Crunchbase unveiled their long-planned Crunchbase Marketplace partner ecosystem. Crunchbase signaled plans for the ecosystem a year ago when it announced an $18 million funding round. Partner datasets are available via an “app store” connected to their subscription Crunchbase Pro data service.
“We see this as the next step in building the master database for companies online. We don’t feel like a single company can go out and get all the information that there is to get, which is why we have decided to partner.”
Crunchbase CEO Jager McConnell
Crunchbase has signed 13 data partners: SimilarWeb, Apptopia, BuiltWith, Siftery, IPqwery, Bombora, Owler, Financial Content, TradingView, Enigma, Wayback Machine, Aberdeen, and Wikipedia. The span of partners is fairly broad and includes technographics, intent data, web traffic, app installs, government filings, and stock quotes.
The following datasets are live:
Crunchbase Pro – Funding data available for $29 / user / month
SimilarWeb – Web traffic and engagement (free)
Siftery – Tech Stack data for $49 / user / month
BuiltWith – Tech Stack data for $49 / user / month
Apptopia – Mobile app analytics for $49 / user / month
“We’re super excited about these partnerships because they are bringing up a ton of new data that we’ve never seen before,” McConnell added. “We think this is the first time that someone has taken all this data and put it all into one place. Looking further out we think that all enterprise software will be built on large data sets, and we think that we can be the trusted source for all that company information on the internet.”
Crunchbase is looking to increase the number of registered and Pro users on its site, so only registered users will have access to the marketplace. Last year, Crunchbase had 40 million unique users, many of whom were anonymous.
Current licensors of third-party datasets do not have free access to the content via the Marketplace. However, Crunchbase is evaluating a voucher system for dual licensors.
Crunchbase said it is unsure whether the current $49 per month fee will be modified. For example, they are open to building solution bundles by function which support multiple datasets. However, such a model has yet to be explored. They are also considering a freemium model with in-app purchases of additional data beyond a limited number of free records.
Crunchbase will continue to focus on its strength: – the collection of funding data. “Logo, name, address, funding, founding and investor data: we’ll always own that node,” McConnell told TechCrunch. “This is the reason why most come to us today and we don’t want to jeopardize this.”
Crunchbase would like to build out to one hundred partners over the next year.
Technology media company TechTarget announced strong Q4 growth for their Sales Intelligence Priority Engine service. The firm added over 40 new Priority Engine and Deal Data customers in Q4 with revenues more than doubling year-over-year. Priority Engine benefited from the addition of DiscoverOrg technographic and contact intelligence during the quarter. The service combines intent, predictive, and contacts intelligence into a single solution. Intent data is sourced from their 140 B2B media tech web sites containing 550,000 indexed content pages, many of which make the first page of Google technology searches. Each day, the firm has one million buyer interactions tied to its 17 million members which it then tags to 10,000 technology topics. The majority of members have technology titles, but TechTarget also supports five million non-IT members.
Content is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese.
TechTarget claims that its hand-indexed, technology-focused editorial content results in a better indication of technology intent than machine-indexed intent files built across a broader set of B2B media sites. Furthermore, because TechTarget has member ids associated with site activity, they know who at each company is researching specific topics, providing surge data tied to specific individuals. Other intent vendors provide anonymous intent.
“Real purchase intent insight is actually made, not scraped from general-purpose websites. It begins with relevant, useful content that provides critical value to professionals as they look to solve business challenges and make buying decisions. By observing and learning from their content consumption patterns as they happen, marketers can market and sellers can sell at the right time with greater relevance. Our ability to deliver real purchase intent starts with our extensive content footprint and the hyper-relevant audiences that we’ve built.”
TechTarget CMO John Steinert
Priority Engine identifies “vendors actively influencing this deal,” core and related topics, and products and vendors. Installed product and vendor data is licensed from HG Data and viewable by category. Users can also search installed technology at an account by product, vendor, and category.
