ZoomInfo Business Contact Preference Registry

ZoomInfo launched its Business Contact Preference Registry (BCPR), a centralized registry for recording B2B opt-out requests which will be shared across the industry.  The BCPR is ZoomInfo’s latest step in burnishing its data privacy positioning.

“The collection of data is central to businesses in the B2B data industry, but the responsibility of ethical data stewardship falls onto the shoulders of each individual company,” wrote the firm.  “As industry leaders in data privacy, ZoomInfo has made it easier for businesses in the B2B data marketplace to address the preferences of consumers by building, maintaining, and sharing access to the BCPR.”

“It’s critical for data-focused companies to prioritize privacy. The Business Contact Preference Registry offers businesses a convenient way to prioritize privacy by supplying the entire B2B data industry with a ready-made list of consumer opt-outs. We’re proactively sharing our opt-outs as an invitation to B2B companies to join us in putting privacy first.”

Bubba Nunnery, ZoomInfo’s Senior Director of Privacy and Public Policy

I had been flagging data privacy as a weakness in ZoomInfo’s model, which could slow their entry to the European market post-COVID, but they have been actively working to shore up their data privacy practices and demonstrate that they are respectful of the data they hold. 

ZoomInfo developed a proactive data compliance program based upon “notice and choice” that notifies business professionals about ZoomInfo’s data.  The program is global in scope, so not limited to countries that require notifications.  ZoomInfo also expanded its data privacy team earlier this year, naming Hannah Zimmerman, ZoomInfo’s Privacy Counsel and Bubba Nunnery, Senior Director, Privacy and Public Policy.

ZoomInfo data privacy certifications

“Our business is founded on the trust our customers have in our data,” said General Counsel Anthony Stark back in March. “Collecting data is central to all businesses, and it’s our job to be ethical stewards of the data we hold.  ZoomInfo adheres to its core privacy tenets of transparency and control, showcasing that we are respectful of the rights of consumers while providing critical service to our customers.”

In May, ZoomInfo announced that it received GDPR and CCPA Practices Validation from TrustArc, saying that its policies “are in line with the strictest privacy regulations in the world.”

“Organizations of all sizes must become privacy-forward to earn the trust of their customers,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TrustArc. “ZoomInfo understands that building trust requires an ongoing, scalable approach to data privacy. The organization has consistently prioritized privacy as the enabler of a better experience for its customers and their subscribers, and the TrustArc GDPR and CCPA Validations reinforce that standing.”

“ZoomInfo is leading the way in data privacy.  We are working to accept opt-outs from other vendors as part of our efforts to elevate privacy standards across the B2B data industry.”

CEO Henry Schuck

The BCPR is an excellent idea, but I’m not sure whether the registry should be hosted by one of the major vendors in the space.  ZoomInfo plans on accepting opt outs from other vendors, but It is unclear whether other vendors would promote ZoomInfo in the lead data collection role. Preferably, it would be hosted by a government agency such as the FTC, which manages the US Do Not Call Registry, or a neutral body similar to the ICANN domain registry.  DataGrail, a leader in data privacy compliance, could administer an independent database across businesses and consumers.

BNZSA Intent Activation Engine

B2B IT Marketing Agency BNZSA (pronounced BEN-zah) entered the intent data space with the BNZSA Intent Activation Engine product launch.  The new 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.

The new service “connects all the disparate tools available to deliver the most accurate buyer Intent data, with the highest possible lead qualification and industry-standard GDPR compliance.”

Madrid-based BNZSA supports buying committee identification; intent, firmographic and technographic insight; and prospect engagement.

“At the heart of the BNZSA Intent Activation Engine is a combination of data and digital capabilities with inter-personal engagement,” stated CEO Brahim Samhoud.  “No one else offers this. There are intent vendors, technographic vendors, firmographic vendors, contact vendors, digital agencies, and tele-agencies.  Some provide pieces of the puzzle, but none does everything – until now.  No other offering provides B2B sales and marketing leaders with so many different execution options.”

BNZSA describes itself as a customizable, full lifecycle intent data solution for B2B sales and marketing teams.  

“The BNZSA Intent Activation Engine realises an end-to-end value journey through information enrichment via broad-based Intent, firmographics, and technographics, to digital warming through social media, content syndication, email, display, and PR, to local language phone-based BANT qualification,” wrote the firm.

