Drift Prospector

One of the new elements of Drift’s Revenue Acceleration Platform (discussed yesterday) is the just-launched Drift Prospector, which “helps your sales team accelerate revenue by knowing which accounts to focus on and what to say. ” Sales reps can home in on engaged accounts, determine members of the buying committee at those accounts, and reach out to prospects.

“Gathering all the touchpoints a prospect has with a company, Drift Prospector helps sellers see which of their accounts have the highest intent so they can connect with more of their buyers faster, helping to accelerate revenue for the business,” wrote the firm.

Drift Prospector analyzes customer touchpoints from Drift, 6Sense, Demandbase, Marketo, Pardot, Outreach, and Salesforce.  The service prioritizes target accounts, unifies behavioral insights across the buying committee, and supports outbound communications.  Buying signals are converted into engagement scores, which help prioritize accounts for outbound messaging.

Buyer intelligence includes contact name, title, number of activities, and when the contact was last active.   Deeper insights include “what the person was doing – including what pages they were on and which emails they opened, so [that] the seller can respond to each person on the buying committee in a personalized way.”

Prospector identifies additional contacts within the buying committee and tracks their engagement.  When buyers land on a customer’s website, the revenue organization can “capitalize” on buyer’s intent and notify the team that somebody is ready to “engage them in a real-time conversation.”  If there is nobody available to chat, the revenue organization can “easily send them an email, enroll them in an Outreach sequence, record them a Drift Video, or connect with them on LinkedIn.”

“There are a lot of tools out there that are focused on solving a single problem.  For example, there’s Salesforce to manage accounts and log activities, Outreach to orchestrate outbound prospecting, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator to research key contacts at target accounts, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I think these tools are a step in the right direction.  But the reality is that your sellers still have to jump between them.  And none of these tools tell your team where they should be spending their time in order to deliver the best result – whether they’re goaled on meetings or bookings.”

Drift CRO Todd Barnett

Drift is offering a broad vision of digital marketing which includes intent monitoring, buying committee identification, chatbots, live chat, video, and meeting scheduling.  While they do not support all of the top of the funnel channels, partners 6Sense, Demandbase, and Marketo LaunchPoint can fill that gap; they are staking out a full customer lifecycle approach to marketing that moves beyond lead generation.  The vision includes tools for unifying sales and marketing activities, analyzing engagement, prioritizing accounts, and buying committee discovery.

Drift is based in Boston, with offices in San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa.  They were founded in 2015 and claim over 50,000 customers.  The firm continues to grow with 35 open positions across sales, marketing, product, engineering, customer support, and customer success.

Drift Revenue Acceleration Platform

Drift announced its new Revenue Acceleration Platform, which it described as a new category that expands its original positioning of Conversational Marketing to a broader company vision.  

Revenue Acceleration “combines conversation, marketing, and conversational sales to help companies grow revenue and increase customer lifetime value,” said Drift CEO David Cancel.

Drift still backs Conversational Marketing and Sales “100%,” but is expanding its vision of marketing to impacting the entire customer lifecycle “from acquisition to renewal to expansion.”

“We weren’t thinking big enough,” posted Cancel.

Cancel described marketing as evolving across a series of eras.  In the 20th century, “the madmen era,” marketing focused on the brand and didn’t have a seat in the C-Suite.  Marketing was “in service to the CEO.”  The Internet brought us the second era, “the demand generation era,” when “we became reliant on do-it-yourself in human ops,” and the CMO role was created.  Marketing focused on lead creation and was “in service to the CRO.”

However, the world of marketing is continuing to evolve.  Demand generation is “not enough anymore.”  We are now entering the third era, “the revenue era,” which is broader than Drift’s original vision of Conversation Intelligence.  

