Alyce Partners with Vidyard

Continuing on the Vidyard theme from yesterday, Personal Experience platform Alyce has integrated Vidyard into its e-gifting service.  The Vidyard partnership lets customers record or insert personalized videos “within the Alyce gifting flow, helping sales reps create deeper, more personal bonds and connections with prospects and customers.”

Alyce customers with a Vidyard Enterprise account may insert videos from the Vidyard library or record a custom video that is displayed on the Alyce gift landing page.  Recommended gifts are based on an AI analysis of the “#5to9” experiences of individuals, ensuring that the gift and messaging are better targeted than generic swag and marketing templates.

As Sales Engagement platforms have noted improved open and response rates associated with personalized video, it is likely that customers and prospects will well receive a recorded message.  Alyce claims up to a 50% improvement in click-through rates when personal videos are included in email invitations and a nearly 80% lift in landing page conversion rates.

“Our integration with Alyce provides customers with the ultimate way to deliver end-to-end personal experiences to prospects and customers by pairing personal video and personal gifting in one platform,” said Vidyard VP of Marketing Tyler Lessard. “This partnership strengthens the movement around being personal in marketing and sales, which we and our customers embrace to build rapport and trust through the more engaging combined experience.”

Mutual customers can add a personalized video to Alyce’s email invitations.  The thumbnail and associated video help “put a face to the name, and up your ability to be personal even more.” The video also appears o the gift landing page.

Marketing can deploy campaign-based videos.  For example, a webinar follow-on Alyce message may be sent to webinar attendees or before events.

Alyce does not send a standard, generic item to customers and prospects.  Instead, recipients can choose the recommended item, select an alternate item from the Alyce gift marketplace, or donate the value of the gift to a charity of their choice.

“The Personal Experience approach has a multitude of amazing use-cases to strengthen and enhance building personal bonds and professional relationships to help grow business. Integrating Vidyard personal video into Alyce platform itself to deliver face-to-face PX moments is a game-changer.”

Greg Segall, CEO of Alyce

Direct Marketing swag companies such as Alyce, PFL, and Sendoso seem to be trying out various names for their industry.  Other frequent terms are one-to-one gifting, sending platform, and tactile marketing automation.  Personal Experience seems too far afield as e-gifting usually involves swag, not services.

Alyce is based in Boston and has 170 employees in seven countries.

Vidyard Platform Enhancements

Vidyard redesigned its video creation and collaboration platform with a set of enhanced editing and security features.  New capabilities include a Zoom integration, updates to its video hosting platform, an Android app, video commenting, and single sign-on (SSO) security.  

The service continues to be available on a freemium basis with a series of tiers from free to enterprise (see the pricing table on the right).

Vidyard added new on-screen drawing and highlighting tools to its webcam and screen recording service.  Users can customize videos by highlighting their screens with a variety of brush sizes and colors.  When recording their screen and webcam at the same time, users can move their camera window on-the-fly to avoid covering up important visuals.   Users may also add speaker’s notes, bullets, and talking points “on-screen, directly above their webcam.”

Vidyard updated its iOS app and added an Android app, helping users “record and share videos anytime, anywhere.” Videos may be quickly recorded and shared with a branded video sharing page.  Both the app and desktop applications share a common video library, providing access to the same set of pre-recorded videos.

Viewers can leave comments and replies to shared videos, allowing colleagues and prospects to collaborate, provide feedback, or ask questions.  The senders receive comment notifications to help expedite closing the communications loop.  This feature is available for Pro, Teams, and Enterprise users.

Pro, Team, and Enterprise video users may secure access via private passwords and SSO.

New enterprise features include transcribing, closed captioning, video thumbnail customization, viewer permissioning, and publishing to public and private channels.

A new Zoom integration for Business and Enterprise licensors lets users automatically sync recorded Zoom calls into their accounts once the call completes.  Recording security features include SSO and passwords.  Recorded sessions may be viewed on a dedicated video sharing page.

“Businesses are quickly evolving their sales, marketing, and communications strategies to align with a digital-first communication world.  Video is a huge part of that, as it’s simply more efficient, more expressive, and more effective than standard text.  Today’s businesses need a simpler, smarter, and more scalable way to put the power of video into their people’s hands.  We’re excited to deliver on that need with a new breed of video creation and hosting solutions that turn any business professional into a video creator and any organization into a video-first business.”

