Microsoft rolled out a set of enhancements to its Customer Insights CDP earlier this month, including a set of technology and data partnerships. I covered the functional enhancements yesterday.
“Organizations can automatically augment profiles with survey responses to truly uncover sentiment and drive detailed segmentation of customers, empowering agile actions that build brand loyalty and driving detailed understanding of customers,” said James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Applications. “Furthermore, organizations can enrich customer profiles with proprietary audience intelligence on brand affinity and user interests or by using third-party enrichments such as Experian and Leadspace.”
Leadspace supports B2B firmographic enrichment use cases, including industry codes, discrete and ranged sizing variables, geocodes, social media links, URLs, and standardized addresses. Leadspace plans to include more advanced account-level insights such as company hierarchy and site-level details, as well as lead and intent scores, in future releases. Firmographic updates may be processed daily or weekly with company matching performed by Leadspace.
The Leadspace data license is written on Leadspace paper and based upon the number of records under management. Volume discounts apply. When additional content sets are available, tiered pricing will be employed.
“We’ve been really honored to collaborate closely with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights team as their first B2B data enrichment partner and excited about the value it’ll bring our joint customers who want a single source of truth to fuel their sales and marketing efforts. This offering goes a long way to helping them improve their ability to segment, prioritize, and personalize engagement across the customer lifecycle.”
Leadspace CTO Amnon Mishor
Experian supports consumer data enrichment spanning lifestyle segmentation, demographics, purchasing habits, brand preferences, life-event triggers, and mobile location data.
Microsoft also rolled out a set of new Customer Insights integrations that “drive meaningful actions across the customer journey.” Customer Insights is vendor-agnostic, “from ingesting data from any source to activating insights on multiple destinations.” New partners include AutopilotHQ, Bing ads, dotdigital, Facebook, Google Ads, HubSpot, LiveRamp, Marketo, Mailchimp, and SendGrid (Twilio).
Phillips emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to data privacy and security “by enabling organizations to better control and secure sensitive data with data classification and permissions from Microsoft Information Protection.” Organization can “configure policies to classify, label, and protect data based on its sensitivity.”
Customer Insights pricing begins at $1,500 per tenant per month for up to 100,000 profiles.
LeadSpace rolled out its Customer Data Platform (CPD) fall release with improved processing of first-party data, enhancements to their Salesforce app, and refinements to their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling. Automated ingestion of first-party data and custom data sources deliver unified customer profiles “for use across systems.” Automated data onboarding assists with AI modeling, scoring and analytics, and enterprise software activation.
can use data on engagement, product use, relationship, and other information
unique to their business to power real-time orchestration of activities and
processes,” stated the firm. “Decisions about how to route leads, assign
nurture programs, segment for campaigns, and personalize interactions can now
be made with all the intelligence of the CDP and a complete customer view.”
The fall release also supports data hygiene with the sunsetting of Data.com Clean in mid-2020. Both real-time and on-demand matching and enrichment are supported. Triggers automatically identify new or updated records and automatically look to match them against the LeadSpace CDP. At the end of the year, a sync button will be displayed within individual records.
“Getting a complete view of the customer is critical to improving the customer experience for B2B. Buyers no longer tolerate generic and impersonal content and interactions. Our Customer Data Platform gives B2B marketers a real path to being able to orchestrate the ideal customer experience at scale. Improving the ability to ingest 1st party data makes that even more powerful because it is unique to each of our client’s journey with their customers.”
LeadSpace CEO Doug Bewsher
ICP Analytics help select the right accounts and personas for ABM targeting.
Interactive, filterable reports display account, contact, and intent data
matched against conversion and revenue data to “uncover which categories and
segments have performed well historically.”
LeadSpace On-Demand look-a-like segment building now supports company suppression.
LeadSpace customers include Microsoft, HPE, SAP, Iron Mountain, IBM, and Symantec.
