Spiceworks, a service that helps companies manage their IT networks and a 2010 InfoCommerce Model of Excellence award winner, has just launched a new offering called Vendor Pages.
What's exciting about a new IT industry buying guide? Well, nothing ... and everything.
First of all, Spiceworks has over 1.3 million companies using its software to inventory and manage all the components of their networks. In exchange for using its free hosted software, Spiceworks runs targeted advertising to this audience. Targeting in this case is something of an under-statement, as Spiceworks knows the make, model and serial number of each piece of equipment on the networks of its users. The upshot of this is that people involved in buying and maintaining IT equipment are using Spiceworks all day long. In short, Spiceworks has a ready-made community for its new vendor product.
What's also exciting is that Spiceworks didn't go the useful but conventional route of listing vendors by product category and letting them run ads in those categories. Rather, Spiceworks borrowed from FaceBook to build a brand-centric offering. Advertisers can organize their product information in one location, and interact with Spiceworks users. Spiceworks users can even follow particular vendors. In all, it's a refreshing, brand-oriented, highly engaging and social approach to product advertising that's rarely seen in B2B.
In another fresh twist on an old idea, WhitePages.com (a 2004 DataContent Conference presenter) has launched a new product called Hiya. In a nutshell, it will allow you to upload all your contacts from various devices and services and Hiya will undupe them, consolidate them, and even furnish missing data elements where available. Best of all, borrowing from the original concept for Plaxo (before it mistakenly went social), Hiya will alert you to address changes for your contacts on an ongoing basis. It's a great concept, one I admittedly haven't had time to test yet, but I know whitepages.com is justly proud of the match/undupe technology it developed to build its core directory product. The price for Hiya? Nothing more than registering as a whitepages.com customer. Oh, and Hiya has a viral element, encouraging those who use it to email their friends to provide missing data. Simple, clever, and according to research conducted by whitepages.com, a product that meets a growing need.