Aberdeen Behavioral Technographics

Behavioral Technographic Use Cases from Aberdeen.
Behavioral Technographic Use Cases from Aberdeen.

Intent and technographics vendor Aberdeen announced Aberdeen Behavioral Technographics, their next-generation installed technology dataset.  Aberdeen is the successor to the pioneering Ziff Davis and Harte-Hanks Access CI dataset that was developed over two decades ago.

Aberdeen notes that traditional technographics are binary, static flags at the corporate level whereas Behavioral Technographics “actively measure technology usage down to company location, number of users, and pains and priorities of the usage.”

“Technographic data has been overdue for innovation,” said Aberdeen CEO Marc Osofsky.  “The reaction to our data has been amazing, companies have signed up within days of seeing the data.”

Aberdeen claims that its technographics are “up to 55% more accurate than legacy install (technographic) data” resulting in improved account prioritization, pipeline, and win-rates.

“Historical technographic data is actually still pretty new for most firms.  And the way that it’s most commonly collected, at least in recent days, is focusing on job boards and individual websites to determine whether or not technology’s actually installed at a company.  And they do this by…focusing on the job boards to see if a technology is present within the actual job description.  There are a lot of fallbacks to this, and this new method gets around that way.”

Benjamin Cavicchi, Aberdeen Senior Data Analyst

Behavioral Technographics are based upon technology usage and topical queries, not simply installation.  Data is captured from over 1,100 websites that host educational content concerning technologies.  This takes them beyond traditional job board scans to include forums, tutorials, and educational sites.  365 days of behavioral data are captured which include deployed technology, pain points, and topics.

“We focus on the education of an individual about a technology because that is clear evidence that they use it,” said Aberdeen Senior Data Analyst Benjamin Cavicchi.  “So what we’re looking at is a handful or a couple of thousand websites that resolve to user tutorials or user forums where people ask questions and answer them about a technology, as well as a host of other, I would say, technology-specific blogs where experts write about it.”

Cavicchi’s idea was to focus on those pages ”that answer these very specific questions that you would have in your daily work working with the technology.”  This is the content that shows up when technology questions are typed into Google.

For example, if employees are researching topics about Excel, they are likely using it.  “The idea is that if you aggregate all of the individuals associated with a company and you look at this historical activity on Excel, you can get a better understanding of whether or not they use it.  So other users at his company may be googling other, more advanced things like how to write efficient VBA code, or creating dynamic Excel dashboards,” said Cavicchi.

And because they are looking at trends and technology questions, they can discern which companies are using precursors to more advanced solutions, usage levels, and current pain points.  Behavioral Technographics are available at the location level.

“Excel is the natural antecedent to a BI solution, a more advanced one.  So if you have a lot of people at a company that are writing VBA code, that are trying to create these dynamic dashboards, but they don’t have any activity on any other BI solution, it seems to me that they probably need one.  We’re finding the problems of the company, and helping companies to essentially find them, too.

“Behavioral Technographics is a perfect complement to Intent Data,” said Aberdeen.  “Both provide full visibility into your target market: Intent Data identifies companies in-market to buy and Behavioral Technographics provides technology in use insights to prioritize and target the remaining accounts not yet showing intent.”

Behavioral Technographics are patent-pending.  Aberdeen describes its new technographics as “dynamic and quantitative.”

The next step will be behavioral profiling which is common in B2C but has yet to be extended to B2B.  Behavioral Profiling will look at groups of individuals to determine buyers and influencers.  For example, high levels of research around python indicate the presence of a data science team.

Aberdeen entered the intent market when it acquired The Big Willow last December.

DealSignal Adds Bombora Intent

Human-verified contact vendor DealSignal added Bombora intent to its B2B marketing data service.  The combined solution offers intent-based leads with verified emails and direct dials “so that marketing and sales teams can reach out to ideal buyers directly and drive more conversions.”  DealSignal applies Bombora intent data to an Ideal Buyers Profile.  Users will be able to identify net-new, surging accounts with accompanying contacts and buying teams.

“We’re excited to partner with Bombora to help marketing and sales teams finally answer the most elusive question: Who is out there actively looking for what we sell and how can we reach them before our competitors,” said DealSignal CEO, Rob Weedn.  ”The integration of Bombora intent data and DealSignal’s verified contact and account data means that revenue-driving teams can now see which companies are actively in-market, plus get complete, accurate contact data for ideal buyers at those companies, so they can reach out and convert that intent into a purchase.”