Leadspace formally closed its ReachForce acquisition on July 1st. Coincidentally, that was the same day that Dun & Bradstreet closed on its Lattice Engines acquisition. Thus, Forester’s top two B2B CDPs (Q2 2019 Forrester Wave), were strengthened on the same day.
to Forrester, “Leadspace offers comprehensive data that includes a proprietary
second-party data asset with numerous sources of intent data and access to
third-party data sources. It also has strong segmentation capabilities
(e.g., ideal customer profile and total addressable market modeling for ABM)
and can help sellers decide who to call next and what to offer.”
ReachForce adds two core products to Leadspace: The well-regarded Smartforms web form service and the SmartSuite data hygiene platform.
provides “a one-stop-shop for data management, cleansing, and enriching, with
an easy-to-use interface which shows quickly the ‘state of the union on data
within CRM and MAP systems,” blogged Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher.
and Leadspace share over 200 joint customers, so integrating the services and
standardizing their content sets will provide direct benefits to those clients.
The firms share seven of the top ten enterprise software companies as
provides an additional set of data partners which can be combined with
Reachforce data sources. Leadspace data partners include DiscoverOrg, Dun
& Bradstreet, Bombora, KickFire, and others.
will now be able to leverage all of these data sources seamlessly in real-time,
through a single API and interface, offering a genuine single source of truth,”
Leadspace CDP supports a broad set of CRM, MAP, and digital advertising
platforms including Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, Microsoft Dynamics,
HubSpot, and LiveRamp. Smartforms will be an additional “activation
product,” which “seamlessly and simply onboards new customers and customer
intelligence into Sales and Marketing engagement platforms.”
performs real-time data enrichment to lead records, allowing them to be
properly scored and routed. One of the long-standing benefits of
Smartforms is the opportunity to shorten forms and perform real-time
firmographic enrichment. Not only is the enriched data more accurate, but
form abandonment rates are significantly lower, resulting in a higher return on
digital marketing campaigns.
“What’s more, combining Smartforms with existing Leadspace capabilities like reverse IP information, detailed account- and person-level data, and AI modeling, means we can offer highly-accurate site and ad personalization on both the account (ABM) and persona level. For our customers, this means even more precise and personalized engagement and targeting, particularly those currently using our ABM solutions. (We will be announcing more on this offering in Q3 as we integrate the Reachforce and Leadspace platforms.)”
Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher
The merger also allows Leadspace to incorporate its proprietary AI-driven intelligence, automated scoring, and models within Reachforce products. Leadspace is beginning to move partner platforms from systems of record or systems of engagement to systems of intelligence. “CDPs combine vast data and data management capabilities with advanced AI to create a system of intelligence that guides Marketing and Sales to their best customers, and delivers razor-sharp insights and recommendations on how and when to effectively engage them,” said Bewsher. “The CDP is being rapidly adopted by B2B businesses now — including many enterprise companies at the forefront of marketing and sales strategy and innovation — and it’s proving equally as effective for them.”
Customer Data Platform vendor Leadspace acquired B2B Hygiene vendor ReachForce. The two firms offer complementary functionality with ReachForce adding webforms (SmartForms) and a continuous data quality platform (SmartSuite) to Leadspace’s CDP.
Leadspace plans to merge SmartSuite into their CDP over the next six months. SmartForms will become an “activation product” for Leadspace.
is a well-respected brand with an experienced team in the B2B marketing tech
space,” stated Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher. “We’ve known them, and
competed against them, over the years, so we’re excited to be joining forces
now to move the B2B CDP space even further.”
will maintain its Austin office and staff while LeadSpace will continue to
operate in Hod Hasharon, Israel, and San Francisco.
The Reachforce SmartSuite provides real-time and continuous data quality management. Features include B2B data match and enrich; data standardization; de-duplication; email, phone, and address verification; data health reports; CRM and MAP connectors; and contact prospecting at target accounts.
