BoardEx Diversity Network

Interlocks research platform BoardEx added Board Diversity variables that track membership in ethnicity association networks.  The system tracks “champions, allies, and advocates of specific ethnicities in leadership roles.  It comprises multiple networks of associations representing a specific ethnicity – referred to as ethnicity association networks.”  Seventeen thousand execs are tracked, along with execs that have received awards from association members.

BoardEx covers two million companies and 1.5 million executives, with data maintained by 350 editors.

“Our clients are seeking ways to help their own clients improve ethnic and other forms of diversity within their own organizations and report on their progress with this change,” says BoardEx CEO Cameron Ireland.  “The new network helps you connect with members of over 2,600 ethnicity associations that actively champion ethnic diversity.  It also surfaces people who have received awards recognizing their contribution to ethnic diversity in business from publicly available information.”

Along with collecting the Board Diversity data, BoardEx will be working with clients and partners to

  1. Champion the efforts of diversity associations to help raise awareness for groups who are historically underrepresented.
  2. Enhance the ability of companies to discover and connect with talented leaders of different ethnic, racial and functional backgrounds to build leadership teams, C-suites, and boards that reflect their customers and wider society.
  3. Empower professionals to analyze diversity trends within workplaces in order to create transparency and accountability around different diversity attributes.

The new selects are available to all clients.

BoardEx is owned by Euromoney which has assembled a set of complementary services in its People Intelligence business:  WealthEngine, BoardEx, and Wealth-X.  WealthEngine provides wealth and lifestyle insights on 300 million Americans and 122 million households. Wealth-X profiles the global wealthy.

Following the December acquisition of WealthEngine, Euromoney stated that “the Group now has full coverage across the wealth intelligence value chain, which is a growing information-services market.”

Deepfake Sales Videos: The Worst Idea I’ve Seen in a Long Time

Katie Martell, a marketing thought leader and former CMO, reported that she was pitched a deepfake video service that clones faces and voices so that sales reps can “create 1000s of personalized videos in the time it takes to make one.”  Of course, the whole idea of these being personalized is ridiculous.  Here is how they describe themselves (I have chosen not to publicize the vendor’s name):

“So basically it creates a clone of your face and voice (also known as a deepfake). Allowing you to create 1000s of personalized videos in the time it takes to make one. Which is amazing to see how far technology has come.

The idea is that video is the by far the most personal way of communicating digitally. Putting a face to the 100s of faceless emails we receive each day can be really powerful for improving engagement. As you can imagine this is huge for sales and marketing teams (and newsletters 😄).”

Deepfakes discussed on NOVA (April 2, 2019)

I don’t normally editorialize in my newsletter, but this is a terrible idea.  For B2B companies and sales reps, authenticity and honesty are necessary for long-term success.  We already know that sales engagement works best when there is a level of personalization matched with authenticity.  Spamming the market with fake videos will quickly undermine your credibility.  Reps have had success posting short videos with whiteboards that say “hello, <insert first name here>.” They are intended to have low production values but indicate that the rep has invested some time into a quick, personalized message.  The point is that they are authentic.  SalesLoft data has shown that emails with short videos receive significantly higher clickthrough rates.

One of the variables that investors look at is LTV/CAC.  Deception will quickly reduce a firm’s Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), but once it is discovered, their Lifetime Value (LTV) will plummet, and their CAC will explode.  It is the sales engagement equivalent of junk food. It will give your company a short-burst of energy but destroy your brand health.

The asynchronous video companies (e.g., Vidyard, Hippo Video, Videolicious) have had great success supporting sales.  Their business models would be put at risk by such technology.  Instead of videos being a harbinger of authenticity and indicators that the rep has invested time creating a short video, they would become emblems of deception.  Likewise, Sales Engagement, MAP, and ABM Platform vendors should refuse to partner with any firms employing deepfakes as they have the potential to undermine ABM communications.

In the end, deepfake marketing will be recognized as SPAM and result in a rapidly dropping email deliverability score.  It would be a pyrrhic victory.