Vidyard CEO Michael Litt

“We’re only scratching the surface of how video can be used to create a more connected, engaged, and efficient workforce in the digital age,” said Vidyard VP of Marketing Tyler Lessard. “With the barriers to video creation and sharing all but gone, we’re excited to see how businesses across all markets will capitalize on the power of video in the months and years ahead to enhance everything from sales and marketing to internal communications and employee engagement.”

Vidyard has 220 employees based in Kitchener (Ontario), Vancouver, Boston, and Dublin.  The firm’s conversion rate from freemium to paid has increased during the pandemic.


Tomorrow I will be discussing the Vidyard integration into Alyce’s Personal Experience (gifting) platform.

RelPro – Introhive Partnership

Sales Intelligence vendors RelPro and Introhive announced a partnership to deliver extended relationship insights and workflow integrations to joint customers in the Professional and Financial Services sectors.  The combined solution is immediately available to joint customers.

RelPro integrates content from seventeen data sources to deliver sales insights and contacts across 7 million companies.  Introhive adds relationship insights, data automation, and data cleansing tools.  The partnership helps “clients achieve greater sales efficiency and productivity” during the pandemic and recession.

“Our clients use RelPro to identify new prospects and ensure the contact information they have for those prospects is accurate and reliable.  Being able to map relationships that may already exist within their organization boosts the productivity of their business development professionals and increases referral traffic and collaboration.  With Introhive’s advanced relationship intelligence automation technology and data automation capabilities combined with our rich data coverage and quality, our clients can marry two best-in-class solutions to support and enrich their business development activities with little to no disruption of their day-to-day.”

RelPro CEO Martin Wise

Introhive boosts CRM adoption through automated contact data enrichment and uploads.  Introhive claims that it uncovers 350 additional contacts per user.  “The AI engine then maps these contacts to identify relationships across prospects and customer accounts.”  By reducing research and data maintenance overhead, sales and business professionals can focus their activities on prospects and clients, therefore driving customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

“With Introhive, users gain back roughly an average of 12 hours per week that would otherwise be spent on data entry or preparing for meetings.  Our Pre-Meeting Digest removes the burden of gathering information to ensure prospect or customer-facing professionals are equipped with everything they need before meetings, while Post-Meeting Reports allow for notes, tasks, and activities to be added to CRM directly from the user’s email inbox.  When we add RelPro’s database with our relationship mapping and productivity tools, customers can begin uncovering contacts and opportunities that were previously hidden.”

Introhive CEO Jody Glidden

Several months ago, RelPro released an integration with Vertical IQ to deliver industry intelligence to joint customers.  This partnership is bearing fruit as the companies have been providing referrals to each other in the financial services space.  Of course, integration partnerships also improve the stickiness of both solutions.

RelPro’s revenue is up a bit during the first half of 2020, and Wise is confident about H2.  Their business slowed less due to the pandemic than due to banks focusing on PPP processing for about eight weeks.  The banking business has since recovered as they look to provide “on the couch business development” to relationship managers and business development professionals across all segments of the banking industry.

Showing agility, the firm loaded the SBA PPP loan data into their platform and made it screenable.  Bankers and advisors can search the 660k companies who received loans in excess of $150,000.  The new dataset provides additional banking relationship data that complements UCC (liens) loan data already available through their service.

Introhive has over 240 employees with offices in the US, Canada, the UK, and India.  The firm supports over 100,000 global users.  Introhive was founded in 2012 with an initial focus on the accounting market.  It has taken an industry-by-industry approach and now supports global systems integrators, law firms, finance, commercial real estate, and, most recently, technology firms.

Introhive placed tenth on Deloitte’s Fast 50 with revenue growth of 1,700 percent over four years.

G2 – Bombora Partnership

Two of the leading intent data vendors, Bombora and G2 (FKA G2 Crowd), announced a partnership to provide an integrated data set to Pro, Power, Activate, and Accelerate G2 customers from within my.G2.  The combined offering mixes G2’s technology research intelligence with Bombora’s third-party intent data set gathered from dozens of B2B media companies spanning over 4,000 sites.  Thus, software vendors can determine both which companies are exploring solutions in their category and which topics are of interest.

Once activated, My.G2 customers will see Bombora’s topic scores next to G2 Buyer Intent accounts.  Admins configure the relevant Bombora topics for display.  Based on the product, the number of topics is capped at either ten or twenty-five, which should be sufficient for most technology companies.

