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.

Dun & Bradstreet Being Taken Private

DNB Logo
Dun & Bradstreet logos

I was going to be writing about yesterday’s #FlipMyFunnel conference keynote given by Terminus CEO Sangram Vajre this morning, but I woke up to news that Dun & Bradstreet is being taken private.  So, I’ll recap Vajre’s discussion of humanizing B2B and the need for authenticity in a later post.

Dun & Bradstreet announced that it will be taken private by CC Capital, Cannae Holdings, and funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, for $5.38 billion in cash. Shareholders will receive $145 per share, an 18% premium over its Wednesday close. The acquisition includes $1.5 billion in assumed debt.

The deal is subject to shareholder approval and is expected to close within six months.

Dun & Bradstreet has a venerable history going back 177 years.  Employees include several future nineteenth century Presidents.  The firm, however, has struggled in recent years to grow revenues, particularly in its Risk Management Solutions group.  Sales & Marketing Solutions, which makes up a bit over 40% of the company, has posted slow but steady growth.

Dun & Bradstreet has some market leading assets:

  • The D-U-N-S number is the de facto global numbering system for companies.  It is often required for loans and is necessary for bidding on US government contracts.
  • The WorldBase company file contains global linkages, Tradestyles, and credit scores for 300 million active, dormant, and defunct companies making it valuable for credit risk, supplier risk, master data management, research, client onboarding, marketing, and sales.
  • The Global Company Authority (FKA NetProspex) provides global directors, executives, and mid-level managers.
  • D&B Optimizer for Marketing delivers cloud-based data hygiene and enrichment for companies and contacts.
  • D&B Hoovers (FKA Avention) continues to improve with the addition of the WorldBase file, First Research industry overviews, and Global Company Authority file to the Sales Acceleration platform.
  • Digital delivery solutions include the D&B Direct API, connectors for CRM and Marketing Automation platforms, B2B programmatic marketing, and visitor ID (the mapping of anonymous website visitors to their firm).

The company has a strong data foundation and has been shifting delivery of its product line to the cloud, but its sales and marketing products have not had significant growth.  Instead, Dun & Bradstreet has seen companies such as DiscoverOrg, LinkedIn (Sales Navigator), TechTarget, and Zoominfo enjoy most of the growth in the Sales and Marketing Intelligence space.

Funding will be a combination of debt and equity. The deal includes a 45-day “go-shop” period during which alternative offers will be welcome.

Thomas J. Manning will continue as the CEO through the closing of the transaction while James N. Fernandez, a director of the Company since 2004 and Lead Director since February 2018, will continue as the Chairman.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a thoughtful and comprehensive review of the value creation opportunities available to the Company as part of a full portfolio and business assessment and exploration of strategic alternatives with multiple financial sponsors. As a result of this process, the Dun & Bradstreet Board of Directors unanimously determined that this all-cash transaction with the Investor Group is in the best interest of our shareholders and our Company,” said Manning.

William P. Foley II, Chairman of Cannae Holdings, said, “In an increasingly data-driven world, Dun & Bradstreet’s insight-driven business model and interconnectivity across industries has positioned the Company for continued success. We are excited to grow the Company, increase operating efficiencies and improve the Dun & Bradstreet customer experience by providing enhanced business solutions.”

Openprise Expanded Data Marketplace

Data Orchestration vendor Openprise expanded its Data Marketplace with the addition of seven new vendors: Dun & Bradstreet, Oceanos, DiscoverOrg, KickFire, Acxiom, Cognism and People Data Labs.  The Openprise Data Marketplace is a third-party data mart which assists with “onboarding, ingesting and normalizing data” into major platforms such as Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Microsoft Dynamics 365.

“Our customers benefit from having access to accurate and complete B2B marketing data – from verified account and contact data to organization charts to intent signals and buying scoops,” said Katie Bullard, DiscoverOrg Chief Growth Officer.  “The depth of our data gives sales and marketers a 360-degree view of target accounts and contacts, and our integrations ensure that data is always fresh, complete and up-to-date.”

“Openprise users can now incorporate Oceanos‘ contact hygiene and provisioning solutions directly within their automated processes to improve their demand generation and Account-Based Marketing initiatives,” said Oceanos’ CEO Brian P. Hession.  “Our API wraps five leading hygiene vendors into a single solution, further amplifying the benefits marketers realize.”