Trust is critical for sales reps.  Reps that deploy trickery will undermine their ability to sell long-term.  They should avoid such deceptions like the plague.  None of the deepfake vendor’s customers agreed to be named, an early indicator that trialers of deepfake technology are concerned about brand damage.

And more broadly, we are already having trouble agreeing on objective truth as social media provide custom feeds and recommendations that conform to our existing biases.  There have always been problems with how photos and videos were cut or manipulated (e.g., slowing down the video to give a drunken appearance, darkening images of black public figures).  Still, deepfakes create false narratives backed by realistic-looking videos that put words in people’s mouths.  It is a new form of slander and factual distortion that will continue to undermine trust in the media, government, and social institutions.

Exceed.AI Seed Round for AI Lead Conversions

AI Lead Conversion start-up Exceed.AI closed on a $4 million seed round led by Glilot Capital and West Fountain Global Fund.  Also participating were Alex Pinchev, former President of Red Hat, and Gur Shomron, the chairman of Israel’s WalkMe.  Funds will be deployed to expand into new markets and onboard additional marketing clients.

Exceed.AI pulls lead information from Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, Pardot, Salesforce, and SugarCRM to assist with conversations.  Features include an AI chatbot, SMS chatbot, email response bot, CRM synchronization, and an automated meeting scheduler.  Exceed also offers rules-based lead qualification and the ability to respond to questions.  Exception handling features include out-of-office follow up and no-show follow up.

“Some of our clients have seen up to a 39.5% increase in qualified leads for the same marketing efforts they already undertake without additional headcount,” said CEO Ilan Kasan. “Our strength lies in our multi-channel approach.  We reach audiences where crucial conversations occur when marketing teams are qualifying their leads.”

Exceed research found that out of office follow up results in a fifty percent lift in lead qualification.  They recommend a “short, cheery” welcome back email two days after the lead returns to the office before resuming the previous drip campaign.

“In a perfect world, every lead gets engaged by a human, but human follow-up isn’t scalable, and sales reps give up on leads too quickly,” said the firm. “So the majority of your leads are left untouched and sales opportunities are missed.”

Exceed noted that 44% of reps give up after one or two touches, leaving many leads to go fallow.  Bots will continue the touches, waiting for engagement.

“Robots are very good at speed, working at scale, they never get tired, they never complain, they’re persistent and they can process huge amounts of information,” Kasan explained to Entrepreneur. “Humans are good at relationships, feeling empathy. They’re very good at understanding nuance in complex situations.  Everything the robots are good at, humans hate doing and actually are not that good at doing.  And everything that humans know to do, robots don’t know to do.  This in essence is a partnership whereby the robot will automate all the manual repetitive tasks so the humans can focus on doing what they know to do best, which is closing deals, having conversations and having relationships.”

Sales reps should focus on tasks that require “critical thinking and evaluation,” blogged Head of Marketing, Billy Attar.  Conversely, “all tasks that can be handled by automation should be automated.”

“As a Sales Manager, you need to maximize the time your reps spend on tasks that require real human insight – the insight only they are qualified to give, ultimately representing the value they bring to the company.  Those human insights include researching prospects and evaluating each leads’ needs, interests and objections, answering their asked and unstated questions… all the things that Sales Reps and SDRs are supposed to do.”

Exceed.AI Head of Marketing Billy Attar

Exceed.AI lists Demandbase, SugarCRM, Hearst, The YMCA, and Universal Robots as clients.  Exceed.AI is located in Israel and Sunnyvale, CA.

Monthly pricing starts at $1,500 for 20,000 leads and unlimited use cases (campaigns).

HG Insights Market Intelligence for SOM Analysis

Last month, HG Insights launched its Market Intelligence service that supports technographic market research. The analytics service supports sales, marketing, and strategy teams at B2B vendors, letting them develop account plans, segment markets, evaluate market entry, and size opportunities.

Product and strategy teams can analyze market trends, size market opportunities, and assess competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.  They can also use it to identify the Service Obtainable Market (SOM), which is the market segment size a firm can capture with its solution. As HG Insights notes in the following graphic, the SOM is a narrower definition of market potential than TAM (Total Addressable Market) and SAM (Serviceable Addressable Market).