The BNZSA Intent Activation Engine supports the following processes:

  • BNZSA Intent Data Pool: An aggregated database of billions of global, weekly intent records.
  • BNZSA Tech-Lab: An AI, NLP platform that analyzes intent potential and selects relevant records.  The NLP supports twelve European languages and combines it with machine learning and knowledge graphs.  High-intent records are matched with “client TALs [tele-prospecting accepted leads] for advanced re-targeting and adapted nurture tracks” while “the remaining selected data is further filtered by criteria specific to clients’ needs.”
  • BNZSA OmniDatabase: A reference database holding millions of company records for firmographic and technographic enrichment.  The OmniDatabase gathers data from half a dozen third-party data sources and is enriched by BNZSA’s data research team.
  • BNZSA Pipeline: Local-language demand-generation teams engage with prospects to generate a “predetermined number of highly qualified, information-rich leads” that are delivered to client sales and marketing teams.  The demand-generation teams support fifteen languages and places 15,000 calls per day.

BNZSA does not publicly disclose its data partners, but they are all respected firmographic, technographic, and intent data sources.

Leads are fed to Marketo, Salesforce, PipeDrive, and Microsoft Dynamics.  They also support warm handovers to clients where the demand generation rep schedules the call and joins the first meeting.  Because leads are BANT qualified, 70% of leads convert to opportunities with a 35% faster lead-to-close window.         

UK Country Manager Paul Stacey argues that personalizing messaging through digital campaigns alone is difficult and that ABM campaigns should never be purely digital.  The need for a human touch is even more important during the pandemic when face-to-face meetings are no longer possible.

“If you read the ABM technology vendor’s marketing claims, you would be led to think that automation can overcome marketing and sales teams’ current challenge for intimacy with clients and do it all instead – identify, reach, and engage with your highest-value prospects – at the touch of a button.  But can these off-the-shelf solutions truly automate at scale while retaining key customer insights and preserving intimacy?  I think not.

There is a place for automation of course, but it’s worthless without high-quality data, and essentially, the intervention of people. 

I would argue that the human touch is necessary in at least one, if not multiple, touchpoints in any company’s ABM campaigns.  Demand generation must ultimately be powered by people.”

BNZSA UK Country Manager Paul Stacey

BNZSA is based in Europe, so it 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 employs 200 in Spain, the UK, France, and Morocco.  Last year, it grew revenue by 38%.

BNZSA has over 100 clients and a 95% client retention rate.

Dun & Bradstreet Launches D&B Email IQ

Dun & Bradstreet recently launched D&B Email IQ, which “allows clients to get some free data from us — a number of free data contacts per month,” said CEO Anthony Jabbour. The service is an automated data exchange with email signature blocks mined in exchange for access to Dun & Bradstreet’s company and contact intelligence.

D&B Email IQ is an Outlook plug-in that displays company and contact intelligence, contact and prospect recommendations, and related companies. Firmographics include address, phone, social links, sizing data, ultimate parent, and D-U-N-S Numbers.

D&B Email IQ users that share signature blocks receive 50 free leads (e.g. additional contacts at a company) per month.  Users that only share emails receive ten emails per month.  There is also a ten lead bonus for referrals.

D&B Email IQ appears to be a tool for collecting email signature blocks similar to Zoominfo’s Community edition.  According to their FAQ, “Business contact data collected via D&B Email IQ may be incorporated into the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud and be used to enhance and improve our products by enabling businesses to manage their financial risks, protect against fraud and dishonesty, know who they are doing business with, meet their compliance and regulatory obligations and better understand organizations, industries and markets.  Where permitted under applicable law, this information may also be used for sales and marketing purposes.”

Unlike the Zoominfo Community Edition, the Dun & Bradstreet contacts are integrated into the Outlook workflow.

Dun & Bradstreet states that collected data includes emails, meeting invitations, and signature blocks, including “name, job title and department, company name, email address, telephone number, fax number, company address, corporate URL, and social networking URL.”

Dun & Bradstreet is being careful to comply with data privacy rules including GDPR, CCPA, and CASL.  The plug-in is blocked in Europe and they are careful not to collect data about EU citizens.  To ensure GDPR compliance, records with European emails, phones, or addresses are filtered out of the database so not available for sharing.  As GDPR is extra-territorial, it is critical that private data concerning EU citizens not be collected and shared without opted-in permission, even if all of the parties sharing, collecting, and using the data are outside of the EU.