Accounts are ranked on a weekly basis with the service providing “an early radar on who’s buying from your named account lists.” TechTarget provides real-time analysis of the “most active accounts and named prospects conducting purchase research” and ranks those accounts by “likelihood to engage.” Prospects are segmented by geography and hundreds of marketing segments. The solution “creates a world-class ABM solution that combines breadth of reach, purchase power insights, and the ability to pinpoint and influence key prospects in one place.”
By combining DiscoverOrg contacts with member search data, Priority Engine provides “direct access” to the demand units of named active researchers and key influencers. Joint customers will have full access to DiscoverOrg’s editorially verified decision makers alongside TechTarget contacts that are conducting active research. The partnership displays the “Target Buying Team within a single dashboard.” Priority Engine customers that have not licensed DiscoverOrg will be limited to ten names per account.
TechTarget announced a set of enhancements last month which includes weekly contact updates, Marketo integration, regional subscriptions (North America, EMEA, United Kingdom/Ireland, APAC, ASEAN and India), and integration with internal datasets such as sales territories and web site visitors.
“We’ve moved beyond company-level insights; Priority Engine gives you access to ranked accounts AND the actual buyers researching purchases at those accounts,” said TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney. “The unique purchase intent insight available within Priority Engine helps marketers generate demand more efficiently, accelerate ABM effectiveness, and deliver a more substantive contribution to sales.”
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.
The theme of this year’s Dreamforce was The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Following after revolutions driven by steam, electricity, and information technology, the fourth industrial revolution blurs the “physical and digital worlds” creating a wave of “innovation in technology” which is transforming the economy, society, and lives while creating new jobs, industries, and opportunities. This next wave is based upon intelligence. Elements include IoT, 3D printing, biotech, robotics, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, and quantum computing.
“This is what we call the fourth industrial revolution,” said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. “There’s all these amazing new technologies, things like autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence and nanotechnology and mobile computing and all these things are really hitting at once. And companies are really transforming themselves and bringing all these new technologies in really to connect with their customers in new ways.”
Thus, elevators loaded with sensors now communicate back to the manufacturer and predict failures, calling for service prior to trapping people. Likewise, with tires, “if the tire blows, nobody knows; but in the future, if the [smart] tire blows, everybody knows.” So, firms like Kone (elevators) and Michelin (tires) are now B2B2C companies. In the future, if a tire is about to blow, it will communicate to the autonomous vehicle to pull over.
“Every company is getting closer to their customers. We’ve been talking about this for years. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B company or a B2C company, everybody’s becoming a B2B2C company.”
Salesforce and its customers are “delivering personalized one-to-one engagement at scale,” said Stephanie Buscemi, EVP of Product Marketing. This is done “declaratively, with clicks and not code.” Through the Salesforce Data Management Platform, ads are customized and delivered cross-device, allowing companies to redisplay ads or present new advertisements to their customers and prospects.
Benioff cited a series of companies providing customer service and support through Salesforce platforms including Louis Vuitton, Marriot, Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Adidas, and Ducati Motorcycles.
“Behind all these things…behind everything is a customer. And that’s what all of us do. We are working to connect with our customers in an incredible new way.”
Simplified customization, development, and branding were emphasized during the keynote. A set of customizable products provide a “smarter, more personalized Salesforce”:
MyTrailhead service supports custom branding, content, and learning paths that allows firms to onboard and train employees on desktops and phones. Tools include quizzes, reference links, trails, and badges. Salesforce Trailhead content is also available.
MyEinstein provides an artificial intelligence layer driven declaratively by “clicks, not code” supporting “smarter capabilities including bots.”
MyLightning customization provides an app builder with custom pages, a Lightning theming and design system, Lightning Flow, Components, and Bolts which operate automatically on both desktops and phones. Designers will have access to dynamic components which are conditionally displayed.
MySalesforce branded “mobile apps without code” can be uploaded to the Google Play and App Store.