The partnership is part of Bombora’s freemium strategy, where they license a subset of their content into partner workflows.  In the G2 partnership, they are “double verifying” the intent data for accounts showing activity in G2.  “The customers are not seeing new accounts that we see as showing intent if they are not also coming to the customer’s G2 page.  The goal would be to help prioritize the intent they are receiving in G2 in a light way,” said Bombora Partnerships VP Charles Crnoevich.  “In layman’s terms, they have been to your G2 crowd page or category page (similar to a company coming to your website) and Bombora sees them showing elevated levels of intent around the B2B web – our cooperative of B2B websites.  This data overlay is also only in G2 crowd, so if you wanted a big infusion of Company Surge data in SFDC, Terminus, RollWorks, Marketo, HubSpot, Outreach, etc., you would need a premium license of Company Surge data with us.”

Crnoevich said that there are only a limited number of “compliant and reliable intent data sources” on the market, including G2 and TechTarget, ”so we’re excited to form a partnership with them [G2] from a thought leadership perspective in the intent data community.”

G2’s intent data set complements Bombora’s and is sourced differently.  “G2 shows data across their network on a number of interactions and user level,” stated Crnoevich.  “Our data is across a huge network of sites and we normalize it against normal traffic to give a propensity score instead of a count of interactions.”  Users are shown both the number of relevant topics that are surging at an account and the specific topics and surge scores with surging intent.

Having both topic counts and individual topic surge scores are valuable.  One or two surging topics may be anomalous (particularly at SMBs), but a broad set of related topics that are surging indicate a significant growth in research.  Likewise, high scores above the baseline (50 is the baseline average, and 60 is used as the minimum surge score indicating increased intent), demonstrate a significant spike in interest as well as help shape a sales rep’s positioning.

Bombora’s surge data validate target buyer’s research behavior on G2, helping sales and marketing teams ”craft hyper-personalized outreach covering the products and topics they’re most interested in.”  Intent data from the two firms also assist in sales outreach timing and prioritization.

“Understanding the buyer’s journey so you can help them make informed decisions is one of the most important focus areas for every tech business.  This collaboration allows us to combine the power of G2 Buyer Intent data with Bombora’s Intent topics giving vendors a thorough and enhanced view of their buyers’ research behavior across G2 and the B2B web.  G2 customers will now not only have access to more insights but more context, too.  We’re excited to give businesses the opportunity to experience the value of Bombora’s Intent topics and scores right from within their my.G2 admin panel.”

G2 CRO Mike Weir

While intent data should not be used for defining Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and ABM lists as it is ephemeral, it is quite valuable for determining which of your ABM firms are currently in-market for technology solutions.  Thus, intent helps decide which accounts should be nurtured by marketing and which should be actively targeted by sales reps.  Surging intent does not answer who, but it addresses “who now?”

“The integration of Bombora with G2 allows revenue teams to see valuable prospects’ activity across both G2.com and the greater B2B web,” said Mike Burton, SVP of Sales at Bombora.  “Combining these powerful intent signals provides a huge validation for account-based activities, arming folks with the information they need to have successful sales and marketing interactions.”

G2 intent data also identifies competitors being researched, which assists with both new opportunity messaging and churn reduction.

G2 has over five million unique monthly visitors researching software solutions.  Half are North American viewers, 20% European, and 20% Asian.

G2 displays both product profiles and user reviews, with products categorized.  Purchasers can even build side-by-side comparisons of software product reviews.

The pandemic has increased the demand for third-party product insights and reviews.  The loss of face-to-face meetings at tradeshows and in the office has moved most product research to the Internet.  The trend of independent purchasing research, which goes back at least a decade, has accelerated.  However, digital research is now being accompanied by intent datasets that are helping level the playing field and provide vendors with early, actionable intelligence about which firms are in-market.

“Seemingly overnight, the ‘digital first’ world [that] sellers once knew has evolved into a “digital-only” world – a world where the same marketers, compete for the same buyers, against the same solutions — across the same channels,” explained G2 Director of Product Marketing Yoni Solomon.  “That’s why incorporating intent data on buyer research, behavior, and online activity has never been more important for the success of B2B sales and marketing.”

CIO Concerns – July 2020

Boardroom Insiders CEO Sharon Gillenwater discussed the top of mind issues for CIOs due to the pandemic.  Initially, the CIOs’ focus was on transitioning to work from home along with tightened security.  There were also “stepped up initiatives around cloud, automation, and e-commerce in order to keep the business running.  In fact, COVID-19 did more to speed up their digital transformation plans than anything else in recent history.”

