Leadspace and ZoomInfo inked a strategic partnership to distribute ZoomInfo data through the Leadspace Customer Data Platform. The platform-level integration lets customers activate ZoomInfo data and intelligence from within Leadspace. The Leadspace CDP is a data-agnostic platform that supports predictive scoring, ICP analytics, look-a-like modeling, intent signaling, and custom buyer personas and scores.
The partnership is Generally Available to joint customers.
Leadspace also offers robust data hygiene and enrichment based upon the Reachforce platform it acquired several years ago. Other tools include web forms, marketing automation and SFDC enrichment, and custom audiences for programmatic marketing.
“We talk to many B2B companies that work with ZoomInfo and see tremendous value in their intelligence solutions,” said Leadspace CTO Amnon Mishor. “We’ve partnered with ZoomInfo on some strategic clients and proven the added benefits of the Leadspace platform in being able to unify other data and intelligence with the ZoomInfo data, then activate it across channels. It’s really the best of all worlds for our customers.”
While both companies have strong matching capabilities, Leadspace is performing real-time matching between the two platforms. Initially, the partnership supports company and contact enrichment, but additional datasets such as technographics and intent are planned.
“Every B2B enterprise can benefit from the new Leadspace and ZoomInfo integration,” said ZoomInfo CRO Chris Hays. “We believe making our data available through a leading customer data platform (CDP) for unification and activation is the new frontier for B2B sales and marketing, and it’s a great way for customers to see even greater return on their investment in data.”
Both companies have performed well during the pandemic. ZoomInfo IPO’d in June and has had several strong quarters since going public, growing revenue 62% last year.
Leadspace closed on a $46 million Series D earlier this month. It doubled its customer base over the past two years and grew revenue 151% between 2016 and 2019, placing the firm at 2,681 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list.
Zoominfo launched their new Targeted Audiences service to support programmatic advertising against their universe of B2B account and contact data. [Part I]
ZoomInfo employs signature-block mining, natural language processing, machine learning, and email verification to build and maintain their Data Cloud. They also recently acquired EverString to augment their firmographic depth and field fill rates for 95 million companies. Targeting against the Zoominfo Data Cloud offers “campaigns with unmatched precision and enhanced performance.”
“Digital agencies and marketers typically face challenges in collecting high-quality, complete B2B audience data,” contrasted ZoomInfo. “Most widely available contact information for companies and their employees is either inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated, which means many digital agencies and marketers deliver their messages to the wrong people altogether.”
“What’s common knowledge to those in the industry — but not to a bright-eyed data guy like me — is that advertising audiences aren’t engineered to be precise. Quite the opposite, actually: This space is all about volume and audience expansion through inferences, and modeled data has taken over.”
ZoomInfo SVP of Innovation and Data R&D Derek Smith
Marketers can also build custom audiences from over three hundred demographic and firmographic selects, including funding data, benefits data (licensed from GlassDoor), event participation, banking variables, technographics, and Fortune 500/1000 flags. Biographic variables include function, level, and title/keyword.
Targeting is most effective for the North American market because ZoomInfo is limited in the number of legally gathered and stored identifiers for EU citizens due to GDPR.
“Our product is unlike any other for two reasons. First, we’ve amassed a treasure trove of emails, phone numbers, and titles. Second, we’ve architected our company data to let you identify companies with a level of granularity that significantly eclipses the competition,” said Derek Smith, SVP of Innovation and Data R&D. “Was this always intentional? Of course not. But unbeknownst to me, our data became tailor-made for advertising activation as a result of other projects at ZoomInfo.”
As a new offering, Targeted Audiences should be viewed as a solution for building precise B2B audiences and activating them via LiveRamp. With nearly 100 million targetable professionals, 500 million identifiers, and 300+ selects, ZoomInfo can build very focused audiences. However, there are some gaps. Targeted Audiences does not offer any campaign analytics, creative management, social marketing, retargeting functionality, or intent-based targeting.
“Targeted Audiences allows marketers to build strategic campaigns based on contact and company information and creates new levels of granularity in B2B audience data that have never before existed on the market,” said ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck.
Targeted Audiences is a standalone offering. Marketers and agencies can test out the service on a few audiences before signing a volume contract. The fifty off-the-shelf audiences are priced at $1 CPM ($1 for 1,000 advertising exposures). Custom Audiences begin at $2.75 CPM, but the price falls with volume commitments.