Selecting Bombora Intent Topics
Selecting Bombora Intent Topics

Marketers begin by defining their target buyer personas on the DealSignal platform and then select up to 50 Bombora intent topics.  DealSignal identifies accounts that match buyer profiles along with surging intent and delivers a set of accounts with contacts and firmographics.  By tying together intent, firmographics, and human-verified contacts, DealSignal delivers a set of leads that are more likely to close than with traditional firmographic prospecting.

“Intent-based leads help B2B marketers uncover accounts that are actively in-market — even if they’re not already on their target account/ABM lists.  We then deliver complete, enriched and verified contact and account data that helps marketing & sales teams reach out to prospective target buyers with highly personalized messages, to help them convert more intent into a purchase,” said Weedn.

Third-party Intent data from Bombora and The Big Willow has suffered from poor actionability as intent scores lack context and clear next steps.  Several vendors have begun to address this issue by combining intent with company and contact intelligence, turning an intent number into an ABM lead.  DealSignal ties together Ideal Buyers, Personas, Bombora Intent Data, and Human-verified contacts to indicate which ABM targets are in market and who should be contacted.  

DiscoverOrg redesigned its OppAlerts service to identify companies with surging interest in key topics, rank companies by purchase intent, route high-intent prospects to sales reps, and synch intent data with Salesforce for key topics.  

InsideView added the Bombora intent file into their Apex ICP / TAM service to help identify ABM accounts which are currently searching on key topics.

By converting intent signals into leads or opportunities, firms are beginning to translate billions of weekly datapoints (thousands of intent topics across millions of companies) into actionable intelligence for sales and marketing teams.

In December, Aberdeen acquired The Big Willow to deliver Intent Qualified Opportunities which combined third-party intent with technographics, firmographics, content, and research.

“Intent data has been trapped in marketing tools as just another score,” said Aberdeen CEO Marc Osofsky, Aberdeen’s CEO.  “Aberdeen Intent for Salesforce delivers what sales wants – accounts looking to buy that are fed directly into Salesforce for sales to engage and increase pipeline.”


Resources:

Aberdeen Acquires The Big Willow

Aberdeen combines online interactions (1st and 3rd-party) with targeting data to help identify intent qualified leads.  Aberdeen market research content and outbound calling teams help with opt-in steps and intent qualification (Source: Aberdeen)
Aberdeen combines online interactions (1st and 3rd-party) with targeting data to help identify intent qualified leads. Aberdeen market research content and outbound calling teams help with opt-in steps and intent qualification (Source: Aberdeen)

Technology marketing services vendor Aberdeen acquired intent vendor The Big Willow, creating anew marketing category of intent qualified leads for sales reps.  No financial details were provided.

The Big Willow describes itself as the “the leader in buyer intent data science and intent-targeted digital advertising.”  The firm monitors billions of daily web interactions to determine the interest intensity level across product categories.  The goal of intent data is to identify prospects early in the buying cycle so that vendors can begin marketing to them before they reach out to competitors, “thereby providing sellers a first-mover advantage and resulting in vastly more effective marketing and sales investment.”

Aberdeen CEO Marc Osofsky explained why a market research firm bought a source of intent data, “B2B marketing is undergoing a fundamental change as buyer journeys are now primarily online, and massive new data streams become available to improvethe performance of marketing and sales.  Our role is to capture and analyze this new buyer behavior data to help our clients improve marketing and sales performance.”

The Big Willow captures keywords and IP addresses and links them to D-U-N-S locations.  The firm also performs natural-language indexing of web sites for keyword assignment.

“We are focused on helping clients convert intent data into new wins,” said Osofsky. “The addition of The Big Willow makes us the only company with all ofthe necessary capabilities to deliver results from the power of intent data.”

Buyer intent data captures the online research of actual buyer journeys and determines a purchase intent signal from the noise of normal activity. Doing this at internet scale with keyword precision creates the most accurate way to predict who’s in market for your products or services.  Companies use these predictions to improve the performance of account-based marketing, targeted advertising, demand generation programs, content marketing and more.

Aberdeen

By combining The Big Willow’s online interactions (topic, keywords, PageURL, andOpt-in), Aberdeen’s targeting data (company, location, contacts), and first-party visitor intelligence and win/loss history, Aberdeen builds models to identify sales ready leads.  Aberdeen further helps identify opted-in, qualified contacts via its research library and call center.  Models are based on 18 months of buyers’ journeys indexed down to the device id.