ReachForce has its best-in-class SmartForms product, which is a key way that customers build an understanding of their customers, as well as SmartSuite, which provides a real-time data cleansing and management service. Combined with Leadspace’s best-in-class B2B customer data platform, there is a definite complementary and additive effect. SmartForms will become one of the activation products for Leadspace, and we will work over the next [several] months to combine the best of both data management platforms to provide a single end-to-end solution for B2B CDP.
Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher
The Reachforce acquisition follows shortly after Dun & Bradstreet acquired Lattice Engines. Both Dun & Bradstreet and Leadspace now offer a CDP alongside a data quality hub, digital advertising, visitor intelligence, and CRM/MAP connectors:
Forrester’s Q2 2019 Wave report on B2B Customer Data Platforms placed Lattice Engines and Leadspace in the leader category with both holding the highest scores in strategy and Lattice Engines being ranked slightly higher for their current offering.
Prior to the acquisition, the Dun & Bradstreet CDP (D&B DataVision) was ranked a strong performer. The dual acquisitions help the vendors extend their leadership in the CDP space and increase the likelihood of additional consolidation within the B2B Customer Data Platform segment.
Leadspace did not disclose the acquisition price. Acquisition discussions began earlier this year.
LeadSpace is now including Bombora intent data in its Customer Data Platform. Bombora’s company surge data helps identify which companies are in market for products and solutions based upon surges in topical interest above historical baselines in the topic. “Customers can combine the resultant intent insights with Leadspace Predictive and Persona scores to accurately predict prospects’ readiness to buy in real time.”
LeadSpace customers can target
outreach based upon topical interest, prioritize sales and marketing activities
using intent data within predictive models, and personalize ad campaigns with
messaging and content around surging topics.
LeadSpace customers employing an ABM strategy enjoy improved account list building and engagement due to the partnership. They can also identify net-new prospects using look-a-like modelling and surge data.
“ABM succeeds when sales and marketing work closely toward the same goals. The easiest way to find that success is for both departments to start with insights from a single data source. Intent data that shows which target accounts are actively in-market helps sales and marketing tailor their efforts to the best prospects, and avoid those that are not engaged in the buying cycle. Working with Leadspace ensures the easy orchestration of Bombora’s insights across these departments.”
Erik Matlick, CEO and co-founder of Bombora
Intent data also assists with
sales-marketing alignment via harmonized messaging. According to David
Tam, Director of Marketing at OneLogin, “I’ve never worked anywhere before
where we could run a fully-integrated and aligned marketing campaign and sales
play, where the messaging matches. Our marketing emails are talking about the
same things that our sales reps are talking about. That alone is enough to get
brownie points with Sales!”
Radius and Leadspace quietly called off their merger back in August, agreeing not to point fingers at each other and continue supporting joint customers.
“At the end of the day, private to private mergers are incredibly hard to pull off. In this case, despite all of the best intentions in the world, we could not get to something that would work for all sides,” Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher told Demand Gen Report. “We are excited to see the evolution and clarity around the whole customer data platform really starting to define itself in B2B.”
Bewsher remains bullish about Leadspace and the Audience Management space:
Leadspace pioneered this space when we launched our Audience Management Platform two years ago. We continue to see great success with customers as they both simplify their data management processes and bring additional data driven insights and recommendations into their activities. Whether driving an ABM strategy, a content marketing / inbound lead driven strategy, or outbound prospecting, the right data and insights deployed into systems of engagement is typically the first step in any company’s success…
We look forward to working with you to develop, build and lead this category as we continue our mission to help B2B sales and marketing teams drive a new level of engagement, targeting and resulting revenue for their organizations.
Leadspace had a strong Q2 with its “best ever revenue growth.” New customers include SAP and Splunk. Growth was driven by the increasing recognition that B2B firms require a data-agnostic Customer Data Platform “which brings together many different data sources at the company- and individual-level, drives recommendations, insights and a single source of truth through AI, and then has a single point of integration into multiple executions systems (CRM, MAP, Ads etc),” said Bewsher.