ZoomInfo moved deeper into the marketing and advertising space with the launch of Targeted Audiences. The newly unveiled B2B data service “gives digital agencies and marketers the ability to target their ideal customers with unprecedented accuracy.” Targeted Audiences are built from the ZoomInfo Data Cloud, which includes 500 million emails and phone numbers for nearly 100 million professional contacts.
ZoomInfo was in the advertising space in its early years but spun off its Bizo platform in 2008. At the time, CEO Yonatan Stern said, “We realized our business information index allowed marketers to deliver targeted online ads at a level never before seen.”
Since then, ZoomInfo has acquired a deeper set of contacts and richer firmographics, technographics, funding data, benefits plans, and event data, supporting superior targeting precision.
Unfortunately, Bizo was acquired by LinkedIn in 2014 for $175 million but folded 18 months later when LinkedIn balked at the integration cost.
Targeted Audiences should be viewed as a new market entry for the firm, but one that supported a $175 million opportunity back in 2014. The October acquisition of Clickagy fueled this market entry as Clickagy intent data is deployed programmatically via data marketplaces.
“With the team at Clickagy now on the ZoomInfo team, our familiarity with the advertising space accelerated from 0 to 60 mph almost overnight. The combination of our massive Data Cloud with a select few experts in advertising data allowed us to quickly discover the path to making our data actionable,” blogged Derek Smith, SVP of Innovation and Data R&D.
ZoomInfo launched the programmatic service with over fifty pre-packaged audiences “built on advanced demographic and firmographic data.” ZoomInfo offered several examples outside of their core technology and business services customer base:
Educational institutions can target individual contributors and managers employed by firms with tuition reimbursement.
Optometrists can market to employees of companies with vision plans.
Luxury brands can reach out to C-level execs at firms with more than one hundred employees.
Financial advisory firms can target director-level employees of firms that recently went public.
ZoomInfo is passing audience identifiers to the LiveRamp data connectivity platform. LiveRamp maps identifiers to channels, screens, and devices for media activation. Additional partner platforms will be brought online in the coming weeks.
Zoominfo launched a podcast series called Talk Data to Me and posted its first two shows: Mike Volpe of Lola discusses surviving the pandemic as a business travel startup, and Debbie Tang of Bridge Partners examines the increase in Diversity and Inclusion hiring at Fortune 500 companies. The series is hosted by Sam Balter, ZoomInfo’s Director of Editorial and Thought Leadership, and Stephanie Tonneson, ZoomInfo’s Audio Producer and Marketing Coordinator
“Talk Data to Me brings data to life, so to speak,” said Balter. “Data, especially in B2B, can be complex and challenging, but we make it accessible by talking with leaders who can share the stories behind the digits. During the conversations, our assumptions are challenged, our biases are confronted, and, at times, our interpretations are conflicting. This messy process of theory, research, and revision is how we arrive at insights. This is what it means when someone wants to talk data.”
RingLead also offers a set of interviews (Talk Data to Me) that include an archive of video snippets where the vendors answer questions about themselves. If you filter for “Meet the Vendors,” you will find a dozen interviews around their partners in the DataExchange.
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck noted that large enterprises license and integrate a broad set of content from many vendors. They struggle to “stitch” all these disparate content sets together via “a complicated system relying on data analysts, engineers, and product managers.” Furthermore, different analysts manage datasets for other countries, further complicating the situation. “Each one restarts a process of understanding the nuances and integrating, normalizing, matching, managing, and maintaining that unique data source.”
This data sourcing and loading process is “inefficient, costly, and introduces a complex web of operational challenges and compliance vulnerabilities.” Data ends up being siloed and fragmented, reducing its value to the organization. “It has to be integrated, unified, validated, cleansed, enriched, deduplicated, and delivered to the right people and systems, at the right time, in the right form for it to unlock the value it was intended to create.”
Shuck argues that other vendors overly complicate data projects and offer expensive consultations and complex solutions. ZoomInfo’s vision is to be the “first unified, single source of truth for sales, marketing, and all other go-to-market functions.”
“With the data from EverString, ZoomInfo will provide data on virtually every high-level parent company, local parent company, franchise, and satellite office in America. This broader data set enables better search, scoring, and account assignment, and provides greater access to buyers and buying centers.”
