Dun & Bradstreet Acquires Orb Intelligence

Dun & Bradstreet is opening up the year with a bang.  First, they announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), and then they acquired Orb Intelligence, business identity and firmographics data provider.  The acquisition follows acquisitions of Customer Data Platform Lattice Engines in July, Sales Intelligence vendor Avention (now D&B Hoovers) in 2017, and B2B DaaS vendor NetProspex (now D&B Optimizer) in 2015.  The acquisitions have helped transition Dun & Bradstreet from an old-line sales and marketing information vendor to a digital analytics and activation provider.

“The acquisition of Orb Intelligence cements our strategy to link the digital and physical worlds in the largest global repository of B2B data and to provide enriched firmographic data to customer profiles to help our clients more effectively execute campaigns to improve customer interactions and revenue returns,” said Michael Bird, President of Dun & Bradstreet’s Sales & Marketing Solutions division.  “Clients can rely on Dun & Bradstreet as the one-stop-shop for all of their data-driven, decision-making and customer engagement needs.”

Orb Intelligence employs machine language and natural language processing tools for deriving firmographic and technographic intelligence from the open web and government documents.  Their global database spans 57 million companies.  Content includes web domains, URLs, IP addresses, social networks, government ids, corporate linkage, funding, trademarks, and technographics.  Orb Intelligence has served as the “data backbone to many of today’s most well-known B2B sales, marketing and analytics organizations focused on digital marketing or sales initiatives.”

“This will be something of a shockwave for many in the ABM tech industry as Orb is an unknown ingredient in so many (in fact I would guess most) ABM MarTech platforms,” wrote B2B IQ President Liam Blackwell (Note: Blackwell is also an Orb Intelligence advisor).  “It is often used as the backbone, with the Orb number as the key for connection.  It is going to be interesting to see how D&B controls / monetizes future usage of the Orb data – this will be a major worry for some of those platforms and obviously an opportunity for other data providers.”

Orb is an original data provider and does not compile or resell data from other vendors.  Along with company profiles, the firm maintains databases on US educational facilities, government agencies and offices, and healthcare providers.

If you already use other data providers such as Dun & Bradstreet, you can increase your match rate by 10-25% by matching unmatched records onto the Orb Database.  We collect data from different sources than Dun & Bradstreet, which is why the Orb Database is often used to complement D&B data.

Orb Intelligence website (pre-acquisition marketing text)

Dun & Bradstreet listed several benefits for their customers, beginning with the ability to cross-validate data across online and offline sources.  Upgraded customer profiles will improve the depth and accuracy of business attributes for digital ABM programs and audience targeting.  Enhanced content will flow through to D&B Audience Targeting, D&B Visitor Intelligence, D&B Hoovers, and D&B Lattice for anonymous visitor match, programmatic targeting and sales outreach.

Dun & Bradstreet also sees a “measurable impact” for the combined data cloud which will simplify the connection and segmentation of audiences, the creation of artificial intelligence (AI) models, and activation of channels through the D&B Lattice Customer Data Platform (CDP), to deliver the best sales and marketing campaigns.”

The transaction closed on January 8th.  The parties did not disclose deal terms.

LinkedIn lists 17 Orb Intelligence employees, including CEO Maria Grineva, who is joining Dun & Bradstreet as a Vice President.

Vidyard Closes $15M Financing Facility

Vidyard Logo

Before Christmas, video platform Vidyard closed on a $15 million financing facility with the BMO Technology & Innovation Banking Group.  Vidyard has raised $75.7 million in debt and equity financing to date (see Crunchbase Pro chart on the bottom) and was recently ranked number 39 on Deloitte’s Canada Fast 50.  

The funds will “help Vidyard remain focused on innovation and product development while financing strategic M&A & Global Expansion activities so that the company can continue growing, scaling, and providing customers with the most robust user experience possible.”

Vidyard has partnered with a wide set of sales engagement platforms, including Outreach, SalesLoft, ConnectLeader, Groove, Xant, and VanillaSoft.  Other partners include Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua, Drift, Outlook, and MailChimp.  Partners have cited a 2 to 3X improvement in open and click-through rates due to personalized videos embedded in emails.  Reps can quickly record a one-to-one video or embed a marketing video.

