Sigstr Pulse Released

Sigstr recently announced the launch of its new relationship marketing platform and Sigstr Pulse application.  The new cloud offering analyzes email and calendar patterns to determine the strength of relationships between employees and prospects.  Instead of determining engagement as clickthroughs and web visits, Sigstr Pulse determines relationship strength based upon employee interactions with prospects.  Data is collected passively with sales reps not required to take any action.

According to Sigstr, “Revenue lags relationships. When you understand the quality of relationships, marketers can provide better air coverage and sales can forecast better.”

Sigstr calls out relationships between employees, accounts, contacts, and location; scores the strength of those relationships; assesses relationship strength over time; and helps identify warm introductions.  As a relationship marketing platform, Sigstr visualizes the relationships with key accounts and determines “which contacts you know best and which you need to know better.”

Sigstr argues that corporate inboxes and calendars are the best source for measuring relationships.  Relationships “live and grow in the inbox,” said Sigstr CEO Bryan Wade.

“Relationships are the lifeblood of every business, and no other system tracks who has relationships with whom better than a corporate email system. Sigstr Pulse allows marketers to effortlessly solve a problem everyone knows they have, making it easy to understand your organization’s complex web of relationships and take action on them. One practical example is in event marketing, as brands can send invitations to potential attendees based on the hierarchy of relationships within an organization,” said Wade. “Our platform is already in the email flow of hundreds of thousands of employees at some of the world’s largest brands, which means they can flip a switch to turn on relationship marketing via Sigstr Pulse. As we’re marketing in the era of GDPR, tapping into coworkers’ existing business relationships means less cold calling and more productive marketing.”

.Sigstr Location Intelligence analyzes the strength of connections at the metro level.
Sigstr Location Intelligence analyzes the strength of connections at the metro level.

Sigstr provides location-based intelligence to help identify where contacts are located.  This intelligence assists with on-site meeting planning, territory assignment, and assessing relationship strength at the location level.  Location-based intelligence can also be employed for event planning and marketing.

Sigstr evaluates relationship strength based upon the frequency, recency, and directionality of communications along with the acceptance of calendar invites. Users are able to build targeted lists, identify strong relationships with the company for referrals, and evaluate how relationships are strengthening or atrophying at ABM accounts.

“Sigstr has expanded the opportunity for marketing and sales teams by allowing them to make the person-to-person connections they need through existing relationships within the organization.  Email is at the center of nearly every professional’s daily workflow, and now they can use those interactions to build their business beyond just the conversations they’re having.”

  • Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

Sigstr does not yet have the functionality to exclude specific individuals or departments from your relationship data, but there are controls that manage which inboxes are integrated with Sigstr Pulse. Users cannot yet block access to relationships for teams involved in confidential communications such as litigation, M&A, and partnerships. Likewise, individuals cannot opt out if they wish to retain control over their relationships. As this is a V1 release, it is likely that their customers will demand such controls to be added.

Sigstr does have GDPR controls in place to modify or delete specific users, if users wish to remove their personal information.

Sigstr Pulse supports a Chrome Connector which provides on demand company and contact relationship insights while browsing the web.

Sigstr Chrome Connector.
Sigstr Chrome Connector.

Sigstr Pulse pricing is based on number of users (logging into the application and downloading the Chrome extension) and email volume.

Sigstr also offers an email signature marketing application which provides custom messaging and banners within employee email signature blocks.

DiscoverOrg: Next Generation OppAlerts

DiscoverOrg announced the next generation of its OppAlerts intent-driven technology intelligence service.  The premium service now delivers ten-times as many OppAlerts as before and integrates the alerts into its Build-a List-prospecting.  Only surging companies with Bombora Surge scores of at least 75 are flagged.

Surge scores are early indicators of intent to purchase based upon B2B media site activity.  A 75 signifies companies in the top five to ten percent of interest in a topic as compared to their baseline level of interest in that topic.  As much of the buyers’ journey takes place before purchasers contact a firm, reaching out to prospects during the early stages of the journey provides sales reps with an early movers’ advantage.

“The holy grail of the B2B marketing and sales world is to know when customers are actively researching your product or service,” said DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck. “The DiscoverOrg – Bombora partnership allows our customers to know specifically what their prospects are researching and then which decision-makers to connect with, all in one place.”

The OppAlerts Surge score view allows users to see other topics currently surging at an account.
The OppAlerts Surge score view allows users to see other topics currently surging at an account.

DiscoverOrg switched from the Bombora firehose API, which delivered bulk raw data, to Bombora’s processed surge feed.  The upgraded service allows DiscoverOrg users to identify companies with surging interest in key topics, rank companies by purchase intent, route high-intent prospects to sales reps, and synch intent data with Salesforce for key topics.

