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.

Slintel Series A

Intent-powered Sales Intelligence vendor Slintel closed on a $20 million round A led by GGV, with participation from Accel, Sequoia, and Stellaris.  The Bengaluru-based company is looking to expand its presence in the US market and strengthen its product.  Slintel, with 100 employees, plans to double its headcount by the end of the year.

The company still has cash from its $4.2 million November seed round but felt it prudent to proceed with an A round earlier than planned.

“We had enough cash in the bank, but investors came to us, and we got a pretty good valuation compared to the previous round, so we decided to take it and use that money to go faster,” said CEO Deepak Anchala.

Revenue grew 5X last year and was on pace to grow 3X before the Series A.  Anchala contends that the growth rate will accelerate with the additional capital.  “With the funding, we’re actually looking at much bigger numbers. We’re looking at 5x in our revenue this year and also trying for 4x revenue next year.”

“Slintel has one of the best go-to-market engines that we’ve seen in any startup, and the consistency with which the team has been able to deliver on their growth targets is commendable.  We’re looking at a company that’s changing the marketing and sales intelligence sphere as we know it, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of their board,” said Prayank Swaroop, Partner at Accel.

Anchala told TechCrunch that since the round closed six weeks ago, the firm increased its investment in product and marketing.  The advertising budget was increased, with the firm looking to generate prospects via SEO, free tools on the company website, and events.

“The next big wave in the enterprise space is (the) use of AI to rethink processes, and all AI at its core requires data.  I am, therefore, bullish on the entire data stack, including data which is either proprietary or inferred data that is not easy to replicate. Slintel is in the second category. Their ability to predict strong prospects is a relatively unique capability, and it is very easy to sell due to a direct correlation to (the) top line for their customers.”

Alok Goyal, Partner at Stellaris Venture Partners

The Slintel platform delivers technographic and company insights, buying propensity scores, contacts, and lead enrichment.  Slintel identifies thematic intent signals (i.e., sales triggers) such as upcoming contract renewals, companies that show signs of buying their products online, or companies that use their competitors’ products.  Slintel captures hard to detect signals from the web, combines this with other third-party intent signals from its partners, and surfaces these insights via integrations with Salesforce, Pipedrive, HubSpot, Slack and Chrome. 

“Our customers no longer waste precious time and effort reaching out to and targeting the wrong prospects,” blogged Anchala.  “They are able to accurately determine who their high-intent buyers are, whether a target account is already using their competitor’s product / service, when the renewal date for a prospect’s current solution is coming up, or the budget restrictions that they have.  All this and more, even before scheduling a discovery call with them.”

Slintel “mines buyer insights,” said Anchala.  “We understand where the buyers are in their journey, what their pain points are, what products they use, what they need, and when they need it. So we understand all of this to create a 360-degree view of the buyer that you provide these insights to sales and marketing teams to help them sell better.”

Technology intent is based upon digital footprint tracking that analyzes when new technologies have been adopted or dropped.  Technographics span 25,000 technologies across fifteen million companies and are updated weekly.  AI models project when contracts come up for renewal, which technologies are likely to be purchased next, and when they will move forward with the purchase.

Thematic intent is based on keyword analysis that suggests company pain points.  Slintel “analyzes how many times companies have been talking about a certain keyword [and] how frequently and recently they have been emitting this pain point.”

Propensity-to-buy scores are derived from over twenty-five variables, including contract renewal dates, technology adoption/churn, keyword Intent, budgetary spending, and hiring trends.

“We have taken a contrarian approach by focusing on the buyer funnel, which is an inverse of the sales funnel,” said Anchala.  “We analyze buyer journeys and buying patterns of companies to capture early signals of buyer intent.”

“While most other data intelligence platforms provide insights based on search patterns, Slintel’s proprietary algorithm provides prospect recommendations based on technographics-powered buying intent,” states the firm.  “Using Slintel, you can predict who’s about to purchase your product and market or sell your product to prospects even before they move on to the research phase of their buying journey.”

Slintel has employees across ten cities in India and the US, with plans to remain a remote-first organization.

Slintel has been growing headcount rapidly over the past two years (Source: LinkedIn).

Slintel also announced that Hans Tung, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, joined their Board of Directors.

