Jigsaw uses viral marketing to penetrate new customer accounts and let individual sales people use and trade contacts using the service.
  • When an enterprise needs help at the corporate level, Jigsaw provides a service where they help you do a customer database update and cleaning.  The service works like this:
    • You send Jigsaw a list of target names by company
    • They will return a report telling you what specific information they have for each of those names, and a quote.
    • If you accept their quote, they will do a database update/merge with your customer database, giving you all of the latest customer contact information.
    • If you want, you can contract to have your database updated on a regular basis.

Joe Keller was able to use the Jigsaw service to update the customer database he was using with Salesforce.com and to run more targeted marketing campaigns with a greater response rate.

This is a great example of using the power of the community to build and update a huge, constantly changing database of customer information.  Similar to how Wikipedia changed the business model of the encyclopedia business by crowdsourcing from the user community, Jigsaw is doing the same with the sales and marketing community.  The result is a database more dynamic and current that would be possible from a conventional data collection agency.

Jigsaw is attacking the entrenched business of Hoovers, a D&B Company.  It will be interesting to see how Hoovers responds.

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