“You can’t speed up the culture of an organization. You can roll out technology maybe faster… You have to be careful about speed over perfection. Speed is one thing, but you have to make sure that you don’t introduce any security risks, so it’s sort of combining those two things together [that] I think is extremely important at this time.”

Box CIO Paul Chapman

The Boardroom Insiders research team spent two weeks reviewing recent CIO interviews and identified five positive by-products of the pandemic that are improving the resiliency and capabilities of the enterprise.  First off, tech leaders have emphasized upskilling and reskilling their teams to address skills gaps.  Tech vendors have rolled out “a whole host of free training and education programs.”  As these programs are virtual, CIOs are encouraging their staff to attend these sessions with zero travel costs and registration fees.

Likewise, CIOs are using the time at home to hone their leadership, communication, and team engagement skills.  CIOs have found their teams to be more productive, collaborative, and agile, with rising morale.

The third silver lining is the acceptance and integration of new tools into business workflows.  Many of these changes were a necessity due to operational dislocations, but these new tools are “driving new levels of productivity and employee self-service across the enterprise.”

The work from home experience has also served as a “future of work lab” which forced executives and managers to “rethink business processes.”  This rethinking has “driven a wave of innovation internally” and let management observe how a remote workforce behaves.  This forced experiment has helped CIOs “map out a vision of what the future of work should really look like at their companies.”

Finally, the pandemic has encouraged CIOs to test and revise their business continuity plans and enhance security tools and protocols, readying the firm for the next crisis.

Gillenwater described the current situation as a balance between navigating COVID and growth-focused initiatives:

  • Evolving work-from-home into a long-term roadmap for the future-of-work
  • Enabling security everywhere and agile/mobile/digital/cloud everything
  • Scenario and business continuity planning, in an attempt to plan for future changes and challenges
  • Accelerating digital initiatives, at a pace that many say they’ve never seen before 
  • Cost cuts/expense management, an inevitability in an economically trying time 
  • Reprioritization and refocusing of IT investments and projects
  • eCommerce, as part of the rush to digitize
  • Innovation, to identify and capitalize on future opportunities 

GrowFlare V2.0 (Part II)

Continuing my profile of GrowFlare (Part I)…

While many companies offer keyword searching, it is usually against a mined business description.  Only a few products, such as D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Searching, provide broader topical searching to build company lists.

GrowFlare includes a free Chrome extension that “overlays the power of prospector right over the website,” HubSpot, or Salesforce.  “This is invaluable for anyone from an SDR to an executive that wants a quick ten-second snapshot of a company before engaging,” said Belkin.  The Chrome connector detects the account, displays firmographics, trending topics, psychographics, and Next Best Prospect.

Prospector Bulk and GoldMiner support HubSpot append and enrichment, including Fit Scores.  Salesforce support is a roadmap item.  Belkin said that HubSpot support was a “strategic decision because HubSpot is more readily accessible, cheaper to develop for, more startup-focused, and we can build adoption faster.”

The user interface is clean and well laid out, with the ability to quickly sort prospecting tables and view additional details.  The company universe is limited to 130,000 US companies with ten or more employees “that have meaningful purchasing power.” Thus, GrowFlare is best suited for US account based marketers and strategic teams.  However, the service is still in its early stages of development.  It does not offer any contacts, and the firmographic intelligence, beyond the psychographics and trends, is limited.  There are some novel ideas and tools in this service, many of which are not found in more mature ICP offerings from the established players (e.g. DiscoverOrg AccountView, InsideView Apex, D&B DataVision).  These ICP / TAM tools were built for the marketing department, while GrowFlare is looking to serve both the sales and marketing departments with some competitive intelligence functionality as well.

GrowFlare is a freemium offering, with three free prospects provided with each search.  The Basic offering is priced at $2,950 per annum and includes ten prospects per list.  Growth offers 25 prospects per list for $4,950, and Unlimited offers the maximum number of relevant prospects per list for $9,950.  The paid offerings all include all of the features discussed in this profile along with 24/7 support.

The 2.0 release has helped the firm gain traction in the marketplace with revenue up 600% monthly (on a small base).  The average deal size is greater than $10,000. Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

GrowFlare V2.0

GrowFlare rolled out version 2.0 of its sales and marketing intelligence solution.  Enhancements include a revised Prospector tool for similar company searching, a Chrome connector for quick profiling and prospecting against a company website, HubSpot CRM imports, keyword searching, and customer fit scoring for HubSpot.

