Intentsify Equity Round

Intent data vendor Intentsify announced that it received a strategic investment from BV Investment Partners, a middle-market private equity firm that focuses on the tech sector.  The new funds will help the firm accelerate growth and product development.

Intentsify, founded in 2018, continued its pace of strong growth in 2021.  The firm quadrupled revenue in 2019 and 2020 and expected to treble income in 2021 (as of mid-December). In addition, it has grown its customer base to over 150 customers.

Venn-diagram-intent-data-sources
Intentsify layers multiple, complementary intent feeds into its proprietary intent dataset.

“B2B organizations are increasingly leveraging multiple sources of intent data to focus time, efforts, and resources where and how they’ll have the most impact,” said Intentsify CEO Marc Laplante.  “The problem is most B2B companies struggle to quickly gather, analyze, and act on buyer intent signals, which change on a weekly basis. Intentsify is streamlining all of this so our customers can more effectively scale account-based demand and revenue. We are excited to partner with BV who understands our business and has the expertise to help us take Intentsify to the next level.”

Intentsify’s Intent Activation software ingests multiple categories of intent data from several proprietary data sources “to deliver a broader, more accurate view into which targeted accounts are in-market to purchase and the issues they care about.”

Intent data is gathered from over 50 billion intent signals per month from over 5,000 B2B media sites. Intentsify also includes Visitor tracking as part of its offering.

Intentsify offers a pair of Intent Activation Solutions for Demand Generation and Programmatic Marketing. Intent-Activated Demand Generation helps marketers engage target personas at accounts displaying relevant research activity while Intent-Activated Programmatic targets key personas “at the right locations among in-market target accounts.”

“Intentsify uses its proprietary technology backed by a global data science team to power numerous marketing, sales, and customer success use cases,” stated Justin Harrison, Managing Partner of BV Investment Partners.  “Intentsify’s co-founders have long experience in this field and are acknowledged thought leaders in the intent data space who have built a strong company with an impressive leadership team, and we look forward to working with them to scale their business.”

Intentsify did not disclose the size of the investment.

Informa Acquires NetLine

Informa, a UK-based intelligence and events company, acquired B2B content syndication vendor NetLine Corporation, adding audience development, buyer-level intent, and B2B digital demand generation capabilities.  The firm also announced that it had taken a stake in Totem, its OEM partner for ConnectMe, a virtual and hybrid event solution.

NetLine will join Informa Tech, “one of the world’s largest providers of intelligence, industry forums, and marketing services to the tech industry.”  Informa Tech supports over 250 global events, 40 media publications (e.g., Information Week, ITPro Today, Network Computing), newsletters, research (Ovum, IHS Markit | Technology, Heavy Reading, and Tractica), and training.

NetLine’s B2B content syndication lead generation network reaches more than 125 million unique visitors per month and processes more than 700,000 leads monthly.

Back in July, NetLine rolled out Lead Management Platform, a SaaS solution for capturing B2B leads and amplifying marketing content.  The Lead Management Platform, initially developed for tier 1 B2B media companies, supports centralized lead capture, qualification, routing, and analytics tied to amplification campaign capabilities.  The Lead Management Platform requires no coding, allowing marketers to quickly test and rollout white-labeled gated content.

“The platform is entirely focused on helping marketers more efficiently translate their gated content experiences into more efficient outcomes,” explained NetLine’s Chief Strategy Officer David Fortino to GZ Consulting in July.  “If and/or when the Marketer has the need to increase lead volume beyond what their own channels can support, they can simply convert their inbound oriented campaign already built within the interface, add a budget, and tap into NetLine’s audience for on-demand scale.  No IOs, no negotiations, no phone calls.  Simple on-demand access to [the] largest B2B lead generation platform on the web.”

NetLine immediately matches visitors against its 52 million global B2B contact database (60% US) via cookies or email addresses.  In addition, lead forms are both customizable and dynamic, allowing companies to specify which information is to be captured and dynamically removing fields in its form display.

NetLine claims that over 70% of its audiences are immediately recognized so that there is zero or limited typing required.  Most users will be required to enter only five to seven fields, a significant reduction in data entry versus traditional and non-predictive forms.  And because data entry is reduced, abandonment rates are lower, generating a higher return on marketing spend.