MyIoT supports native integration capturing real-time events, business rule automation, and low-code orchestration.
Based upon customer feedback, SFDC has shifted from IoT as a separate platform to an integrated feature of the CRM platform which also operates “declaratively without code.”
Benioff admitted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is creating concerns and wondered whether it is “uniting us or dividing us. Are we more connected or somehow less connected?”
He also asked whether there is more or less equality in the World.
“There is this stress being created by this fourth industrial revolution. Yes, we have this promise of this new connected World. But what is it doing to us? And what are other actors doing around the World using these technologies? Are they changing our society? Are they changing our elections? What are they doing with this technology?”
Benioff is looking at the Trailblazers attending Dreamforce as the Customer Innovators, Technology Disruptors, and Global Shapers to ensure that the next wave is directed in a positive direction. “You have all these new tools at your fingertips, these incredible new technologies, but you are doing some amazing things in the World. You are changing your companies. You are steering this technology in the right direction. I’m so confident in who you are. I’m so confident in what’s in your hearts and where we are all going.”
Benioff noted that most technology is generally neutral in it effect upon society. It is therefore incumbent upon technologists, developers, and companies to deploy technology in a socially responsible manner which promotes greater equality. Benioff called for companies to fight for equality through equal pay, investing in schools, and opposing discriminatory laws. He also noted that it is the poor who are most hurt by environmental degradation and proudly stated, “we are a net zero cloud.”
Benioff was also proud to have founded and led the leading CRM with an 18.1% market share (2016 IDC) nearly double that of Oracle (9.4%). Salesforce has the top solutions for sales (34.2%), service (33.7%), marketing (9.9%), and Platform-as-a-Service. Within the marketing cloud, Salesforce claims to offer the leading Data Management Platform and commerce Platform.
What’s more, the firm is on track to be the fastest enterprise software company to hit $12.5 billion in revenue. They hit $10 billion this year and have FY19 guidance of $12.5 billion in year 20.
One of the issues facing businesses and policymakers is an increasing skills gap. Benioff proposed MyTrailhead as one of the tools to help address the problem of workers across many industries and skill levels. MyTrailhead provides a customized, branded training platform.
TechCrunch complained that this year’s Dreamforce lacked drama as it lacked new initiatives such as the social enterprise, artificial intelligence, and IoT. “They are a company that embraces the cutting edge, but this year lacked that kind of big announcement,” complained enterprise reporter Ron Miller. To be fair, though, the company has rolled out a series of new platforms, clouds, and acquisitions over the past few years. A year with few fireworks is not necessarily a year without forward progress for Lightning, Quip, Einstein, Trailhead, and platform customization.
The conference remains a monster with 170,000 registered participants joining in San Francisco and millions of online views.
British social selling service Artesian Solutions launched their new Arti chatbot (artesian.ai) this month. According to their press release, “Arti enables intuitive customer interaction in a relatively human-like way, answering questions about Artesian’s capabilities and providing expertise in real time. No longer do customers need to search through content on the company’s website, instead they can now interact directly with Arti and uncover the information they need in an instant.”
The Arti screen is split into two with the user keying questions on the left. A text response is displayed alongside the question as a British voice reads the answer. If there is ancillary content or videos, it is displayed in the right window.
“Our business is all about pushing the boundaries of web-based technology to deliver commercially valuable and immediately actionable insights for our customers,” said CEO Andrew Yates. “Telling the user what they need to know and the action they need to take, at the right time, means client facing teams can capitalise from every business moment. Arti is a great example of how the application of AI can be a significant enabler of productivity, lead generation and importantly enhanced customer experiences.”
A quick test proved disappointing with Arti misunderstanding basic questions such as “Which countries do you cover?” or “do you publish financials?” Many of the responses are tangential answers usually suggesting a “meeting with the team.” Of course, AI tools are able to learn and the content and response sets should improve over time. Thus, Arti users are likely to have better results in the future.