The enhanced Prospector tool identifies 100 companies similar to a target company based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  This approach differs from most vendors that employ firmographics and technographics in their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling.  For the target company, the trending topics are displayed as a spider chart with new topics called out.  Reps can drill on trending topics to see an example from the firm.  Topical analysis is derived from websites, social media, government filings, and job listings.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said Founder & CEO Matt Belkin.

The similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Below the Prospects list are additional graphics and analytics, including a shared psychographics word cloud, top 10 shared psychographics, locations of the prospects, and sizing ranges (employee and revenue).  As these analytics are based on the prospecting list, they assist with campaign messaging.

Searches are auto-saved to Active Lists, which identify new prospects.  Company profiles are scanned and rebuilt each week with companies compared and ranked within the list.

“NEW means they are new to the list and is usually a great signal to reach out [to] now because something strategic has changed with that prospect, bringing them closer to your ICP.  Your window of opportunity is now,” said Belkin.  “For example, they launched a new campaign, rebranding, business model shift, product launch, leadership change, etc. – all of these can cause this change.”

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

GrowFlare recommends that firms run Prospector against themselves to see “where your messaging shines” as well as competitors to understand their current positioning.

”Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

­GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

The Prospector Bulk feature is similar to Prospector but executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GoldMiner CRM compares a customer list against open CRM leads and opportunities.  CRM accounts may be uploaded from HubSpot or entered as a domain list. 

The results are similar to Prospector, with GoldMiner listing the best prospects based upon Fit Score and the best reference customer.  GoldMiner also displays

  • The most valuable reference customers – Which accounts are the top referenced customers for the prospect list
  • Match rates
  • CRM Growth Multiplier – The CRM Growth Multiplier compares the number of high priority prospects in the prospect list to the number of customers in the CRM.
  • CRM Efficiency – The number of CRM high-priority prospects versus the total leads in your CRM.  CRM efficiency indicates the percentage of high value accounts in the CRM vs. weak fit accounts as determined by GrowFlare.

Belkin suggests that the new leads list should be run through GoldMiner “every day or week” as “this can be very valuable in quickly prioritizing third-party list buys, webinar lists, partner lists, technographic lists, and much more.”


Part II of my GrowFlare coverage continues tomorrow with a discussion of Keyword Searching, the Chrome Extension, and pricing.

CJEU Invalidates EU-US Privacy Shield Data Transfers

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the EU-US Privacy Shield that allows firms to transfer EU citizen’s private data to the United States for data processing.  The EU maintains higher consumer data privacy laws that conflict with US security and legal policies.

“Today’s decision effectively blocks legal transfers of personal data from the EU to the US.  It will undoubtedly leave tens of thousands of US companies scrambling and without a legal means to conduct transatlantic business, worth trillions of dollars annually,” said Caitlin Fennessy, research director at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

The CJEU held that “the requirements of US national security, public interest and law enforcement have primacy, thus condoning interference with the fundamental rights of persons whose data are transferred to that third country.”

“In the absence of an adequacy decision, such transfer may take place only if the personal data exporter established in the EU has provided appropriate safeguards, which may arise, in particular, from standard data protection clauses adopted by the Commission, and if data subjects have enforceable rights and effective legal remedies…

The Court considers, first of all, that EU law, and in particular the GDPR, applies to the transfer of personal data for commercial purposes by an economic operator established in a Member State to another economic operator established in a third country, even if, at the time of that transfer or thereafter, that data may be processed by the authorities of the third country in question for the purposes of public security, defence and State security. The Court adds that this type of data processing by the authorities of a third country cannot preclude such a transfer from the scope of the GDPR.

Regarding the level of protection required in respect of such a transfer, the Court holds that the requirements laid down for such purposes by the GDPR concerning appropriate safeguards, enforceable rights and effective legal remedies must be interpreted as meaning that data subjects whose personal data are transferred to a third country pursuant to standard data protection clauses must be afforded a level of protection essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the EU by the GDPR, read in the light of the Charter. In those circumstances, the Court specifies that the assessment of that level of protection must take into consideration both the contractual clauses agreed between the data exporter established in the EU and the recipient of the transfer established in the third country concerned and, as regards any access by the public authorities of that third country to the data transferred, the relevant aspects of the legal system of that third country.