“We had a vision of the world where people are free to have a conversation with any business, at any time, on their terms.  We thought what we were doing was helping marketers drive more leads.  But what we found is that when companies adopted Conversational Marketing, it wasn’t just about marketing.  In fact, what we were doing was unifying sales and marketing and directly impacting revenue.  And not just revenue from new business, but revenue across the entire customer lifecycle.  We have already seen this transition with some companies.”

Drift CEO David Cancel

COVID-19 has accelerated the transition to this new era where the buyer is in control, “digital is everywhere, and the best experience, story, and service wins.” The new Revenue Acceleration Platform brings together Drift Chat, AI [chatbot] Automation, email, video, and a new Drift Prospector service.  


Tomorrow’s blog covers the new Drift Prospector Service. Here is a graphical preview:

ClickDimensions Partners with InsideView

Sales and marketing intelligence vendor InsideView partnered with ClickDimensions to improve customer pipelines and content delivery within Microsoft Dynamics.  The partnership will support enhanced Dynamics data cleansing and enrichment tools for Account, Contact, and Lead records.

ClickDimensions is creating a Data Management services offering and will resell InsideView products and DaaS solutions for Dynamics.  ClickDimensions plans to exclusively sell these services as an add-on to their current product line and as part of a premium offering.  ClickDimensions will also provide data advisory services.

ClickDimensions will be rolling out a product suite of native MS Dynamics hygiene and prospecting tools in the coming months.  The new suite will be built upon InsideView data management capabilities, including lead enrichment, data cleansing, email validation, lead-to-account mapping, family tree, and account assignment.  The suite will also support analytics and visualization tools for monitoring data health.

Admins can set the timing, frequency, and scope (i.e. fields and records) of updates.  Both batch and real-time hygiene will be supported.  There will also be a one-time enrichment as part of the ClickDimensions offering. 

The new service will deliver “the insights they need to find and engage prospects more effectively, the tools they need for targeting intelligently, and the ability to automatically clean, enrich, and manage Microsoft Dynamics 365 company and contact data.”

ClickDimensions will be deploying a private preview in August for the InsideView’s Diagnose, Data Integrity, and Target offerings.  A September GA is scheduled for these services.

“Given the state of the world today, finding new customers is now more than just a growth driver, it is a matter of survival as businesses seek to replace revenue from customers that have pulled back or gone out of business,” explained ClickDimensions CEO Mike Dickerson.  “In addition to finding new prospects, businesses need to be even more relevant.  Buyers expect the same level of personalization and relevance from B2B interactions as B2C, and that requires complete and accurate data.  Our partnership with InsideView will enable our customers to ensure their data is always fresh and always current.”

“The velocity of change in customer data is unprecedented in today’s business environment, and many companies can’t keep up.  InsideView helps companies keep data accurate, refreshed, and actionable so they can focus on customers and revenue.  Combined with their marketing automation solutions, ClickDimensions customers will have the tools and intelligence they need to manage their customer data and target and engage the right buyers.  The partnership is a great match for B2B companies using Microsoft Dynamics.”

InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti

ClickDimensions describes itself as “The Marketing Cloud for Microsoft Dynamics.”  ClickDimensions embeds multi-channel marketing automation and analytics natively within MS Dynamics, supporting full customer journey engagement.  Marketing automation services include web forms, landing pages, visitor intelligence, lead scoring, social marketing, event management, surveys, SMS messaging, email marketing, and campaign automation.  The firm also provides marketing consulting services, including campaign execution, marketing advisory, and user training.  

Because ClickDimensions is native to Dynamics, there are no integration costs or data synchronization issues.  

ClickDimensions is based in Atlanta and has 3,700 customers.  Regional offices are located in the Netherlands, Ireland, Israel, and Australia.

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.”

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.

HubSpot Sales & Marketing COVID Activity Metrics

HubSpot has measured aggregated sales and marketing platform activity across its 70,000 customers since the pandemic began and benchmarking this activity against the pre-COVID level (January through early March).  Looking back at Q2, CMO Kipp Bodnar noted that “the data shows steady and sustained growth in buyer engagement, and that businesses with an online presence were ready to capture that interest.”

