Data Axle Expanded Universe

This is part II of my discussion of Data Axle. On Monday I covered the launch of its Audience360 cloud-based data management platform.


B2B data vendor Data Axle announced expanded US content coverage, including additional depth for federal contractors, startups, nonprofits, and medical professionals.  Organizational counts grew five percent, with Data Axle “adding hundreds of thousands of sought-after businesses and millions of new or updated contacts,” with “new attributes [that] are incredibly accurate and reliable,” explained Senior PR Manager Courtney Black to GZ Consulting.  “Businesses can use this data to effectively identify prospects, which is particularly important in the current economic climate.”

New coverage includes 20 thousand more startups, 100 thousand federal contracting businesses, 100 thousand medical professionals, 35 thousand restaurants and bars, 500 thousand nonprofit organizations, and two million other US-based companies.

The medical professionals dataset spans 44 medical occupation titles and 124 specialties.

The federal contracting coverage has long offered ownership flags for veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses.  Data Axle added Unique Entity Identifiers (UEI) alongside the expanded coverage.

Startup profiles include names, address fields, phone numbers, industry codes, corporate email addresses, websites, Twitter, and other social media handles.  The firm recently added a source of technology startups but did not disclose the name.

Nonprofit profiles include EINs (federal tax ids).  As most nonprofits do not earn revenue, the data set focuses on modeled machine-learning employee counts.  Board members are included in the coverage.

Data Axle publishes data on 16.8 million US and 1.1 million Canadian businesses.

Data Axle content spans nearly 18 million US and Canadian verified businesses and 150 million business contacts.  Data Axle also added or updated 10.3 million contact records, with “superior coverages of firmographics, such as industry type, professional specialty, cuisine, and geocoding.”

“All our products benefit from the extended datasets,” explained Data Axle Marketing SVP Kara Alvarez to GZ Consulting.  “Business data is added to Data Axle’s platform in real time as we identify updates, and each of our products and services leverages this central fulfillment platform as do many clients.”

Among the benefits listed by Alvarez were:

  • B2C Link connections offer more contact-to-consumer connections, tying together business and consumer profiles.
  • Data Axle products, including Genie (formerly Sales Genie), USA, Exact Data, and Reference, etc., enjoy expanded business data.  For example, Genie contains “attributes specific to the use cases Genie clients focus on as opposed to the more extensive set available in our data platform.”
  • Data Axle’s standard and custom programmatic audiences “are always current” in any channel.   Partner ecosystem audiences “also benefit as they ingest those updates.”

“At Data Axle, we are constantly seeking to expand the number of records available to our clients while simultaneously ensuring that the quality of our premium verified data remains at the highest level possible,” said Data Axle CEO Michael Iaccarino.  “Our clients count on us for data at scale but also accuracy.  We focus on carefully integrating machine learning into our processes.  However, we will never cease leveraging human verification.  We make over 20 million calls yearly to ensure details and key information are correct.”

Data Axle also gathers consumer data, so its B2C Link dataset benefits from the increased breadth of businesses and medical professionals.

“As a leading provider of consumer data in addition to business datasets, Data Axle plays a vital role in establishing a crucial connection between businesses and consumer profiles,” stated the firm.  “The recent addition of business contacts in Q2 further strengthens this connection.  Data is available separately for organizations looking to build insights between the two datasets or as a prebuilt set of audiences.”

Data Axle Audience360

Marketing and Business Intelligence vendor Data Axle unveiled Audience360, its suite of data management capabilities that consist of front-end data capture, data management, and data distribution.  Enterprise data is ingested via APIs or FTP and then processed through a suite of cleansing, standardization, enrichment, identity resolution, and deduplication modules.

Data Axle offers US and Canadian business, consumer, and B2C linked datasets for enrichment and identity resolution.  Data Axle also announced significant improvements to its reference databases.  That announcement will be covered in tomorrow’s post.

Audience360 supports multi-source data ingestion, data management, and data distribution.

Once cleansed and enriched, data can be sent to a broad set of enterprise platforms, including:

  • CDP: Tealium, ActionIQ
  • CRM: Salesforce, MSD 365, Sales Genie (Data Axle’s Sales Intelligence service that provides a set of SFA capabilities)
  • MAP: Adobe (Marketo), Oracle Marketing Cloud (Eloqua)
  • Cloud: AWS, Snowflake, Google Cloud, Azure
  • DMP: LiveRamp, Lotame, TradeDesk, Oracle Data Cloud, and half a dozen other programmatic platforms.  Data Axle supports nearly one billion hashed emails to assist with targeting.
  • BI platforms: Adobe, HCL Unica, Alterian

“A lot of people struggle with the rigidity of some of the tools that are out there,” explained Data Axle SVP of Client Technology Solutions Sal Pecoraro.  “People think that when they buy a marketing cloud platform, it does all the data hygiene work.”

Audience360 lets data analysts and operations teams “design data capture, data management processing, and distribution into the system that they need,” continued Pecoraro.  It doesn’t matter whether the platforms are on-premise or hosted in the marketing cloud or S3 buckets on Amazon.

Pecoraro emphasized data security with encryption both in transport and at rest.  “If they need to anonymize data, we can match IDs, etc.  So, if there are security concerns about exporting their data to us, we can handle that through encryption and anonymization.”

He also positioned the solution as more flexible, quick to implement, and less expensive than other solutions, with a strong ROI.  Platform flexibility is “the most important thing, with support that goes beyond CDPs.  Furthermore, alternative platforms are expensive, ”large investments.”  This “rigidity” and high cost make it difficult to define a strong ROI and use case.

Conversely, “ours is much less expensive, quicker to stand up, more flexible to have those components that you need added.  You can add or remove things over time.  It’s not a black box or rigid solution that you can adjust as your business changes.  But I think flexibility [and] speed to market is some of our core value.”

And because the platform is service-based, companies don’t need to worry about training, upgrading the platform, or managing bug patches.  “We take requirements, we do configurations, we build automations, and we plug in on data receipt and export.”

Due to the system’s flexibility, pricing is bespoke based on volume, processes, and integrations.  Pricing is generated by the requirements gathering team, and implementation is passed to a design and implementation team.  Later, ownership is managed by a post-implementation support team. 

Audience360 offers an “iterative process” that lets clients add or remove processes, data sources, and integrations.

As Data Axle offers three datasets, a broad set of linkages are supported, including households, corporate families, business/consumer, and employment.

Audience360 is generally available. 

Clients include multiple healthcare companies and a large telco.  The service also supports retailers, financial services, and travel/leisure.


Continue to part II which covers Data Axle’s expanded US data coverage.

Dun & Bradstreet Acquires NetWise Data and Eyeota

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.

Dreamforce Keynote: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

One of the key themes of Dreamforce 2017 was the ability of companies to customize the branding and content within Salesforce clouds via "clicks, not code."
One of the key themes of Dreamforce 2017 was the ability of companies to customize the branding and content within Salesforce clouds via “clicks, not code.”

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.”

IDC CRM Market Share (Courtesy: Salesforce 2017)
IDC CRM Market Share (Courtesy: Salesforce 2017)

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.


This was the beginning of my weekly newsletter coverage on Dreamforce.  Please contact me if you’d like a free trial subscription.