Live from Insight 2003: Abacus B2B Alliance Nears ‘Critical Mass’

New York—Abacus’s B2B Alliance, launched in 1998, didn’t take off right away. So admitted Steve Tinlin, senior vice president of B2B Services for the co-operative database provider at DoubleClick’s Insight 2003, held March 3-5 here. But the b-to-b co-op database now has 259 members and is nearing “critical mass,” Tinlin noted. Abacus is a division of services provider DoubleClick.

Tinlin admitted that the modeling methods used by the B2B Alliance are nothing new. Rather they rely primarily on the same tools used by Abacus’s Consumer Alliance. Funded in 1990, the consumer co-op has 1,575 members.

The challenge for b-to-b catalogers, Tinlin said, is to find data beneath the traditional data. The B2B Alliance uses “firmographics,” the b-to-b version of consumer demographics. This data include SIC codes, number of employees in a company, and contacts with postal boxes.

Abacus’s key modeling ingredient beyond recency-frequency-monetary value, or RFM, is “affinity,” Tinlin said, which shows three-month and 12-month purchasing history across the entire B2B Alliance database. “It’s supersimple,” he said. “The Alliance helps find new cuxtomers, what makes a great buyer, and who in a mailer’s house file works like a great buyer” when modeled against the database.

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