Marketing teams have risen to the challenge of keeping prospects interested in a messy, chaotic crisis and met an audience of buyers who suddenly spend all day at their computer,” commented Bodnar.  “While email volume has risen significantly — typically a no-no for teams hoping to keep their open rates up — open rates have risen faster than volume has grown, demonstrating that teams have been successful at providing relevant and helpful content.”

Marketing email open rates are up ten to twenty percent above pre-COVID levels, with the last week of June running 18% above the baseline.

Sales teams have been less successful in their outbound communications.  While sales emails have risen 60% since mid-March, “response rates have been dismal. Marketing teams have been able to connect, but sales teams haven’t. This is a huge area of opportunity for businesses as they enter the next quarter of COVID-19.”

Sales email open rates are down 25 to 30%.  “As sales teams increased email sends, customers began to tune these messages out or even mark them as spam in their inboxes,” warned Bodnar.  “So far, it seems if email send rates remain this high, we can expect response rates to trend in the opposite direction.”

“Volume and quality is a tradeoff — the time a team saves by sending out email blasts is wasted if that outreach isn’t personalized, relevant, and helpful. These gaps are clear in the data. At this point, sales teams should be working closely with marketing to understand how they can improve their email engagement rates, and sending far less email.”

HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar

Website traffic increased during the pandemic as decisionmakers and influencers began working from home.  Global site traffic is up 16% in Q2 vs. Q1 with it peaking at 24% above the benchmark on April 20th.  Software industry site traffic is running at 40% above pre-pandemic levels.

Customer-initiated chat levels have also risen sharply during the pandemic.  Total volume is up 31% over the pre-pandemic baseline, with every measured industry seeing increased volume.  “Sales teams have pivoted to chat to grow their pipelines, while customer service teams are leveraging this medium to manage the increased demand for support,” observed Bodnar.

Call prospecting has dropped significantly during the pandemic as it has become more difficult to reach individuals who are now working at home.  Call prospecting fell as much as 27% below baseline the week of April 6th and now is down around 9%.  Before COVID, there was a rough balance between phone and email prospecting, but in Q2, email activity doubled that of phone calls.  “Sales teams will need to return to their pre-COVID balance in order to see improvements in response rates,” argued Bodnar.

Deal Creation has improved in eight of the eleven weeks since April 6th, with deal creation up the past four weeks.  APAC deal creation was down 5% in Q2, North America down 6%, EMEA down 12%, and LATAM down 12%.  Large companies have recovered deal creation activity faster than small firms.  Computer Software deal creation was down 3% in Q2.

Deal Won has improved ten of the last eleven weeks, after dropping to 36% below baseline the week of April 6th.  For the full quarter, deals won were down 11%.  Smaller firms did best at closing deals, with larger firms posting the weakest performance, likely due to large firms selling a greater percentage of high-dollar, strategic deals that would have stalled in their pipeline.  Computer software Q2 was 14% above baseline, but this probably overstates industry performance due to Q1 often being the slowest month of the year and the loss of many “hockey stick” end of quarter deals at the end of Q1 as the pandemic struck.  Some of these likely slipped into Q2.

Bodnar provided three suggestions for Q3: invest in chat, shift from quantity to quality in sales prospecting and communications, and invest in online discoverability.

Dun & Bradstreet Files for IPO (Part IV)

The is the fourth, and final, blog on Dun & Bradstreet’s upcoming IPO. Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE Ticker: DNB) will be offering 65.75 million shares at an IPO price between $19 and $21.  The offering would raise just over $1.3 billion and value the firm at $8 billion. [Top of Coverage]

North American revenue increased by $12.1 million or 4% (both after and before the effect of foreign exchange) in Q1 2020 vs. Q1 2019.  North American Finance and Risk rose $10.7 million (6%) year-over-year.  Finance Solutions were up $13 roughly million, while Compliance fell approximately $2 million.

