June 6, 2024

Cost-Effective Growth Strategies for Records Centers in the Digital Age

Post Summary

Records centers can achieve cost-effective growth by leveraging online marketplaces like Annex.com. This platform eliminates upfront costs with a pay-for-performance model, exposing services to a broader audience and enhancing brand visibility through strategic advertising and SEO. Case studies from BigCommerce, Airbnb, and Canva show the benefits. Contract sharing expands opportunities by matching records centers with suitable customer contracts, driving growth without significant investment.

Pete Kreiser

Vice President, Marketing

The information governance and data management landscape are undergoing a significant transformation. As businesses grapple with the ever-increasing volume of digital records and the need for secure, compliant storage, traditional records centers are facing new challenges. A McKinsey & Company report indicates that by 2030, the global data sphere is projected to reach a staggering 230 Zettabytes, a figure so large it’s difficult to even comprehend. This exponential growth demands innovative solutions for records centers to not only survive but thrive in this dynamic environment. 

One such solution lies in the strategic utilization of online marketplaces specifically designed for the records management industry. Platforms like Annex.com offer a compelling value proposition for records centers seeking cost-effective growth strategies.  Unlike traditional marketing or sales channels that often require significant upfront investment and resource allocation, Annex operates on a “pay-for-performance” model. This means there are no upfront costs to join or onboard your records center to the platform. You only pay once a new customer contract is secured through Annex. This eliminates financial risk and allows you to tap into a new revenue stream without jeopardizing your existing operations. 

Case In Point: Big Commerce

BigCommerce is a leading SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform that empowers businesses to create and manage their online stores. Traditionally, establishing an online store required significant upfront investments in software, web development, and hosting. BigCommerce’s pay-as-you-go model eliminates these upfront costs, allowing businesses to launch their online stores for a monthly subscription fee. This aligns with the “pay-for-performance” model offered by online marketplaces like Annex.com for records centers. Just like BigCommerce removes the financial barrier for businesses to enter the eCommerce space, Annex allows records centers to tap into a new revenue stream without substantial upfront costs, making it a cost-effective growth strategy. 

Unlocking New Markets: How Online Marketplaces Expand Your Business Reach 

Beyond the cost-effectiveness, online marketplaces like Annex offer a transformative approach to expanding your business reach. Companies winning market share have … broader e-commerce offerings. For example, 48 percent of market-share winners are on industry-specific marketplaces, compared with only 13 percent of companies losing share. 

This stems from the platform’s ability to expose your services to a broader audience, encompassing businesses that may not have been previously aware of your offerings. Annex, for example, actively promotes its member records centers through a multi-pronged approach:

Paid Advertising: The platform utilizes strategic paid advertising campaigns across various online channels to ensure your records center is visible to potential customers searching for secure storage solutions.

SEO Optimization: Annex employs search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to ensure the businesses participation on the Annex platform rank prominently in organic search results for relevant keywords for your business. This increases the likelihood of potential customers finding your records center organically. 

Industry Conference Participation: Annex actively participates in industry conferences and trade shows, showcasing the services offered by member records centers. This exposure to a targeted audience of potential customers can be invaluable for generating business and brand awareness.

Case in Point: Airbnb 

Prior to Airbnb, the traditional vacation rental market was dominated by established hotel chains and travel agencies. Airbnb disrupted this industry by creating an online marketplace that connected property owners with potential renters directly. 

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This expanded the market reach for individual homeowners who could now list their properties globally, attracting a wider audience than ever before. Similarly, Annex.com functions as an online marketplace for records centers. By joining Annex, a regional records center can gain exposure to businesses outside their immediate geographic footprint. This allows them to compete for contracts and expand their customer base significantly. 

Amplify Your Brand: Leverage Global Visibility with No Extra Cost 

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is critical for any business, especially those in the B2B space. However, building and maintaining a robust digital marketing strategy can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. Here’s where platforms like Annex offer a significant advantage. By joining Annex, you gain access to a global audience without having to invest in your own marketing campaigns. 

Annex leverages its resources to promote your records center 24/7 through the aforementioned advertising, SEO, and conference participation efforts. This translates to increased brand visibility, attracting potential customers who may not have otherwise discovered your services.

This aligns perfectly with digital marketing best practices, which emphasize the importance of consistent brand messaging across various online channels. A Statista report highlights that businesses with a strong brand presence experience a 23% increase in customer retention compared to those with a weak brand presence.

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Case In Point: Canva 

Canva is a user-friendly online platform that allows anyone to create professional-looking graphic designs. Canva initially gained traction through a combination of social media marketing and influencer outreach. 

However, their free and user-friendly platform has also played a significant role in their global brand recognition. By offering a valuable service with a readily accessible interface, Canva has attracted a massive user base worldwide, demonstrating the power of organic brand visibility through an online platform. Annex.com offers records centers a similar opportunity. By joining the marketplace, records centers gain access to Annex’s marketing efforts, including paid advertising, SEO optimization, and industry conference participation. This exposure enhances the records centers’ brand visibility on a global scale without requiring them to invest in a dedicated marketing budget. 

Harnessing the Power of Contract Sharing for Business Expansion 

A particularly innovative feature offered by Annex is contract sharing. This functionality allows your records center to be considered for contracts you might not have been eligible for on your own. Here’s how it works: 

When a potential customer shops on Annex, the platform matches their needs with the capabilities of member records centers. If your records center possesses the specific storage capacity, geographic locations, or other protocols required by the customer, but perhaps doesn’t have a pre-existing relationship with them, Annex can still include your services in their Annex selection process. This significantly increases your market exposure and opens doors to new business opportunities that would have been previously out of reach.

Case In Point: Upwork 

Upwork is a leading online marketplace that connects businesses with freelance professionals across various industries. One of Upwork’s key features is its ability to match businesses with freelancers who possess the specific skills and experience required for a project. 

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This “contract sharing” model benefits both parties. Freelancers gain access to a wider pool of projects, while businesses can find the right talent for their needs, even if the freelancer wouldn’t have been readily discoverable through traditional channels. Annex.com utilizes a similar “contract sharing” feature for records centers. When a potential customer submits a request for proposal (RFP) on Annex, the platform matches their needs with the capabilities of member records centers. This allows records centers to be considered for contracts they may not have been eligible for on their own, significantly expanding their business opportunities. 


The information governance and data management landscape is evolving rapidly. Records centers that embrace innovative solutions like online marketplaces are well-positioned to not only survive but thrive in this dynamic environment. Platforms like Annex.com offer a compelling value proposition for records centers seeking cost-effective growth strategies. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Reduced Financial Risk: Annex operates on a “pay-for-performance” model, eliminating upfront costs and allowing you to tap into a new revenue stream without jeopardizing your existing operations. 
  • Expanded Market Reach: Online marketplaces expose your services to a broader audience, including businesses you might not have reached before, through paid advertising, SEO optimization, and industry conference participation. 
  • Enhanced Brand Visibility: Joining Annex grants you access to a global audience and to leverage their marketing efforts to amplify your brand presence 24/7, attracting potential customers who might have otherwise overlooked you.
  • Increased Business Opportunities: Contract sharing allows your records center to be considered for contracts you wouldn’t have been eligible for on your own, significantly expanding your market exposure and opening doors to new revenue streams. 

By embracing innovative solutions like online marketplaces, records centers can unlock their full growth potential in the digital age. Annex.com offers a unique opportunity to achieve these objectives without significant financial investment. Consider joining Annex.com today and take your records center business to the next level.