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How to use the National Business Database to grow your business

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If you have a limited advertising budget you’ll get the best return for your advertising spend by focusing your time and money marketing to those more likely to buy from you. When it comes to targeting customers, global information solutions company Experian has developed the National Business Database (NBD). It offers access to the most comprehensive, high-quality data to build successful business to business marketing campaigns. It holds over 4.8 million records for small, medium and large businesses of which 2.7 million are ready-to-mail and a further 2.1 million records which can be used for data profiling and analytics.

Using the NBD

Gaining access to the NBD means becoming an Experian member, and step one is to sign up. It’s free, and they have a wealth of resources aimed at helping and supporting businesses of all size, so it’s well worth it.

Once you have access to the NBD, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify potential customers with enhanced data quality.
  • Improve your data management. The NBD tracks and maintains accurate histories of each business in their database.
  • Improve marketing lists and expand your customer base with more than 150 demographic and credit data fields available.

The NBD allows you to not only update and expand your customer base, but also provides you with the tools to actively target. In other words, rather than casting a sweeping net, you can use the database to identify the demographic with your best customers, and then find out where there are more like them.

How to use the data

Having access to quality, comprehensive business data of this nature means you can update your marketing campaigns so that you’re sending the right message to the right people. It makes it easier to target prospects that have a proven interest in the kind of goods or services you’re selling.

You’ll be able to answer key marketing questions, such as:

  • What are the demographics of the people likely to buy my products and services? Age, income bracket, occupation, and area where they live.
  • How do my products or services beat my competitors? Your competitive advantage which encourages customers to choose your business rather than someone else’s.
  • How do my typical customers prefer to get their information? From newspapers, radio, magazines, direct from you or online?

Collecting this information will start to build a picture of how to promote to them, what tone of voice to use, and who you may wish to partner with to run joint campaigns.

All the answers you gain will help you determine how to best target your marketing and provide information which will help you fine tune your ideas.

The B2B Prospector

This is a tool that’s powered by the NBD, and it allows business owners to quickly and simply find targeted new business leads for direct marketing campaigns. It means that you can:

  • Conduct complex searches identifying your best prospects.
  • Target prospects using pre-screened data (reducing the risk of coming into contact with high-risk businesses).
  • Build prospect lists based on behaviours and propensities to buy your product or service.

All of this means you can create and maintain a customer database of your own that will shape and inform your marketing campaigns.


Growing your business is all about knowing as much as you can about your target customer, so that you can find more like them. The NBD is a valuable tool because not only can you target a greater number of quality prospects, but you can keep your own database up to date and working for you.

Next steps

  • Sign up to Experian to gain access to the NBD
  • Create a profile of your ideal customer so you can perform NBD searches more efficiently.

POSTED IN: Startup,Growth


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