The lead forms are content-form agnostic.  A common format can be deployed against all content, including webinars and virtual experiences, resulting in a standard data capture format for all content categories.  Forms are also customizable, supporting both basic themes and white-labeled user experiences that match corporate templates.

When a form is submitted, NetLine auto-generates confirmation emails and shares data with enterprise software platforms, including Salesforce, HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, and ON24. In addition, dynamic filtering removes leads that are poor candidates from being distributed to downstream systems.  As a result, the content is fulfilled, but low-quality leads are not passed downstream.

The Lead Management Platform lets marketers amplify content to targeted audiences with an open auction CPL pricing.  Marketers “simply convert native campaign, add budget, and gain immediate access to the largest volume of content-generated B2B buyer-level data on the web, where more than 700,000 first-party leads are generated across more than 300 industries each month.”

Amplification is targeted, with ads displayed based upon geography, company size, function, and level.  Marketers may also upload company names or domains for targeted ABM campaigns.

CPL pricing begins around $4 per lead, subject to a monthly budget.

“Before today, B2B Marketers needed at least a handful of technologies to run their lead gen programs: software to capture, enrich, scrub, filter, fulfill, report within their own sites and an entirely different suite of vendors to amplify their content beyond the reach of their inbound forms,” said Fortino in July.  “Now, B2B Marketers can do it all with one simple self-service interface. Whether they want to centralize lead capture or create a hub for qualification, routing, analytics, and companion content amplification campaigns, the platform does it all, allowing B2B Marketers to reduce their costs while simultaneously becoming more efficient in the process.”

A free version supports up to five campaigns and 100 leads per month with dynamic forms, integrations, and reporting.  The Standard version, priced at $49 per month, supports 50 campaigns, 500 leads per month, and custom colors and styles.  For enterprise marketers, the Pro edition, priced at $199 per month, supports unlimited campaigns and leads, fully customizable branding, and one custom domain with unlimited sub-domains.

Both monthly and annual pricing are available, with annual pricing discounted by 20%.


Continue to Part II covering the Totem investment.

NetLine Lead Management Platform

Buyer-level intent data vendor NetLine rolled out its Lead Management Platform, a SaaS solution for capturing B2B leads and amplifying marketing content.  The Lead Management Platform, which was initially developed for tier 1 B2B media companies, supports centralized lead capture, qualification, routing, and analytics tied to amplification campaign capabilities.

“The platform is entirely focused on helping marketers more efficiently translate their gated content experiences into more efficient outcomes,” explained NetLine’s Chief Strategy Officer David Fortino to GZ Consulting.  “If and/or when the Marketer has the need to increase lead volume beyond what their own channels can support, they can simply convert their inbound oriented campaign already built within the interface, add a budget, and tap into NetLine’s audience for on-demand scale.  No IOs, no negotiations, no phone calls.  Simple on-demand access to [the] largest B2B lead generation platform on the web.”

NetLine immediately matches visitors against its 52 million global B2B contact database (60% US) via cookies or email addresses.  In addition, lead forms are both customizable and dynamic, allowing companies to specify which information is to be captured and dynamically removing fields in its form display.

NetLine claims that over 70% of its audiences are immediately recognized so that there is zero or limited typing required.  Most users will be required to enter only five to seven fields, a significant reduction in data entry versus traditional and non-predictive forms.  And because data entry is reduced, abandonment rates are lower, generating a higher return on marketing spend.

The lead forms are content-form agnostic.  A common format can be deployed against all content, including webinars and virtual experiences, resulting in a standard data capture format for all content categories.  Forms are also customizable, supporting both basic themes and white-labeled user experiences that match corporate templates. 

Fortino emphasized that no coding is required, allowing marketers to test and roll out their solutions quickly.  “Unlike other data enrichment technologies, all of which are restricted to API deployment, we designed the product to support the needs of a nimble marketer ready, willing, and able to move without reliance of developers and/or the need to schedule a project. Our goal was to offer B2B Marketers with the ability to launch a content-centric, white-labeled, gated content experience with system-level enrichment and on-demand scale in minutes.”