“Radius and Leadspace agreed to continue operating independently and are now partnering to support joint customers,” said Radius. “Radius’ customer data platform is the first for B2B, and we will focus on offering enterprise companies integrated, unified and trusted data across all go-to-market systems, while Leadspace’s audience management platform will continue to equip companies with audience enrichment and analytics.”
On Monday, Radius Intelligence and Leadspace announced their merger and plans to become the “leader in B2B data intelligence.” The firm, which will continue under the Radius brand, is no longer emphasizing predictive analytics.
The predictive analytics market has failed to develop as a standalone segment. According to Radius Chairman Darian Shirazi, the total investment in the space was over $600 million. However, Gartner sized the market at $100 million to $150 million in 2016 revenue, suggesting that the promise of predictive analytics was developing slowly.
In his just released 2018 MarTech Landscape, Scott Brinker removed Predictive Analytics as a segment as machine learning is being integrated broadly across marketing products.
For B2B predictive tools to work, they require high quality reference data sets for initial and ongoing enrichment, but the predictive analytics companies black-boxed their data sourcing. Radius was one of the few exception to this opacity as they were transparent about their data acquisition model (web crawling combined with a customer contributed data model), but most of the other firms have been vague about their data models.
The predictive analytics companies were also slow to offer ABM tools and similar company and contact recommendations. These features are now commonly offered by both predictive analytics companies and sales and marketing intelligence firms such as D&B Hoovers, InsideView, DiscoverOrg, and Zoominfo. What’s more, the sales and marketing intelligence firms have all developed light predictive scoring or ranking tools. While none of these firms approaches Radius or Leadspace in predictive capabilities, they all provide company and contact insights for sales reps, ABM tools for sales and marketing, and integrated data enrichment processes.
The predictive analytics firms also initially black boxed their models, preferring to hide complexity. They have since become more transparent and begun displaying the top reasons for recommendations. However, Salesforce Einstein has provided similar functionality with predictive scores and insights.
Todd Berkowitz of Gartner summed up the situation well.
I’ve been covering the market for B2B predictive marketing analytics for almost four years. A few years ago, predictive lead scoring was all the rage. Then it became about fit and intent models for demand generation and prospecting. Then these tools were used for selecting accounts for large-scale ABM programs. But in the end, the standalone market for these applications never fully reached its potential. Many of the original vendors got acquired for their technology (Fliptop, SalesPredict, Infer and others) and predictive scoring became a standard feature of marketing automation and SFA systems.
Just because the standalone market went away, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of value here. In fact, the solutions have essentially moved into two other markets (and you’ll see this reflected in our upcoming Hype Cycle reports). On one end, you have the Data Intelligence for Sales market where predictive and AI-driven solutions are competing with traditional data vendors for demand gen, prospecting, and segmentation use cases. On the other end, you have the broader ABM solutions market where these applications not only help with account selection and planning, but are moving towards engagement and orchestration.
Berkowitz predicted that one or two of the remaining predictive analytics vendors will be acquired in the next six months.
With over 6,000 MarTech companies, the market is quite fragmented. Although the MarTech sector continues to expand, there is already momentum towards consolidation as clients look for broad, integrated functionality instead of many point solutions. For example, marketing and sales departments adopting ABM need a broad set of functionality which includes
AI scoring and recommendations
Real-time, batch, and continuous company and contact enrichment
Data hygiene (e.g. de-duplication, data standardization, and verification services)
Third-party verticalized data enrichment
Website visitor id
Look-a-like company and contact prospecting
Segmentation, TAM, and pipeline analysis
CRM, MAP, and sales engagement connectors
Account social media monitoring
Company and contact intelligence
At this point, nobody offers a full suite of these ABM capabilities for sales and marketing departments.
