As part of its Q3 2021 earnings discussion, Dun & Bradstreet announced that it acquired two digital marketing companies: NetWise and Eyeota. The acquisitions “extend the company’s position in the B2B online marketing value chain and will build upon its rapidly growing Audience Solutions business by adding global scale and the online data to power omnichannel marketing around the world.”
“Dun & Bradstreet’s acquisitions of Eyeota and NetWise will cap-off several years of investment in the Sales and Marketing space, including the acquisition of our Customer Data Platform, Lattice Engines, which is at the core of our D&B Rev.Up platform, and the acquisition of Orb Intelligence to link digital and physical businesses in our Data Cloud,” said CMO Stacy Greiner. “We are executing on our vision to help revenue-generating teams get out of the business of wrangling data and technology and back to engaging with their customers and prospects to drive growth for their companies.”
Dun & Bradstreet noted that marketers have a broad set of digital channels but are unsure whether their advertising dollars reach their targeted audiences online across multiple digital touchpoints. The three companies “will be able to provide data and technology that empowers businesses to confidently identify, reach, and engage high propensity B2B audiences for multichannel marketing campaigns.”
“Our online Audience Solutions business continues to see robust growth rates, and we see a significant untapped opportunity in the online business-to-business marketing landscape. This led us to strengthen our position through the signing of definitive agreements to acquire Eyeota and NetWise,” said Jabbour. “These two complementary companies will extend our position further in the B2B online marketing value chain and build upon a business that has grown over 40% year to date.
The acquisitions extend Dun & Bradstreet audience channels from B2B to B2B2C, helping businesses target business decision-makers at home and improving match rates. The deals also provide Dun & Bradstreet with an international ecosystem of digital activation platforms. Other vendors with B2B2C datasets include AnalyticsIQ BusinessCore and Data Axle B2CLink (FKA Execureach).
“This will enable clients to build on the investments they have made into Data Management mastered on the D-U-N-S Number, and more readily activate that data in social, search and display advertising campaigns,” stated the firm.
“We are solving for the current audience shrinkage these marketers face today with the low match rates that plague this industry. This will enable clients to build upon the investments they’ve made into data management mastered on the D-U-N-S Number and more readily activate that data in social, search and display advertising campaigns. Said simply, Dun & Bradstreet has the offline B2B targeting data, NetWise enables marketers to translate that data into online audiences, and Eyeota syndicates it across the digital ecosystem.”
Dun & Bradstreet CEO Anthony Jabbour
As Work from Home and Work from Anywhere are likely to remain the dominant approaches to professional work in the coming years, marketers need to engage business professionals across multiple devices, channels, and locations with a consistent message. The acquisitions assist with both multichannel audience targeting and activation, tying together offline and digital.
Continue to Part II, which discusses Netwise, or Part III which discusses Eyeota.
The theme of this year’s Dreamforce was The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Following after revolutions driven by steam, electricity, and information technology, the fourth industrial revolution blurs the “physical and digital worlds” creating a wave of “innovation in technology” which is transforming the economy, society, and lives while creating new jobs, industries, and opportunities. This next wave is based upon intelligence. Elements include IoT, 3D printing, biotech, robotics, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, and quantum computing.
“This is what we call the fourth industrial revolution,” said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. “There’s all these amazing new technologies, things like autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence and nanotechnology and mobile computing and all these things are really hitting at once. And companies are really transforming themselves and bringing all these new technologies in really to connect with their customers in new ways.”
Thus, elevators loaded with sensors now communicate back to the manufacturer and predict failures, calling for service prior to trapping people. Likewise, with tires, “if the tire blows, nobody knows; but in the future, if the [smart] tire blows, everybody knows.” So, firms like Kone (elevators) and Michelin (tires) are now B2B2C companies. In the future, if a tire is about to blow, it will communicate to the autonomous vehicle to pull over.
“Every company is getting closer to their customers. We’ve been talking about this for years. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B company or a B2C company, everybody’s becoming a B2B2C company.”