Openprise Content Partner Network
Openprise Content Partner Network

Openprise assists with cleaning and normalizing customer data, assesses match rates, recommends new data providers, coordinates data processing, and unifies data across systems.

John Donlon, Senior Director of Marketing Operations Strategies at SiriusDecisions, called acquiring and standardizing high quality prospect data as “one of the biggest challenges marketers face” and “critical” to implementing the SiriusDecisions Demand Unit Waterfall.  “Any technology that can facilitate that will give organizations a huge leg up not just in understanding their target audience, but in driving meaningful interactions throughout the buyer’s journey.”

Openprise claims that no single data vendor can provide superior data than their platform.  They also warned that a multiple vendor strategy is often ineffective due to industry content white labeling, resulting in little incremental value.  “With our Multi-Vendor Enrichment Strategy Service, our customers know quantitatively how each incremental vendor’s data will improve their database and they have the processes in place to easily integrate new data in a way that conforms with their existing data policies.”

The Openprise platform supports data onboarding, data cleansing and enrichment, data unification across systems, and data delivery.

Other members of the marketplace include ZoomInfo, InsideView, Salesgenie (Infogroup), Orb Intelligence and Synthio.

SalesIntel Human-Verified Contacts

SalesIntel supports prospecting by Job Level, Department, Title, Company, Location, Size, Email, and Contact Name.
SalesIntel supports prospecting by Job Level, Department, Title, Company, Location, Size, Email, and Contact Name.

Manoj Ramnani, CEO of CircleBack, launched his next venture, SalesIntel, as a beta service this month. After spending a decade in the sales and marketing space, Ramnani realized that “high quality and affordable B2B contact data for sales professionals was missing, and that enterprises were looking for a better deal.”

Traditional contact files are around 80% accuracy, but SalesIntel claims 95%+ accuracy through human verification of their contact records. Once added to the database, SalesIntel contacts are subject to a 90-day reverification cycle to maintain accuracy. 95% pushes the limits of accuracy due to the 2 to 2 ½% natural decay rate of contacts based on ongoing executive changes.

SalesIntel currently covers one million U.S. contacts, but it is growing at 100,000 names per week. Ramnani projects that the SalesIntel database will double in size to two million contacts by September.

Every contact record contains an email address and 90% contain direct dial phone number and LinkedIn hyperlinks. SalesIntel also provides headquarter and branch location switchboard numbers.

This data acquisition model is similar to the editorial process implemented at DiscoverOrg which has built a high quality database of three million contacts subject to 90-day human reverification cycles.

Ramnani emphasized that contact quality is even more important in the era of ABM targeting and committee buying:

When they do start a conversation, sales reps lack the contact information to easily include and reach out to everyone involved at an account. Each business decision involves seven buyers on average, but at least info for two of those contacts is expected to be wrong on average. Inaccurate data doesn’t only cost the cost of acquiring the data. It costs your sales team time, profit, and can slow down deals.

  • SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani

SalesIntel also supports ABM lookup of contacts at companies and broader list building. Screening covers basic location, employee, revenue, title, and name filters along with six job levels, nine departments, and industry codes (SIC and NAICS). Location screening is limited to State and ZIP codes. Up to 500 records may be downloaded at a time.

The basic service offers 50 view-only contacts per month for $50. The standard service provides 100 downloadable contacts per month for $100 and the Advanced service provides 250 contacts per month for $250. A Salesforce integration and technographic selects are coming later this month.

“My team and I started this journey six months ago with the mission to make sales professionals’ lives easier,” Ramnani said. “We realize that salespeople shoulder the most important responsibility for the existence and growth of their organizations, namely, revenue growth. Our goal is to use the power of machine gathering and human verification to make their lives easier by providing them with the highest quality data on the market.”

HG Data for Salesforce Upgrade

HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.
HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.

HG Data recently unveiled a set of enhancements to its HG Data for Salesforce app.  The Lightning Data app now supports integrated account prospecting and lead enrichment, features heavily requested by their customer base.  HG Data’s firmographic and technographic content is also available for lead routing, scoring, and segmentation.

Lead Enrichment supports both real-time and scheduled batch enrichment with firmographic and technographic intelligence.  Lead records are updated every fourteen days. Webform leads passed through Marketo and Pardot are processed in real-time, enabling immediate lead scoring and routing.