“With the global pandemic completely changing the way companies operate, B2B transactions have gone more digital than ever before,” stated Tung.  “Inside sales teams are closing high-value, multi-million-dollar deals while working remotely, and products like Slintel are enabling companies to do this by helping them reimagine their entire sales process for today’s environment.”

Cyance Funding Round (Part II)

Cyance Account-level Intent Insights for first and third-party intent.

(Continued from yesterday’s article)

Cyance’s intent signals are gathered from 55,000 publisher sites and capture 24 billion monthly events.  Six months of trend data are analyzed. Cyance intent monitoring supports six languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch, with additional languages planned.  Roughly 40% of signals are gathered from Europe, 40% North America, and 15% AsiaPac.

Cyance already tracks 140,000 intent keywords and allows new custom keywords to be defined for each customer.  Keywords are then mapped to custom topics which reflect each customer’s products, services, and value proposition.  Custom keyword tracking allows for greater granularity and transparency in their intent data and enables the accurate identification of intent signals and custom topics.  Additional global, unified taxonomies are scheduled for a Q3 release.

Our proprietary, highly accurate intent data and ABX platform means our customers’ sales teams have more targeted insights based on the most accurate, geographical data possible at their fingertips.  In this way, we enable better conversions throughout each stage of the sales funnel, as well as helping them to retain and grow their existing accounts. For large organisations seeking to successfully identify and close new clients, having the right data is crucial.  Other intent data providers on the market today simply aren’t capable of providing sales teams a fully customisable view into what their prospects and clients are searching for in large-scale enterprise IT solutions.  At Cyance, we fill the gap in the market for European buyers seeking regional intent data that provides highly accurate, GDPR compliant insights into user intent.”

Cyance CEO Bulent Osman

Cyance has firmographic information for 100 million companies and locations (along with linkage for rolling up intent) and intent signals for 40 to 50 million global companies.  Firmographic information is supplemented by technographics and GDPR-compliant contact data licensed from a well-regarded European vendor.

Cyance supports both FIT (Firmographic, Intent, and Technographic) and TCR (Timing, Context, and Relevance) models.  FIT models combine an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with behavioral account scores that trend intent over time, looking for spikes in activity.  To simplify intent data for sales reps, they employ a semaphore (colored light) display system. 

TCR analyzes Timing, Context, and Relevance in determining intent:

  • Timing looks at the buying stage of the intent behavior to help improve the prioritization of accounts subject to customer/prospect strategy mode (e.g., acquisition, retention, or expansion).  Cyance weights intent signals that are mapped to a buying stage.
  • Context combines buying stage with the best-fit personae most likely behind the research at each buying stage.
  • Relevance maps all intent signals to customer topics (customer products or value propositions).  This makes it easier for customer teams to translate behavior into best-fit product and content alignment.

TCR maps intent signals to buyer stage (early, mid, late) and value proposition, enabling acquisition and expansion intent to be treated differently than retention intent.  Acquisition and expansion look at current activity vs. baseline for early buyer stage, while retention looks for mid-to-late research signals, indicating an existing customer may be researching competitive solutions. 

Cyance supports integrations with Salesforce, Drift, and HubSpot, with Outreach and Marketo coming soon.  For programmatic, Cyance offers integrations with LinkedIn Campaign Manager, LiveRamp, Avocet, and theTradeDesk.

Cyance’s primary customers are in technology and financial services.  85% of its revenue is generated in Europe and 15% in North America.

Cyance does not disclose its pricing but bases it on the geography licensed and the product tier. Cyance is headquartered in the UK, with remote sales reps on the continent

Cyance Funding Round

Cyance list of accounts with spiking intent.

European third-party intent data vendor Cyance closed on an £860,000 funding round that included existing investors Blackfinch Ventures and Nexus Investments.  The funds will be deployed for ongoing product and market expansion, including enterprise customer expansion in Europe and ABX platform development.

Last year, the firm doubled its headcount, grew revenue by 18%, and raised ACV by 30%.  It also shifted from being an intent data vendor to an ABX platform.  As with many other MarTech vendors, revenue flattened in Q2 of last year and began growing again in the second half of the year.  They have built significant momentum in 2021 and are on pace to nearly double ARR this year.