CEO Henry Schuck
“The combined ZoomInfo and EverString data asset will be unparalleled in the marketplace,” said EverString CEO J.J. Kardwell. “We’re excited to join ZoomInfo and work together to bring sellers and marketers the most extensive company and professional data that will help make their go-to-market motions even more effective and efficient.”
Kardwell will serve as an advisor to ZoomInfo and will remain with ZoomInfo through the transition.
ZoomInfo is moving to combine the two databases quickly. As it has a track record of acquiring and rapidly integrating datasets, the merged database should be available soon (ZoomInfo declined to provide a target date). In the meantime, customers can already enrich data via a superset of the EverString and ZoomInfo databases. Financial terms were not disclosed, but ZoomInfo indicated the deal was not expected to have a material effect on the fourth quarter.
Over the past few years, ZoomInfo has been rapidly building its go-to-market intelligence through acquisitions and capital investment. Initially, ZoomInfo (then called DiscoverOrg) rolled up competitors iProfile and RainKing, but in February 2019, they acquired ZoomInfo, a leading global contact information source. The firm also managed two tuck-ins last year: NeverBounce email validation and Komiko Inbox AI.
After going public in June, ZoomInfo acquired intent data service Clickagy in October before acquiring Everstring.
ZoomInfo is exceptionally strong across many of the core B2B data categories, including
Global contacts (e.g. emails, direct dials, phone numbers, bios, social links, job function, and job level)
However, ZoomInfo has lagged behind other vendors in firmographics and linkage. The Everstring acquisition plugs this gap across core firmographics, SMBs, and company linkages, putting the firm in a stronger sales intelligence, digital marketing, and B2B DaaS position. The expanded company universe will significantly improve ZoomInfo’s match rates for batch, real-time, and continuous data enrichment.
In a multinational telecom provider test, the match rate doubled to 98% due to three factors: M/L-powered matching, historical matching against outdated records, and record completeness.
“EverString’s machine learning powered entity resolution (aka matching) algorithms are designed to accept and process multiple identifying inputs from a customer’s file, such as phone number and address, alongside the company name and website, improving the likelihood of returning a matching record.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
Maintaining a historical file of inactive and out of date records provides significant value when batch processing enterprise records sitting in CRMs and MAPs. Much of this legacy data is bad, but without a reference file with historical data (e.g. inactive and closed companies, former addresses, FKAs), operations teams don’t know which records are defunct businesses.
Everstring has nearly 100% fill rates on core firmographic fields such as employee count, revenue, and industry codes. The expanded firmographics improve field fill rates, lead scoring, lead routing, and analytics (e.g. ICP, TAM, segmentation).
Nevertheless, ZoomInfo has a few remaining gaps around public company financials and filings (e.g. SEC, Companies House, UCC) that would hold them back at financial services companies and European firms. Everstring does ingest filing data (e.g. Secretary of State incorporations, UCC liens, 5500 ERISA filings with the Department of Labor, federal contract bids, OSHA, fleet data, UK Companies House) when building its business graph, but source data viewing is often required.
ZoomInfo continues building up its data assets with the acquisition of EverString, expanding Zoominfo’s coverage of companies and contacts. EverString employs machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to build profiles on 100 million companies, 120 million locations, and 70 million business professionals. Data are ingested from both online and offline content. The expanded company universe is five-times larger than ZoomInfo’s current company universe, with roughly 30 million international profiles.
EverString also provides ZoomInfo with over one million linkages. “This additional data gives sellers and marketers across all verticals better access and visibility to their total addressable markets, more complete enrichment results, and additional points of contact at their target accounts.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck described the combined EverString and ZoomInfo data cloud as the “first-ever business identity graph of its size with a level of accuracy and completeness purpose-built to help go-to-market teams identify actual buying centers rather than legal entities with no purchasing power.”
Along with corporate hierarchies, EverString expands ZoomInfo’s intelligence concerning website redirects, legal entities, and aliases. Firmographics include sizing data, URLs, social links, contact information, year founded, DBAs, FKAs, and long-tail industry keywords.
“The acquisition of EverString gives ZoomInfo a comprehensive business data graph, providing the foundation needed for enterprises to identify their total universe of customers and prospects, define their ideal profiles, leverage granular keywords and attributes to predict success, and focus their go-to-market motions.”