Marketers can load a ListMatch file and have it immediately enriched with OppAlerts Surge scores by selected topics.  They can then filter by topic, review trends, and assess week-over-week changes in scores.  As the list is loaded into their prospecting engine, marketers can further refine the list by firmographics, technographics, biographics, and recent Scoops (sales triggers). DiscoverOrg has mapped all 4,100 topics to related job functions, allowing sales and marketing reps to quickly build targeted contact lists most likely to be interested in surging topics at key accounts.

OppAlerts identifies the contacts most likely to be buyers of products related to the intent topic.
OppAlerts identifies the contacts most likely to be buyers of products related to the intent topic.

The OppAlerts Build a List view displays current and historical intent data by company.  Users see the week-by-week score changes along with other surging topics at companies.  Lists may be saved for ongoing monitoring within the platform or via a weekly alert.  Thus, sales reps can monitor their ABM accounts and place calls when intent spikes at them.

The email alert highlights New OppAlerts, Biggest Gains, and OppAlerts by Topic.

Bombora OppAlerts are delivered to sales reps for stored alert lists.
Bombora OppAlerts are delivered to sales reps for stored alert lists.

“Bombora is the only provider of Company Surge data. Combining our insights about which businesses are more actively researching specific products and services with DiscoverOrg’s best-in-class firmographic and contact data brings the most actionable form of Intent data to B2B sales teams,” said Erik Matlick, Bombora Founder and CEO.

Pricing was not released, but the service is sold in both light and unlimited tiers.  Light tiers provide up to 100 surging companies per topic per month for 12, 25, or 50 topics.  Joint subscribers only pay a small fee for delivery of Bombora data from within DiscoverOrg.

DiscoverOrg has been working to build out its datasets.  They now cover 3.7 million contacts across 150,000 companies.

True Influence InsightBase 2.0

True Influence LogoTrue Influence rolled out version 2.0 of its InsightBase ABM platform with enhanced intent data, improved contact data, and an Advanced Relevance Engine which ranks accounts according to ABM demand level. 

InsightBase provides intent analytics across 4,000 business topics and fifteen countries.  Intent is then matched to contacts, firmographics, and location-level technographics.

According to the firm, InsightBase 2.0 “combines the most advanced data and analytic technologies to create a comprehensive monitoring solution that specifically identifies Intent Signals, which are proven pieces of data that indicate buying interest and purchase acceleration. These signals are collected in real-time as the result of web-based activities – such as web impressions, searches, email opens and more — to create a profile showing which companies and locations are actively in the market for a specific solution.”

In March, True Influence announced a partnership with Dun & Bradstreet to match and enrich company and contact data. Other partners include Zoominfo (contacts), Aberdeen Group (Technographics), and Bombora (intent).

True Influence offers connectors for Marketo, Eloqua, and Salesforce.

“Today, companies tend to rely on first-party lists or behavioral data to plan their B2B marketing approach, but that is just a small piece of the puzzle,” said True Influence CEO Brian Giese. “The fact is, B2B decision makers take a complex journey before making buying choices by conducting research for their next big purchase. To be truly competitive, it’s critical to have a complete, worldwide picture of your prospects’ overall online purchase journey.”

Salesforce: Benioff Names Block Co-CEO

logo-salesforceAfter 19 years, Marc Benioff has chosen to share the reins at Salesforce, naming President and COO Keith Block his co-CEO.  Block, who decamped from Oracle in 2013 where he ran the sales and consulting groups, will focus on “growth strategy, execution and operations.”  Benioff will lead Salesforce’s “vision and innovation in areas including technology, marketing, stakeholder engagement and culture.”

Block emphasized that Benioff is not looking to step down at the company he helped found in 1999.  “This is just a natural evolution of what’s been happening over the last five years,” Block told The Wall Street Journal.  “Marc is very engaged in the business, and he’s going to work for a very, very long time.”

Block was responsible for Salesforce’s verticalization strategy with targeted offerings in financial services, healthcare, and retail.  He also has been out front in explaining recent acquisitions such as the $6.5 billion purchase of MuleSoft in March.

“Keith has been my trusted partner in running Salesforce for the past five years, and I’m thrilled to welcome him as co-CEO,” said Benioff.  “Keith has outstanding operational expertise and corporate leadership experience, and I could not be happier for his promotion and this next level of our partnership.”

The firm also named co-founder and CTO Harris Parker to its Board.

“Since our founding in 1999, Parker has been instrumental in driving Salesforce’s innovation and shaping our culture,” said Benioff.