“Vidyard continues to make a global impact and is currently serving more than 50 million videos per day.  With the accelerating trend of the world’s most innovative businesses turning to video to power their marketing, sales, and internal communications strategies–tomorrow, that number is on a trajectory to exceed 1 billion,” said CEO Michael Litt.  “We’re excited to be working with BMO’s Technology & Innovation Banking Group to help finance strategies intended to support our journey in becoming the dominant video platform provider that the world’s most successful businesses rely on.”

Vidyard customers include Honeywell, LinkedIn, Citibank, and Sharp. A recent study of 218 B2B sales and marketing professionals found the top five uses of video within an organization are brand awareness (67%), lead generation (63%), customer education (63%), buyer education (58%), and sales enablement (54%).  Website distribution was the most common channel (79%), followed by email (67%), LinkedIn (63%), YouTube (60%), and landing pages (59%).  40% of respondents indicated that sales reps were deploying one-to-one videos.  Heinz Marketing and Vidyard conducted the survey.

Vidyard closed a debt financing round on December 20, 2019 (Source: Crunchbase)

SalesIntel at 18 Months

Sales Intelligence vendor SalesIntel closed out a successful second year on the market with growth in content, staff, and functionality.  In Q1, SalesIntel will be formally rolling out a new data enrichment service along with Salesforce and Marketo connectors. The firm added over 150 new clients in 2019.

In 2019, SalesIntel increased its verified contact data by 80% to 4.5 million contacts.  Data is hand-verified by a team of over 200 full-time and 1,200 on-demand SalesIntel-trained researchers.  Due to human verification, the company claims a 95% accuracy level for its contacts and is now able to identify the exact locations of executives.

“For a company just 18 months old, 2019 was in many ways, a test of our grit, competence, and above all, the value we create for our clients. I can say with 100% confidence that we have passed with flying colors.  We plan to continue making significant investments across the board, the fruition of which you’ll see in the next year.”

SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani

In 2020, SalesIntel intends to grow its coverage by millions of contacts and expand coverage internationally.  The firm also plans to extend its technographic coverage by “tens of millions” of values.  The roadmap includes integrations with Marketo and Bullhorn.

“As we continue to expand our data coverage, strengthen our platform and sign more clients, we’ll also continue to scale our team with more client success, data engineers, and researchers to maintain the highest standard of concierge data services that our clients appreciate and love,” said CEO Manoj Ramnani.

SalesIntel also began offering Account, Contact, and Lead record enrichment.  Technographic data, which is available in the prospecting service from HG Insights, is not included in the match and append service; however, SalesIntel noted that joint clients can obtain technographic data enrichment directly from HG Insights.  

The enrichment report details match rates, updated and enriched record counts, and the number of records that were appended (see Figure 1).

SalesIntel is selling enrichment processing as an add-on to the existing prospecting service.  Pricing starts at $5,000 per annum and is volume-based.

Enrichment is currently available via the SalesIntel portal and will be available as a Salesforce integration later this month.  A Marketo integration is scheduled for later in the quarter.

SalesIntel recently rebranded its Chrome plug-in as RevDriver.  Subscribers can export to CRM, MAP, SalesLoft, or Outreach.  A RevDriver Marketo connector will be available later this month.

SalesIntel’s New Data Enrichment Report

Priority Engine Enhancements

Priority Engine improved its Buying Team contacts and added contact card display.

TechTarget announced a set of enhancements to its Priority Engine sales intelligence service.  New features include improved Salesforce sync, refined Buying Team display, contact hygiene, and LinkedIn profile hyperlinks.  Improved Salesforce synchronization gives “sales reps easier access and dynamic visibility into active accounts in their territory, with even more accurate and actionable data on the buying teams within them,” said the firm.

Priority Engine now supports sales territories based on Salesforce account assignments, uploaded account lists, or firmographic rules (e.g. Industry, Geography, Size).  As accounts are added or reassigned within Salesforce, territories are automatically maintained, allowing Priority Engine to dynamically showcase activities within the territory.

Managers and directors can view individual rep account lists or multiple territories at once.