Director of Communications Steve Vittorioso.
Headquartered in San Mateo, EverString was founded in 2012 and has 50 employees. It made the 2020 Inc. 5000 list with three-year revenue growth of 112%. Customers include Snowflake, FedEx, Nokia, Seagate, and Staples.
Streaming Intent improves the timing and messaging around sales and marketing workflows such as
Prioritizing sales outreach to companies that are ready to buy
Interacting with prospects earlier in the buyer’s journey to build trust that won’t be present with later stage vendors
Triggering automated campaigns that warm-up prospects for your Sales team to call
Streaming Intent delivers real-time behavioral intent data that is “expansive and customizable.” The Clickagy platform employs an NLP engine that identifies behavioral context in real-time. Intent data is gathered from over 300,000 publisher domains and includes six trillion-plus new keyword-to-device pairings each month. Intent data is sourced from over 91 percent of accessible devices in the United States.
Clickagy supports thousands of B2B topics and sub-topics spanning marketing, natural resources, entertainment, business services, government, healthcare, retail goods, and science and technology.
“Innovation in the B2B intent landscape has lagged behind the business-to-consumer landscape for much of the past decade. Most B2B intent solutions today rely on the same set of underlying data generated by limited media cooperators and third-party cookie tracking. Existing offerings only provide weekly batches of buyer intent on a finite number of topics because of heavy data processing that takes days to complete, negating opportunities to reach buyers at the opportune moment. Other solutions offer late-stage intent, where vendors have already been identified, and it is too late for the addition of competing solutions.”
“ZoomInfo: Acquires Clickagy to Deliver Streaming Intent Data,” ZoomInfo Press Release, October 15, 2020.
Clickagy was founded in 2013 and based in Atlanta. Clickagy CEO Harry Maugans has been named a VP of Product Management.
“Robust business data has always been the biggest hurdle keeping us from offering a transformative B2B product,” said Maugans. “But now with ZoomInfo, we’re giving sellers and marketers the ability to further propel their go-to-market motions more effectively and efficiently.”
Actionability and usability have been significant issues that slowed the adoption and hampered the ROI of intent data. Shuck laid out his vision of how Clickagy intent, tied to ZoomInfo company and contact data, will create significant customer value:
“The B2B world has been largely behind the B2C world with respect to using intent to activate go-to-market motions. The primary reason for this lag is that B2B Intent offerings were never connected to the companies and the professionals at those companies in a way that would allow seamless activation. By combining Clickagy’s powerful Intent with ZoomInfo’s robust database of companies and professionals, we unlock the power of intent for every B2B Go-to-Market organization…
Soon, go-to-market organizations will be able to build workflows that tell them instantly when Fintech companies in California, who have Snowflake in their tech stack, at least 100 employees, and $50M in funding, begin spiking on research for “cloud data platforms”. That signal can simultaneously kick-off a workflow that captures the Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers, and other key stakeholders at those Fintech companies, check for open opportunities in CRM, and begin marketing automation, sales automation, and CRM campaigns against those decision makers…
Said another way, our customers will be able to create behavioral filters and overlay them across live web traffic, capture highly-refined intent signals in real time, and make them actionable within seconds. This lets them engage prospects while they’re still in the research mode with a buying mentality—not weeks later when they’ve moved on to something else, or worse, after they’ve already made their decision.
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Shuck, “Why ZoomInfo is Acquiring Clickagy”
Intent data becomes more valuable when it can cast a wide net, gather and interpret signals with a high level of precision, and promptly deliver these signals. It is in these dimensions that ZoomInfo has confidence in the breadth and heuristics of its acquisition.
Clickagy opens up the “black box” of intent data rules, offering a “robust and configurable technology that unlocks those algorithms and enables administrators to adjust the logical rules, keywords, inclusions, exclusions, and thresholds used to determine when a company is indeed exhibiting intent for a particular keyword or topic in order to reduce false positives.” Transparency and configurability provide “unprecedented control” over the quality of intent signals.
ZoomInfo Intent complies with privacy rules. Clickagy does not collect any personally identifiable information. Information is collected in the aggregate at the account level. Instead of revealing who is conducting the research, Zoominfo identifies “functional decision-makers” at the account who are likely involved in purchasing decisions related to the intent signal.