On Monday, Leadspace and Radius Intelligence announced their merger. The two firms were early entrants into the predictive analytics space, but the market for standalone predictive intelligence services has not developed as predicted. Thus, VCs and private equity companies are sitting on large bets that have yet to pay out.
The merged company will continue under the Radius brand as the “leader in B2B data intelligence.” Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher will take over as the CEO of the merged firm while Radius founder Darian Shirazi will assume the role of Chairman. The two positioned the merger as a coming together of firms with complementary assets across company (Radius) and people (Leadspace) intelligence.
“Radius and Leadspace as one company will deliver a standout go-to-market platform with the best data, artificial intelligence and integrations at its core… What’s truly exciting is that our mission remains the same. Radius will be the nucleus that powers data and intelligence across all B2B applications, channels, and users — now built on The Global Network of Record.”
Radius Intelligence Statement to Customers
Both Leadspace and Radius have edged closer to prospecting and data enrichment than other predictive vendors. Leadspace has long offered contact enrichment and prospecting, even appearing in a 2015 SiriusDecisions report on Contact Data Management. Meanwhile, Radius has built its own database of US company and contact data which it named “The Network of Record” and positioned as the “single source of truth for account data.” The Radius database spans 18 million US companies and 25 million contacts with verified emails and direct dials. Radius also offers digital ad targeting.
Radius is positioning itself as being at the center of B2B predictive analytics, B2B Audience Management, and B2B data management. However, several of the data solution vendors also offer advertising solutions including Infogroup and Dun & Bradstreet. (Source: Radius Intelligence)
The new Radius will help sales and marketing teams “find the right data on the right buyers, and reach those buyers across any channel.” Revenue teams will have access to the “industry’s most comprehensive data intelligence solution.” Features include account and people targeting, data management, ABM execution, and integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo, Eloqua (Oracle Marketing), and Pardot (Salesforce).
Shirazi is positioning the company as an Einstein competitor with expanded assets to compete against Salesforce. “We’re excited about this because it will create the largest number of customers, largest revenue base and really provide a company that is at scale in B2B data and intelligence,” said Shirazi. “The only other major player in this space we believe is Salesforce Einstein, and we’re excited to really give them a run for their money.”
Shirazi provided the following list of planned enhancements to be rolled out over the next year:
Master Data. Master Growth
Extend reach and accuracy as The Network of Record unites with Leadspace’s proprietary, real-time virtual database sourcing
Take complete control of data governance with added data dashboard functionality
Enhance data matching and append for contacts, as well as lead-to-account matching features
Real Intelligence. Real Buyers
Strengthen targeting on individual decision makers in both the U.S. and international markets
Access enhanced segmentation, scoring, and insights on contacts
Leverage features from two effective sales intelligence tools
Scale Channels. Scale Revenue
Expand audience reach with the largest deterministic reach of any platform
Source more contacts with even higher accuracy and contactability rates
Connect more channels with more seamless integrations and partners
Shirazi describes Radius as the next “backbone go-to-market platform.” The combined assets “will enable marketing, sales, revenue ops, and customer insights teams to finally address their data gaps and conquer their targeting challenges. We will create a standout solution in a crowded, fragmented space of point-solutions where customers are forced to stitch together multiple products or change vendors every year.”
Back in 2015, Radius Intelligence had a market value of $500 million and funding of $107.6 million. Leadspace never disclosed a valuation, but it received $59 million in funding with a $21 million Series C in December.
LinkedIn lists 100 Leadspace employees and 160 Radius employees.
The merged company has over 200 customers including Sam’s Club, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Comcast, MetLife, and American Express. Both firms maintain “innovation centers” in San Francisco and Israel.
Predictive Analytics and Audience Management vendor Leadspace completed its Series C. The funding round was led by Arrowroot Capital and joined by JVP. The $21 million round will be used “to grow our customer team in San Francisco and Denver, and our AI and data management product teams in Israel.”
