Is GlobalSpec Worth the Money?

In our last installment, we covered ThomasNet and how effective it may be for your Industrial marketing. This time we look at Global Spec.



GlobalSpec was founded in 1996 and claims to have over 7,000,000 registered users. They were acquired by IHS earlier this year.


GlobalSpec is different than most Industrial directories in two ways. First, it requires registration and provides this contact information to advertisers. Second, they attempt to keep the user within GlobalSpec as opposed to driving them to advertisers websites.

GlobalSpec also has expanded beyond a simple directory. They have branched into searchable catalogs, newsletters, online events, online trade shows and a  banner advertising network.


How the Programs Work

Directory Program – Global Spec has a standard directory that is similar to ThomasNet and others but incorporates their Spec Search technology allowing the user to narrow down their choices  by selecting attributes of the product or service (see below)

Users can also compare different products and catalogs from different manufacturers. As you can see, GolbalSpec works to keep the advertisers on the site and not send them to individual manufacturers websites.

Ranking is also by Alphabetical sort for all advertisers followed by non-paid listings with much less content.

The big push with GlobalSpec is “lead nirvana” since they are providing full contact information. (See a sample of leads below)

Cost for Directory programs are $18,000 for a one year period and they often offer a 6 month trial program at


GS also published over 70 product and industry newsletters which they sell display advertising. Most of the advertisements are more “advitorials” They claim that 95% of subscribers are Global Spec registered users and that 60% of subscribers read the newsletters. Subscriber base for each newsletter ranges from about 20,000 to over 200,000. Prices are sold in three different packages and range from about $2,000 to over $6,000 per issue. Sample newsletter below.


Online Trade shows and Events

GlobalSpec has made a big push into online trade shows and events. Cost for exhibiting at events ranges from about $5,000 to over $10,000. For a list of upcoming events visit events.


Insiders Tips

A few things to consider with GlobalSpec:

-Regardless of the number of categories you are listed in, the price is basically the same. So if you are a niche manufacturer, you will probably not see a ton of traffic. However, if you are a broad-line manufacturer or distributor, you may be listed in a variety of headings generating more leads. As always, it is important to measure your activity and conversions so you KNOW what activity you are generating.

-Contact information of their registered users is shared with many advertisers leaving the question of how “hounded” these folks may be from Advertisers they did not request information from. And if a prospect was truly interested in a manufacturer, wouldn’t they initiate contact? And are you left chasing “names” that are not really leads?



GlobalSpec has introduced some fairly slick technology and continue to innovate with Online events. The Newsletters may be a point of interest for larger companies looking for new branding opportunities. As for the smaller manufacturers, it is a significant investment to be listed on the site. Our clients have had mixed results, so it is difficult to  issue broad statements as to effectiveness of the marketing dollars. It would be best to determine exact Categories and look at the activity and user base before making a commitment.



Look for our next installment where we look at some of the second tier players including IQS, Zycon and Process Register.

2 responses to “Is GlobalSpec Worth the Money?”

  1. Raghav says:

    What does globalspec consider a lead? Is it a user who downloads a datasheet/fills an inquiry or is it any user that visits the category/product page supported by a manufacturer.

    • Agile says:

      There are varying degrees of leads and conversions. They will supply contact info of anyone viewing their information and supply limited info of people who have searched under their categories.