French predictive analytics firm Sparklane unveiled their version 2.0 Predict platform which employs artificial intelligence (AI) and active learning to score millions of companies and determine which prospects are most likely to become net-new customers. The Predict platform is available for the UK and French markets with localized language and datasets. A German edition is in development.
Sparklane ingests and enriches company data, matching it against firmographics and trigger events to score millions of companies. The system then models the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Total Addressable Market (TAM). Sparklane also identifies “sparks” (hot prospects) based upon sales triggers and delivers real-time alerts, messaging, and contacts.
Models can be deployed for both new and existing business. New business models can be constructed from historical data (e.g. CRM win / loss flags) or estimated and refined for new market entry. Existing business data can also be deployed for churn models to help identify companies that are more likely to drop as well as upsell and cross-sell models.
CEO Frédéric Pichard said that employing artificial intelligence to identify your next best customers “is probably the most amazing promise B2B marketing and sales tools can fulfill” as it provides “a new way of working to help our customers be more efficient and successful.”
Sparklane users begin by importing datasets from CRMs or CSV files. Logic is employed to determine both positive and negative sample records. For example, a CRM Win / Loss flag could serve as such an indicator. The file is then enriched and an ICP model is constructed. The ICP contains three types of variables: Fit (firmographic), Need (Triggers), and Behavior (Marketing Automation prospect activity). Marketers or Sales Operations are able to view the model and adjust weights. This model is then employed for constructing a TAM with net-new accounts which can be saved as a fixed account list or dynamic model.
Sparklane onboarded file mapping.
An accuracy score helps define how well the model distinguishes between good and bad prospects. Thus, an 80% accuracy score indicates that 8 out of 10 companies in the seed file are properly predicted by the model.
An accelerated learning option is available for new market entry. Thus, if a seed list of good and bad prospects is not available for a new product line or market, an initial set can be manually selected from Sparklane company lists and deployed as a first generation seed list.
An active learning option allows users to perform a qualification pass on a list to help expedite model construction. While engaged in active learning, the user is shown company profiles which include account overviews, triggers, and family trees. The marketer can then give a thumbs up or down to each proposed account.
As output, the platform provides a set of “sparks” which are high probability accounts or contacts. The user sets the number of sparks displayed in a spark list. Qualified prospects can be sent to a CRM as accounts or leads.
The French dataset covers three million firms and two million contacts. The UK universe provides 200,000 companies and 300,000 contacts. The UK dataset focuses on large companies with sales triggers.
The French file includes 600,000 emails while the UK file supports 100,000 emails.
The firm claims that Predict increases the opportunity conversion rate by 70% and shortens the sales cycle by 30%.
Sparklane employs sixty headcount in Paris, London, and Nantes. It invests over 20% of its turnover in R&D and has nearly 200 customers in Europe.
ZoomInfo unveiled the 2.0 version of its Growth Acceleration Platform to customers at its Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston this month. Amongst the new features are a refreshed user interface, email tools, and expanded prospecting variables including Product / Vendor technographic selects. The upgraded platform is currently in beta with general availability in Q4.
According to the firm, “ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration platform combines the most comprehensive and actionable B2B market intelligence with tools that help optimize sales and marketing effectiveness, jumpstart growth, and maximize proﬁtability.”
The new user interface is cleaner and supports dynamic display which adjusts by form factor. All of the pages, including company and contact profiles, employ a common look and feel. Prospecting was simplified with complex stacked queries being less prominent. However, they are still available to ZoomInfo’s data services team and power users.
Prospecting added product / vendor selects licensed from HG Data. Multiple products may be entered for screening with the system defaulting to a Boolean OR (AND is supported, but the user needs to enter a multi-product Boolean string with AND logic).
Prospect lists may be maintained as dynamic lists (saved searches) or as fixed saved lists. The system displays updated counts as each variable is selected. Zoominfo also allows users to suppress contacts purchased in lists in the past six months from search results and when building other lists.