And as evidence of learning, the system has been updated to provide the following answer to “do you publish financials?”
We provide access to Experian credit ratings directly within Artesian, along with lots of other valuable information such as corporate family tree, shareholdings and detailed financial information.
“Arti is more than just a bit of fun, although we’ve certainly had fun building it,” said Director of Marketing Stuart Newton. “It has the potential to be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for us. Arti will continue to get smarter the more our customers engage with it, learning from previous conversations to become more effective and valuable to our web visitors. I am delighted to place Artesian amongst some of the leading brands in the world, leveraging chat bots to connect with customers. It will change the customer experience by replacing clicks with sustained conversations and personalised interactions.”
I went on vacation figuring there would be few mid-August product announcements (I was right), but didn’t anticipate M&A activity beyond the Bureau van Dijk acquisition closing (it did on August 10th). But while I was moving my daughter to North Carolina for graduate school, sales and marketing intelligence database Unomy was acquired by co-working firm WeWork and Zoominfo was acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners. Coincidentally, both deals involve technology relationships between the US and Israel.
“We are enthusiastic about our new investment in ZoomInfo,” said Christopher Gaffney, managing partner at Great Hill Partners. “The company is growing very fast while maintaining a high level of profitability, a rare combination that attests to the quality of its products, data, and employees. In the evolving market of data driven solutions for sales and marketing, we see a significant growth opportunity for ZoomInfo, and trust that with its current track record, strong product innovation and efficient operations they will continue to dominate the market.”
Gaffney will be joining Zoominfo’s Board of Directors.
Like Zoominfo, Great Hill Partners is also Boston-based (technically, they are in the same MSA, if not the same town). VentureBeat listed the acquisition price at $240 million or roughly 6X trailing revenue.
Zoominfo President Yonatan Stern indicated “it’s time for me to move on . . . . I’m not going to retire, but I want to move the center of my life to Israel.”
“We’re doing really well, and we wanted to pay out some of those early investors,” said a company representative. “They had been in the game for a long time.”
Stern built and sold three successful companies in the Boston area including Bizo and CardScan. He will continue as the CEO for at least a year before ceding responsibility to his executive team. Stern will remain on as the Chairman and retains a stake in the firm.
Zoominfo is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts and most of its 200 employees are located there.
“I am very excited about this new chapter in ZoomInfo’s growth story. The company will continue to focus on delivering value to our rapidly expanding base of thousands of satisfied and loyal customers. We invest heavily in growing and improving our data assets, and in product innovation to deliver a wealth of information where and when our customers need it. We look forward to working with Great Hill Partners to accelerate our growth and maintain competitive advantage.”
Yonatan Stern, CEO and Chief Scientist, ZoomInfo.
Zoominfo made the last three Inc. 5000 lists with revenue of $39.8 million in 2016 and a three-year Compound Average Growth Rate of 39%. The ZoomInfo dataset spans 222 million active and inactive global contacts and 9.3 million companies with firmographics, emails, direct dials, and web mined bios. Roughly 80 million contacts are for US executives and employees.
Zoominfo began as Eliyon, an online search engine for people in 2000. The firm struggled for several years as it found itself in competition with better-heeled well known competitors such as Google and LinkedIn. About five years ago, it pivoted from SalesTech (which it continues to serve along with Executive Recruitment) into MarTech and began building out its Growth Acceleration Platform marketing capabilities (cloud-based enrichment, web forms, segmentation analysis, cluster analysis, and list building). It also shifted its contact acquisition model from web-based biographic scraping to a community model. Thus, the firm has had strong growth in both its contact database and revenues.
MarTech analyst David Raab noted that the acquisition “continues a trend of marketing technology vendors being purchased by private equity firms, although Great Hill hasn’t been particularly active in the martech space.”