Salesforce and its customers are “delivering personalized one-to-one engagement at scale,” said Stephanie Buscemi, EVP of Product Marketing. This is done “declaratively, with clicks and not code.” Through the Salesforce Data Management Platform, ads are customized and delivered cross-device, allowing companies to redisplay ads or present new advertisements to their customers and prospects.
Benioff cited a series of companies providing customer service and support through Salesforce platforms including Louis Vuitton, Marriot, Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Adidas, and Ducati Motorcycles.
“Behind all these things…behind everything is a customer. And that’s what all of us do. We are working to connect with our customers in an incredible new way.”
Simplified customization, development, and branding were emphasized during the keynote. A set of customizable products provide a “smarter, more personalized Salesforce”:
MyTrailhead service supports custom branding, content, and learning paths that allows firms to onboard and train employees on desktops and phones. Tools include quizzes, reference links, trails, and badges. Salesforce Trailhead content is also available.
MyEinstein provides an artificial intelligence layer driven declaratively by “clicks, not code” supporting “smarter capabilities including bots.”
MyLightning customization provides an app builder with custom pages, a Lightning theming and design system, Lightning Flow, Components, and Bolts which operate automatically on both desktops and phones. Designers will have access to dynamic components which are conditionally displayed.
MySalesforce branded “mobile apps without code” can be uploaded to the Google Play and App Store.
MyIoT supports native integration capturing real-time events, business rule automation, and low-code orchestration.
Based upon customer feedback, SFDC has shifted from IoT as a separate platform to an integrated feature of the CRM platform which also operates “declaratively without code.”
Benioff admitted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is creating concerns and wondered whether it is “uniting us or dividing us. Are we more connected or somehow less connected?”
He also asked whether there is more or less equality in the World.
“There is this stress being created by this fourth industrial revolution. Yes, we have this promise of this new connected World. But what is it doing to us? And what are other actors doing around the World using these technologies? Are they changing our society? Are they changing our elections? What are they doing with this technology?”
Benioff is looking at the Trailblazers attending Dreamforce as the Customer Innovators, Technology Disruptors, and Global Shapers to ensure that the next wave is directed in a positive direction. “You have all these new tools at your fingertips, these incredible new technologies, but you are doing some amazing things in the World. You are changing your companies. You are steering this technology in the right direction. I’m so confident in who you are. I’m so confident in what’s in your hearts and where we are all going.”
Benioff noted that most technology is generally neutral in it effect upon society. It is therefore incumbent upon technologists, developers, and companies to deploy technology in a socially responsible manner which promotes greater equality. Benioff called for companies to fight for equality through equal pay, investing in schools, and opposing discriminatory laws. He also noted that it is the poor who are most hurt by environmental degradation and proudly stated, “we are a net zero cloud.”
Benioff was also proud to have founded and led the leading CRM with an 18.1% market share (2016 IDC) nearly double that of Oracle (9.4%). Salesforce has the top solutions for sales (34.2%), service (33.7%), marketing (9.9%), and Platform-as-a-Service. Within the marketing cloud, Salesforce claims to offer the leading Data Management Platform and commerce Platform.
What’s more, the firm is on track to be the fastest enterprise software company to hit $12.5 billion in revenue. They hit $10 billion this year and have FY19 guidance of $12.5 billion in year 20.
One of the issues facing businesses and policymakers is an increasing skills gap. Benioff proposed MyTrailhead as one of the tools to help address the problem of workers across many industries and skill levels. MyTrailhead provides a customized, branded training platform.
TechCrunch complained that this year’s Dreamforce lacked drama as it lacked new initiatives such as the social enterprise, artificial intelligence, and IoT. “They are a company that embraces the cutting edge, but this year lacked that kind of big announcement,” complained enterprise reporter Ron Miller. To be fair, though, the company has rolled out a series of new platforms, clouds, and acquisitions over the past few years. A year with few fireworks is not necessarily a year without forward progress for Lightning, Quip, Einstein, Trailhead, and platform customization.
The conference remains a monster with 170,000 registered participants joining in San Francisco and millions of online views.