To comply with CCPA, no California mobile numbers are collected.  To comply with the Canadian CASL regulations, no Canadian emails are collected.

D&B Email IQ users are likely to be small businesses and job seekers.  Larger firms are less likely to permit sharing of emails and signature blocks.  Small firms with fewer resources would be more willing to trade signature block intelligence for fifty leads per month.  Assuming a value of $1 per record for detailed contact profiles at small firms, the potential market value of the leads is over $500 per user.

Rhetorik Expands European Coverage

Rhetorik expanded its technology sales intelligence coverage of Europe with the addition of ten Eastern and Central European countries to its NetFinder+ service.  The CEE expansion pack provides company profiles, technographics, and contacts for Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

NetFinder+ also supports enhanced install data on cloud, system software, middleware, enterprise, and vertical industry applications.

Earlier this year, Rhetorik rolled out the Rhetorik Technology Map, “a comprehensive new taxonomy for classifying key enterprise technologies” that “structures business technology assets, services, and products” from over 7,000 vendors.  The Rhetorik Technology map contains over 150 tech categories.

Rhetorik contacts are fully-GDPR compliant with name, title, email, and phone numbers that are “compliant with all relevant data privacy and data protection regulations.”

Back in August, Rhetorik opened a US sales hub in California.  The office will be led by John South, who was named the VP North America.

California is a logical location for US market entry (the firm already has a Canadian development office).  Not only is a high percentage of US enterprise software and cloud companies headquartered in California, but the CCPA data privacy regulations are akin to EU GDPR requirements, making marketing departments more sensitive to data privacy and regulatory compliance.


I profiled NetFinder+ when it launched in June.

ZoomInfo Launches Streaming Intent Based on Clickagy Acquisition

Last week, ZoomInfo picked up its most recent tuck-in, Clickagy, to expand its intent data capabilities. The real-time intent vendor is the basis for ZoomInfo’s new Streaming Intent offering.

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.

Compliance

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 does not use cookies but instead relies on “privacy clusters” that are “persistent micro-groupings” of approximately 3 to 8 individuals who are “mathematically bound together to act as a single, trackable and targetable entity.”  As no PII is gathered, privacy clusters are consistent with GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and COPPA.  According to Clickagy, “As they’re not privacy invasive on a 1-to-1 level, Privacy Clusters do not require notice or opt-in consent for tracking.  Privacy Clusters allow brands to maintain the advertising efficacy they are used to while maintaining compliance with constantly changing worldwide privacy legislation.”

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.

Dun & Bradstreet Acquires Bisnode (Part III)

Last week, Dun & Bradstreet acquired long-time partner Bisnode, greatly strengthening its position in Europe. Bisnode provides them with direct access to regional and multi-national customers in the Nordic region, Eastern Europe, and D-A-CH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

Start at Part I


Dun & Bradstreet described the execution risk as low to medium as they know the company well, have established relationships with Bisnode, and Bisnode is “very familiar” with Dun & Bradstreet’s products and solutions.  The deal was also structured as a mix of debt and equity so as not to increase Dun & Bradstreet’s financial leverage.

One the announcement call, Dun & Bradstreet did not discuss Bisnode products, but one asset that Dun & Bradstreet will likely operationalize quickly is Bisnode’s file of 40 million GDPR-compliant business contacts across 21 European countries.

Dun & Bradstreet anticipates the deal will close in January 2021 subject to standard regulatory reviews.  The acquisition will add around 2,000 headcount to Dun & Bradstreet.

Bisnode revenue will be included in Dun & Bradstreet’s international division and will be broken out for the first year after acquisition.

Jabbour indicated that Dun & Bradstreet is strategically reviewing its World Wide Network of partners to “look for ways to improve the commercial arrangements that we have or make them more relevant.”  Options include purchasing the partner, ending the partnership arrangement and picking a new partner, or renegotiating the relationship.

The market appeared pleased with the transaction as Dun & Bradstreet’s stock price increased 8.53% last Thursday following the announcement and analyst call.

Rhetorik Opens US Sales Hub

European technology sales intelligence vendor Rhetorik opened a US sales hub in California.  The office will be led by John South, who was named the VP North America.