“The fact that we’ve seen such solid commercial and financial performance over the past 12 months, despite the tough market conditions, demonstrates the appetite for accurate and localised intent data and the enormous potential within this market.  And as businesses start to look beyond the pandemic and the economic recovery gathers pace, we expect demand to increase further.  Taking on this new investment allows us to strengthen our team and further invest in our product.  We’re now perfectly placed to take advantage of these new opportunities and cement our position as the leading ABX platform with unique intent data for European buyers.”

Cyance CEO Bulent Osman

According to CPO Jon Clarke, Cyance is “rapidly building out an ABX platform proposition” that drives better decisioning and aligns sales and marketing teams.  The platform serves both sales and marketing teams, promoting revenue team collaboration, cohesion, and efficiency with a unified versus siloed data platform.

As with other vendors that have recently begun using ABX instead of ABM, Cyance emphasizes account-based programs and processes across the full revenue team and customer life cycle.  ABM has long emphasized sales and marketing alignment, but the bulk of product development has been marketing-centric.  The shift to ABX captures both the broader vision of ABM and a greater emphasis upon the customer experience across the full lifecycle.

“Cyance has transformed account-based marketing by developing and integrating a sophisticated SaaS solution with global, third-party intent data which addresses the needs of the European market,” said Reuben Wilcock, Head of Ventures at Blackfinch Ventures.  “They have demonstrated solid growth from global B2B brands in the last 12 months, despite the challenging times we find ourselves in.  We’re excited to continue supporting Cyance as it helps some of the world’s leading companies to transform their demand generation and account-based marketing programs and achieve more efficient ROI.”

Their January release sports improved intent signal tailoring and segmentation, beefed up technographics, new customer dashboards, and improved service and support.  The platform offers an updated UI, enhanced ICP definition, and buying journey stage identification.


Coverage continues with a discussion of Cyance’s database and intent models.

Bombora Growth Capital Financing; Implements BERT

First and third-party intent data vendor Bombora closed on $20 million in growth capital financing from Runway Growth Capital.  The cash infusion “will be used to help Bombora capitalize on market opportunities, build stronger partner relationships, and accelerate its pace of innovation.”

The funds will help them expand data partnerships across the sales and marketing ecosystem. 

“We want to make it easier for brands and their agencies to use it in their own stacks and chosen solutions, and for our platform partners to enhance the value of their own offerings,” said Bombora CEO Erik Matlick.

The firm is also looking to “deliver solutions that enable addressable advertising across the cookieless landscape for publishers and partners alike,” Matlick told Adweek.

“The B2B intent data market is growing quickly, and marketers are seeking better, more efficient ways to identify and engage with in-market prospects. We have been impressed with Bombora’s expertise, and its ‘data collective’ approach really stood out to us in the market.  This partnership adds to Runway’s already strong history of supporting key players in the data and marketing technology space and we are excited to have Bombora join our portfolio.”

Mark Donnelly, Managing Director, Head of Origination at Runway

In other news, Bombora announced that it implemented BERT-based natural language processing in its intent categorization, resulting in a 26% increase in topic prediction.  BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) looks at the context of each occurrence of a word.

“Bombora’s engineers and data scientists never stop looking for ways to serve our customers better,” said Bombora Data Science VP Nicholaus Halecky, Ph.D. “The BERT-based B2B Topic Classifier demonstrates a substantial performance increase in Company Surge intent signal quality, and we know this will improve our customers’ business results.”

The BERT implementation was spearheaded by former PwC and DialogTech data scientist Amber McKenzie, Ph.D., who joined Bombora as VP Data Science. BERT is an open-sourced NLP developed by Google.  It was implemented in Google Search in late 2019 and has since been deployed by Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Wayfair.  BERT distinguishes meaning by assessing word order context, seeing the difference in meaning between “the stock of apples has dropped” and “Apple’s stock has dropped.”

ZoomInfo Workflows Enhanced (Part II)

Continuation from yesterday’s article about ZoomInfo Workflows.

For over a decade, Sales Intelligence vendors such as Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Artesian Solutions, and ZoomInfo have offered sales triggers based upon executive changes, funding events, M&A, etc..  D&B Hoovers, along with many European vendors that process registered filings data, includes data change alerts (e.g., credit score change, revenue growth) and registered filings.  As vendors are now adding in visitor intelligence and intent signals, there is the risk of quickly overwhelming sales reps with alerts.  And since most vendors do not yet offer workflow solutions for filtering and automating sales activities, there is a strong likelihood that reps begin to view these alerts as noise instead of actionable signals.  The more generalized the signal (e.g., website visits), the greater the possibility of signals being considered spam. 