“Marketing often struggles to deliver sales ready leads – content syndication leads can stall out in nurture, ABM activity does not lead to sales meetings,” says Aberdeen. “Our Intent Qualified Demand programs deliver because we do what the other approaches lack. We reach out as Aberdeen to target titles at in-market companies with research-based self-assessments to qualify

Aberdeen’s approach differs from predictive analytics in that they identify specific contacts showing current interest whereas predictive analytics models focus more on identifying companies which are similar to current customers.  Based on their buyer journey data and client closed/loss history, Aberdeen claims that their models achieve 91% accuracy in predicting purchase intent based on blind tests run by clients.

The Big Willow tracks buyer journeys across 3.7 billion device ids and 12 billion webpages.  The firm captures 480,000 keywords.  Aberdeen claims to offer “the largest, most accurate and highly targeted [intent data] in the market today.”

To further its goal of identifying Intent Qualified Opportunities, Aberdeen has grown its contacts file to 60 million names tied to geolocations and companies.

“Combined, Aberdeen and the Big Willow now deliver intent-qualified opportunities that include the specific company location of the intent and the target titles’ contact info,” said the firm.  “Clients have the option of a full-service, cost per lead program, a data lake delivery, or the opportunities and contacts sent directly into their CRM.”

The Big Willow CEO Charlie Tarzian has been named President and Chief Innovation Officer of Aberdeen while Keith Blackwell has assumed the position of Aberdeen Chief Operating Officer.

The Aberdeen Group was spun off of Harte-Hanks several years ago and contains Aberdeen market research and the old AccessCI (aka Harte-Hanks Market Intelligence) technographics database.

CrunchBase Launches Marketplace Partner Ecosystem

SimilarWeb Web Traffic Analysis within Crunchbase Pro.
SimilarWeb Web Traffic Analysis within Crunchbase Pro.

Crunchbase unveiled their long-planned Crunchbase Marketplace partner ecosystem.  Crunchbase signaled plans for the ecosystem a year ago when it announced an $18 million funding round.  Partner datasets are available via an “app store” connected to their subscription Crunchbase Pro data service.

“We see this as the next step in building the master database for companies online. We don’t feel like a single company can go out and get all the information that there is to get, which is why we have decided to partner.”

  • Crunchbase CEO Jager McConnell

Crunchbase has signed 13 data partners: SimilarWeb, Apptopia, BuiltWith, Siftery, IPqwery, Bombora, Owler, Financial Content, TradingView, Enigma, Wayback Machine, Aberdeen, and Wikipedia.  The span of partners is fairly broad and includes technographics, intent data, web traffic, app installs, government filings, and stock quotes.

The following datasets are live:

  • Crunchbase Pro – Funding data available for $29 / user / month
  • SimilarWeb – Web traffic and engagement (free)
  • Siftery – Tech Stack data for $49 / user / month
  • BuiltWith – Tech Stack data for $49 / user / month
  • Apptopia – Mobile app analytics for $49 / user / month

“We’re super excited about these partnerships because they are bringing up a ton of new data that we’ve never seen before,” McConnell added. “We think this is the first time that someone has taken all this data and put it all into one place. Looking further out we think that all enterprise software will be built on large data sets, and we think that we can be the trusted source for all that company information on the internet.”

Crunchbase is looking to increase the number of registered and Pro users on its site, so only registered users will have access to the marketplace.  Last year, Crunchbase had 40 million unique users, many of whom were anonymous.

Current licensors of third-party datasets do not have free access to the content via the Marketplace.  However, Crunchbase is evaluating a voucher system for dual licensors.

Crunchbase said it is unsure whether the current $49 per month fee will be modified.  For example, they are open to building solution bundles by function which support multiple datasets.  However, such a model has yet to be explored.  They are also considering a freemium model with in-app purchases of additional data beyond a limited number of free records.

Crunchbase will continue to focus on its strength: – the collection of funding data.  “Logo, name, address, funding, founding and investor data: we’ll always own that node,” McConnell told TechCrunch. “This is the reason why most come to us today and we don’t want to jeopardize this.”

Crunchbase would like to build out to one hundred partners over the next year.

Aberdeen Expands its Installed Tech Coverage

Aberdeen Group, which invested significantly in reviving the technology content of the former Harte-Hanks Market Intelligence database (aka AccessCI), announced the addition of twenty million technology installs across five million companies to their coverage.  Data is available at both the enterprise and site level.