For example, many entrenched vendors in the North American Sales Intelligence space have robust solutions and established market share.  Looking to displace LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoominfo, D&B Hoovers, and InsideView in the most mature Sales Intelligence segment would be difficult.  However, a SOM analysis would indicate that the UK is the second most mature market and that continental Europe is beginning to take off.  Thus, a product manager might focus on European content and multi-lingual capabilities (e.g., UX, event tagging, free form text translation).  Likewise, they might select niche markets such as financial services with strong compliance requirements or choose to develop functionally differentiated services (e.g., GrowFlare focused on psychographics and ICPs before being acquired by Terminus late last year).

“Without a SOM containing detailed information about competitor product installations, you’d have no way of knowing this and might decide to go to market in a region saturated by competition you have very little likelihood of displacing. Alternatively, what if you were looking at different regions or countries and wanted to identify which situations represented the best growth opportunities for your business. Again, knowing the estimated market size in revenue isn’t going to help you much. But what if you knew what companies had budgeted to spend on your category of product by region, entity, or industry?”

HG Insights VP of Global Sales Scott Smyth

“Business leaders need more than high-level market reports to make successful go-to-market decisions,” said HG Insights EVP of Product Rana Kanaan. “With our actionable market intelligence offering, we are giving our customers the ability to customize their market views by the attributes they care about most and operationalize intelligence for their revenue teams.  This allows them to allocate resources more effectively, prioritize the right product initiatives, and give their sales and marketing teams the account details they need to pursue the best opportunities.”


Scott Smyth is offering a master class on TAM/SAM/SOM on February 24th. Here is the information:

HG Insights Market Intelligence

HG Insights continues its evolution from a technographics licensor to a full-service direct source of technology market intelligence.  Two weeks ago, they launched Market Intelligence, a market analytics service for marketing, product management, and strategy groups.  Market Intelligence delivers “actionable insights [that] business leaders need to understand their markets in-depth, make better business decisions, and go-to-market (GTM) with confidence.”

Market Intelligence insights are derived from their global verified technology installation data, including which products have been installed, tech stack spend by category, and contract terms. “This trio of data sets powers detailed, customizable views of the entire installed technology ecosystem,” wrote the firm.

The IT Spend and tech install data are broken into different categories, helping sales teams determine which verticals are likely to have both budgets and an intention to purchase.  Revenue teams can drill into market segments to understand the “size, shape, and structure” of target markets.

Likewise, marketing can use install and spend intelligence to better segment and target their outreach.  Information can be analyzed by IT category, industry, region, and other relevant attributes.  Better targeting allows firms to focus their marketing spend and attention on the right prospects and feed marketing qualified leads to sales.

Revenue teams can deploy Market Insights for territory optimization, account targeting based on propensity to purchase, and account-based messaging.

HG Insights contrasted Market Intelligence with traditional technology research vendors that provide “static, top-down analyst reports that are not customizable at the account level.”  According to HG Insights, technology analyst reports lack the account intelligence that revenue teams require to engage with customers and prospects effectively.

“HG Insights Market Intelligence platform addresses these challenges by providing you with the bottom-up account intelligence you need to understand your markets in-depth and make better business decisions,” contrasted HG Insights Marketing Communications Manager David Guerra.  Using our Market Intelligence platform, you can now instantly analyze the true size of your markets globally by technology installation, IT spend and budget, and a number of other factors.”

Users can also compare the market size of various markets such as countries by vertical to determine growth opportunities.  Other features include vendor penetration rates by industry, purchasing and spend data for target accounts, and segmentation based upon ICP criteria.

“The HG Insights Market Intelligence platform gives you all the information you need to understand your markets, remove subjectivity from planning, and go to market with confidence,” stated Guerra.

A few weeks ago, HG Insights closed on an equity round with Riverwood Capital.  HG Insights completed a successful 2020, reaching its highest annual recurring revenue (ARR) and profitability.  Employment rose 30% last year, and revenue grew over 35%.

