Marketing: About finding customers

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Introduction: types of customers, types of sources

This intro page provides a list of the sources you'll need, and a brief description of some of the issues involved in this research. Use the links below to find more information ...

Basically, there are ...

Two types of customers:

  • Business to business (B2B)
    These are other companies, and finding them is plain and simple usually. 
  • Consumers of consumer products / services
    These are individuals, i.e. people!  And you'll need a lot of information about them (geographic, demographic and psychographic) in order to know how to sell to them.  There's a lot more to finding out about them! 

Two types of sources:

  • Directory databases. 
    All of the directory databases are listed on this page, but for more information on them, and how they can be used for research on either B2B customers, or consumer products customers, use the links above.
  • Databases with demographic and lifestyle information. 
    Ok, I already said it, but here goes again!  There's a lot involved here -- I recommend getting more information from the page on consumer products customers.

You'll use directory databases for finding both B2B and consumer products' customers, but you'll use different directories and use them in different ways.

You'll use the demographic databases primarily when searching for information about consumer products' customers, but you may need or want to do this if you are selling through a retailer (i.e. know your ultimate consumer, not just the middlemen!). 

General Business Directories

Deciding which directory to use ...

Which directory should you use?

Suggestions below.  Hover over the database title for more description of it ...

For quick lookups:

For international coverage:

For comprehensive US coverage of both public and private companies:

For creating downloadable lists of companies:

Consumer Directories

Specialized Directories