When a form is submitted, NetLine auto-generates confirmation emails and shares data with enterprise software platforms, including Salesforce, HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, and ON24. In addition, dynamic filtering removes leads that are poor candidates from being distributed to downstream systems.  As a result, the content is fulfilled, but low-quality leads are not passed downstream.

The Lead Management Platform lets marketers amplify content to targeted audiences with an open auction CPL pricing.  Marketers “simply convert native campaign, add budget, and gain immediate access to the largest volume of content-generated B2B buyer-level data on the web, where more than 700,000 first-party leads are generated across more than 300 industries each month.”

Amplification is targeted, with ads displayed based upon geography, company size, function, and level.  Marketers may also upload company names or domains for targeted ABM campaigns.

CPL pricing begins around $4 per lead, subject to a monthly budget.

“Before today, B2B Marketers needed at least a handful of technologies to run their lead gen programs: software to capture, enrich, scrub, filter, fulfill, report within their own sites and an entirely different suite of vendors to amplify their content beyond the reach of their inbound forms,” said Fortino. “Now, B2B Marketers can do it all with one simple self-service interface. Whether they want to centralize lead capture or create a hub for qualification, routing, analytics, and companion content amplification campaigns, the platform does it all, allowing B2B Marketers to reduce their costs while simultaneously becoming more efficient in the process.”

A free version supports up to five campaigns and 100 leads per month with dynamic forms, integrations, and reporting.  The Standard version, priced at $49 per month, supports 50 campaigns, 500 leads per month, and custom colors and styles.  For enterprise marketers, the Pro edition, priced at $199 per month, supports unlimited campaigns and leads, fully customizable branding, and one custom domain with unlimited sub-domains. Both monthly and annual pricing are available, with annual pricing discounted by 20%.

BNZSA Enters “Hypergrowth Phase”

European IT Sales and Marketing Agency BNZSA announced that it is enjoying “hypergrowth” with 274% year-on-year revenue growth in Q2.  Bookings are up 176% year-to-date.  It is forecasting 300% annual growth in 2021.

During Q2, BNZSA added 25 new clients and doubled its multi-national team.  It hired 163 employees, evenly distributed between their offices in Madrid and Tangiers.  BNZSA employs more than 300 employees from 34 nations, allowing it to broadly deliver tele-based lead generation services in sixteen languages across EMEA.  BNZSA has also been expanding its lead generation services in the Americas.

Q2 net revenue retention rose to 190%.

BNZSA doubled its campaign delivery load in H1, completing 433 lead generation campaigns.

“Coming off the back of a record-breaking 2020, we planned for 2021 to be a year of hypergrowth.  By January, a lot of meticulous planning had been done – in business development, client services, data, IT, and HR – to ensure that we are able to effortlessly scale up throughout the year and meet unprecedented client demand.

“The phenomenal performance in the first half of the year demonstrates the unique value BNZSA brings to the B2B IT lead generation marketplace. It also indicates that demand for enterprise hardware and software solutions is very strong globally. We are seeing businesses aggressively investing in their infrastructures to enable their teams to operate effectively from wherever, and to ramp-up their agility in responding to customer needs.”

BNZSA CEO Brahim Samhoud

BNZSA’s agents place more than 1.5 million calls a year, delivering a 96% lead acceptance rate.

Earlier this year, BNZSA launched its Intent Activation Engine.  The service identifies, tracks, and activates buyer intent.  BNZSA combines technographic, firmographic, intent, NLP, and B2B telemarketing data to deliver a set of intent-activated leads.  Agents then initially join calls to foster “warm handovers” to their clients.

Along with tele-based demand generation, BNZSA supports buying committee identification; intent, firmographic and technographic insights; and prospect engagement.

“BNZSA is built on four core values – people, highest quality, extra mile, and changing the industry,” Brahim added. “Our business is all about people and the relationships we build with clients and their prospects.  We’re obsessed with the quality of the information we hold, how we use it, and the insights it brings to client programmes – as well as the quality service we deliver daily.  Going the extra mile is not a nice to have, it’s how we operate.  Bring all of this together and we’re changing the industry by default.”