Clickagy also offers audience targeting and activation across 300 DMPs and DSPs. ZoomInfo already supports website visitor intelligence.
Deal terms were not disclosed. ZoomInfo said the deal would have a non-material impact on their fourth-quarter financial results.
No company size data was provided, but LinkedIn lists 26 employees at Clickagy.
There are six major categories of B2B intelligence, and ZoomInfo is a significant player in four of them: Contacts, Technographics, Sales Triggers, and Intent Data. They also provide firmographics, but this remains an area for future growth and development. The category where they do not offer datasets is financial services intelligence, including company financials, filings (e.g. SEC EDGAR, UCC, UK Companies House), and risk reports (credit and supplier).
“In the last year alone, we’ve had literally hundreds of thousands of conversations with customers and prospects and one thing is clear—they want intent data to live at the core of how they go to market,” blogged CEO Henry Schuck about the rationale for acquiring Clickagy. “And over the course of those calls it’s easy to see intent data taking a seat right alongside the two most important pieces of business information—account and contact data. The three together, driving account identification, targeting, and segmentation will soon be table stakes for how sellers and marketers identify their next best customers.”
Schuck emphasized that product design at ZoomInfo is iterative with plans for improving a product in place before each release goes to production. Shuck called their previous intent offerings good, but not good enough. This drive to improve their intent services led them to investigate best-of-breed intent data solutions to enhance their offering. Their research led them to Clickagy.
“Clickagy had built a robust data processing engine that looks at billions of key data points across millions of websites and then uses robust natural language processing and artificial intelligence to categorize and make sense of those data points. Their technology, approach to data collection, privacy-first perspective, and focus on intent data made it clear that we not only wanted Clickagy to be a part of our intent product, but we needed Clickagy to be a part of ZoomInfo.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
ZoomInfo Intent will continue to provide “good keywords, quality-focused data science, [and] industry-leading account data,” but now “casts a wider net” and delivers actionable intent throughout the day. Combining the companies will “dramatically shorten the path from data, to decision, to action,” blogged Shuck.
“B2B intent data is becoming core to the way modern go-to-market organizations prioritize their outreach to prospects and customers,” wrote Schuck. “Our acquisition of Clickagy enables us to scale intent to provide what will soon be the market’s most predictive and complete B2B intent data set for sellers and marketers. We believe this acquisition both exemplifies our mission to continuously innovate and cements our position as the pacesetter for data-driven sales and marketing outreach.”
Tomorrow I will wrap up my discussion of the acquisition with an overview of Streaming Intent and Clickagy’s approach to data privacy.
If we extend that loss over the last week of June and the first week of September, the summer lull would result in a million dollars in lost ACV (half a million dollars in 2020 revenue, but that is only because subscription revenue is recognized over the length of the contract, not when booked).
But a firm like Zoominfo has a very high retention rate, so stratifying the million dollars over the lifetime value (LTV) of the lost opportunities means that the cumulative LTV is likely in excess of $5 million (their 2019 dollar based net retention rate was 109%)
For a company that went IPO in June after touting strong new ACV growth in their May S-1, new revenue growth is key in maintaining confidence in your revenue teams.
“How did we respond to this data? By stepping on the gas – we sent out an additional ~14k+ emails (~10% of normal volume) over the past two months and making an additional ~23k dials (~35% of normal volume) per month.
Sales is — and always will be — a contact sport.
This is just one of the reasons why it’s so important to have a vast array of contacts at prospects. Without being able to tap into our own data this wouldn’t have been possible. That’s not cheap promotion, it’s a fact.”
Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck
Around 90% of Zoominfo’s revenue is domestic, so they aren’t dealing with the long August vacations taken in Europe. The strategy of working harder over the summer allowed them to maintain new ACV growth during a soft period, but it might not be effective in Europe when business activity is reduced much more significantly.
OOO messages often provide alternate contacts that may be part of the buying committee. Acting on this intelligence and extending relationships to additional decision makers and influencers may improve both current and future close rates.
Zoominfo has a reputation for effective revenue operations management. They assumed the summer doldrum lore to be true and double downed on their outbound communications. But they also measured their sales and marketing efficiency to better understand the nature of the summer slowdown, allowing them to model and refine their summer sales strategy in the coming years.