Internet solutions provider bCandid today launches Productbuzz, the Web publishing arm of the Boulder, Colo.-based company. Productbuzz will focus exclusively on developing online communities aimed at various business-to-business niche markets.
The division's first product targets those working in, or interested in, the home medical equipment market.
According to Alan Stevens, general manager of bCandid's Productbuzz group, the vertical communities being developed are designed to deliver product information and generate sales leads faster and more efficiently than through offline mediums.
"The offline methods of getting product information to people [in niche markets] is really difficult," said Stevens. "Catalogs, trade shows, and talking to colleagues or being in users groups [are] the main point of contact between customers and vendors."
Productbuzz is expected to launch more than a dozen vertical-market, product-centric sites in the next year, Stevens added, with upcoming target groups including the dental, veterinary and medical-surgical communities. A pharmacy industry site is slated to launch in November with the others to follow at a roll-out rate of one new community per month.
For the current Productbuzz community, located at homehealth.productbuzz.com, more than 50 medical manufacturers have signed on as charter advertisers, including McKesson HBOC, Sunrise Medical, Camp Healthcare and catalog marketer Alimed.
Community participants will get one-click access to product information, dramatically shortening the time it takes to generate qualified sales leads, claimed Stevens. Vendors subscribing to Productbuzz can list product and service information at no charge and pay only on delivery of qualified sales leads. During the community site's recent beta test, 6,000 users signed up. Print ads break in trade publications this week.
The company has at-launch partnerships with Google, which will provide integrated search technology, and Headhunter.net, which provides vertically segmented job listings.