Records may be uploaded from Outlook, Office 365, and Salesforce for enhancement and targeting. Enhanced list analytics include pre and post data quality scores along with segmentation analysis. The Enhance Preview provides an analysis of the input data quality file, as well as a detailed report on what information was added, corrected, or confirmed using ZoomInfo’s data. The Data Profile tool shows users a breakdown of information about the user’s list, including top industries, job titles, revenues, and employee count.
Users can also upload an ABM account list for key contact targeting.
Company profiles include an expanded set of social media links (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), related companies (licensed from Owler), and technology data. Tech data is displayed as summary product counts by category. The rep clicks on the product category to expand it by product. Unfortunately, the service does not support customized filtering of products or categories by key competitors or complementary platforms. As HG Data supports thousands of products, it would be a nice enhancement to support pre-configured product categories and products. Otherwise, valuable account planning insights may be obscured.
Contact profiles now display more information about the company associated with the profile without the need to navigate to a separate profile.
The ReachOut Chrome connector, which provides on-demand company and executive intelligence from websites and LinkedIn, exports to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft. Users can also send emails from within LinkedIn.
A new Outlook connector provides contact profiles from within Outlook along with one-click add to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft. Salesforce duplicate checking is employed if it is turned on. Users can upload records from Zoominfo’s ReachOut Chrome connector or Outlook as either Leads or Contacts / Accounts (previously this was only available from the Growth Acceleration Platform). ZoomInfo will create Account records for Contacts if one does not exist in SFDC.
This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.
While ZoomInfo partners with Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors Outreach and SalesLoft, ZoomInfo has added light ABSD email features such as email templates and live email tracking. Templates include dynamic tags for information such as contact name and company name which fill in automatically with ZoomInfo data. Emails are sent from the user’s default email program.
The ZoomInfo global database has grown to 220 million professional profiles (both active and inactive) and 13 million companies. The dataset is updated continuously based upon web crawlers and a 300,000 user community that shares email signature data. Zoominfo offers one of the deepest sets of contacts with emails and direct dial numbers.
InsideView announced the launch of a professional services group to offer Expert Services to its customers. The new Data Concierge service “helps customers navigate the data complexities involved in strategic go-to-market initiatives.”
The Expert Services group is staffed by a team of consultants and engagement managers. “B2B sales and marketing leaders have asked for our help with operationalizing ABM and other targeted go-to-market initiatives. To meet this need, our services team has evolved from delivering data projects (like clean, email validation, contact append) to more consultative services like Target Market Analytics. In the future, we anticipate growth in this part of the business to fulfill market demand,” said VP of Product & Solutions Marketing, Joe Andrews.
The first formal service assists ABM customers with analytics around their target market and helps customers define their Total Addressable Market (TAM). The concierge service includes a data visualization console which “enables customers to more effectively select the right accounts for their account-based marketing (ABM) initiatives.”
“A picture drives a business conversation in real-time as executives can run “what-if” scenarios and make decisions in real-time,” said Andrews.
The visualization tool provides both existing and whitespace segmentation by state, country, industry, and sizing variables. Data is displayed as both raw counts and TAM penetration percentages. The product even loads in current account customer data to detail the distribution of current accounts within and outside of the ideal customer profile (ICP). Users can also drill down on segments providing a more granular view by state, size, industry, etc.
The dashboard may be downloaded as a PDF for sharing with team members or executives. Users may also download records from the Dashboard.
“We’ve always strived to be a strategic partner for our customers, and many companies underestimate the data complexities involved in go-to-market planning and execution. Now we have an expert services team dedicated to help guide customers step-by-step through the process of defining their ideal customer profile, identifying their TAM, and making sure the right targets are in their database. Our goal is for InsideView Expert Services to be a trusted partner for customers looking for help with any big, thorny data-driven initiative for marketing or sales.”
InsideView CRO John Kelly
InsideView noted that many of their customers had captured less than ten percent of their TAM in their database.