Priority Engine territories may be defined by SFDC, list uploads, or firmographic variables.

TechTarget acquired contact hygiene vendor Oceanos in 2018 and has begun to leverage it in Priority Engine for contact data enrichment and update to its 20 million opted-in contacts.

“Priority Engine helps sales and aligned marketing teams reach and engage more of the right prospects at in-market accounts to improve response and conversation rates,” stated TechTarget

TechTarget also adjusted its contact selection algorithm to improve its buying committee display, “vastly improving the fit of 3rd-party supplemental contacts in Priority Engine.”  A new contact card provides a detailed contact profile within the Buying Team list view.  Previous and Next buttons allow the sales rep to quickly view individual profiles.

Priority Engine also deployed improved persona logic to determine which DiscoverOrg contacts to display for accounts.

Within account views, Buying Teams now list emails, direct dials, and LinkedIn hyperlinks.

“Priority Engine has long provided essential intelligence to help sales teams fuel pipeline and close more deals.  These new enhancements are the first in a series of releases specifically designed to make it even easier for sales pros to access better data and powerful insights to maximize opportunities with active accounts in their territory.”

TechTarget VP of Products Andrew Briney

TechTarget collects second-party intent and opted-in contacts from readers of its 140 technology research sites.  TechTarget sites are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, and Japanese.  Priority Engine supports English, French, and German UIs.

Of the 20 million contacts, 18 million are technology decision-makers or influencers and 2 million work in other functions but are researching technology.  9 million of the contacts are North American, 5 million are located in EMEA, 5 million in APAC, and 600,000 in Latin America.

Priority Engine pricing is customized based on market access and customer feature/function requirements.  Typical individual subscriptions begin around $100K. Designed specifically for the needs of small companies, the Priority Engine Express (PEX) offering – currently in beta release – starts at $36K.

There are over 600 customers for TechTarget intent data products, with 51 added last quarter.  Priority Engine Express will be generally available in 2020.

Zoominfo Workflows

Workflows deliver triggered audiences to CRMs, MAPs, and SEPs.

Zoominfo which launched its combined Zoominfo powered by DiscoverOrg platform in September, released Workflows, their “first data automation tool that streamlines sales and marketing activity and effectiveness by enabling customers to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.”

Workflows identify new and existing prospects based on real-time B2B intelligence.  The prospects are then deployed to automated sales and marketing campaigns.  Audience segmentation can be applied according to intent, event, and news-based triggers including new technology installations, funding rounds, product launches, first- and third-party web activity, spending priorities, and other buying signals with additional company attributes.

One of the triggers is visitor intelligence gathered from their recently launched WebSights service.  “Now, you can engage prospects from organizations researching your site with direct-dial phone numbers and accurate email addresses.  What’s more, you can view your data and segment it according to firmographic filters, for instance, enabling better, more personalized outreach.”

Workflows support a set of sales engagement, CRM, and MAP platforms including Outreach, SalesLoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eloqua, and Marketo.  Sequences can drop audiences into campaigns or kick off sales cadences.  For example, a trigger can be set up for specific events and filtered by firmographics, technographics, biographics, or event-specific parameters such as Funding Amounts.

“Integrations with popular sales and marketing applications give customers the opportunity to marry ongoing custom triggers with essential prospecting information from ZoomInfo and connect with potential buyers in a personalized, more efficient way.”

Zoominfo

“Modern B2B buyers demand a personalized experience,” said Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck.  “Solely relying on standard and static company criteria to identify key prospects restricts sales and marketing’s ability to meet those expectations, especially when timing is so often the difference between a deal that is won or lost.  ZoomInfo Workflows solves this problem with features that capture dynamic buying behavior across first- and third-party channels, as its collected, along with hundreds of rules to automate as little or as much of the go-to-market motion as they’d like.”

Zoominfo has migrated 1,000 customers to its new platform.

Zoominfo Files for IPO

Revenue Growth Data from Inc. 5000 (2011 - 2017) and Debtwire (2018)
Revenue Growth Data from Inc. 5000 (2011 – 2017) and Debtwire (2018).