Last month, technographics vendor HG Data rolled out two new services: HG Connect, a Salesforce Data Exchange connector, and HG Audience for digital targeting. HG Connect supports competitive and complementary targeting of prospects based upon installed hardware and software. HG Connect use cases include sales intelligence, lead qualification, and demand generation. Account records are enriched in near-real time via the Data Exchange and updated on a monthly basis. Matching is done via corporate URLs.
“It is our mission to help companies achieve extraordinary results in their marketing and sales outreach through the use of accurate and comprehensive technographic data,” said Barbara Winters, VP of marketing at HG Data. “With HG Connect, customers don’t even have to think about how to integrate technographic data into their workflows, it’s already there, ready for them to use, so that they can begin creating targeted segments for their campaigns immediately without needing to work with an IT or operations person to integrate the data.”
The HG connector is Lightning enabled, delivering HG Data’s technographics to mobile devices, reports, and dashboards. The data is also available for triggers and workflow. Along with Vendor and Product data, HG Data publishes Confidence and Intensity Scores (accuracy and frequency of uniquely dated documents).
Data enrichment is limited to Account records with plans to enrich Lead records in the future.
Customers license access to HG Data segments which is enabled via a Salesforce Data Integration rule (formerly called a Clean rule). HG Data tracks 13 million global companies and 88 million technology installations. Their taxonomy spans 3,800 vendors and 7,500 products.
The Data Exchange is a Salesforce enrichment service associated with Data.com. The Data Exchange does not yet support prospecting.
HG Data also launched HG Audience for programmatic advertising on platforms including Krux, Lotame, Adobe Marketing Cloud, DataXu, MediaMath, and TheTradeDesk. Marketers will be able to target audiences based upon technographic variables, firmographics (e.g. sector, revenue, employees), job function, and job level.
“HG Audience allows companies to modernize their digital advertising targeting strategy in a profound way,” said John Connell, Vice President of Digital for HG Data. “Instead of deploying digital ads based on just traditional firmographics or Internet content consumption, companies can now use our precise custom segments to apply ABM-style focus to traditionally broader-reach display media tactics. With HG Audience, we’re giving our customers access to the influencers and decision makers at the companies that matter to them, leading to better engagement, greater efficiency and much better ROI on their advertising dollars.”
Over the past few years, a number of content vendors have released programmatic products. These include Infogroup (B2B and B2C selects), Dun & Bradstreet (B2B), HG Data, Bombora (B2B Intent), and LinkedIn (Member targeting).
“In the last year to 18 months, there’s been a shift with B2B companies doing more programmatic media buying,” says Ashu Garg, general partner at Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm that has invested in the ad tech space. “What’s behind the change is the greater ability to connect anonymous data with PII (personally identifiable information) data. Secondly is the ability to get much more precise targeting from niche segments and audiences across platforms, whether that be social, display or video platforms.”
An AdWeek BrandShare study commissioned by Dun & Bradstreet in September 2016 found that 65% of B2B marketers were deploying programmatic campaigns, a ten percent jump from 2015.
Here is how I answered the following question on Quora: “How do I do marketing using LinkedIn?”
I would use LinkedIn in the following ways to promote my company:
LinkedIn has a set of marketing services which allow you to build targeted campaigns by both firmographic (size, industry, location) and biographic variables. This is probably the most granular B2B advertising tool out there. The Campaign Manager also provides a set of analytics around viewing and impressions. Pricing is either CPC or CPM (impressions or clicks). Here is a quick description of their advertising formats:
LinkedIn can be used to promote your own content as posts, whether it be white papers, product descriptions, case studies, blogs, or articles. If you mention a partner or customer, make sure to link to them and have their marketing departments like the content. Where possible, include some copy from the content or description of the content along with a visual (LinkedIn will grab a visual from the source if there is one available).