Regarding the supervisory authorities’ obligations in connection with such a transfer, the Court holds that, unless there is a valid Commission adequacy decision, those competent supervisory authorities are required to suspend or prohibit a transfer of personal data to a third country where they take the view, in the light of all the circumstances of that transfer, that the standard data protection clauses are not or cannot be complied with in that country and that the protection of the data transferred that is required by EU law cannot be ensured by other means, where the data exporter established in the EU has not itself suspended or put an end to such a transfer.”

“Data Protection Commissioner Ireland v Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems,” 16 July 2020

The EU-US Privacy Shield was implemented several years ago after the CJEU held that the prior US Safe Harbor regime was insufficient.

Privacy advocate Max Schrems brought the cases that invalidated Safe Harbor and EU-US Privacy Shield.  Following the ruling, he stated:

“It is clear that the US will have to seriously change their surveillance laws, if US companies want to continue to play a role on the EU market…The Court clarified for a second time now that there is a clash of EU privacy law and US surveillance law.  As the EU will not change its fundamental rights to please the NSA, the only way to overcome this clash is for the US to introduce solid privacy rights for all people — including foreigners.  Surveillance reform thereby becomes crucial for the business interests of Silicon Valley…

This judgment is not the cause of a limit to data transfers, but the consequence of US surveillance laws.  You can’t blame the Court to say the unavoidable — when shit hits the fan, you can’t blame the fan.”

Privacy Advocate and Plaintiff Max Schrems

“This leaves a huge question mark over data transfers to the US, said Tanguy Van Overstraeten, partner and global head of privacy and data protection law at the law firm Linklaters.  “The Court has struck down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield because it considers the US state surveillance powers are excessive.  For the thousands of businesses registered with the US Privacy Shield, this will be groundhog day; this is the second time the FTC operated scheme has been struck down after the Shields predecessor — the Safe Harbor — was struck down in 2015.  Businesses will now look to EU regulators to propose some form of transition to allow them to move away from Privacy Shield without the threat of significant sanctions and civil compensation claims.”

The ruling also puts in question data transfers to Russia, China, and potentially the UK post-Brexit.

“The CJEU’s judgment could have implications for the UK’s prospects of gaining adequacy at the end of the Brexit transition period,” said Peter Church, counsel at Linklaters.  “This will necessarily involve an assessment of the UK’s surveillance powers under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.  However, there are a number of differences between the UK and US regimes.  For example, the UK regime has already been reviewed by the European courts and a number of amendments have been made to bring it into line with European law.  In addition, the UK regime does not have the same distinction between UK and foreign nationals, unlike US law which does not grant the same rights to non-US citizens.”

“This is a bold move by Europe,” said Jonathan Kewley, co-head of technology at law firm Clifford Chance.  “What we are seeing here looks suspiciously like a privacy trade war, where Europe is saying their data standards can be trusted but those in the US cannot.”

Standard Contract Clauses (SCCs) may also be insufficient.  “If the law in the relevant country – let’s say the USA – could override what the contract says, they don’t work,” said Kewley.  “I don’t know how much appetite they have to do this, but it’s hard to imagine that any European regulator would say that SCCs work for the US, and the pressure will pile on for them to make the assessment.  I don’t think SCCs escaped the court’s judgement – for some key countries, it’s probably just a stay of execution.”

One likely impact will be the localized processing of EU consumer data within EU data centers.  Over 5,300 companies rely upon the EU-US Privacy Shield as part of their GDPR and broader EU compliance.  Companies that rely upon the Privacy Shield span a broad set of B2B data, DaaS, social networking, CDPs, and cloud companies [searchable list].  These include Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet (including Lattice Engines), Experian, Infogroup, TechTarget, Microsoft (including LinkedIn), Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon (including AWS), Oracle, Salesforce, HubSpot, Adobe (including Marketo), LiveRamp, Melissa, TowerData, 6Sense, Leadspace, SalesLoft, Outreach, Groove, VanillaSoft, Yesware, and ConnectLeader.

Firms are also likely to ramp up their GDPR and CCPA compliance messaging, but that does not address the weaker data privacy structures of US law.

Echobot Growing Quietly

Echobot, the German sales and marketing intelligence vendor, continues to do well during the pandemic.  It has over 1,000 clients and a growing ACV.  They added 15 employees this year, bringing their staff count to 65.  The firm was founded in 2011 and has posted a consistent 40% compound average growth rate.  It is internally funded.