“We’re very excited to provide our customers with a whole new level of targeting information based on the combination of our proprietary analytics, and our new technology installation information,” said Aberdeen CEO Gary Skidmore. “Originating and curating this data, along with our already vast data set, gives us the kind of precision to be able to provide our customers insights that nobody else can.”

Lead Essentials Account Prospecting
Lead Essentials Account Prospecting

Aberdeen offers over one hundred analytic models which benefit from the improved data.  The content is available through its Lead Essentials service which combines account data and content in a single platform.  Thus, sales and marketing professionals can target active buyers and “engage them with relevant content trending within their category.”

The enhanced data is also available via a free Google Chrome browser extension Lead Essentials Lite.  The extension provides technology and footprint intelligence for the current website.  Other content includes contacts, buying centers, and purchasing plans.

“Our enhanced data set creates a whole ecosystem of data and content,” said Chief Data Officer Charlie Allieri. “For example, if our data analysts see a surge in installations of a particular type of technology at a certain company or category, they can create content about the best practices surrounding that technology. This represents a strategic change that lets us leverage all data points and business knowledge to provide more powerful marketing.”

Evolution of Sales Intelligence

Darwin's_finchesThe Sales Intelligence (SI) space has been undergoing some rapid change over the past year.  This evolution in functional scope and content sets has resulted in an expansion in the number of companies I cover as well as the categories (ABSD services, PE/VC funding databases).  There is also a movement of sales intelligence vendors into marketing intelligence as the traditional SIs look for additional revenue opportunities and a broader value proposition.

A year ago, Account Based Marketing (ABM) was discussed mostly by DemandBase, a top of the funnel programmatic marketing vendor, but the predictive analytics vendors and Zoominfo began discussing the methodology.  Thus, a year ago, ABM meant anti-ballistic missile or activity based management to all but the most well-versed marketers.  Now the term is commonly found in corporate blogs and collateral and has spawned ABSD (Account Based Software Development) which follows ABM down to the middle of the funnel in the sales development function.  There are now several ABSD vendors which I have begun to include in my newsletter including SalesLoft and QuotaFactory.  ABSD shifts the sales development focus away from “smile and dial” calling towards targeted messaging into a set of top prospects.  Since the prospecting activities are targeting higher value opportunities, there is a benefit to personalizing calls and emails.  SalesLoft refers to this activity as “sincerity at scale.”

What is even more impressive about SalesLoft and QuotaFactory is that they are both less than two years old and yet they have already grown in commercial stature to the point where they are building out partner ecosystems with traditional SIs and other vendors.  SalesLoft rolled out their Sales Development Cloud at their customer conference last month with nine partners including DiscoverOrg, InsideView, Datanyze, and Owler.  At the same time, QuotaFactory announced partnerships with Bedrock Data, Ambition, HG Data, and InsideView.

A second area of rapid growth is the technology sales intelligence vendors.  DiscoverOrg and RainKing have grown revenue and capabilities, transforming what was historically a sleepy niche into a significant sub-category.  Both vendors have posted high multi-year growth rates, internationalized their datasets, expanded their technology trigger events, and developed CRM and marketing automation connectors.  While they continue to gather rich profiles of IT execs, they are broadening their functional coverage to include non-IT functions that are significantly investing in IT cloud solutions such as marketing and finance.  DiscoverOrg is continuing this functional expansion with product management (the recently released TEDD dataset), HR, and Sales.  Furthermore, their databases, which once focused on the Fortune 1000, now cover nearly 50,000 top global companies and 700,000 executives.  Both firms announced significant funding events in the past six months.

Aberdeen Group, which was spun off of Harte-Hanks last year, has begun to invest in the AccessCI database.  Once the leading source of technology profiles and leads, the AccessCI (aka CiTDB and CITDS) dataset had received little investment from Harte-Hanks over the prior decade.  Under new ownership, the product is once again receiving management attention.

The SIs have also increased their coverage of technographicsAvention acquired SalesQuest two years ago and integrated their Crush profiles into their products while other vendors have licensed vendor/product data from HG Data or mined technographic intelligence.  HG Data has become so adept at collecting vendor/product data that DiscoverOrg and Aberdeen Group have begun licensing content from them.

Several firms that began as fundings databases found that Business Development was a logical extension of their value proposition and have since repositioned themselves as sales intelligence solutions.  Firms such as DataFox and Mattermark are focusing more on sales intelligence functionality while CB Insights has launched a sales intelligence solution (with technographics) while retaining its focus on the PE/VC space.