Do not overly self-promote. Your content should lean towards thought leadership not corporate promotion. Of course, if you launch a new product, write about it. But LinkedIn is not the place for deep feature dives or long discussions of your value proposition. And please, not another What does [this character from Game of Thrones] teach us about [some aspect of business]. This type of coattail riding is generally full of clichés and stretched analogies. Originality, Professionalism, and Readability are key on LinkedIn (a good graphic and headline don’t hurt).
LinkedIn supports its own set of articles, but I’ve had more luck blogging on my site and then writing posts that link to my blog. You should test both approaches to determine whether LinkedIn articles work for your company.
Have your employees like content so that it is seen by your prospects and customers in their feed.
Fill out your company profile. Many vendors rehash their website and Facebook profiles, but I would try to differentiate the copy between these three sites. For B2B companies, the website should be corporate, Facebook a bit cheeky, and LinkedIn professional, but lighter than your website. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is used by both prospective employees and customers so you want to be speaking to multiple readers.
Evaluate Sales Navigator for your sales reps. This service does not allow you to download lists of companies and contacts, but it allows you to build and maintain lists of accounts and leads which are stored in Navigator (these lists can be built individually, via prospecting, or via CRM downloads). Sales Navigator also supports CRM viewing of company and contact profiles, InMails (direct messages with prospects outside of your current connections) and PointDrive, a custom website link that allows sales reps to forward attachments (collateral, price documents, videos, PowerPoints) as embedded content with descriptions. PointDrive provides analytics on what content has been consumed and tracks whether the document has been forwarded to others.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn’s audience skews older and more professional than Twitter and Facebook.
One of the important recent B2B MarTech innovations is the development of intent data from vendors like Bombora. As prospects are now using the Internet to self-educate, they are reaching out to a smaller set of pre-screened vendors later in the sales cycle. But if firms are being stealthy to avoid detection during this initial phase, B2B firms have been looking to uncloak this veil of secrecy and reach out to firms during the initial phase.
One response to anonymity was content marketing which looks to deliver information (and perhaps uncover prospects) during this early phase. But it is difficult to customize messaging to anonymous individuals. Thus sprung up visitor id services such as Demandbase that map IP addresses to company firmographics in real-time. For example, a visitor from a P&C insurance IP address would be shown a website and content that speaks to their industry specific needs.
Firms also engaged in SEO and SEM to drive traffic to vertical content. While these activities were an improvement, they provided no indication concerning whether the prospect was in the market for a firm’s solutions.
Firms like Bombora and The Big Willow work with B2B media sites to map site traffic and actions (e.g. downloading white papers, webinar attendance, site searches), to specific companies. Thus, each IP address has a baseline activity trail which indicates topics of interest. Intent firms then match B2B media site visitor actions to an intent taxonomy covering thousands of topics. Of course, larger firms will leave more distinct trails and firms will display heavy footprints around their own industry and target segments. These patterns are company-specific background noise. To find the intent signals, intent vendor analytics determine which topics are surging at each company. For example, If GE has X searches per week on cloud computing, then this activity rate is general background noise. But if activity spikes to 2X, then there is likely to be some initiative underway at the firm concerning cloud computing. It is these surges that identify firms to be targeted. Intent data provides a mechanism for placing calculated bets on which accounts and prospects deserve additional resources.
Keep in mind, this activity remains anonymous. A cloud computing vendor does not know who at GE is involved in cloud computing initiatives, but they know it is the appropriate time to target GE with stepped up marketing (SEM, email, sales calls, etc.).
Thus, intent data is integrated into predictive marketing platforms such as Lattice Engines, LeadSpace, Mintigo, Everstring, and Radius.
Just this month, Everstring added Bombora’s intent data to their Audience platform. Surge data is also available for programmatic targeting on platforms such as BlueKai (Oracle), Krux, and Lotame. Thus, it is possible to target advertising for firms that have shown a surge of interest in a topic.