North American Sales & Marketing grew revenue by $1.4 million (up 1%) in Q1.  However, $4.9 million of S&MS revenue was attributed to Lattice, which was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet in July 2019.  North American Advanced Marketing Solutions revenue rose $4 million due to increased demand, but D&B Hoovers and the Data.com legacy partnership with Salesforce posted declining revenue.  The Data.com service is being phased out, so the $4 million in quarterly revenue drop was anticipated.  However, the drop of $3 million in quarterly revenue at D&B Hoovers, attributed to lower sales, was surprising.

International revenue fell by $0.2 million in Q1.  International Finance & Risk revenue increased $2.3 million, or 4% (both after and before the effect of foreign exchange) for the three months ended March 31, 2020.  International Sales & Marketing revenue declined $2.3 million, primarily driven by lower product royalties from their WWN alliance.

Annual revenue dropped $139.8 million (8%), but the drop was due to purchase accounting deferred revenue adjustments (9%) due to the take-private transaction and Lattice acquisition.  There also was a one month lag in international revenue reporting due to the take-private transaction resulting in an additional 1.5% drop in revenue.

2019 North American revenue rose by $44.1 million (3%) with increases in both product lines.  The Finance & Risk division increased revenue by $16 million, or 2%.  The Risk & Compliance products grew revenue by $11 million, and the D&B Credibility products contributed an additional $4 million.

2019 North American Sales & Marketing revenue grew $28.1 million (4%), with $17 million in increased revenue from Master Data solutions and $12 million from Lattice, which was acquired at the beginning of Q3.

2019 International revenue fell $3.1 million after the impact of foreign currency but was up 2% before foreign currency impacts of $9.5 million.  “Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, growth of $6.4 million was primarily due to increased revenue in our U.K. market driven by higher demand and usage related to our Finance & Risk solutions, including Risk & Compliance products.”

2019 International revenue was negatively impacted by $1.8 million, mostly in the UK, “as a result of transferring legacy Avention contracts to our WWN alliances pursuant to preexisting agreements governing partner exclusivity in certain territories.”

The filing also provided some color into their 2018 performance vs. 2017 as a private company:

“The increase in Sales & Marketing Solutions reflects increased revenue from new business in our Master Data offerings of approximately $7 million as well as our Audience Solutions products (Visitor Intelligence and Programmatic) of approximately $5 million and Analytics products of approximately $5 million.  The aforementioned increases were partially offset by lower royalty revenue from our Data.com legacy partnership of approximately $7 million and decreased revenue in D&B Hoovers of approximately $5 million.”

Dun & Bradstreet S-1 Filing

Dun & Bradstreet Files for IPO (Part III)

Continuing my discussion of Dun & Bradstreet’s planned IPO. The firm was taken private by a group of private equity companies in January 2019 and restructured.

The S-1 laid out how the firm has been restructured over the past eighteen months:

  • “We immediately reorganized our management and operating infrastructure into vertically aligned business units to increase focus and accountability.
  • As a result of this realignment, 18 of the 19 executives, or 95%, and 30 of the 46, or 65%, members of the broader leadership team are new or in a new role, with nearly half of all employees reporting to a new leader.
  • Our total employee turnover was approximately 1,500 and our leadership was able to identify and eliminate ineffective headcount resulting in a net employee reduction of approximately 850, or 17% of total employees.
  • We will continue to optimize our organizational structure and make targeted hires to build out our team at all levels.”

Other changes include

  • Incentivizing long-term contracts in commission plans
  • A focus on tracking and monitoring service metrics
  • “Modernizing our infrastructure and optimizing our architecture to increase control, create efficiencies, and greatly enhance the ability of our platforms to scale,”
  • Expanding their ability to “seamlessly add and integrate new data sets and analytical capabilities into our simplified and scaled technology infrastructure.”
  • Increasing their coverage of SMBs and “incorporating new, alternative data sets to expand the breadth of companies covered and depth of information we are able to provide clients.”
  • Implemented a Data Watch Program which proactively monitors and repairs issues
  • Improved AI capabilities across a broader set of content

According to the S-1, “Enhanced analytics enable us to provide easy to implement end-to-end solutions; by creating configurable, rather than customizable, analytics solutions, we believe that we can increase the adoption of solutions by our clients and expand the size of our client base.”