To further confuse things, Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) have emerged as sales automation platforms, but they are only loosely tied to a few of the sales intelligence vendors.  In many cases, the functionality is simply Send to SEP functionality.

ZoomInfo and Vainu (see 3/21 issue) now tie together triggers and actions subject to filters.  While there is still a risk that reps are overwhelmed (e.g., too many automated cadences being sent to SEPs), the filters help mitigate the risk and ensure that activity is focused on an organization’s best prospects and tied to event-specific messaging. 

For technology sales, ZoomInfo offers technographic changes and Scoops.  The Scoops dataset is gathered from official data (e.g., public filings, PPP loans), surveys, and in-house research teams.  Daily, ZoomInfo reaches out to contacts in its database to gather market intelligence about projects and the challenges they face in their department.  As an incentive, ZoomInfo offers an Amazon gift card or charitable donation to each respondent.  The responses are the basis of many of their Scoops.

“We are constantly evaluating new sources and pieces of information that can provide value to our customers in the form of Scoops.  Last year, our Scoop number increased greatly because of new processes and expanded information coverage, including the addition of Scoops directly related to PPP loan recipients. Through continued innovation and expansion, we anticipate that our Scoops volume will continue to increase over time.  We have several in-house research teams dedicated to various types of Scoop coverage, and we utilize many of the same sources to gather Scoops that are laid out on our B2B Data Sources webpage, including updates from leadership webpages, news monitoring, public filings, and company-issued announcements.”

ZoomInfo Communications Director Steve Vittorioso

The Scoop volume doubled to 917,000 events in 2020.

While the primary Workflows use cases are focused on revenue acceleration, Workflows may also be used for executive recruitment.

Admins have an approval queue for workflows created by non-admins.

Admins can edit, clone, run, or delete Workflows.  They can also create workflows for non-admins or permit non-admins to create workflows subject to admin approval. 

Non-admins have access to fewer integrations, cannot assign workflows to peers, and are subject to lower export limits.

Workflows do not support FormComplete, ZoomInfo’s webform, but the functionality is on the product roadmap.


Continue to Part III.

Demandbase ABX Personalization

Demandbase, which reframed itself as an Account Based Experience platform last month, announced a pair of enhancements to its service: Site Customization and Form Enrichment.  Site Customization lets marketers display “unique site experiences for their target account” based upon more granular segmentation (e.g., firmographics, intent, website activity).

Other customization enhancements include

  • Preview links for stakeholder review before release
  • Account list targeting with personalized ads
  • Tailored landing pages based upon the stage of the buying journey

The website can be personalized based upon industry, stage, geography, company size, or other variables.  Messaging, CTAs, collateral, and creative elements can be customized based upon the visitor.

“The creative elements and the experience you want to give to your customer or prospect are up to you,” blogged Demandbase Director of Product Marketing Ruth Juni.  “One thing is for sure: Taking the time to think through the messaging from the consumer’s perspective will ensure you’re delivering the right message to the consumer at the right time.”

Marketers can also display unique web form designs with minimal field display.  Demandbase then enriches the submitted form with additional prospect details.

“ABX is rooted in an intense focus on the customer at every stage of the buying cycle, using intelligent insights to know when and how to engage, and what to say to each account,” said Jon Miller, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase.  “Your website is one of the most important interactions a customer or prospect can have with your brand, which is why it’s critical that your website experience should be as personalized as email or other channels.  Our new features for Demandbase Personalization make it easy to deliver the right website experience and elevate the entire journey.”

According to Gartner, 98% of marketers argue that personalization enhances customer relationships. “Gartner is predicting that smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 25% by 2023,” said Demandbase Product VP Seth Myers.  “Personalization is taking center stage in business today.  This makes the case even more for our enhanced Personalization product and its industry-leading features that treat personalization as seriously as it should be treated. We’re bound and determined to keep anticipating what our customers want and need, in order to continue to elevate ABX.”

A screenshot of the Demandbase One Dashboard showing the top trending Intent keywords over 12 weeks.

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.