“When it’s time to pick accounts, marketing and sales can have different ideas about which should make the list,” wrote Forrester Principal Analyst Laura Ramos. “Successful marketers always lead with data to identify the characteristics that distinguish “good” opportunities from those selected through feel, anecdote, or intuition.”
While InsideView continues to offer and enhance its sales intelligence products, its emphasis over the past several years has been in launching marketing products such as InsideView Refresh (automated CRM cleansing), InsideView Enrich (real-time lead enrichment), InsideView Target (Marketing Prospecting), and a broad set of MAP and CRM connectors.
InsideView is not the first sales intelligence vendor to provide such services. Avention has long provided data and professional services and launched the DataVision platform last year for TAM analysis and white space company and contact identification. Likewise, Zoominfo shifted its emphasis from sales to marketing and launched their Growth Acceleration Platform to assist with ICP identification and net-new prospecting. While not the first entry in the space, the Expert Services represents a maturing of vendor capabilities in support of marketing departments and ABM projects. Over the past several years, the sales intelligence vendors have retrained their focus from sales insights via browsers to sales and marketing intelligence services which deliver consultative and automated data services via enterprise platforms, mobile devices, and broad connectors. This support goes beyond simply offering sales product Build a List functionality to marketing departments. It includes a set of tools and services for identifying the ideal customer profile, sizing the total addressable market, identifying white space target accounts and contacts (i.e. net-new leads), supporting web forms, automating batch and ongoing enrichment of MAPs and CRMs, prioritizing leads, and assisting with lead-to-account mapping, segmentation analysis, and campaign targeting. Other ABM features which sales intelligence vendors have begun rolling out include visitor site identification, programmatic marketing, social enrichment, Chrome connectors, ABSD (account based sales development) vendor integrations, and light predictive analytics.
We’ve helped several customers along their ABM journey, and we’ve realized their needs extend beyond company and contact data,” blogged InsideView Product Marketing Manager Jyothsna Durgadoss. “In order to be successful, they also require data visualization, technical talent, and expert guidance — all of which are critical for effectively identifying ideal targets, uncovering total addressable market, and selecting the right accounts for ABM.”
InsideView noted that many sales and marketing departments retain an ad-hoc approach to defining their ABM targets and TAM. According to InsideView, “At a recent Sirius Decisions Summit, a poll of the keynote audience revealed that more than 50 percent had an ad hoc or nonexistent approach to measuring total addressable market.” (See bar chart on left)
Dun & Bradstreet, which has had a series of major product announcements over the past few weeks (the Avention acquisition, rebranding of its OneSource platform as D&B Hoovers, a Beneficial Ownership product), has quietly added powerful new functionality to their Workbench Data Optimizer platform. The new Profile capability features an automated profile builder, Total Addressable Market (TAM) analysis, and look-a-like prospecting based upon the Workbench profiles.
The new functionality helps marketers evaluate the size of targetable sub-markets, identify audiences with a high propensity to purchase, discover overlooked whitespace opportunities, and target new accounts and contacts. According to Alex Schwarm, Sr. Director of Marketing Analytics Products, “Profile enables our Workbench customers to begin to use data-driven, ABM-oriented Profiles based on their successful sales. These automated analytics allow you to quickly and easily identify the best whitespace opportunities and characteristics of your target audiences including those with the highest propensity to buy – no data scientist needed.”
Profile is a black-box analytics engine which clusters customer files without biases. Marketers upload a file of their customers’ data for a specific product or product family. Workbench standardizes, de-duplicates, and verifies the input file; matches and enriches it with Dun & Bradstreet’s WorldBase firmographics; and then provides segmentation and file health analysis. The Profile module identifies between two and eight distinct segments containing similar companies across multiple dimensions. The user can define the number of profiles or the system can automatically identify the optimal number of profiles based on the variation of the customer file. The marketer is not required to define the key segmentation variables. Instead, the system automatically performs affinity clustering (my term) to build the segments. Execution time is typically 5 to 10 minutes.
