SMBs in Focus: The Strategic Shift B2B Sellers Need for 2024 Success

Thumb of the Blog

Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2024-03-20

The opportunities we are looking for as business leaders are often hidden in plain sight. I’ve found this to be true with many B2B sellers who are missing out on a target market that’s 30 million businesses strong in the U.S. alone – the small-to-midsize business (SMBs) sector.

According to a recent AmEx study, SMBs are growing this year and investing in AI and modern technology. The study showed that a massive 86% achieved their 2023 business goals. In addition, half plan to grow or expand this year, with 46% of the largest small businesses (101-500 employees) listing hiring as a top goal.

Meanwhile, many enterprise companies are having layoffs. It’s clear this year is an excellent time to make the strategic shift to SMBs. Here are four steps for tapping into this lucrative target market:

  • Use the right data: Most businesses don’t have a first-party database large or deep enough to make a sustainable impact on landing new customers. Your customer acquisition campaigns need to be fueled by third-party acquisition data, such as our massive Living File® database, which is purpose-built to bring in new customers. (OMI offers the largest database of U.S.-based SMB businesses in the world, with upwards of 95 million SMB contacts, with email addresses.)


  • Scale your reach: SMB contact data from OMI gives you scale and reach, with access to a much wider audience of prospects than an existing first-party database ever could – an audience that can be segmented, sliced, and diced to match your ideal targets.


  • Modernize your approach: Digital audience building is a strategic process that can make or break your acquisition campaigns. At OMI, audience building starts with clean fresh data and involves identifying the best targets for our clients. We use a variety of methods including audience mirroring (analyzes a business’ current customers to create a similar audience of prospects), intent monitoring (see more details below), and other strategies.


  • Layer in intent data: Deterministic intent data is now moving to the forefront as one of today’s most powerful marketing tools, allowing you to reach in-market decision-makers in the SMB space and other markets. These are individuals who have already demonstrated a specific interest in the type of products or services your brand offers.


With intent data, digital intent signals are sourced from prospects’ search queries, content downloads, and website clicks. Those signals are then sorted by industry and category using natural language processing (AI) to address specific target audiences. At OMI, we ingest 14 million digital signals each week for clients to ensure the most up-to-date intent insights.

By layering this capability on top of SMB contact data, you can identify and connect with these in-market prospects with precision -- all the way down to the device ID level. As a result, you can be sure you’re targeting the right prospect within a group or household using a shared device. Go here to find out about our deterministic intent data tool, designed specifically for programmatic advertising.

We also recommend using intent data with SMB email acquisition campaigns. You can optimize email acquisition performance by targeting your campaigns directly at SMB audiences searching for solutions just like yours.


Case in Point

OMI recently partnered with a global e-commerce platform provider – a company that is already a leading marketplace for consumers. The provider asked us to help it expand its reach to SMBs and create mutually beneficial partnerships with them. They put together a trial offer for SMBs, then turned to OMI to build an SMB audience that aligned with their ideal customer profile. The outcomes exceeded expectations, with OMI’s data outperforming the data used by the provider’s dedicated advertising agency for the same program by 50%.

The success was also marked by high match rates of 70% to LinkedIn and 42% to Meta. This process entailed OMI uploading the audience data to both social platforms to enable high-impact media activation. In addition, with email delivery to 900,000 SMB contacts, OMI also achieved impressive email open rates including a 14% cold open rate, a 24% open rate using intent signals, and a 35% open rate for data that was overlaid with media spend research. You can read the complete case study here.

It's not too late to pivot your business to SMBs in 2024 as you look to grow. Reach out to us to leverage our SMB data expertise -- backed by our 30-day, 95% email data validity guarantee – along with our audience building, intent data, and email acquisition services.


At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

  • The Executive's 15-Minute Guide to Building a Successful Email Marketing Database

  • A 15-Minute Guide to Fortune 2,000 Businesses and Executives

  • Five Best Practices for Using Email Marketing to Target SMBs