NetLine Buyer-Level Intent

NetLine unveiled its new buyer-level intent solution Intent Discovery.  Intent Discovery identifies both the individual buying committee member and the buyer journey status.  Intent data is gathered from interactions with NetLine’s 12,000 gated content assets from opted-in researchers who are fully permissioned.  NetLine describes Intent Discovery as an “always-on monitor” of business research.  Research activity is “mined on a real-time basis, and intercepted once a buyer has met or exceeded each element required to define intent.”  

Once prospect activity has been qualified for both active intent and firmographic fit, Intent Discovery asks a set of customer-specific questions that further qualify intent and deliver bespoke insights about the prospect and the individual researcher.  These insights are then available to sales reps, allowing them to target their messaging to an audience of one.

All content is vendor agnostic, increasing response quality. “Sans branding, the buyer is more likely to truthfully respond.  Minus the influence of a brand, and its market perception, B2B buyers are statistically more likely to find trust in the questions and their reason for being asked,” stated NetLine.

Preliminary data from their pilot indicates a 70% increase in participant’s “ability to accelerate account’s conversion to net-new opportunities.”

“Historically, if Marketers wanted to glean true intent insights from their prospects, they had to rely on a mix of their own content initiatives and faceless display advertising campaigns focused on targeting anonymous third-party cookies.  With Intent Discovery, Marketers now have access to dramatic first-party scale beyond their own content, enabling them to accelerate the sales process.”

NetLine CEO Robert Alvin

“With this product, we’ve effectively delivered the last mile of B2B Intent: Who is actually expressing intent.  First-party sourced buyer-level intent is the Holy Grail of sales acceleration,” said Chief Strategy Officer David Fortino. “Marketers are finally able to capture in-market and intent-rich dialogue directly from their prospects on a fully-permissioned basis at scale.  Far too many vendors are delivering account-level insights and guessing at the “who” behind the behavior.  We’re not in the business of guessing; it’s time for marketing and sales to understand the who — the person instead of the persona and that’s what we’re delivering on.”

TechTarget Acquires ESG

TechTarget continues to build out its technology content set with the acquisition of Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), “a leading provider of decision-support content based on user research and market analysis for global enterprise technology companies.”  ESG has twenty-seven researchers and analysts who cover Cloud Services & Orchestration; Converged Infrastructure; Cybersecurity; Data Platforms, Analytics & A.I.; Data Protection; Digital Workspace; Networking; and Storage.

TechTarget called ESG a “natural complement and extension” of its value prop.  It expands TechTarget’s “decision support content” and provides it with “new fact-based, research-driven content” for sales and marketing outreach “identified by purchase intent insights.”  ESG’s segment expertise and analysis support technology purchase decisioning that extends TechTarget’s value beyond its 140+ technology research websites.

ESG works with its customers to develop custom content, including technical validation, economic analyses, and bespoke end-user research that “enables the creation of highly actionable, extremely useful, interactive content deliverables and tools.” Content types include white papers, videos, infographics, dynamic content (HTML 5), online event support, and social media support.

Clients commonly use ESG content to support product launches, competitive positioning, channel enablement, and ABM-focused outreach.  Thus, TechTarget’s websites identify who is currently in-market for specific solution types, and ESG’s custom content delivers mid-funnel tools to assist with messaging across the demand unit.

“ESG delivers highly relevant, purchase cycle-focused content specifically built to support buying and selling. As such it helps fill critical gaps that have long increased costs and cycle times on both sides of the process.  Adding depth to and building on TechTarget’s existing strengths in content, process support, and data creates clear, easily accessed value for both clients and end-users.”

ESG Founder Steve Duplessie

The ESG acquisition is TechTarget’s third over the past year.  In December, TechTarget closed on its $150 million BrightTALK purchase that provided it with event marketing and event-related intent signals.  In March, TechTarget tucked in Data Science Central, a digital publisher that focuses on data science and business analytics.

“We’re super excited about the value ESG provides to our clients and our members,” said Michael Cotoia, Chief Executive Officer, TechTarget. “Together, we can provide enterprise technology buyers much richer information support across their buyer’s journeys.  For our clients, adding ESG to the unmatched intent data and services we’ve long-provided means we can further increase their productivity gains and business yields end-to-end across go-to-markets.”

The acquisition price was not disclosed.  Both firms operate in the Boston suburbs. The BrightTALK acquisition closed on December 23rd.