The firm is assessing additional locations, including possible offices on the East Coast and Europe, “perhaps” London.
Arrowroot has taken a seat on Leadspace’s Board. The firm wanted growth equity advisors instead of traditional VCs for Round C. “At this point the investment is not just in the idea and the team, but also the underlying metrics and performance of the business,” said CEO Doug Bewsher. “Once you have “Product/Market fit”, the kinds of questions investors ask are whether you are ready to scale; what are the opportunities for further growth; and apart from additional investment can we be an investment partner that can help you address these opportunities?”
Bewsher noted that marketing has been transformed over the past seven years since Leadspace was founded. Firms are switching from tactical demand generation programs to targeted Account Based Marketing (ABM) communications. “No longer is it OK to just send out blanket “nurture” emails to everyone and hope that will generate positive customer engagements. No longer can you rely on a single data source as the basis to know your customer. No longer is it enough for marketers to just think of leads — they need to market to accounts, and teams of people. Neither can marketers afford to ignore intelligence and information from external parties, and simply rely on the limited info they gather internally.”
Not only has the nature of B2B marketing been transformed, but “world class B2B sales and marketing organizations” need to become more like consumer companies with a deep understanding of the account at multiple levels. Echoing Sirius Decisions, Bewsher said that B2B marketers need to “really know your customer at the account, demand unit and individual level, and then target and personalize your messaging to cut through the noise. And think customer-first.”
As an analytics company, Bewsher talks up the value of AI for sales and marketing as it begins to address specific problems and workflows:
AI is everywhere. While there is no doubt that it is going to change every corner of our life, both as private users and business people, I think we will start to move from the promise to the reality in 2018. In business-to-business sales and marketing in 2017, it was enough to say: “We have a ton of great data scientists who are working on new ways to better engage your customers.”
But in 2018 customers will look to see actual results — like the 90 percent increase in email connection rates we have seen from the deployment of AI to recommend the right way to engage a specific user. This will require a maniacal focus on specific use cases from the emerging area of AI.
One area where AI will improve revenue generation effectiveness is in ABM programs which has been limited by the human ability to consume information and the historical lack of data availability. However, “AI is changing all this, with the ability to consume and understand unprecedented amounts of information and turn this into action at scale and in real time. So sales and marketing teams now have the opportunity to drive much more relevant and effective engagement programs for their entire potential target audience.”
According to Leadspace, they are trusted by over 130 B2B brands and seven of the top ten enterprise software companies. Clients include Microsoft, Marketo, Oracle, and RingCentral.
In the late 1980’s, when my career was first beginning, I worked on a technology helpdesk for an insurance agency automation system (Aetna’s Gemini platform). Many of the calls were routine with an easily road mapped set of resolution steps. So the firm decided to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and began interviewing its most seasoned experts to identify the problem resolution path.
After several months of development, an AI module would be unveiled that walked the user through problem resolution. It was basically a set of if-then-else and case statements providing pre-coded branching logic. Support reps started with a category and were walked through a set of questions to ask and resolution steps to convey over the phone.
The solution was expensive and lacked the ability to learn. Thus, if new problems arose or the problem resolution changed due to new hardware or software being introduced, the rules no longer applied.
It was far from intelligent. Heck, I’d coded a twenty-questions game in a first semester programming class that was more intelligent than the service. At least my Q&A game had the ability to learn new questions to ask without requiring an expensive consultant.
Finally, it was only used by new hires as much of the routine steps were just that — routine.
Solutions like this quickly proved that Artificial Intelligence wasn’t intelligent and after a few years, the term AI fell from favor and returned to the realm of sci-fi killer robots.
Nearly three decades later, the term AI is once again being rolled out. But now it does convey an impressive level of intelligence which makes our devices feel smart. It’s why we call them smartphones. They are able to leverage vast amounts of data and make decisions in the blink of an eye. Whether it is asking Siri a question or having Google map the best route to a location subject to current traffic patterns and transportation mode, we expect our devices to be intelligent.