The day before Thanksgiving, Zoominfo began the process of filing an IPO in accordance with Rule 135 of the Securities Act.  According to the firm, “The initial public offering is expected to commence after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

Zoominfo is profitable and has a valuation in excess of $1 billion.  The number of shares and offering price have yet to be determined. 2019 revenue is estimated to be around $350 million up approximately $100 million thisyear.

“The paperwork is a draft registration for a common stock offering.  The confidential draft filing is a mechanism built into the 2012 Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups, or JOBS, Act, and was designed to make the IPO process for companies with less than $1 billion in revenue easier.  Companies must file information publicly 15 days prior to starting an investor roadshow or the effective date of the registration.”

Malia Spencer, Portland Business Journal

Zoominfo, formerly named DiscoverOrg, has a long history of organic and inorganic growth.  It is now the number two sales intelligence service, behind only LinkedIn Sales Navigator, with around a 25% market share.  Acquisitions include Zoominfo, RainKing, NeverBounce, Komiko, and iProfile.

Zoominfo released the Zoominfo Powered by DiscoverOrg platform in September. The new platform combines the DiscoverOrg technographics, Inside Scoops (sales triggers), editorially verified bios, and top global company profiles with the Zoominfo deep contact data with emails and direct dials. New features include WebSights visitor intelligence and FormComplete web forms.

Last week, Zoominfo released Workflows, their “first data automation tool that streamlines sales and marketing activity and effectiveness by enabling customers to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.” I will be covering Workflows tomorrow.

Zoominfo offers pricing and packaging similar to its legacy offerings, helping ensure a smooth transition to their new platform.

Episerver Acquires Idio

Idio's AI Powered 1:1 Marketing Platform

Web content management vendor Episerver acquired web content personalization and analytics firm Idio.  Episerver will now be able to predict the interests and intent of buyers and deliver “hyper-relevant” content.  The combined company is able to deliver personalized content, product recommendations, product search, triggered emails and messages, and visitor intelligence.  B2B solutions span manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, technology, information services, and financial services.

“At the end of the day, people realize every digital interaction is fueled by a business selling something to them whether the sale is via a shopping cart, a service or a subscription,” said Justin Anovick, chief product officer at Episerver.  “Persuading people to act is not problematic if the business is providing something of value to them but most digital interactions are created for the masses and end up catering to no one.”

“Idio powers 1:1 digital experiences at global scale. This acquisition is the next part of our mission to help our enterprise clients serve their end customers with timely, relevant and cross-channel experiences.  The combined organization, with Episerver’s deep content and commerce expertise and Idio’s predictive and analytical capabilities, make for an exciting future for customer-centric marketers.”

Idio CEO Edward Barrow.  

Idio will continue as a standalone product but will be “merged functionally” with Episerver.

“The combined company, with the financial backing from Insight Partners, intends to aggressively grow our deployment and success teams, as well as a significant acceleration in product innovation to help marketers achieve greater value from customer-centric marketing,” blogged Idio.

No financial terms were disclosed as both companies are private.

Note: Idio slide courtesy of Idio.

Lattice Engines Campaigns

The Dun & Bradstreet Sales & Marketing Product Stack
The Dun & Bradstreet Sales & Marketing Product Stack

Dun & Bradstreet, which acquired Lattice Engines at the beginning of Q3, launched a Lattice Campaigns App for LinkedIn.  The new app “improves campaign performance by creating and activating always-on AI-based audiences for LinkedIn Ads.”

“When Dun & Bradstreet acquired Lattice Engines, we were building on an existing partnership of the world’s most comprehensive B2B data and the world’s leading B2B Customer Data Platform,” said Dun & Bradstreet’s President of Sales & Marketing Solutions Michael Bird.  “This is the first in a series of innovations we’re quickly bringing to market to power more effective and efficient digital marketing, demand generation and sales acceleration programs for our customers through the intelligent use of data.”

The Lattice Customer Data Platform supports “hyper-targeted” LinkedIn advertising as part of a broader omnichannel engagement strategy.  Lattice combines first and third-party customer data, displays account and contact insights, and uses “AI to segment their buyers and deliver hyper-targeted engagement in an automated fashion across display, web, email, CRM and now social channels.”