“Customers continue to reaffirm that HG Insights’ data’s breadth, depth, and coverage accuracy has become an indispensable asset for critical decision making at every level of a technology company,” commented Riverwood Principal Ramesh Venugopal who joined HG Insights’ Board.  “HG Insights provides unique, data-driven knowledge giving decision-makers confidence that they are making the right choices.”


Part II covers how Product and Strategy teams can employ Market Intelligence for determining the Service Obtainable Market (SOM) for technology offerings.

Artesian Connect Platform (Part II)

Continuing my coverage of the new Artesian Connect platform [Part I].


Metro Bank, an early customer, deployed Connect for customer onboarding and back-book screening, complementing their Artesian Engage deployment:

“We started working with Artesian to explore ways we could introduce greater efficiency to the customer onboarding journey. We loved the idea of being able to aggregate data from a number of different sources and map our risk appetite to Artesian’s rules framework to flag issues immediately.  The result meant we could deliver a process which in some cases was 94% quicker than our existing process.”

Ronan Heeran, Financial Crime Risk & Control Manager at Metro Bank

QBE, an early insurance adopter, employed Connect for underwriting and COVID-risk checks, delivering consistent decisioning across its 200 underwriters.  According to QBE Director of Underwriting David Jones, Connect’s configurability let QBE be “proactive, rather than reactive, to changes in data for client assessment.”

Along with a rich set of news event monitoring and triggers, Artesian provides a broad set of Experian UK data, including financials, Companies House images, Gazette filings, Directors and Shareholders, Mortgages and County Court Judgements, Family Trees, and Ultimate Beneficiaries.  Artesian recently added Irish datasets from Experian.  They also offer US and Canadian profiles from a highly credible provider.

Clients can access Artesian Premium Data in Connect or opt to retain preferred vendors.  Connect also provides API connectors for Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis, Equifax, Refinitiv, LDC, and Graydon, with more data integrations planned.  Many financial services clients opt to feed their legacy PEP (politically exposed persons) and sanctions list vendors into Connect.

Connect supports a business rules-engine, development toolkit, and scripting engine.  Users can either work with Artesian’s technical consultants to define models or build their own decisioning and customer support tools.  Artesian employs a “3-D” solution process: Discover, Design, Demonstrate.  The 3-D process, combined with the Connect platform, allows Artesian to build complex business requirements in days or weeks, significantly faster than third-party developers.

Artesian has trademarked the term “Know-How Equation,” which describes their method of capturing “collective expertise” to “transform efficiency, efficacy, and consistency of frontline and middle office teams.” The equation is represented as

The Know-How Equation captures a company’s knowledge about its customers, business, and market in the Artesian rules-engine.  Artesian then processes structured and unstructured data to display “impactful insights and risk intelligence needed to deliver the ultimate in business acumen.”

“Artesian Connect can deliver transformational results in client acquisition, client onboarding, risk and compliance monitoring, and relationship management.  With Connect, modern frontline banking teams can rapidly merge disparate data sources, create bespoke rules for risk selection utilising rich firmographic data and, most importantly, deliver insight from unstructured data that paints a much deeper picture for client assessment.”

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

Artesian has also updated its Engage homepage to provide a custom briefing book to clients.  Features include dynamic Connect calculations, advanced engagement signals, historical screening, and account followers.  Customers can opt for either a data-first view or a news-first view.

Like many of its peers, Artesian Solutions has thrived during the pandemic.  Their mobile push notifications have had high usage during WFH, and financial services firms have increased platform utilization due to economic dislocation and CBILS checks.  According to Yates, renewals remain strong, with gross retention in the 90s and net retention around 110%.

The firm has long been profitable, with a 9X LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost).  Furthermore, customers have been integrating the Artesian platform into their workflows, with 65% of new business coming from platform-leveraged transactions.

Artesian Connect Platform

Artesian Solutions formally launched the Artesian Connect platform aimed at transforming frontline execution and effectiveness.  The platform supersedes ARCH, which was built on the same architecture as Connect.  The expanded platform now supports advanced sales engagement, customer onboarding, Insurance and credit underwriting, and relationship management.

Connect is Generally Available.

Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports both Artesian’s Premium Data feeds and customer-licensed third-party data integrations. 

By combining first and third-party datasets with business rules and existing policies, the customer engagement process can be streamlined and standardized across large teams.  Some of Artesian’s customers have thousands of users, so the ability to improve efficiency without impacting the customer experience is critical to successful implementations.  

As rules and policies have been codified, employees do not need to review as much company intelligence.  Instead, decision-making is reduced to the core information.  Supported processes include sales engagement, onboarding KYC/AML, insurance policy underwriting, and business-specific steps and requirements.

Artesian Connect delivers an improved customer experience, reduced employee onboarding time, and standardized processes and rules across all team members, which is particularly important when engagement priorities and regulations change, as they did in March.

CEO Andrew Yates emphasized that Artesian’s focus is not only on data but on rules and the ability to expedite decision-making based on scores and flagged items.  A new feature, engagement signals, go beyond traditional trigger events and look at multiple recent events before offering next best action recommendations. 

Connect supports four modes:

  1. Quick Tasks such as pre-screening customers or performing a CBILS (UK SME COVID business loan) check
  2. Tracking Companies and alerting on events, opportunities, credit changes, filings, etc.  As alerts are based on company-specific rules and policies, they have greater precision than general notifications.
  3. Multi-linked Analyses that evaluate multiple recent events and determine whether a more in-depth analysis of a prospect or loan is required
  4. Other Application Calls based on customer criteria

Platform apps can be delivered via the desktop, mobile device, or a broker management system, with output such as custom proposals delivered as Word Documents or PDFs.

“Artesian Connect is pioneering a new era in modern data and insight-driven Relationship-Banking – helping commercial teams leverage their extensive know-how and by combining this with the latest advances in data science, we can empower them to do what they do best at a scale and speed never seen before,” explained Yates.


Continue to Part II. Yesterday, I covered their new Irish Dataset and expanded UK content.

Artesian Data Extensions

Sales and Risk Intelligence vendor Artesian Solutions announced three data extensions to its company and contact universe: two U.K. dataset extensions and an Irish dataset.  On January 14th, they unveiled their new Connect platform and a broader product vision.

“We’re delighted to kick off 2021 on such a high. These new premium data points are fundamental to the KYC and compliance processes for many of our customers, so it was a logical extension to the data they currently rely on to engage with their customers.

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

The first data extension is U.K. County Court Judgments (CCJs) and legal notices such as receiverships and winding-up petitions.  CCJs are useful for financial services onboarding, due diligence, and risk assessment.

The Adverse Director History dataset assists with KYC/AML processes and highlights whether a Director was previously associated with a firm that ended up in insolvency, administration, or bankruptcy.

Artesian already provides access to other compliance datasets such as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), terrorist lists, and sanctions lists.  Additional details will be released in next week’s platform announcement.

The new Artesian:Connect platform supports custom processing rules and alerting for CCJs and adverse director histories.  Data goes back as far as twenty years.

The Irish dataset provides four years of company financials, director checks, and company news.  Firmographic data includes addresses, trading status, registration numbers, and auditor information.  Company data is available through Artesian Engage, the Artesian Ready app for iOS and Android, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.  Coverage spans 250,000 companies.  

Artesian did not publicly disclose the Irish data vendor, but it is a highly credible data source.

Artesian Solutions already provides coverage of Britain, the U.S., and Canada.  Customers can license the countries in any combination, including Ireland only, U.K. + Ireland, and all four countries together.

Artesian had a successful 2020 as customers looked for remote vendor solutions for both sales and compliance/onboarding.  Usage was up sharply for both product lines.  According to Chief Customer Officer Mike Blackadder, Artesian’s “training teams have never been so busy.”

Artesian hosted a virtual summit for its Connect platform on January 14th. Coverage continues tomorrow.

NetLine Buyer-Level Intent

NetLine unveiled its new buyer-level intent solution Intent Discovery.  Intent Discovery identifies both the individual buying committee member and the buyer journey status.  Intent data is gathered from interactions with NetLine’s 12,000 gated content assets from opted-in researchers who are fully permissioned.  NetLine describes Intent Discovery as an “always-on monitor” of business research.  Research activity is “mined on a real-time basis, and intercepted once a buyer has met or exceeded each element required to define intent.”  

