The Internet as Ecosystem: How Savvy B-2-B Marketers Are Using Search

Search industry experts described the Internet as one giant “ecosystem” during a panel discussion on Mar. 22 at National Manufacturing Week, Chicago, IL.

     Search industry experts described the Internet as one giant “ecosystem” during a panel discussion on Mar. 22 at National Manufacturing Week, Chicago, IL.

     The session, “How Savvy B-2-B Marketers Are Using Search,” featured speakers from Google, Business.com and eBay. The event was moderated by Todd Baker, Vice President of ReedLink, a vertical search engine for engineers and scientists.

     “Today’s B-2-B users are presented with many simultaneous options during their research and buying phase online,” Baker said. “Users might start a query with a general search engine such as Google or Yahoo, then find their way to a more niche search engine such as ReedLink.com or Business.com. Vertical, industry-specific search engines are complementary to general engines in the Internet ecosystem, and vice versa.”

     For example, users looking for a barcode printer might perform a keyword search on Google and then find a ReedLink listing, where they can refine their search for specific product models and suppliers.

     During the discussion, Chris Hulse, Vice President of Strategic Sales and Business Development at Business.com, pointed out an eMarketer report predicting 2005 ad spending at $11.2 billion, potentially growing to $16 billion in 2007.  “Search recreated the online ad market, and continues to lead its growth today,” he said.

     He added that, according to a 2004 Marketing Sherpa report, 63.9% of U.S. B-2-B internet users go to a search engine first when looking to find out more about a product or service.   

     Spencer Spinnell, Head of Business & Industrial Markets for Google, urged marketers to develop a “new marketing canvas and mindset” that truly integrates all channels -- both traditional and new platforms including Search, display advertising, email marketing, contextual networks, blogs, rich media, and direct marketing. He urged the audience to "look at 100% of your marketing assets and think about delivering those assets to the right decision maker at the right time -- the moment they are looking to procure a particular solution."

     Another player in today's Internet marketplace is eBay, which over the years has expanded from being solely a platform for selling personal collectibles to a place where industrial suppliers can sell directly. At the conference, eBay Business Senior Manager Ben Hanna spoke about how manufacturers use eBay properties for search-related, transaction-related, and brand-building purposes.

     Overall, the panel discussion confirmed the importance of targeted B-2-B Search engines such as ReedLink in the growing Internet ecosystem.

About ReedLink 
     ReedLink (www.reedlink.com) is a vertical search engine offering engineers and scientists specific search tools such as product specifications and side-by-side comparisons. ReedLink is owned by Reed Business Information, the largest business-to-business publisher in the U.S., and a member of the world-leading information provider Reed Elsevier Group plc (NYSE: RUK and ENL).

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