TechTarget: Priority Engine Hitting on All Cylinders in Q2

TechTarget LogoTechTarget, which offers both IT media sites and technology sales and marketing intelligence, posted $31.5 million in Q2 earnings, up 18% year-over-year.  Growth was driven by their Priority Engine Technology Sales Intelligence service which grew revenues 60% year-over-year.  The firm noted that “revenue growth continues to be driven by our leadership position in purchase intent data and our customers’ transition to becoming data driven sales and marketing organizations.”

IT Deal Alerts revenue was up 21% to $14 million as the customer base grew from 500 to 600 clients.  The firm also signed more than 40 new Priority Engine clients in the quarter (to approximately 250).

The new Priority Engine enhancements, which were released in early May, have been “well received in the market place.”  New features included improvements to the user experience, a new Salesforce widget, persistent URLs, list assignments, user roles, and improved topic filtering.

Furthermore, Priority Engine is shifting the firm to a recurring revenue model with 34% of revenue now attributable to longer-term contracts.  Approximately 80% of subscription revenue comes from medium and large firms and 20% from smaller firms, “typically VC-backed start-ups.”  The revenue renewal rate for medium and large customers is “well over 100%,” said the firm in its earnings press release.  “Those customers are finding great value in our purchase intent data and are renewing and buying more from us at high rates.”

However, TechTarget has a higher churn rate on smaller customers due to common issues inherent to smaller firms such as “changing go-to-market priorities, budget or funding reductions, personnel turnover, etc.”  The issue of small customer churn exists for both their core services and longer-term contracts.  To reduce churn, the firm is taking three steps: improving the ease of use of products; expanding their Customer Success team which owns customer on-boarding, training and monitoring; and building a dedicated sales team responsible for renewing and upselling.  Splitting sales into hunters and farmers will allow the “existing sales team to hunt for new opportunities.”

TechTarget also announced the acquisition of contact data management firm Oceanos.

Facebook Reaps What It Sows

Facebook dropped 20% in one day as the ongoing news about their misuse of personal data began to hit their bottom line a few weeks ago.  Here is a guerilla protest campaign in London which encapsulates their issues:

The problem at Facebook is that they forgot that they were there for their members not their advertisers.  The idea was free content (news, fake news, and social), no editorial review, and monetization of the data exhaust from their platform.

When that happened, truth and privacy became irrelevant.  They can whitewash their actions and pretend that the problems are exogenous to their company, but hiring editors is only the beginning of excising the rot that rests at the center of Facebook’s business model.


Source: Instagram images from ProtestStencil

TechTarget Scoops up Oceanos Marketing

TechTarget LogoTucked into the tail end of TechTarget’s earnings release last week was notice that they had acquired Oceanos Marketing, a contact data management company.  Both firms are based in the Boston suburbs.  Oceanos brings “data quality and data management expertise that will help us improve our offerings and deliver better results to our customers.”

Oceanos began as a list broker in 2002, but has since evolved into a B2B contact aggregator and data refinery.  The firm aggregates 97 million active US contact records (as of August 2017) and retains millions of inactive names and emails to assist with hygiene.  Data is aggregated from over a dozen vendors and includes social data from FullContact and Pipl.  Oceanos provides data enrichment, TAM analysis, net-new contacts, and a set of data specialists to assist with projects.

TechTarget manages a smaller set of 18 million subscriber profiles, 16 million of which are technology professionals.  The Oceanos acquisition should allow TechTarget to improve both the quality of their subscriber dataset and expand coverage into non-technology positions.  As technology purchase decision making has expanded beyond tech titles, Oceanos provides significant lift into other job functions.  Oceanos contacts are mapped to 12 Job Functions, 109 Sub-functions, and 7 Job Levels.

Oceanos President Brian P. Hession identified their differentiators as their unique blend of technology, professional services, and data quality. With data quality being critical to ABM sales and marketing initiatives, the inclusion of real world project fulfillment through their program specialists provides Oceanos with data quality insights that are used to continuously inform and enhance the data quality processes. “We apply both technology and real-world insights to ensure the highest quality of data before we are releasing it. We are incorporating a continuous stream of data quality insights into our code to address the many nuances that a program specialist encounters manually on a dataset,” said Hession last summer.  “The way that Oceanos is going to be successful in the future is if we can assemble an internal contact database that is of the highest quality in the industry.  So there’s been a lot of focus on putting models on top of our contact data.”

“Social data plays a role in our data hygiene process and serves as a ‘signal’ within both our Data Quality Score (DQS) and ABM Usability Score. The social information is sourced from reputable partners,” said Hession.  “Oceanos does not scrape contacts across LinkedIn or, in that vein, any social media site. All of our contact records originate from carefully selected third party data providers.”

The acquisition cost was not announced but was deemed “non-material.”  Oceanos 2017 revenue was around $5 million.