“Let’s say a buyer at a cold account starts visiting certain product pages on your website anonymously.  Rather than just showing this buyer a generic ad about your brand, you could show them an ad with more specific copy and CTA [call to action] related to the product pages that they visited on your website.”

Dun & Bradstreet President of Sales & Marketing Solutions Michael Bird

The app creates matched audiences for LinkedIn ads and then lets marketers adjust media spend to target high-performing audiences.  The app then updates LinkedIn audiences based on “changes in buyer engagement, interest and company data.  As a result, marketers can ensure that buyers are engaged with the most relevant campaigns based on not only persona but on profile, propensity, interest and buyer stage.”

Dun & Bradstreet is claiming a 42% increase in click-through rates and triple the post-click conversion rates resulting in a 54% reduction in qualified lead expenditures.

According to Gartner, CMOs are spending 23% of their marketing budget on paid media.

“In an environment where B2B marketers are overwhelmed with data and technology options, our goal is to make their jobs easier by connecting interactions across customer journeys,” says Bird.  “This allows marketers to target the right audiences with the right message and make the best use of their ad dollars.”

Connectors for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are in the works.

Hybrid Engagement Platforms

Cognism Intelligence within Salesforce. Hybrid Engagement Platforms Continuously update CRMs and MAPs.

The market is beginning to evolve a set of hybrid engagement vendors that deliver a broad set of sales and marketing services.  The boundary between sales and marketing is quickly crumbling.  Hybrid engagement services manage both data and workflows.  Features include

Future functionality will include Next Best Actions, Embedded 1:1 Video, SNAP (Sales Navigator) Integrations, and Programmatic Advertising.

No vendor provides all of these services and some provide them as separate offerings, but firms such as Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo, Infogroup (Salesgenie), Lead411, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Cognism have all taken steps over the past two years to meet the emerging requirements of the CRO.

For the moment, I’m calling these emerging offerings Hybrid Engage Platforms, but that is a placeholder name as the market evolves.

Bombora Workflows & Partnerships

A/B Testing analysis of Company Surge variables in LinkedIn Campaign Manager
A/B Testing analysis of Bombora Company Surge variables in LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Intent data vendor Bombora has enlarged its direct sales team and is looking to shift from data resellers to OEM partnerships.  The OEM partnerships will deliver a “limited but powerful amount of data (or limited supported use case)” to customers and partners that want full, direct access.  Terminus is their first OEM partnership, but Bombora is looking to roll out three or four OEM relationships in Q4.

Shifting to OEM workflow solutions for intent data makes sense.  Unlike firmographics, technographics, or contacts, first and third-party intent data is more difficult to present to end users as it is both ephemeral (i.e. changing weekly) and statistically based (i.e. firms with a score above 70 are in the top 6% of signaled intent).  Thus, filtering the data by topic, company, and surge score provides confidence to end users that the data is meaningful.  OEM deals also place the intent data in the proper workflows for sales and marketing end users.

“Say a 200 person software business has Boeing as an account record in their Salesforce. We will append the topics surging at Boeing that that customer has licensed from Bombora onto the account object in Salesforce.  Once it’s there, it becomes searchable, so they can create tasks for salespeople, or they can use Salesforce as a hub and pipe that data to sales platforms, or marketing automation platforms.  Once the data’s in the system, it can be piped out to a bunch of different workflows.”

Bombora SVP Data Sales Michael Burton

Bombora also recently began providing intent-based audience feeds to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions for sponsored content, sponsored InMails, text ads, video ads, and dynamic ads.  Each week, Bombora provides an updated list of domains to LinkedIn based upon ABM lists or firmographic selects.  The domain list is updated dynamically based upon surge data with the first set of matched audiences available within 48 hours.  On the LinkedIn side, LinkedIn member targeting is available (e.g. job function, level, interests) through the Campaign Manager.

Bombora recommends that users perform A/B testing against the standard B2B audience list and the company surge list.

Bombora was spun out of Madison Logic in 2014 and made the Inc 5000 list for the first time in 2019 placing #997.  2018 revenue hit $26.4 million, up 425% over three years.