“Our goal is to meet the needs of US companies seeking European data expertise,” said Rhetorik CEO Meredith Amdur.  “It’s a very exciting prospect to be combining John’s experience and knowledge of the global data market with Rhetorik’s IT databases and data management services in order to achieve this.”

California is a logical location for US market entry (the firm already has a Canadian development office).  Not only is a high percentage of US enterprise software and cloud companies headquartered in California, but the CCPA data privacy regulations are akin to EU GDPR requirements, making marketing departments more sensitive to data privacy and regulatory compliance.

Rhetorik recently expanded its technographics intelligence NetFinder+ service across the EMEA region with support of 17 European countries and Israel.  The service provides “accuracy, completeness, and compliance across Europe,” said Amdur.  Rhetorik emphasizes that contact data is collected subject to the location-level data privacy rules of each jurisdiction and subject to the “Robinson lists” of various jurisdictions (e.g. The CTPS phone opt-out list in the U.K., DNC in Ireland).

NetFinder+ includes a market analytics module that helps product management and competitive intelligence groups evaluate their market position by category and country.  It can also be used to assess complementary partner market share (by installation).

Rhetorik separately offers a DataClinik hygiene and enrichment service.

South has a long history of new business development in the technographics space, having served as the VP of Sales at Datanyze (now owned by Zoominfo) and the head of Client Success and Sales at Aberdeen.  He most recently was the Director of Business Development for Imperium.

South will be “responsible for driving sales, new business development, and planning strategies for the sales teams.”

CJEU Invalidates EU-US Privacy Shield Data Transfers

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the EU-US Privacy Shield that allows firms to transfer EU citizen’s private data to the United States for data processing.  The EU maintains higher consumer data privacy laws that conflict with US security and legal policies.

“Today’s decision effectively blocks legal transfers of personal data from the EU to the US.  It will undoubtedly leave tens of thousands of US companies scrambling and without a legal means to conduct transatlantic business, worth trillions of dollars annually,” said Caitlin Fennessy, research director at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

The CJEU held that “the requirements of US national security, public interest and law enforcement have primacy, thus condoning interference with the fundamental rights of persons whose data are transferred to that third country.”

“In the absence of an adequacy decision, such transfer may take place only if the personal data exporter established in the EU has provided appropriate safeguards, which may arise, in particular, from standard data protection clauses adopted by the Commission, and if data subjects have enforceable rights and effective legal remedies…

The Court considers, first of all, that EU law, and in particular the GDPR, applies to the transfer of personal data for commercial purposes by an economic operator established in a Member State to another economic operator established in a third country, even if, at the time of that transfer or thereafter, that data may be processed by the authorities of the third country in question for the purposes of public security, defence and State security. The Court adds that this type of data processing by the authorities of a third country cannot preclude such a transfer from the scope of the GDPR.

Regarding the level of protection required in respect of such a transfer, the Court holds that the requirements laid down for such purposes by the GDPR concerning appropriate safeguards, enforceable rights and effective legal remedies must be interpreted as meaning that data subjects whose personal data are transferred to a third country pursuant to standard data protection clauses must be afforded a level of protection essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the EU by the GDPR, read in the light of the Charter. In those circumstances, the Court specifies that the assessment of that level of protection must take into consideration both the contractual clauses agreed between the data exporter established in the EU and the recipient of the transfer established in the third country concerned and, as regards any access by the public authorities of that third country to the data transferred, the relevant aspects of the legal system of that third country.

Regarding the supervisory authorities’ obligations in connection with such a transfer, the Court holds that, unless there is a valid Commission adequacy decision, those competent supervisory authorities are required to suspend or prohibit a transfer of personal data to a third country where they take the view, in the light of all the circumstances of that transfer, that the standard data protection clauses are not or cannot be complied with in that country and that the protection of the data transferred that is required by EU law cannot be ensured by other means, where the data exporter established in the EU has not itself suspended or put an end to such a transfer.”

“Data Protection Commissioner Ireland v Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems,” 16 July 2020

The EU-US Privacy Shield was implemented several years ago after the CJEU held that the prior US Safe Harbor regime was insufficient.