The results are displayed on a downloadable dashboard that provides a side-by-side firmographic analysis of the clusters. Results include company size, ownership (e.g. parent, branch), primary industries, cluster size, and average deal size (if revenue figures are also shared with Dun & Bradstreet). Thus, the system may identify segments with a lower average deal size but a larger number of prospects alongside clusters containing top customers with high average deal size but a small number of targetable opportunities.
While Dun & Bradstreet does not use the term “Ideal Customer Profile” (ICP) the system is basically identifying the attributes of a customer’s ICP, determining the average deal size, and sizing the overall market opportunity.
Dun & Bradstreet has two major assets in performing TAM analysis: The WorldBase file of global companies and trust built up over 170 years of credit research. WorldBase provides them with a consistent, global file of 260 million active and inactive companies for credit and supplier risk research, sales intelligence, and B2B marketing. The file includes broad global company linkages, corporate and location sizing, industry coding, Tradestyles, and D-U-N-S Numbers (the de facto global company numbering system). This intelligence provides the core reference file against which market sizing can be performed. But TAM analysis requires customer level revenue information against which company counts can be converted to market sizes. And here is where a strong credit analysis brand helps build confidence amongst marketers to share company revenue data. While they will be reluctant to share revenue details with most vendors, firms have been sharing private financial details with Dun & Bradstreet over the better part of two centuries.
Marketers can then take any of the profiles and immediately identify net-new similar companies as well as net-new contacts. The system also sizes potential target market audiences that can be reached programmatically through their Audience Solutions group.
While prospect scoring based upon these definitions is not yet supported, that is a likely future offering for the platform. Profile, along with a set of predictive scores and paired with D&B Hoovers’ business signals, represents a toe in the water of the predictive analytics space.
Buyer Persona tools are a growing area of focus for sales and marketing teams. Pragmatic Marketing and other B2B product marketing firms have long promoted the value of personas for product planning and marketing messaging. They help identify customer needs and features as well as associated positioning. According to B2B Marketing Strategist Ardath Albee, they help “build relationships based on expertise and authority that helps buyers see your company as a mentor and the best choice to solve their problem or capitalize on an opportunity.”
“Buyer personas are important because they allow us to focus our sales and marketing efforts on people who need our solutions to do their job better, to help their businesses grow, to help their businesses essentially reduce cost, to help the increase efficiencies, to help them realize the goals they are setting out to achieve. In order for us to do that, we need to understand that buyer intimately,” said Ned Leutz of Zoominfo. “By doing our homework fully we can better understand these people and then, of course, increase our success rate when we are reaching out to them.”
The problem with personas is that they have historically been high-level tools that quickly fall into caricature and disuse because they are not rigorously defined and maintained. “Many customer intelligence efforts today are ad hoc, uninformed, and manual projects that are full of assumptions and rarely kept up to date,” says persona vendor Cintell. “Even if you’ve hired a consultant to develop buyer personas, insights are often trapped in static PDF documents abandoned at the back of a desk drawer leaving critical customer intelligence underutilized.”
Unfortunately, there were few tools available for identifying and researching personas. Instead B2B marketers focused on building segments that approximated their personas for marketing campaigns while product managers posted persona profiles in meeting rooms during road mapping and feature definition exercises but failed to use these tools beyond the early product definition stage.
Recently, three vendors have begun to address the B2B persona problem. Zoominfo focuses on amongst a company’s best customers. These personas capture enough information about the attributes of their best customers to help identify similar prospects at other companies. Such a tool operates as a next generation customer cloning tool as it looks at both firmographic and functional information around leads. The tool can also be used to evaluate attendees at conferences or webinars to help tailor discussions.
Leutz recommends that the firm ask questions such as
Who are your top performing customers?
Who are your best leads?
What were your biggest deals?
Which customers close faster?
This information that can be gathered from the CRM, marketing automation platform, webinar attendees, and trade show lists. It can also be gathered from your sales reps, the CFO, and customer conversations.
