Echobot British Data

German Sales Intelligence vendor Echobot announced that it is expanding beyond the D-A-CH (Germany / Austria / Switzerland) region and building a European solution.  The first step in this expansion is an English-language UI with five million British companies and 23 million decision-makers.

“The market expansion into the English-speaking area is an important step into the future for us.  It has never been more important for companies to set up their sales and marketing processes digitally.  We are very pleased about the strong growth and the fact that from now on, we can support our customers beyond national borders,” said Echobot Media Technologies CEO Bastian Karweg.

Echobot users can add the “UK Data Pack” to their D-A-CH coverage with the data available for their TARGET (prospecting) and CONNECT (sales intelligence) services.  They may also license the UK offering as a standalone service.

Company profiles include firmographics, contact information, registration numbers, web technologies, social media links, current and former directors, executives, company news, Registration and LEI Numbers, and UK SIC or German WZ (NACE variant) industry codes.

An interlinks graph ties together company and director relationships.  

Company news and signals are collected from online publications, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  Signals (event triggers) may be filtered by signal type or keyword, and news may be filtered by keyword, source, and whether the article is by or about the company.

There is still some tuning around company news tagging, but the product is just being launched.  Echobot has a long history of German-language signal monitoring and tagging, so it will likely address this problem fairly swiftly.

Contact data is GDPR compliant, with 68% of contacts having emails and 5% displaying direct dials.  “We strictly comply with GDPR, only using dials that have been made public on the web,” said Karweg.  “We do not use privacy-infringing tactics like signature block scanning.”  Contact data sourcing is provided so that if a rep is asked about the origination of a prospect’s personal data, the sales rep can provide the source.  As part of their compliance, the firm has a data privacy officer (a GDPR requirement) and a privacy page that allows individuals to remove themselves from the database.

Echobot provides LinkedIn and XING (a popular LinkedIn rival in the D-A-CH region) contact hyperlinks, but chose not to provide Twitter or Facebook contact links “since those networks usually are used for private networking.” Directors are cross-referenced with LinkedIn and company websites to enrich their profiles further.

Contact news is gathered, though it is usually only available for top execs.

Up to twenty contacts may be viewed or downloaded from the company profile.  Contact data includes email, direct dial phone, title, and source (e.g. LinkedIn, XING, Companies House, company website).  Information sources are displayed as icons with hyperlinks.

Users may filter the contacts by department and level.  They may also search the list by name or title.

Echobot collects most of its information from Companies House and online crawling.  They have a third-party vendor relationship for email verification and social media cross-referencing but do not disclose the partner’s name.­­­

Company data are updated daily and consolidated as soon as there have been relevant changes.  Contact data are updated every 30 days or so; however, “due to GDPR, we update all contacts at least once every six months,” said Karweg.  “If they aren’t publicly available anymore, they will be deleted from our database.”

Financial data is only available for the D-A-CH region, but it is on the 2021 UK roadmap.

The CONNECT sales intelligence service has a responsive design for mobile and tablet display.  The TARGET prospecting tool is currently optimized for desktop use, but a mobile-ready version is on the 2021 roadmap.

CONNECT supports browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and Explorer.  The extensions take the user from a company URL to the CONNECT company profile.

Echobot CONNECT for Salesforce supports I-Frame viewing within Company, Contact, and Lead records.  When new records are created, they are matched against the Echobot reference database for enrichment.  Stare-and-compare record updates are also supported.

Part II tomorrow covers the TARGET service and product pricing.

6 thoughts on “Echobot British Data

  1. Hi Michael, do you have any idea how their email addresses could possibly be GDPR compliant? I suppose simply listing them in the interface is compliant but their product is designed to have Marketing and Sales orgs use that data.

    If that data is dropped into a marketing campaign of any shape, size, or form than that would be in breach of GDPR compliance.

  2. The emails are gathered from the open web and listings. Any that are created using domain-specific formats are labeled as such.

    They also offer opt-outs from the database, list their data privacy officer on their website, and offer a full data privacy center — all actions consistent with GDPR compliance. Every six months they remove anybody who is no longer found on the web. And, of course, they perform regular email validations. All data is stored within the EU and no data is shared between customers.

    In the end, though, it is incumbent upon each customer to comply with opt-in / opt-out rules consistent with national standards. GDPR is an EU-wide framework which is interpreted by each national privacy body. The UK has looser privacy standards around business emails than most of the rest of the EU. You can read more about this topic on this blog:

  3. Thanks Michael. I don’t think they technically have the rights to sell this data without the user’s consent. Per GDPR, it’s my understanding that they lack any or all of the following requirements:

    Consent – the data subject (person whose data we have) consented to us having their data.

    Contract – the personal data is required for performance of a contract with the data subject.

    Compliance – necessary for compliance with a legal obligation.

    Vital Interest, Public Interest, or Official Authority – typically only applicable for state run bodies where access to personal data is in the public’s interest.

    Legitimate Interest – necessary for our legitimate interests.

    I suppose I could accept your “in the end” statement but that is very much in the opposition of the spirit of GDPR. In my view, it’s passing the buck down the down and simply shifting accountability which again isn’t in the spirit of GDPR.

Leave a Reply