At the Frontier Between B2B and Social Media: An
Interview With Rasmus Refer, the Founder of Masterseek
Courtesy of the B2B Tech Report
April 25th, 2011
At the beginning of an interview with Rasmus Refer, the founder of Masterseek.com and a leading B2B visionary, the first thing a reporter notices is the depth and intensity and depth of Refer’s gaze… He seems to be looking far into the future, as if seeing the solution to a business problem not yet understood by most people…
Rasmus Refer, the brainy-yet-accessible founder of Masterseek.com, is best known for creating a best-of-breed B2B search engine which allows searchers to quickly cut through Internet clutter to focus on relevant, “meaty” search results. Today, the Masterseek platform features an entire suite of valuable business tools and services, plus a database of company information containing more than 86 million business profiles.
And, as a serial entrepreneur Mr. Refer been busy with other recent ventures likewise focused on mining “gold” at the profitable frontier between business-to-business online services and the rapidly-growing social-media and social-marketing space.
When we interviewed Rasmus Refer, he was quick to put us at ease; he is an excellent teacher because he gives his listeners plenty of information, yet he also lets them reach their own conclusions. We felt privileged to share in a couple of hours of his time and insight.
Below are some excerpts from our interview with Rasmus Refer, the Master behind Masterseek. We asked him a few thought-provoking questions in order to learn from his insight and crystal-clear vision about the future of B2B and social media:
B2B Tech Report: What have you been working on lately?
Rasmus Refer: With Masterseek thriving, I’ve been able to spend more time focused on finding and developing some ideas that I believe will be the next breakthrough in business-to-business and social-media marketing.
B2B Tech Report: Can you tell us more about your project?
Rasmus Refer: Certainly. As I see the current situation in online information and social-media marketing, there is a huge gap between the value and services the online public wants, and the reality of what’s now being delivered… As provided through the legacy search engines and social-media platforms, the quality of the online content and its relevancy are both very poor.
In my opinion, there is plenty of room for a provider of precisely-targeted search services, like Masterseek, to leverage those services together with an agile social-media platform in order to achieve the best of both worlds… At Masterseek, we want to use the precision and relevance of our proprietary business information tools, in to bring order to the chaotic world of social-media and marketing…
B2B Tech Report: But, the conventional tech “gurus” say that the methods used for B2B online won’t work in the personal social-media space… Most entrepreneurs in the B2B space haven’t yet found a way to harness social media to build their businesses…
Rasmus Refer: That’s because they’re trying to adapt old methods to fit new ideas—it doesn’t work. Instead, my method is to simply look at things from a new customer’s point of view to learn what the needs are, then I focus on finding the best solution to meet those needs.
For example, there has been a need for quick, reliable online information sources for businesspeople to search online for relevant information about companies, products, services, and the key people at those companies. So, we built Masterseek, the first truly professional business search engine…. And, the marketplace is responding by beginning to reward us for the value that we’ve created.
B2B Tech Report: Please look into your “crystal ball” for a moment, and tell our readers what you think we’ll be seeing in B2B and social media during the next five years.
Rasmus Refer: I see an Internet where businesspeople as sellers can leverage their business connections to virally spread good news about business deals and group-buying scenarios, as well as buyers being able to secure the lowest-possible pricing for products and services that they need for their small businesses. To solve this problem, we’re launching a killer business-group-buying platform that avoids or solves all these problems faced by the horde of squeaky upstarts that have been trying to gain a foothold in the overlapping B2B-social media territory, yet without success.
Since we’re in a quiet period while we talk with investors about our B2B group-deal venture, I can’t give you any more specific information right now about it. All I can say is that our technology will disrupt the current status quo, and multiply the strengths of Masterseek and the other components of our platform.
B2B Tech Report: Sounds very interesting; you’ve given us much to chew on today. Thanks for your time and insight, and we look forward to seeing you and your ventures continuing in the spotlight throughout 2011 and beyond.
Rasmus Refer: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my vision. When combined with the power and reach of social media marketing, B2B marketing becomes much easier and much more valuable. At Masterseek, we have learned how to capture that value, and my goal is to offer that value across our entire platform.