Trans Union Unveils Products for BTB Market

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Consumer credit bureau Trans Union, Dallas, will offer more usable marketing information with the debut of its BTB division and list products at next week's Direct Marketing to Business Conference in Orlando, FL.

The Business Information Group,, has constructed a database of 14 million businesses from 60 data sources which offers standard demographic selections such as SIC and NAICS codes, number of employees and sales volume as well as new selections including business credit card information, net worth and risk factors. Trans Union has access to more than 3 million names previously unavailable in other business databases, according to Patrick Hertel, BIG vice president of sales and marketing.

The database was built to reach the small business market projected to be worth $270 billion by 2001. Its first list product, the BIG Business Executive Link, matches more than 5 million business executives to their home addresses.

Ninety percent of all companies have one to 10 employees, according to the Small Business Administration, and Hertel said those businesses will act much like the executive behind it. By matching its new business database with the 160 million names in its consumer database, the Business Executive Link can identify these new prospects. Eight to 10 percent of the entries in the TU consumer database also are business owners and can be assessed as BTB prospects based on their consumer credit information and buying habits.

"Everyone is starting their own business now," said Michael Medema, BIG marketing manager. "Once you do get a small business account, you want to cross-sell as much as possible. The problem up to now has been identifying them." Banks that identify small businesses, for instance, can offer business credit cards, insurance, and loans.

BIG has populated nearly all its database fields to provide more selection criteria for marketers. It also has identified hard to obtain, industry-specific variables such as business credit card, utility and telecommunications usage and net worth that Hertel said improves targeting.

"Financial products is an area that has been underserved," he said. "Give me all the companies who have the propensity to spend over $1,000 [on a credit card]. That selector is not just available and that's the market we're really after."

Hertel said pricing for list rental will be competitive with the market. Minimums will be required but exact numbers have yet to be determined.

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