Once prospect activity has been qualified for both active intent and firmographic fit, Intent Discovery asks a set of customer-specific questions that further qualify intent and deliver bespoke insights about the prospect and the individual researcher.  These insights are then available to sales reps, allowing them to target their messaging to an audience of one.

All content is vendor agnostic, increasing response quality. “Sans branding, the buyer is more likely to truthfully respond.  Minus the influence of a brand, and its market perception, B2B buyers are statistically more likely to find trust in the questions and their reason for being asked,” stated NetLine.

Preliminary data from their pilot indicates a 70% increase in participant’s “ability to accelerate account’s conversion to net-new opportunities.”

“Historically, if Marketers wanted to glean true intent insights from their prospects, they had to rely on a mix of their own content initiatives and faceless display advertising campaigns focused on targeting anonymous third-party cookies.  With Intent Discovery, Marketers now have access to dramatic first-party scale beyond their own content, enabling them to accelerate the sales process.”

NetLine CEO Robert Alvin

“With this product, we’ve effectively delivered the last mile of B2B Intent: Who is actually expressing intent.  First-party sourced buyer-level intent is the Holy Grail of sales acceleration,” said Chief Strategy Officer David Fortino. “Marketers are finally able to capture in-market and intent-rich dialogue directly from their prospects on a fully-permissioned basis at scale.  Far too many vendors are delivering account-level insights and guessing at the “who” behind the behavior.  We’re not in the business of guessing; it’s time for marketing and sales to understand the who — the person instead of the persona and that’s what we’re delivering on.”

TechTarget Acquires ESG

TechTarget continues to build out its technology content set with the acquisition of Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), “a leading provider of decision-support content based on user research and market analysis for global enterprise technology companies.”  ESG has twenty-seven researchers and analysts who cover Cloud Services & Orchestration; Converged Infrastructure; Cybersecurity; Data Platforms, Analytics & A.I.; Data Protection; Digital Workspace; Networking; and Storage.

TechTarget called ESG a “natural complement and extension” of its value prop.  It expands TechTarget’s “decision support content” and provides it with “new fact-based, research-driven content” for sales and marketing outreach “identified by purchase intent insights.”  ESG’s segment expertise and analysis support technology purchase decisioning that extends TechTarget’s value beyond its 140+ technology research websites.

ESG works with its customers to develop custom content, including technical validation, economic analyses, and bespoke end-user research that “enables the creation of highly actionable, extremely useful, interactive content deliverables and tools.” Content types include white papers, videos, infographics, dynamic content (HTML 5), online event support, and social media support.

Clients commonly use ESG content to support product launches, competitive positioning, channel enablement, and ABM-focused outreach.  Thus, TechTarget’s websites identify who is currently in-market for specific solution types, and ESG’s custom content delivers mid-funnel tools to assist with messaging across the demand unit.

“ESG delivers highly relevant, purchase cycle-focused content specifically built to support buying and selling. As such it helps fill critical gaps that have long increased costs and cycle times on both sides of the process.  Adding depth to and building on TechTarget’s existing strengths in content, process support, and data creates clear, easily accessed value for both clients and end-users.”

ESG Founder Steve Duplessie

The ESG acquisition is TechTarget’s third over the past year.  In December, TechTarget closed on its $150 million BrightTALK purchase that provided it with event marketing and event-related intent signals.  In March, TechTarget tucked in Data Science Central, a digital publisher that focuses on data science and business analytics.

“We’re super excited about the value ESG provides to our clients and our members,” said Michael Cotoia, Chief Executive Officer, TechTarget. “Together, we can provide enterprise technology buyers much richer information support across their buyer’s journeys.  For our clients, adding ESG to the unmatched intent data and services we’ve long-provided means we can further increase their productivity gains and business yields end-to-end across go-to-markets.”

The acquisition price was not disclosed.  Both firms operate in the Boston suburbs. The BrightTALK acquisition closed on December 23rd.