While Zoominfo can assist with answering Who, they fail to provide insights into What or Why. In short, Zoominfo’s personas are basically the next generation of peer listings; they are a starting point for the persona process, but they do not assist with identifying persona needs; determining whether the cluster contains economic buyers, influencers, or users; or specifying what kind of content would be of interest to them. They also do not assist product management in determining product roadmaps and future capabilities.
There are also several vendors that recently launched tools for defining and maintaining buyer and user personas. Cintell and Akoonu offer marketers tools for defining personas in a centralized platform that collects survey data and research alongside the profiles. Both of these services were launched about a year ago so will be evolving quickly. The two services are cloud based hubs for collecting persona information and sharing it with both platforms (e.g. Marketing Automation and CRM) and employees. They are ongoing intelligence gathering services for continuously refining and updating personas and then disseminating this intelligence to marketing, sales, and product management.
They also promise to immediately map leads to personas, helping inform messaging, campaigns, and targeting within the marketing automation platform and segmentation and analytics in the CRM. When tied to a well-researched persona, sales reps would have a better understanding of the prospect’s role, needs, and informational requirements. Personas provide sales reps with a summary of buying habits, preferences, and motivations along with market research reports, customer interviews and surveys, and persona specific articles. As living documents shared across the organization, they would also assist product management in identifying latent needs and customer pain points and marketing communications in tailoring content for the persona.
“Our new empowered B2B consumer seeks relevancy and empathy,” said Cintell Co-Founder Katie Martell. “And marketers know this: In a recent ITSMA study, technology marketers predicted that understanding buyers will soon become their #1 responsibility. But getting to this insight is not easy. Efforts to research and leverage personas today are highly manual, shallow, very static, and fragmented throughout the business. The opportunity here is to empower B2B organizations with a platform to gather primary research, enhance it with external market and buyer insights, and combine it with data from internal business systems. The new competitive advantage for companies is a richer understanding of buyers through meaningful, ongoing customer intelligence.”
I don’t see these persona definition platforms as long-term standalone offerings as their functionality is a tight fit for marketing automation. They will likely be folded into marketing automation platforms once the technology has matured. It is also possible that predictive analytics companies fold these tools into their products as persona assignments would inform lead scoring and messaging. Furthermore, several of the predictive firms aspire to becoming recommendation engines, a feature that persona platforms could easily support. Conversely, business signals would be valuable in building out a fuller understanding of personas.
Oftentimes when a small company is acquired, it is treated as a cash cow (if it is producing cash) or plugged into a larger business to address a capabilities gap or generate cross-selling opportunities. Less frequently is the new asset treated as a vital, strategic asset to help enter new markets.
In the case of Dun & Bradstreet’s acquisition of NetProspex, the acquired division has been a keystone for Dun & Bradstreet’s entry into Audience Solutions (Visitor ID, Audience Targeting). Dun & Bradstreet is beginning to gain traction in the programmatic advertising space. On their most recent earnings call, CEO Bob Carrigan noted that their customers have long relied on Dun & Bradstreet for company data, but that this data was difficult to map to online activities because people surf the net, not companies. When the firm acquired NetProspex early last year, they immediately set out to combine the NetProspex contact data with Dun & Bradstreet firmographics and D-U-N-S Numbers.
“Our contact data, coupled with our company data, on boarded for the digital world and matched to online cookies, helps our customers get their advertising in front of the right target, and the right decision maker at that target, at the right time,” said Carrigan. “And, by organizing around the D-U-N-S Number, our customers can finally connect their offline customer management data with their online advertising campaigns, creating that vital bridge between ad tech and marketing tech.”
Dun & Bradstreet data is then mapped to three hundred online segments. These segments utilize anonymous data including size variables, industry, job function, propensity to purchase specific products, and likelihood of qualifying for loans or company credit cards. Segments are then delivered to partners including Oracle, Adobe, Google, Xaxis and Nielsen. Furthermore, the firm’s global direct sales team offers bespoke segments for custom targeting.