Headquartered in Madrid, BNZSA is well-positioned to conform to GDPR and country-specific data privacy regulations.  It was founded seven years ago as a marketing agency focused on tele-based demand generation.  It has steadily grown at 30% per annum since launch and grew revenue by 38% last year before entering its hypergrowth phase this year.

BNZSA has over 100 clients, including Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, Oracle, Samsung, and SAP.  Growth is combined with a 95% client retention rate.

How Not to Write a Press Release

Sanitized for your protection.

I’m not sure whether PR teams are getting worse or I simply read more press releases, but marketers have to start using Grammarly and observe basic grammar and style tips.

One issue is simply bad grammar. I write a weekly newsletter and most of the errors pointed out by Grammarly are found inside quotes derived from websites, collateral, press releases, and blogs. I wasn’t an English major, but many marketers were English or Humanities majors and should know better. It is easy to run your copy through a grammar/style checker.

B2B press releases are a prime example. They are often written by junior marketers with limited technical knowledge of the product. Unfortunately, press releases are reviewed by multiple departments with different perspectives and recommendations. The result is an often wordy, buzzword-filled press release that is incomprehensible to all but industry insiders (and sometimes we struggle as well).

I pulled the following opening paragraph from a press release (see image above) to call out common issues:

  • Long Titles — 120 characters is a Tweet, not a headline. BusinessWire suggests headlines run 70 or fewer characters. Google cuts headlines at 70 characters.
  • Buzzwords — “Account-Based Experiences,” “Predictive B2B Intent,” and “AI” are all found in the headline. I had to look up ABX. It is a variation on Account Based Marketing promoted by Adobe which recognizes that ABM is broader than marketing. So not only was the headline a buzzword salad, but one of the buzzwords wasn’t particularly buzzy.
  • Absurd Puffery — Puffery is a common practice in marketing so acceptable. Puffery that is bald-faced lying is simply ridiculous. You cannot credibly call yourself “the leading B2B Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) company” when you have 21 employees listed on LinkedIn and do not have the words B2B or DaaS on your homepage.
  • Muddled Opening Sentence — The opening sentence should be clear and capture the 5 Ws. It shouldn’t have nested parenthetical statements and be overly wordy. “Marketo LaunchPoint integration” is much clearer than “a new integration available through LaunchPoint by Marketo, an Adobe company.”
  • Failure to Proof Your Copy — Typos include misspelling a customer’s name (LogMeIzn), multiple TM symbols for the same product, failed parallelism in lists, and a colon after a preposition.
  • Poorly Named Products — eCHO is an affectation that reads as e-CHOW not Echo. It also needlessly drives spell checkers crazy. “eCHO Predictive B2B Intent for Marketo Engage” is a mouthful. How about simply “Echo Intent for Marketo Engage?”
  • Failure to Test Your Hyperlinks — A hyperlink to an information page takes the reader to a service login page.
  • Omit a Hyperlink to Your Home Page — Really?

Finally, can we improve the quotes put in the mouths of executives and alliance partners? They often sound like five people wrote a non-grammatical buzzword salad that says both everything and nothing. When I am quoted in press releases, I work closely with the company to ensure the quote is tight, grammatical, and meaningful. The draft quote is bounced back and forth several times with the vendor’s marketing team to ensure that each sentence and word adds value. Here is an example of a published quote and my rewrite:

“The best accounts to engage with are the ones that are already actively researching around your solution. eCho intent data from <Anonymous Grammar Offender> offers an opportunity for marketers to engage with accounts that have a high propensity to buy, ultimately delivering a more qualified pipeline to sales and increasing the speed of the sales process.”

Press Release Quote

eCho intent data from <Wordy Vendor> identifies accounts that are actively researching solutions like yours. eCho delivers an actionable set of highly qualified, engaged leads which help sales reps exceed quota.

My Alternative Press Release Quote

A press release is a key messaging opportunity. Failure to follow basic rules of grammar and clarity tells customers, partners, and prospects that you are a lazy company that cannot be counted on to do the basics. That is marketing malpractice. It would be akin to showing up late to an interview with a stained shirt and a sense of entitlement.