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Portal marketing for SMEs, or how to successfully gain international clients

The age of digitalization has opened up uncountable new possibilities for small and medium sized companies to compete with comparable businesses as well as big enterprises on a global scale. Online marketing offers great potential to reach international customers and to extend one’s circle of customers. However, SMEs have to consider their steps wisely in order to maximize the positive impact on profits with a given budget for online marketing activities.

Businesses are confronted with a broad range of online marketing tools to choose from differing in scope and targeting capabilities as well as necessary expenditures. Options range from direct marketing measures like mailings and targeted banner advertisements to inbound marketing measures like search engine optimization to name but a few. This blog post will focus on portal marketing, a very efficient online marketing strategy helping B2B companies to connect with global B2B buyers and to successfully market their products and services worldwide.

What is portal marketing?

Portal marketing aims at generating highly valid leads and acquiring new global business partners by being listed in a diverse range of B2B portals also known as trade directories or online marketplaces. Very well-known B2B online portals are or IHS GlobaldSpec. Becoming listed as a company and supplying company information as well as product data significantly improves one’s online visibility and global reach. This allows other B2B buyers to easily find the company’s profile as well as product portfolio during the early stages of their investment decision or procurement process. Therefore portal marketing has the potential to significantly increase the number of valid inbound leads and boost revenues if implemented correctly.

How can B2B companies use portal marketing to gain visibility and new leads?

First of all, companies have to identify the portals and online marketplaces that are most relevant to their industry, product portfolio and targeted market. Only listings with relevant platforms and portals ensure an increase in highly qualitative website traffic and generate valid leads.

Efficient company listings also require that a company does not only supply general information about the company itself but also more specific information on products and services. This allows B2B buyers searching for products to easily find the respective company. Companies should also ensure that the information supplied by their listings is always correct, consistent and attractive. Any updates concerning products or the company itself should be implemented immediately.

In order to reach the majority of prospective clients searching online, it is advisable to be listed in a number of relevant B2B portals and directories. Maintaining several platform entries will allow for the highest possible increase in valid leads and conversions but will also increase the administrative burden if maintained separately. Service providers offering a central management of entries can help companies to minimize their administrative efforts.

Companies can also assign regional contact persons to specific areas. This enables an optimal handling of incoming requests and an easy integration of new leads into their sales process. It goes without saying that these contact details have to be up-to-date at any point in time.


Online portals allow B2B companies to connect with millions of B2B buyers worldwide and thus to get in contact with prospective international customers. In doing so, they offer a very powerful and nevertheless cost effective way to generate highly qualitative leads by improving a company’s online visibility and global reach. This helps SMEs to successfully compete with big enterprises or global players since it offers a very cost efficient and thus easily feasible approach of new markets. Consequently, more companies and especially SMEs should rely on this very efficient strategy to acquire new international customers and to remain successful in today’s global competition.

If you would like to learn more about portal marketing, visit