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#93: Tools to See Your Client’s Network

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, July 15, 2009
How can I find out how key executives of various companies are connected to each other?

You would think that with so many databases of corporate information, it would be easy to find the connections in an executive network. However, most databases are designed to focus on the company itself and not the networks they are in. Fortunately, there are some software companies who focus on these networks and have developed applications to interconnect these databases.

There are probably many applications and companies who provide this kind of service (please leave suggestions in a comment on the IMC USA website in response to this tip) but one is NNDB. Based on entries of people, companies, and organizations (even bands, movies, and television shows), you can see who is connected (e.g., board members) and who is connected to either the institution or the people. You can prune or expand these visual displays of networks and quickly see where influence lies.

Tip: Use this tool in your networking activities. See what other potential clients are related to a board member or executive of a client. For example, if I am interested in Caterpillar, I can see the company profile and its 24 executives and directors. Selecting James Owens, the CEO, I can see what other relationships he has, and find out he is a Director at IBM and Alcoa. This is a quick way to browse for prospects, get a picture of the executive landscape of a client, or just gather competitive intelligence on your area of practice.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client development  customer understanding  data visualization  market research  marketing  networks 

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