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Where to Find Good RFID Leads

End users are on RFID Connect, actively searching for products and services.
Posted By Mark Roberti, 09.27.2012
Earlier this year, I wrote a couple of blog entries about RFID solutions providers who believe there is a large undiscovered, untapped pool of potential purchasers of radio frequency identification products and services (see Is There an Untapped Pool of RFID Customers Somewhere? and About That Untapped Pool). I explained why the evidence shows this is not the case, and reported that vendors have been ignoring end users that are actively researching RFID solutions.

Unfortunately, a lot of RFID companies continue to ignore their best prospects. RFID Journal recently sent an e-mail to our exhibitors at RFID Journal LIVE! 2012, reminding them that RFID Connect, our event-planning and social-networking site, is available for them to use year-round.

We listed some of the end-user companies that attended the event and said: "If you didn't get a chance to meet attending representatives from the companies listed below, you can still reach out to them via RFID Connect. Just log in at rfidconnect.com and type a company name in the search field, and you'll see those who attended from that business. You can then e-mail those firms through the RFID Connect system, informing them about your products or services. (Remember, many end users might not know of your company, and thus might not have visited your booth.)"

I ran a report of log-ins this month to determine how many exhibitors took advantage of this opportunity. It looks like they didn't. Here are descriptions of the companies that had members among the top log-ins (I want to respect the privacy of this site's users, so I will not name them):

• An Asian intimate-apparel manufacturer
• An international mining company
• A U.S. hospital
• A global manufacturer of office furniture
• A German medical-device manufacturer
• A U.S. medical-device manufacturer
• An international oil company
• A global construction company
• The U.S. military
• A global transportation company
• A Norwegian research institute
• A defense industry engineering firm
• An auto industry parts supplier
• A printing company
• A software company no longer marketing RFID products
• An RFID software company that did not exhibit at LIVE! 2012
• A pharmaceutical company
• A Chinese machinery manufacturer
• A company that makes software for managing medical equipment
• An international oil company

Not a single exhibitor was among the top 20. I scratched my head and then thought that perhaps the exhibitors may have logged in just once, searched for the companies they had solutions for and e-mailed them. So I ran an activity report and saw that a handful of exhibitors had, in fact, logged in this month—but only a handful.

Even during the weeks leading up to LIVE! 2012, few exhibitors took the opportunity to introduce themselves through RFID Connect. I guess they think end users are conducting research on LinkedIn or Facebook.

That surprises me. The companies that sent representatives to LIVE! 2012 are the most likely to deploy a system. Vendors perhaps feel those are cold leads, but I don't see it that way. Our research shows that it takes two to three years for a business or organization to progress from initially researching an RFID solution to actually deploying one. These firms are likely still in the research phase—and even if they already are rolling out a solution, they might be interested in another application if the first one delivers value.

We work hard to connect RFID buyers and sellers so companies can deploy RFID solutions that will make them more efficient or solve their business problems. I'm gratified to see end users joining RFID Connect and using the site to search for products. I just wish the RFID vendor community would take advantage of the opportunity to educate these end users about the products and services they offer.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.

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