Privacy advocate Max Schrems brought the cases that invalidated Safe Harbor and EU-US Privacy Shield.  Following the ruling, he stated:

“It is clear that the US will have to seriously change their surveillance laws, if US companies want to continue to play a role on the EU market…The Court clarified for a second time now that there is a clash of EU privacy law and US surveillance law.  As the EU will not change its fundamental rights to please the NSA, the only way to overcome this clash is for the US to introduce solid privacy rights for all people — including foreigners.  Surveillance reform thereby becomes crucial for the business interests of Silicon Valley…

This judgment is not the cause of a limit to data transfers, but the consequence of US surveillance laws.  You can’t blame the Court to say the unavoidable — when shit hits the fan, you can’t blame the fan.”

Privacy Advocate and Plaintiff Max Schrems

“This leaves a huge question mark over data transfers to the US, said Tanguy Van Overstraeten, partner and global head of privacy and data protection law at the law firm Linklaters.  “The Court has struck down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield because it considers the US state surveillance powers are excessive.  For the thousands of businesses registered with the US Privacy Shield, this will be groundhog day; this is the second time the FTC operated scheme has been struck down after the Shields predecessor — the Safe Harbor — was struck down in 2015.  Businesses will now look to EU regulators to propose some form of transition to allow them to move away from Privacy Shield without the threat of significant sanctions and civil compensation claims.”

The ruling also puts in question data transfers to Russia, China, and potentially the UK post-Brexit.

“The CJEU’s judgment could have implications for the UK’s prospects of gaining adequacy at the end of the Brexit transition period,” said Peter Church, counsel at Linklaters.  “This will necessarily involve an assessment of the UK’s surveillance powers under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.  However, there are a number of differences between the UK and US regimes.  For example, the UK regime has already been reviewed by the European courts and a number of amendments have been made to bring it into line with European law.  In addition, the UK regime does not have the same distinction between UK and foreign nationals, unlike US law which does not grant the same rights to non-US citizens.”

“This is a bold move by Europe,” said Jonathan Kewley, co-head of technology at law firm Clifford Chance.  “What we are seeing here looks suspiciously like a privacy trade war, where Europe is saying their data standards can be trusted but those in the US cannot.”

Standard Contract Clauses (SCCs) may also be insufficient.  “If the law in the relevant country – let’s say the USA – could override what the contract says, they don’t work,” said Kewley.  “I don’t know how much appetite they have to do this, but it’s hard to imagine that any European regulator would say that SCCs work for the US, and the pressure will pile on for them to make the assessment.  I don’t think SCCs escaped the court’s judgement – for some key countries, it’s probably just a stay of execution.”

One likely impact will be the localized processing of EU consumer data within EU data centers.  Over 5,300 companies rely upon the EU-US Privacy Shield as part of their GDPR and broader EU compliance.  Companies that rely upon the Privacy Shield span a broad set of B2B data, DaaS, social networking, CDPs, and cloud companies [searchable list].  These include Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet (including Lattice Engines), Experian, Infogroup, TechTarget, Microsoft (including LinkedIn), Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon (including AWS), Oracle, Salesforce, HubSpot, Adobe (including Marketo), LiveRamp, Melissa, TowerData, 6Sense, Leadspace, SalesLoft, Outreach, Groove, VanillaSoft, Yesware, and ConnectLeader.

Firms are also likely to ramp up their GDPR and CCPA compliance messaging, but that does not address the weaker data privacy structures of US law.

Rhetorik NetFinder+

Rhetorik launched NetFinder+, its expanded, multi-national platform for technology sales and marketing intelligence.  The new portal provides company, contact, and technographic details for 18 EMEA countries spanning Benelux, Nordics, Iberia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, and Switzerland.  The U.K. and Ireland were already supported, with Greece in development.

CEO Meredith Amdur emphasized the value of having a local, specialist vendor that understands the nuances of European regulations and markets.  “One of the challenges for these vendors is that the country called ‘Europe’ doesn’t exist.  They need a partner like Rhetorik that understands the complexities of Europe, market by market, and language by language, to help them navigate and exploit a region with enormous growth potential.  And they need a service like NetFinder+ that provides current, accurate, and compliant data related to individual IT buyers and influencers across the region to target better prospects, expand into new markets, fill the marketing funnel, and capture the attention of their next best customers.”

In short, said Amdur, Rhetorik offers “accuracy, completeness, and compliance across Europe.”