“[The] whole programmatic wave, it’s all moving to B2B right now. And we’re starting to see some really nice uptake because we’re available for all the major buying platforms,” said Carrigan. “We’re also selling direct licenses to marketers as well and obviously we’ve got a portfolio already of sales and marketing solutions. This is a really nice complement to that and we’re trying to catch this wave and really deliver scale in a market that’s highly fragmented. So we’re pretty excited about this. It’s a great example of leveraging our core data in a new use case and it’s a great place for us to be.”
Adding Value to Hoover’s
Dun & Bradstreet also moved to quickly integrate NetProspex contacts into its Hoover’s sales intelligence service and used the NetProspex CleneStep contact verification process to validate Hoover’s contacts. The result was a deeper set of accurate contacts within Hoover’s and other Dun & Bradstreet contact-based offerings. The swap also saved Dun & Bradstreet several million dollars in contact acquisition costs.
NetProspex is also one of Hoover’s new Concierge Services for SMBs. Concierge services are turnkey marketing services for SMBs that have limited marketing resources.
Investing in NetProspex
A further sign of the strategic importance of NetProspex is the continuing investment in the NetProspex Workbench service. Workbench is a cloud-based data hygiene hub which verifies contacts (phone, email, and address), enriches the records with firmographics and technographics, provides segment and data hygiene analytics, and delivers net-new contacts. Their data health report is a slick PDF analysis of contact file health and segmentation. It is given away free as it also promotes Workbench enrichment (pre and post enrichment rates) and prospecting services.
The first thing that D&B did after acquiring NetProspex was swap out the weak firmographics attached to NetProspex contacts and replace them with D&B firmographics from their WorldBase file. This provides NetProspex with both more accurate firmographics and a much deeper set of company linkages.
Why linkage is important: Each new lead should be scored to determine whether to nurture the lead or send it immediately to a sales rep. Linkage data ensures that contacts associated with subsidiaries or branches of current customers and prospects are immediately forwarded to the appropriate sales rep. Furthermore, qualification is based upon the parent company, not simply the size information of the subsidiary or branch. Finally, channel conflict is reduced if leads are properly routed to the appropriate sales rep. Reliable firmographic and linkage enrichment provides a neutral third-party source for lead routing.
In January, NetProspex released a new dashboard set to its Workbench cloud-based data hygiene products. According to Dun & Bradstreet, “The dashboards keep track of consumption levels and alert you when you are in need of Targeted Data or a Data HealthScan. Now you can also gain insight into your Eloqua connectors in terms of performance and data enrichment.”
Data Management subscribers now see a Data HealthScore meter which indicates the overall quality of their most recent data HealthScan. They are also shown data management scores over time.
Target Data subscribers can view the total number of contacts acquired over time and a Current Consumption meter which shows “the exact percentage of contact data you have consumed.” NetProspex also added calendars to the service indicating the last time data was managed by the platform and the recommended next action date.
Finally, NetProspex increased the number of US contacts to 42 million. Each of these contacts includes an email and a significant percentage contain direct dial numbers.
While the Workbench service has long offered analytics, NetProspex recently added two analytical models to their Targeted Data subscriptions fulfilled by its Workbench platform. The two scores assist with segmentation, lead scoring, and messaging. Spend Capacity is based upon “non-traditional predictive segments such as UCC filings, inquiries and SIC revenue %.” The predictive score ranks the spend capacity of a firm between one and one hundred.
The second modeled score is Growth Trajectory which “anticipates the future growth or decay of a business based on a mix of criteria including revenue, borrow levels, credit inquiries, order frequency and spend levels.”
Targeted Subscriptions help marketers scrub their marketing database of poor or outdated leads. Records are standardized, verified (phone, email, and address), and enriched with Dun & Bradstreet company and contact data (42 million US B2B contacts with emails and direct dials). The subscription then maintains the marketing dataset and replaces bad records with good ones. The service includes Workbench Analytics concerning segmentation, technographics, and data quality.