Echobot offers multiple products: The Target prospect database of European B2B firms (UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) and the Connect intelligence database with 11 million companies.  Content includes registered data, technographics, contacts, and news.  The firm also provides online and social print monitoring and DataCare DaaS Hygiene for CRMs and ERPs.

The Karlsruhe-headquartered firm is readying a new 18,000 square foot office, which it plans to move into in 2021.

“COVID-19 did not slow us down,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg.  “In some cases it actually helped to put our agenda of digital sales intelligence front and center – mostly to compensate for missed trade shows and grounded field sales operations.”

Echobot Target supports firmographic and sales trigger (event) prospecting

I’ve followed the sales and marketing intelligence space for nearly two decades. The market developed in the United States with few European vendors (Bureau van Dijk being the exception). Often, it was US vendors such as OneSource, Factiva, and InsideView covering Europe as part of their global coverage . But over the past half decade, there has been a blossoming of European based sales and marketing intelligence solutions from

Not only are these vendors based in Europe, but they have a better understanding of the local datasets, regulatory requirements, and market nuances. Several are multi-lingual and carry local filings to serve financial services and compliance use cases.

Seismic – Vertical IQ Partnership

Seismic announced a partnership with Vertical IQ to deliver industry-specific insights within its Sales Enablement Platform.  Vertical IQ industry overviews will be delivered through Seismic’s dynamic content automation tool, LiveDocs, allowing bankers to quickly assemble client-facing content tailored to the client.  Vertical IQ covers over 325 industries with coverage of industry risks, quarterly insights, key financial benchmarks, and industry growth data.  Coverage of niche industries and regional economic data are also available from within Seismic but are not part of the LiveDocs integration.

Insights can be presented in-person, in print, or via digital devices and are packaged into Seismic templates.

The integration “helps bankers develop hyper-personalized communications with clients and prospects,” stated Vertical IQ CMO David Buffaloe.  “Our industry content is available directly through their platform, allowing bankers to develop customized presentation slides based on the prospects specific industry.”

Vertical IQ content is available to customers outside of the banking space, but the initial implementation was developed with Fulton Bank.  “We started with the joint focus on banking/financial services organizations; however, anyone that uses Seismic and sells to multiple industries would see value,” said Buffaloe.

Buffaloe called the integration a “big win for users” as bank leaders are looking to reduce the number of logins for conducting account research and support.

A Gartner survey found that bankers that deliver insights to their customers generate 94% higher fees.

Relationship Managers (RMs) at banks and credit unions support a broad set of customers and industries, making it difficult to develop deep expertise in individual industries.  Deploying on-demand, industry-specific intelligence helps RMs quickly come up to speed on an industry, ask intelligent questions of owners and financial professionals, and assemble custom presentations for winning business.  Industry-specific content also assists customers in their decision making and supports more valuable meetings between RMs and customers.

“Conversations between a banker and client should go both ways.  Vertical IQ and Seismic’s solution ensures conversations are backed by real-time, tailored insights so bankers can engage in better discussions and act as a trusted advisor.  This helps them bring unique value and expertise to the table to win, grow and retain more business.”

Vertical IQ CEO Bobby Martin

A recent JD Power survey of small businesses found that most were dissatisfied with their bankers’ ability to meet their needs and expectations.  Only 37% of small business customers felt that banks appreciated their business, and only 32% felt that banks understood their business.

According to Bob Neuhaus, VP of Financial Services at JD Power, “Banks need to focus on better integrating high-touch resources with innovative digital tools to meet the demands of small business.”

“Business customers have come to expect hyper-personalized interactions that meet the standards that are now common-place in their personal lives,” said Bill Finnegan, Managing Director, Financial Services Marketing at Seismic.  “We’re thrilled about our partnership with Vertical IQ because of the competitive advantage it will offer our banking customers.  The ability to generate rich industry insights on-the-fly in a marketing-approved format will help bankers elevate client conversations from just product, to industry-specific trends, advice, and guidance.  It allows bankers to be a consultative partner that demonstrates their bank truly understands their business.”

Vertical IQ has launched several integrations over the past year to deliver its industry research within sales and banking workflows.  Recent partnerships include Salesforce, RelPro, and Seismic.  Vertical IQ profiles are written in plain English for non-experts in financial services industries.  Strategic sales reps also leverage Vertical IQ.

The Vertical IQ integration is being sold by Seismic as an add-on to their current sales enablement solution.