HG Data technographic intelligence is also available for Salesforce reports, dashboards, workflows, and triggers.  For example, Salesforce admins can build reports based upon technology usage scores or trigger Chatter messages informed by which platforms are deployed at leads.

According to CEO Elizabeth Cholawsky, “Our lead enrichment capabilities allow marketing groups to engage with prospects earlier and more meaningfully in the sales cycle for things like contextual outreach programming, more personalized lead nurturing, targeted content marketing, and other top of funnel activities.”

HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.
HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.

The new Discover Companies functionality supports both direct account lookup and list building.  Selection facets are displayed in a right-handed window and include firmographics (e.g. HQ country, state, and city; revenue and employee ranges; industry) and technographics (product, product category, and vendor).  The results list flags current accounts to help prevent duplicates but does not contain a suppress current accounts feature. Users may select up to 25 accounts at a time for immediate import to Salesforce.

Technographic prospecting helps expand the scope of target accounts as it helps identify firms using both complementary and competitive platforms.  Users can then refine the list via firmographics.

“One of the biggest discoveries B2B sales and marketing teams make when they start using our technographic data is that their known available market might be 3 to 5 times bigger than they had thought,” said Cholawsky. “The latest version of our app enables users to take fast and precise action by allowing them to import net new accounts directly into their Salesforce CRM instance based on our leading comprehensive tech installation data and supplemental firmographics.”

The new Discover Companies tab supports both account prospecting and account lookup via the search bar.
The new Discover Companies tab supports both account prospecting and account lookup via the search bar.

“Everyone and everything is getting smarter and more connected than ever before, and companies are looking to transform the way they connect with customers, partners and employees,” said Kori O’Brien, SVP, ISV Sales, Salesforce. “By leveraging the power of the Salesforce Platform, HG Data provides customers with an easy way to use and access technographic data to better inform their marketing and sales programs.”

Pricing begins at $5,000 per annum for HG Data for Salesforce.  If the Discover Companies module is included, the minimum price begins at $6,000.  Volume pricing is available with tiers at 50 and 500 employees.

HG Data offers sales and marketing intelligence services to tech titans (e.g. Microsoft, HPE, IBM, Dell, Salesforce), predictive analytics companies (e.g. LeadSpace, Everstring, Lattice Engines), and sales intelligence vendors (e.g. TechTarget, Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo).

HG Data employs 65 and has raised $24 million in funding to date.  Investors include Updata Partners, Rincon Ventures, Epic Ventures and Stepstone Capital.

Data coverage now spans 12.4 million global locations across 8,000 technology products and 4,000 vendors.  HG Data uses advanced data science to parse billions of structured and unstructured documents each month. Technographic insights are derived from over twenty different document types including case studies, white papers, press releases, blogs, job postings, and government documents.

InsideView Marketing Suite for Microsoft 365

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor InsideView rolled out a Marketing Suite for Microsoft 365 which packages add-on prospecting and enrichment capabilities for the Microsoft 365 InsideView service. The new suite helps “modern marketers grow and improve the quality of their pipeline, prioritize leads, find and engage ideal prospects and customers, and support account-based marketing (ABM) programs.”

The Marketing Suite bundles InsideView Enrich (lead and webform enrichment), InsideView Target (list building), and InsideView Refresh (Batch Account updates). InsideView is offering special “Suite Deal” pricing.

InsideView has long provided a natively embedded free Insights service for North American sales reps within Dynamics.

InsideView Refresh Match Analytics.
InsideView Refresh Match Analytics.

InsideView Apex, their recently launched go-to-market decision engine, is a further option for the Marketing Suite.

“Today, as more B2B marketers use targeted strategies like account-based marketing to expand customer relationships and win new ones, they need a marketing automation solution that helps them identify and engage with the best opportunities,” said Joe Andrews, InsideView VP of product and solution marketing. “The InsideView Marketing Suite builds on the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing so marketers can tap into our Targeting Intelligence to get higher quality data, make better marketing decisions, and execute more successful targeted marketing programs. As a Microsoft OEM partner, InsideView is always looking for ways to extend the value we can offer their customers.”

Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Summit

Zoominfo held its third annual Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston last month.  The event projected increasing marketing confidence by the firm, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson keynoting and lectures by many of the top sales and marketing thought leaders including Jay Baer, Convince & Convert; Tiffani Bova, Salesforce; and Keenan, A Sales Guy, Inc.  Analyst sessions included Sirius Decisions, Heinz Marketing, and Forrester.

The event also provided a forum for announcing ZoomInfo’s latest Growth Acceleration Platform features.  New capabilities include a revamped ReachOut 2.0 Chrome Connector and a HubSpot Connector.

Magic, who has a long history of success in business and team ownership, provided personal anecdotes about his basketball and business career.  Key pointers includied hiring self-motivated staff that are smarter than you so as to continuously renew the organization; make sure you over deliver on customer expectations; and reward your staff, not just executives, as it is the staff that will ensure your ability to continuously over deliver;  Finally, he said that there are too many competitors out there to ever relax – both businesses and athletes need to continuously improve.

The new Hubspot connector allows users to upload Accounts and Contacts to Hubspot with a click of a button from either a browser or the ReachOut Chrome connector.  The HubSpot integration also supports ZoomInfo Complete which provides on demand enrichment at record creation.  ZoomInfo Complete for HubSpot is currently in beta.

ReachOut 2.0 identifies LinkedIn pages and URLs and maps them to ZoomInfo Intelligence. Profiles, which include firmographics, emails, and direct dials, may then be quickly uploaded to CRMs or sales engagement platforms..
ReachOut 2.0 identifies LinkedIn pages and URLs and maps them to ZoomInfo Intelligence. Profiles, which include firmographics, emails, and direct dials, may then be quickly uploaded to CRMs or sales engagement platforms.

 

ReachOut 2.0 streamlines account and contact research from within Chrome, providing instant access to ZoomInfo intelligence while browsing.  The service is context sensitive, providing company and contact profiles based upon the current LinkedIn record, URL, or CRM record being viewed.  The service also supports quick export to Salesforce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft.  When expanded into an 80% screen view, full company and contact intelligence is displayed.  Company insights include location, firmographics, people at company by job function, company locations with contacts and location counts per geography, technologies used (licensed from HG Data), and competitors (licensed from Owler).  Contact data includes company intelligence along with an expanded set of social links and contact details.

The 80% ReachOut expanded view supports full prospecting both across companies and within a single firm.  Users can quickly select records and share them to CRM (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot) or Sales Engagement platforms (Outreach, SalesLoft).  Being able to enlarge to the 80% view allows Zoominfo to pack a full-featured offering into ReachOut, helping it expand from a tool to a full-service product.

ReachOut 2.0 supports full profiles and prospecting when expanded to 80% of the screen.
ReachOut 2.0 supports full profiles and prospecting when expanded to 80% of the screen.

ReachOut now supports user tagging allowing users to store campaigns, lead source, etc.

“If you combine your own intelligence with Big Data, you create for yourself a crystal ball that gives you the ability to focus your attention on the most important things that need to get done,” said CEO and Chief Scientist Yonatan Stern. “When you focus, it doesn’t cost you more money, but you can increase productivity and profitability.”

“Over the last year, we have doubled down on our strategy of making ZoomInfo’s contact and company data available on the platforms where our customers live,” said Phil Garlick, VP of corporate development.  “In keeping with that strategy, we have released two new products that integrate seamlessly with a host of platforms and systems our customers use.”

Also unveiled at the Summit was ZoomInfo’s new ZoomInfo University certification program, “a comprehensive, hands-on certification program that enables B2B professionals to fully leverage its B2B contact and account database for business results.”

The new training program teaches best practices around persona development, lead scoring and routing, market segmentation and territory management, campaign strategies, and data management.

“ZoomInfo University is designed to strengthen your knowledge of the industry and usage of the entire ZoomInfo Product Suite,” said Garlick.  “It’s both a deep dive of capabilities and the beginning of a lasting growth acceleration journey.”

ZoomInfo continues to be confident in their data quality due to their Community product which provides them with access to email signature blocks.  According to a sales rep, records updated within the past year have a 90% deliverability rate.  He noted, however, that deliverability will vary by industry and function due to the underlying contact decay rates of various segments.  For high decay functions (e.g. sales) and industries (e.g. high tech), he suggested using the six-month update select to ensure receiving the highest quality leads.