The reorganization and other changes have resulted in a $206 million annualized run rate savings as of March 31, 2020.

“DNB has been reconstituted into presumably more efficient and responsible operating units,” stated Donovan Jones of IPO Edge.  “The problems with the IPO are that it is too early to tell if the reorganization is delivering better results than the previous structure and the firm is heavier with debt.”


In Part IV, I will be covering their financials.

Dun & Bradstreet Files for IPO (Part II)

Yesterday, I began my coverage of Dun & Bradstreet’s IPO filing. Today, I am discussing the restructuring section of their S-1. Dun & Bradstreet was taken private 18 months ago by a group of PE firms that quickly moved to reduce costs and replace management.

The S-1 laid out how the firm has been restructured over the past eighteen months:

“- We immediately reorganized our management and operating infrastructure into vertically aligned business units to increase focus and accountability.

– As a result of this realignment, 18 of the 19 executives, or 95%, and 30 of the 46, or 65%, members of the broader leadership team are new or in a new role, with nearly half of all employees reporting to a new leader.

– Our total employee turnover was approximately 1,500 and our leadership was able to identify and eliminate ineffective headcount resulting in a net employee reduction of approximately 850, or 17% of total employees.

– We will continue to optimize our organizational structure and make targeted hires to build out our team at all levels.”

Dun & Bradstreet S-1

Other changes include

  • Incentivizing long-term contracts in commission plans
  • A focus on tracking and monitoring service metrics
  • “Modernizing our infrastructure and optimizing our architecture to increase control, create efficiencies, and greatly enhance the ability of our platforms to scale,”
  • Expanding their ability to “seamlessly add and integrate new data sets and analytical capabilities into our simplified and scaled technology infrastructure.”
  • Increasing their coverage of SMBs and “incorporating new, alternative data sets to expand the breadth of companies covered and depth of information we are able to provide clients.”
  • Implemented a Data Watch Program which proactively monitors and repairs issues
  • Improved AI capabilities across a broader set of content

According to the S-1, “Enhanced analytics enable us to provide easy to implement end-to-end solutions; by creating configurable, rather than customizable, analytics solutions, we believe that we can increase the adoption of solutions by our clients and expand the size of our client base.”

The reorganization and other changes have resulted in a $206 million annualized run rate savings as of March 31, 2020.

“DNB has been reconstituted into presumably more efficient and responsible operating units,” stated Donovan Jones of IPO Edge.  “The problems with the IPO are that it is too early to tell if the reorganization is delivering better results than the previous structure and the firm is heavier with debt.”


Part III of my coverage publishes on Monday with a discussion of their restructuring.

Dun & Bradstreet Files for IPO

Dun & Bradstreet filed an S-1 to return to the public markets after being taken private by Black Knight (BKI), Thomas H. Lee Partners, Cannae, and CC Capital eighteen months ago.  Dun & Bradstreet was reorganized and recapitalized with additional debt ($2.5 billion in increased liabilities).  The bookrunners include Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan, and Barclays.

Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB) will be offering 65.75 million shares at a price between $19 and $21.

The firm will once again be listed under the DNB ticker and will net at least $1.3 billion from the IPO.  The IPO proceeds will be used to “redeem all or a portion of our Series A Preferred Stock that we issued in connection with the Take-Private Transaction.”