Like any technology, intent data has its limits. While it helps identify when to call into an account and topics of interest, it doesn’t identify whom to call and whether there is an actual initiative related to the topic. Furthermore, intent data does not indicate whether a firm is a good fit (e.g. size, industry, technographics) or how far along they are in the discovery process.
There are a large number of scenarios where intent data and models don’t add nearly as much value (if any). It’s not because the intent data is inaccurate. It’s because there is simply not enough data available to use directly or to put in models. They include:
New and emerging technology categories
Certain geographies, industries or other niches
Solutions (especially services) that can’t be easily categorized
Thus, intent data works best for well-established technology segments (versus emerging ones). Just make sure to also look at fitness indicators when building surge-based campaigns.
Within 15 minutes of posting this blog, I saw that Bombora was named a 2017 Cool Vendor by Gartner.
“We believe it’s a true milestone to be recognized by Gartner as a Cool Vendor in SaaS for 2017,” said Erik Matlick, founder and CEO of Bombora. “Our customers choose Bombora so that they may access the largest source of B2B intent data for use in their account-based marketing strategies. For us, being a ‘Cool Vendor’ serves as a validation of our ‘everybody wins’ approach to the ecosystem and the impact that our dynamic, quality intent data is having across B2B sales and marketing.”
Scott Brinker published the 2017 Marketing Technology Landscape, his annual exercise in shrinking thousands of logos into a super graphic. This year, the list grew 40%, to a total of 5,381 solutions (from 4,891 unique companies). Over the past year, 4.7% of the vendors were removed and 3.5% “changed in some fundamental way — their name, their focus, or their ownership.”
6.9% have at least 1,000 employees or are public. Brinker describes these 300+ firms as enterprises.
44.2% are private businesses with either fewer than 1,000 employees or no funding data
48.8% are investor-funded startups at any pre-exit stage
“So for those who assumed most of these companies are tiny, it’s worth noting that over 300 are enterprises of significant scale,” said Brinker. “It’s also true that over 2,300 others have received some sort of investor funding — which implies scale beyond a couple of rogue developers in a garage (or, for a more modern-day cliché, two people in a coffee shop).”
The bottom group of “investor funded startups at any pre-exit stage,” which makes up nearly half the firms, is a growing phenomenon in the SaaS universe. Analyst Clement Vouillon of Point Nine Capital said that ten years ago, there were few SaaS companies that weren’t looking for VC-funding. Growth in self-funded SaaS ventures has been fed by a growth in underlying platforms and advice. Thus, “building and distributing a SaaS product is easier, faster and less expensive.”
Vouillon noted a number of additional reasons for self-funded bootstrappers:
Experienced founders have previously worked at VC-backed firms and are looking to avoid the model.
Competition prevents firms from scaling but permit the firm to operate as “a lean and profitable SaaS business.”
The SaaS firm is a feature that can operate on SaaS platforms (vs. being a full product).
The firm’s total addressable market (TAM) is not large enough to attract VC funds, but is sufficient to permit profitability.
The firm is local but not easily scalable.
“The majority of these companies have their sweet spot in the tens to hundreds [of] thousands dollars of MRR,” said Vouillon. “Once reached they’ll continue to grow but more slowly and they won’t scale to millions dollars of MRR.”
The spectacular scope explosion of marketing — and the rate at which new disruptions and innovations continue to roil marketing and business at large — has made it impossible for any one vendor to deliver everything that every marketer needs in a digital world. Almost all of the major providers now acknowledge this, and they’ve shifted their strategies to embrace the ecosystem — becoming true “platforms” that make it easier for marketers to plug in a variety of more specialized and vertical solutions.
Scott Brinker, Editor of ChiefMartec.com
Many of the firms covered in this blog are located in the Audience/Market Data and Data Enhancement section. This group includes predictive analytics companies, tech data vendors, DaaS hygiene, and alerting companies.
Other groupings with covered firms in this newsletter include ABM; Predictive Analytics; and Sales Automation, Enablement & Intelligence.