TechTarget: Priority Engine Enhancements

TechTarget announced a set of enhancements to its Priority Engine Sales Intelligence platform, including second-party intent data from its BrightTALK digital event platform and a refreshed user experience. As a result, TechTarget now provides intent data for 32 million opted-in technology researchers and purchasers across twice as many accounts.

Millions of BrightTALK contacts are fully integrated into Priority Engine, providing intelligence around individuals actively researching technology purchases at BrightTALK webinars, virtual events, and videos.  The expanded content provides richer intent data with additional messaging hooks for sales reps.

Prospect-level insights include content preferences, recently viewed content, and each buying committee member’s top interests.

Prospect Insights provide rich details for messaging.

BrightTALK was acquired twelve months ago.  BrightTALK hosts 30,000 new webinars and videos each year, providing multi-media content that complements TechTarget’s text-based research content.  Prospect-level BrightTALK intent data and buyer contact intelligence are now being combined with second-party intent data from TechTarget’s 140+ enterprise technology media sites, bringing the combined pool of buyers and influencers to 32 million.  As these individuals are opted-in, intent data can be tied to the individual instead of the account, allowing for improved messaging and targeting.  Not only is the enterprise software topic collected, but TechTarget gathers competitors under consideration and buying journey stage.  Furthermore, opted-in contact data ensures that the shared contact intelligence is GDPR and CCPA compliant.

BrightTALK Prospect Insights include webinar registrations, views, view times, webinar types, and titles.

BrightTALK Intent data indicates which content was viewed and the duration the demand unit member spent viewing the content.

TechTarget noted that buyers and influencers have distinct digital research styles, with some preferring multi-media content and others opting for white papers and related text-based reports and articles.  Thus, bringing in BrightTALK significantly expanded TechTarget’s ability to identify buyer intent based on different learning preferences.

“Despite strong similarities in overall audience makeup (company size, industry, and job title/function are remarkably consistent), there’s only a 10%-20% overlap in members between the databases, depending on geo,” wrote TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney in April.

“Learning preference and behavior is quite different for members of BrightTALK,” continued Briney.  “While the content topics, focus, and quality is [SIC] very similar to what’s offered on the TechTarget network, BrightTALK members prefer the immersive, interactive learning experiences delivered by webinars (85%) and videos (61%) over downloadable PDF content like whitepapers (47%) and e-Books (42%). Given this preference, it’s not surprising BrightTALK members average more than 30 minutes in view-time per webinar/video.”

Priority Engine Personalized Rankings view

The enhancements also provide insights into “overall buyer content preferences (content type and topic), and interactions with customer content across multiple channels help inform more personalized sales outreach and marketing engagement strategies.”

“Priority Engine delivers the actionable purchase intent data our customers need to drive superior performance.  This new release gets exponentially more data into their hands and gives them the ability to deliver customized experiences their marketers and sellers need to thrive.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

UI enhancements include a new view that calls out “untapped, high potential accounts” for initial engagement in a rep’s territory.  There is also a new timeline for viewing account journeys and recent engagement.  The new timeline helps reps “easily monitor buying changes to better optimize pipeline, identify cross-sell/upsell opportunities and grow revenue.”

Other UI changes include a set of shortcuts located in the left-side navigation bar.  The shortcuts display the following user views:

  • Top Accounts – The 500 most active accounts and prospects (default view)
  • Untapped Potential – Accounts or prospects with whom the rep has not yet interacted in Priority Engine
  • Viewed your Content – Accounts or prospects that have viewed or downloaded company content syndicated through TechTarget’s content syndication program
  • Visited your Website – Accounts that have visited the company’s website (Inbound Converter)
  • Confirmed Projects – Any projects that TechTarget has confirmed are active in the rep’s territory based on direct outreach
  • Favorites – Accounts or prospects that you have selected to favorite in Priority Engine

Finally, the platform now contains separate modules that support sales and marketing use cases.

The Highlights view provides buying journey interactions and new contacts at top accounts.

TechTarget Acquires BrightTALK

Technology purchase intent data vendor TechTarget added another arrow to its intent quiver with the acquisition of BrightTALK, a leader in the marketing and virtual events space.  BrightTALK said virtual event attendance has “high predictive value because IT buyers are making a material investment of their time to engage with vendor-produced content.”

The acquisition increases TechTarget’s universe of opted-in professionals.  TechTarget already has over twenty million opted-in business contact records (mostly in technology positions from its 140 enterprise technology sites), and BrightTALK has eight million registered attendees on its media platform.  There is likely to be some overlap in names, but having a second source of opted-in professionals increases the scope of measured intent across TechTarget, BrightTALK, and corporate websites (a KickFire OEM deal).

The acquisition offers substantial cross-selling opportunities in 2021 as vendors continue to focus on virtual events in lieu of face-to-face trade shows and conferences.  Furthermore, “BrightTALK generates a large volume of valuable content in webinar and video format that is incremental to TechTarget’s current offerings.  This content improves TechTarget’s potential ability to attract new users and diversifies the content available via TechTarget’s portfolio of web sites.”

And because both platforms are opted-in, the intent data does not need to be anonymized.  TechTarget can deliver person-level intent data that includes contact information, articles read, webinar sessions viewed, potential competitors, and their stage in the buyer’s journey.  What’s more, these rich intent datasets are GDPR-compliant across both platforms.

“TechTarget’s leadership position in the market is further strengthened by the acquisition of BrightTALK. This acquisition checks all the boxes. It allows us to increase our original content, grow our opt-in audience of registered members, and add a material amount of proprietary first-party purchase intent data. It’s a very powerful combination that will enhance our customers’ abilities to use our purchase intent data to grow their revenues and increase their market share.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

“We are excited to join forces with TechTarget. They are the leading provider of original expert content and distributor of vendor decision-support content in the B2B tech market, which has allowed them to develop the preeminent first-party purchase intent offering,” said BrightTALK CEO Paul Heald. “Combining our leading platform for online IT events is a winning combination.”

BrightTALK has over 1,000 customers who created 25,000 webinars and videos over the past year.  The platform generates over 200,000 unique monthly viewers and six million annual content engagements.

BrightTALK also fits with TechTarget’s financial objectives.  It is on track for $50 million in 2020 revenue, with approximately half this revenue under long-term contracts.  TechTarget hit 35% in subscription revenue last quarter but has stated a 50% subscription revenue goal.  With Priority Engine on track for approximately $50 million in 2020 subscription revenue and BrightTALK posting roughly $25 million, the combined pro forma company would generate $75 million in subscription revenues on $195 million in 2020 revenue (Q3 YTD + mid-point Q4 guidance + $50M BrightTALK estimate), or approximately 38 – 39% in contract-based revenue.

BrightTALK has also done well during the pandemic, with revenue on track to grow 30% this year.  It added one million additional opted-in professionals over the past year.

The deal is priced at $150 million, a 3X multiple over projected 2020 earnings.  The cash transaction will close before the end of the year.

BrightTALK has four offices in the US, two in the UK, and two in APAC (Sydney and Singapore).  LinkedIn lists them with 275 employees, a headcount growth of 15% over the past year.

Intent data is the hottest category in B2B data. There have been a series of acquisitions in the space over the past month as vendors look to acquire and integrate data sources. Recent transactions include Zoominfo’s acquisition of Clickagy and Spiceworks Ziff Davis’ purchase of Aberdeen. We have also seen the launch of next generation intent solutions such as D&B Intent and Zoominfo Streaming Intent. Bombora has been working with its partners to launch integrated workflow solutions.