Dun & Bradstreet has 135,000 global customers, including 90% of the Fortune 500 and 60% of the Global 500.  Its primary services support risk analysis (credit and supplier risk), marketing, and sales.  Over the past five years, the firm has focused on analytics, Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), Master Data Management, and Audience Solutions (e.g. programmatic, visitor intelligence).  The product line has been built both organically and via acquisition.  Earlier this year, they acquired Orb Intelligence and its AI/ML tools for collecting firmographics and digital business identities.  Last year, they acquired Lattice Engines, a leading Customer Data Platform.

This year, Dun & Bradstreet launched two new services: an ABM platform and an Analytics Studio that combines Dun & Bradstreet company intelligence with customer-owned and alternative data sources.

Dun & Bradstreet offers global services for risk analysis (credit, supplier), Master Data Management, Compliance, B2B DaaS, Prospecting, and Sales Intelligence.  Key products include DNBi, D&B Direct, D&B Credibility, D&B Hoovers, D&B Optimizer, D&B Master Data, D&B Lattice, D&B Audience Targeting, D&B Visitor Intelligence, and First Research.

The firm now focuses on “business decisioning data and analytics,” which “enables companies around the world to improve their business performance.” Dun & Bradstreet’s Data Cloud “fuels solutions and delivers insights that empower customers to accelerate revenue, lower cost, mitigate risk, and transform their businesses.”  Key data assets include the D&B WorldBase file with global company linkage; various analytical risk scores; credit and supplier risk reports; the global D-U-N-S numbering system for companies; country risk reports; industry overviews; and Hoovers company profiles.

The firm continues to invest in its global data.  Dun & Bradstreet listed the following data initiatives:

“- We have significantly increased our investment in the breadth and depth of our data.  We have specifically focused on better utilization of available data, automation of business data research, improvement of identity resolution, expansion of our individual contact database and implementation of tools to monitor and streamline our data supply chain so that we can generate better, more actionable business insights and outcomes for our clients. We are also proactively addressing data quality issues.

– Although we draw from approximately 16,000 proprietary and publicly curated sources, Dun & Bradstreet had historically focused on identifying and collecting a narrow subset of data that was appropriate for specific solutions.  We have since reoriented our approach towards better ingesting all available data to effectively leverage previously disregarded sources of data and thereby improve the consistency, accuracy and predictive power of our solutions.

– We are also expanding the volume of the data we are able to offer.  For example, we have increased D&B Hoover’s premium contact data from approximately five million e-mail contacts to approximately 16 million contacts in our Data Cloud from January 2019 through March 31, 2020, while simultaneously improving the accuracy of those contacts by 250% since the beginning of 2018.  We specifically focused on individuals we consider having significant influence over the buying process at companies that are most important to our clients based on our verified usage analysis.

– We are also expanding our coverage of SMBs and incorporating new, alternative data sets to expand the breadth of companies covered and depth of information we are able to provide clients. As part of this initiative we acquired Orb in January 2020, which allows us to better capture the digital footprint of businesses as well as the digital exhaust that businesses generate.  By incorporating additional data sets into our solutions, we can continue to expand and refine the insights we offer to our clients, which we believe will enhance our competitive advantage.

– We have implemented a data watch program (the “Data Watch Program”) to proactively monitor and repair issues before clients experience them.  Since May 2019, both client issues as well as Data Watch Program issues are now being logged in our data quality repository.  We have identified, logged and resolved a number of issues as a direct result of this initiative and are continuously working to address additional issues.”

Dun & Bradstreet S-1

Dun & Bradstreet has a set of content differentiators.  These include the global D-U-N-S Numbering system; global linkage; financial and risk data for credit, procurement, and compliance functions; First Research industry profiles; and Audience Solutions for programmatic and visitor intelligence.

“Data is only valuable when it drives action that moves an organization towards its goals,” stated the S-1.  “Underpinned by an integrated technology platform, our solutions derive data-driven insights that help clients target, grow, collect, procure, and comply.  We provide clients with both curated bulk data to incorporate into their internal workflows and end-to-end solutions that generate insights from this data through configurable analytics.”


Continue to Part II.