For the most part, the SIs have avoided the predictive analytics space.  The exceptions are Avention, which supports business signals and ideal profiles, and Radius which morphed  from an SMB SI into a predictive analytics company.  Meanwhile, the predictive analytics companies are beginning to offer a subset of SI features such as net-new leads.

Instead, the SIs have focused more on marketing analytics, data enrichment, and data hygiene which allows them to leverage their databases without investing in data scientists.  Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex last year for its contact database and the Workbench cloud data hygiene platform.  They have also begun to offer Hoover’s concierge services including enrichment, segmentation reporting, and email delivery.  Avention launched its DataVision customer data platform earlier this year while Zoominfo, Data.com, and InsideView have placed equal weight upon marketing services and sales intelligence services.

Social Selling continues to be a core element of positioning for InsideView and LinkedIn Sales NavigatorArtesian Solutions, a UK vendor that is launching a US product later this year, also focuses on social selling.  A significant product gap across the SIs is the lack of social tools built into their offering.  I can understand why SIs have shied away from Who Knows Who tools (the exceptions are InsideView and DueDil), but it is perplexing why most SI vendors have only limited sets of social media links and little social media content displayed in their services.  Only InsideView, Artesian, and Owler have put much emphasis upon social media content.

Europe is also becoming a home of new services.  DueDil has evolved into a UK challenger to Avention and BvD Mint while IKO System and Sparklane (formerly Zebaz) have an established presence in France.

When I started my newsletter four years ago, many of the companies and products either had not been launched or weren’t on my radar.  I mostly focused on Avention, Hoover’s, InsideView, DiscoverOrg, BvD, Sales Genie, Data.com, and RainKing.  While these companies continue to innovate, much of the energy is coming from new entrants.  The rapid growth and diversity of sales intelligence functionality has been exciting to observe.

Credit: Darwin’s Finches are in the public domain.  Charles Darwin, 1845.

Freed from Harte-Hanks, the AccessCI Database May Become Relevant Again

Aberdeen Group CI Technology Database Infographic (Sept 2015)
Aberdeen Group CI Technology Database Infographic (Sept 2015)

Aberdeen Group, which was divested from Harte-Hanks earlier this year, announced a set of enhancements to the CI Technology Data Set (FKA Harte-Hanks Market Intelligence).  Upgrades include broader project and platform information, a trebling of contacts, expanded CI Pipeline alerts, and 300 tech focused “technology interest classifiers.”  The company claims to cover 90% of the global IT spend across 3 million global locations.

Aberdeen Group uses both human and machine verified processes to identify over $2 billion in technology focused IT Spend.  Purchase Plans are tracked at both the company and contact level.

The company added 5,000 new technologies to their tracking bringing the total to 8,878 installed technologies.  According to their press release, “combined with the insight surrounding captured IT spend, Aberdeen Group is now uniquely positioned to be the most accurate source of technology install and spend data in the world.”

Aberdeen has grown their contact coverage to ten million names across “every IT buying center important to technology sales, marketing, and business intelligence professionals.”  Contacts are combined in Elite Profiles along with IT Platform data and 520 additional variables.

Their CI Pipeline purchase monitoring solution delivers 3,000 net new in-market per month across 35 tech categories.

Aberdeen added a new set of 300 digital interest classifiers allowing users to research companies based upon both their digital and online profiles.

“Companies in the technology industry come to Aberdeen Group when they need a definitive answer about companies and contacts buying technology,” said Aberdeen Group CEO Gary Skidmore. “Our vast and growing technology data assets coupled with our unique data science and technology focused content offer technology executives with insight and assets they can’t find in any other industry source. Our goal is to make it easy for the technology industry to know where to go when they require answers and action surrounding the technology buyer.”

Aberdeen Group did not name their partners, but the intent file sounds like Bombora’s.  HG Data lists Aberdeen Group as a partner on their site.

Over the past year, Harte-Hanks has also signed deals with Dun & Bradstreet and Data.com to deliver their file over D&B and Data.com’s Data Exchanges.

Under Harte-Hanks, the CI Technology database fell from market leadership due to limited investment and marketing.  DiscoverOrg and RainKing attacked the market with higher quality, top company databases tied into CRM and Marketing Automation platforms while the HHMI solution remained fairly static.  Fifteen years ago they would have led any technology intelligence list, but they would now struggle to make many vendor shortlists.  These enhancements suggest that the new owners are investing in the database and looking to take DiscoverOrg and RainKing.