NetFinder+ sports a new taxonomy with a five-fold expansion in the number of technology categories spanning cloud, enterprise and vertical industry applications, system software, and middleware applications.  The new Rhetorik Technology Classification (RTC) system “refreshes and structures the categorization of business technology assets, services, and products.”

Rhetorik captures up to 164 data fields per site spanning contacts, firmographics, and technographics.  Contact data, which is “compliant with all relevant data privacy and security regulations,” includes name, title, email, and phone number.  When screening, titles are mapped to a broad set of functions and sub-functions, allowing for prospecting by keyword, business role, or technology role.

Coverage spans 277,000 contacts, 275,000 emails, 98,000 sites, and 77,000 companies.  Technographic data covers nearly 2.3 million installations.

Rhetorik emphasizes that contact data is collected subject to the location-level data privacy rules of each jurisdiction and subject to the “Robinson lists” of various jurisdictions (e.g. The CTPS phone opt-out list in the U.K., DNC in Ireland).

“As the total addressable market gets bigger – as illustrated spectacularly by Zoominfo’s IPO declarations – we’re seeing a growing demand for specialized solutions that the biggest U.S.-based players can’t distract themselves to address.  A typical pain point for our customers is they need a multi-territory solution that isn’t easily addressed by “one-size-fits-all” products.  A customer might want a parallel opt-in and opt-out campaign in Europe, plus data discovery in South America, plus cleansing and enriching for an outdated house list encrusted with proprietary taxonomy, and a single point of contact for all of it.”

Rhetorik CEO Meredith Amdur

The service includes a Compliance Centre that contains details on GDPR compliance processes supported by Rhetorik along with customer compliance process recommendations.

Technographic coverage details installed IT assets such as telecoms equipment, networking devices, and server and desktop hardware; software products from traditional enterprise applications; operating systems; cloud platforms; vertical industry applications; services; and consumables suppliers.

Firmographic data is licensed from Dun & Bradstreet and local registries.

As a V1 service, there are a few limitations.  The service is English only and does not yet support any CRMs or MAPs.  Enterprise software connectors are in the works.

The layout follows a traditional sales intelligence user experience; however, the service is mobile adaptive.

NetFinder+ includes a market analytics module that helps product management and competitive intelligence groups evaluate their market position by category and country.  It can also be used to assess complementary partner market share (by installation).

As Rhetorik has historically served the marketing department, the price is determined primarily by the volume of licensed data with “a modest increase” based upon the number of seats.  Firms may license the full Rhetorik+ database or a subset segmented by technology, country, industry, etc.  Full database access begins at £80,000 and includes five seats.  There are no downloading limits.  

CCPA Now in Effect

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into force this week, but enforcement will be delayed for six months.  “We’re going to help folks understand our interpretation of the law,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.  “And once we’ve done those things, our job is to make sure there’s compliance, so we’ll enforce.”

Microsoft indicated that CCPA will be used as a national standard. Microsoft has already extended EU GDPR compliance globally and called privacy “a fundamental human right.”

“CCPA marks an important step toward providing people with more robust control over their data in the United States,” wrote Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer Julie Brill.  “It also shows that we can make progress to strengthen privacy protections in this country at the state level even when Congress can’t or won’t act.”

CCPA requires firms to be transparent in how they collect and use consumer data.  Individuals also have the option to block sales of personal data.  However, “Exactly what will be required under CCPA to accomplish these goals is still developing,” wrote Brill.

Microsoft supports a national privacy law which cover “more robust accountability requirements” including minimizing data collection, transparency around how data is being used, and “making them more responsible for analyzing and improving data systems to ensure that they use personal data appropriately.”

Facebook is hedging, saying “we do not sell people’s data” without acknowledging that its business is based on monetizing member data and that it has a poor history of controlling partner data collection on its platform.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called Facebook the “new cigarettes for our society,” which undermines societal trust.  On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Benioff called for Facebook to be regulated or split up.  “They’re certainly not exactly about truth in advertising.  Even they have said that.  That’s why we’re really in squarely a crisis of trust, when the core vendor themselves cannot say that trust is our most important value.  Look, we’re at a moment in time where each one of us in every company has to ask a question: What is our highest value?”

“I expect a fundamental reconceptualization of what Facebook’s role is in the world,” continued Benioff.  “When you have an entity that large with that much potential impact, and not fundamentally doing good things to improve the state of the world, well, then I think everyone is going to have it in its crosshairs.”