AI represents a massive change in technology. You might call it a “paradigm shift” or “disruption” or we could just stick with “massive change.” What we’re trying to say is, AI is kind of a big deal. And just like the arrival of the personal computer, cloud computing, and the mobile smartphone, AI is going to fundamentally change the way things work, forever.
So it was with a smile that I saw the term AI being used by Salesforce in positioning their new Einstein service. Each year at Dreamforce, CEO Marc Benioff discusses a new underlying technology or cloud. Most recently it has been Lighting (UI and workflows), Wave (analytics), and the Internet of Things Cloud. At Dreamforce 2016, it is Einstein, their artificial intelligence platform to assist with sales, marketing, and service.
Salesforce presents AI simply as
Lots of data + cloud computing + good data models = smarter machines
So while much of this technology has been provided as consumer applications for over a decade, businesses have been lagging behind when the scope goes beyond a mobile app or e-commerce portal.
Shouldn’t the full transactional and service history be available to help understand past purchases, preferences, and potential cross-sell and upsell opportunities?
Wouldn’t we want it delivered no matter the touch point?
That is the type of intelligence that Einstein is looking to bring to Salesforce customers. Einstein is “the world’s first comprehensive artificial intelligence platform for CRM. I’ve never been more excited about the innovation happening at Salesforce,” said Benioff.
Einstein is available both programmatically (for developers) and “declaratively for non-coders,” said Benioff. It is integrated directly into the SFDC platform and available across all of the clouds. For example, an Einstein widget displays a set of insights identifying competitor news, recommended actions, and account intelligence.
Einstein builds models with no coding or initial training by users. For example, the system is able to determine which trigger events are important to sales reps and surface news about competitors without asking “who are your competitors?” The system also can make recommendations concerning high-scoring leads based upon both fit (firmographics, biographics) and behavior (e.g. recent viewing of a demo).
Not only does the system recommend activity, but it then offers recommended email copy including a proposed call time.
The platform is built on a series of recent acquisitions including RelateIQ (rebranded SaleforceIQ), MetaMind, Implisit, PreductionIO, and TempoAI. The firm now has a team of 175 data scientists “stitching together this amazing platform,” said Benioff.
“The new platform will “democratize artificial intelligence” and “make every company and every employee smarter, faster and more productive,” continued Benioff. “This is going to be a huge differentiator and growth driver going forward as it puts us well ahead of our CRM competition once again.”
The new platform infuses their sales, cloud, and marketing platforms with AI capabilities for “anyone” regardless of their role or industry. According to Salesforce, Einstein lets employees “use clicks or code to build AI-powered apps that get smarter with every interaction.”
Einstein is positioned as having your own data scientist focused on applying AI to customer relationships. Einstein has access to a broad set of intelligence including CRM data, email, calendar, social, ERP, and IoT to “deliver predictions and recommendations in context of what you’re trying to do. In some cases, it even automates tasks for you. So you can make smarter decisions with confidence and focus more attention on your customers at every touch point.”
Several predictive analytics companies used the launch to shout, “hey wait, we’ve already mastered AI for sales and marketing.” LeadSpace CEO and former Salesforce CMO Doug Bewsher stated, “B2B marketers need a complete solution that works across multiple channels, in their existing marketing stack.”
“Bad data is the Achilles heel of AI,” continued Bewsher. “AI is only as good as the data available to it. Marketers who want to get the full benefit of AI need to address their data problems first, or they’ll see the same diminishing returns as with traditional marketing automation.”
Shashi Upadhyay, CEO at Lattice Engines was a bit more diplomatic in welcoming Einstein. “After having led the market for several years, we are really excited to see the mainstream attention shifting towards AI-based solutions for marketing and sales. The Einstein announcement from Salesforce is a great step forward, as it will serve to educate the market and signal that predictive solutions are here to stay.”