“Data analytics (based on facts not probabilities) have not been readily available to the average marketer. That’s no longer the case. D&B is leveraging our deep expertise in understanding and analyzing company data and providing analytical insights as a value-added dimension to our Targeted Data Subscribers — no data scientist or fancy software needed,” says the firm.
According to Carrigan, Dun & Bradstreet generated more than ten million dollars in cross-sales revenue in its first year. This would include both cross-selling contact hygiene and enrichment services from NetProspex into the Dun and Bradstreet customer base and selling Dun & Bradstreet services to NetProspex clients. A key cross-sale is NetProspex contact enrichment and D&B Optimizer company enrichment sales. Optimizer lacked contact enrichments so NetProspex closes that gap.
What’s more, Dun & Bradstreet recognizes that the Optimizer platform needs to be modernized and announced plans to build company Optimizer services on the Workbench platform. Once completed, Workbench will provide a broader utility to marketers that need both lead (contact based) and account (company based) enrichment of their marketing automation platforms and CRMs.
Late last month, Avention announced availability of OneSource DataVision, a hosted marketing platform which integrates internal and external customer intelligence. By matching Avention company and contact data against customer and prospect files, Avention improves the accuracy and firmographic fill rates of marketing databases. The result is improved customer segmentation and targeting based upon enriched data from Avention’s Global Live database of companies and contacts.
DataVision also provides analytics and visualization tools for marketers. “As a result, you will be able to identify and leverage key customer and prospect segments to make more informed decisions, identify cross-sell opportunities, key industries, verticals and much more,” states Avention.
“In a world where gaining new customers has become more complex and competitive, and customers engage with vendors later in their buying processes, marketing and sales teams need to align their data more than ever. OneSource DataVision is a powerful – yet easy-to-use – tool that helps marketers understand their current customer bases in detail and identify the most relevant target companies and segments,” stated Lauren Bakewell, SVP of product for Avention. “Initial customers have seen positive business impacts and results from their use of OneSource DataVision.”
DataVision provides a centralized marketing view of customer data which may be housed across multiple platforms including CRMs, Marketing Automation Platforms, and order entry systems.
“Companies need accurate, deep data to gain the marketing intelligence needed for better targeting and advancing customer relationships. The ripple effects of greater marketing intelligence within the enterprise are improved sales cycles, cost of lead and sale and revenue generation,” blogged Jennifer Nash. “OneSource DataVision helps marketers increase the value of existing customer and prospect data by centralizing, analyzing and visualizing multiple data sources.”
DataVision includes a gap analysis tool which assesses the total addressable market in order to identify underserved markets and growth potential. After enriching and segmenting the data, DataVision users can prospect for similar companies.
As DataVision provides ongoing cloud based data cleansing and standardization, It is likely to be competing against similar offerings from ReachForce, Zoominfo, and D&B NetProspex. The service is also likely to butt up against predictive analytics companies such as Lattice Engines and Infer. While Avention offers a set of predictive tools (e.g. Business Signals and Ideal Profiles), they do not appear to be fully integrated into the initial release.
Analyst David Raab noted that DataVision’s hosted data model is likely to result in fresher data “since any query to DataVision will return the latest information available to Avention.” He also complimented DataVision’s visualization tools and the platform’s ability “to compare those distributions with the entire Avention universe of known firms.”
A significant trend over the past two years has been the blurring of the lines between sales and marketing with sales intelligence vendors addressing marketing requirements (e.g. DataVision, Zoominfo, InsideView for Marketing) and marketing functions migrating down the pipeline to sales reps (e.g. SalesLoft Cadence, Salesforce IQ). Historically, OneSource shied away from building marketing tools in order to focus on the sales and research functions. While they long offered match & enrichment services, this offering was managed by their Professional Services team as either a custom project or CRM enrichment. DataVision is their first product designed specifically for the marketing team. Of course, improved data quality at the top of the funnel provides benefits to sales reps in the form of improved lead quality, enriched leads, and properly routed opportunities.