June 27th, 2013 | by

Robert Osgood – Director of Research & Customer Service

While analyzing traffic within DiscoverOrg’s service, I noticed that a staggering 50% of searched companies are “drive past-able”, meaning you literally drive past a brick and mortar location. When I dug in deeper I see, of these top 10 most searched all are household names like: FedEx, American Express, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Abercrombie & Fitch, Starbucks and Costco Wholesale. I tried finding a different result within our MidMarket dataset but still this trend continues.  Companies like E*Trade, 1-800 Flowers, A&E Television, 1-800 Contacts, Netflix, and AARP all figure in the top ten most searched companies within that dataset.

Logic would have it that the reason these are the most searched is they are most visible by sales, marketing and biz dev professionals.  By having a physical presence, these most searched companies are accomplishing their goal.  They are keeping top of mind.  So when you head back to your computer to build your next awesome sales plays and you are defining your target audience take my challenge – think outside the brick and mortar.

Why? Imagine for a moment that it is 2006 and you are the indie rock group Vampire Weekend looking for a record deal. As Ezra Koenig, you could have taken the route of millions of other compelling new artists of the time, and submit a demo to the extremely visible Universal Music Group. Even though Ezra acquired the direct dial phone number for the person who reviews new artists; his odds of making it to the top of the stack are still extremely slim.  Or instead, Ezra and his band could submit their demo to a variety of lesser known indie labels. The Labels that are not necessarily top of mind and that take a little more filtering to get the verified email address.  But these Indie Label’s have the money and time to evaluate the product they are selling.  Vampire Weekend quickly signed with little known XL Recordings, a label that deployed them perfectly and built their rise from obscurity to Billboards #1 album in four short years.   Yes, Musicians and IT Vendors have many differences, but statistics gathered tell us that most IT vendors are not following Vampire Weekend’s path to success.  They are instead targeting the most visible prospects for their product

Consider for a moment, that you take my challenge and you think outside the brick and mortar.  Then consider Fannie Mae your indie label. Fortune 12 ranked Fannie Mae, barely makes an appearance in the top 1000 most searched companies in our database, while 7-Eleven, a company not even listed in the Fortune 1000 is in the top 20 most searched companies within discoverydb.com. Fannie Mae’s IT budget is around 75 times greater than that of 7-Eleven – they are spending more on IT in under one work week than 7-Eleven does in an entire calendar year. Fannie Mae is one of the over 15,000 invisible giants virtually ignored in our database.  This invisible giant has only six brick and mortar locations across the United States.   With over 100,000 companies in our database, the amount of untapped opportunities is staggering. Bypass the flashy brick-and-mortar and head into that nondescript office building in the suburbs.

Fannie Mae’s Western Headquarters Office is in Pasadena, California: you’d never know that millions of IT Purchasing decisions are being made inside.

About the author

Henry Schuck

Henry Schuck is the CEO of DiscoverOrg, a 7-time Fortune 5000 company, which he co-founded at the age of 23. He has extensive experience managing the sales and marketing activities of fast-growing information technology data companies.