After DiscoverOrg acquired Zoominfo in February, the firm maintained both brands and announced that a new platform which supported both services would be available this summer. At the time, the assumption was that the Zoominfo brand would be retired and the firm would move forward as DiscoverOrg. After all, DiscoverOrg was the larger of the two firms and the brand was highly associated with data quality, technographics, and rich executive profiles while Zoominfo was known for having the largest set of B2B emails and direct dials spanning companies of all sizes and positions.
DiscoverOrg commissioned research into both brands and found that Zoominfo had broader brand awareness. The research also indicated that it would be less expensive to increase brand equity than brand awareness. Both brands had their strengths, but, according to Chief Growth Officer Katie Bullard, it was easier to buy brand perception than brand awareness. Furthermore, research indicated that the Zoominfo brand perception had improved since acquisition.
“There was significantly more — three times — the market awareness around the ZoomInfo brand than the DiscoverOrg brand,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “I’ve tried to pride myself on making the decision that is right for the business and not necessarily easy for me or convenient for me. This was obvious. This was the right decision for the business, and I wasn’t going to let the nostalgia for the DiscoverOrg brand overshadow that.”
Based on this research, the firm decided to retain the Zoominfo brand and deploy the DiscoverOrg brand as a “powered by” brand booster. Thus, the new platform will be labeled Zoominfo Powered by DiscoverOrg for the next year or two.
“The new platform will be known as ZoomInfo powered by DiscoverOrg and combines the strengths and benefits of the DiscoverOrg platform with those of the ZoomInfo platform, which it acquired in February 2019. Designed to be the single source of B2B data truth for sales and marketing professionals, the new platform offers a suite of software tools coupled with unrivaled data coverage, accuracy and depth. As a result, customers gain a highly actionable 360-degree view of contacts, companies, and opportunities to target and convert. Deeply integrated into both workflows and technology stacks, ZoomInfo powered by DiscoverOrg works seamlessly with all the leading sales, marketing and CRM platforms…”Zoominfo Press Release (September 10, 2019)
With this launch, ZoomInfo Powered by DiscoverOrg features an unparalleled combination of proprietary AI and machine learning tools, a vast contributory network, deep two-way business application integrations, and human verification from over 300 researchers. The result is the most unique [sic] and effective SaaS platform designed to empower companies to deliver more predictable and sustainable growth.”
The firm’s mission is “To create a world where every company has a clear view of their ideal customers and how to connect with them.”
The new Zoominfo logo is black with a standalone Z and a rising arrow.
The site is simplified from DiscoverOrg’s last design with white, gray, lavender, and black as the primary background colors. Red and lavender are employed for buttons and hyperlinks. Most text is black with white employed for text in buttons and black backgrounds. The site is much less frenetic than the last DiscoverOrg design. A splash of lavender and light use of pastels, which are not often used in B2B websites, provide a calming effect.
The new website tagline is “Your business deserves more.” The firm continues, “ZoomInfo gives you more. We combine the leading business contact database with best-in-class technology to pinpoint, process, and deliver the marketing and sales intelligence you need— exactly when and how you need it, to always hit your number.”
Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) reached $350 million across 13,500 customers. ARR has grown significantly since the Zoominfo acquisition. According to Inc., combined 2018 revenue was $222 million. As ARR is higher than revenue when a subscription service is growing, the likely 2019 revenue is around $300 million+.
Zoominfo also has to reposition its data acquisition model. DiscoverOrg began employing web data acquisition tools last year, so that methodology was already understood by their clients. The firm also has licensed data sets in the past, however sparingly. The new website discusses four methods for data gathering: signature block mining; automated online crawling and machine learning; in-house editorial teams: and third-party data licensing.
Signature block intelligence comes from Zoominfo’s community members that permit access to signature blocks in exchange for Zoominfo access. It is the most controversial of their methods as data is being harvested on third-parties without their consent. While both companies are GDPR compliant, Zoominfo’s approach was simply to add an EU contact filter. This is an area that they will likely need to address further, particularly as US states adopt GDPR-like regulations and Zoominfo expands its “personal contact details.”
Machine learning gathers technographic and firmographic intelligence from job boards, web sites, news, and SEC filings. It is a standard data gathering method and broadly employed across the industry.
“We use cutting edge AI/ML technologies to help GTM [go-to-market] teams stay laser-focused on the right markets and best opportunities to hit their number.”Zoominfo website
Human research for gathering and verifying company and contact data has long been at the core of DiscoverOrg’s brand and value proposition. Zoominfo continues to maintain the DiscoverOrg editorial team of over 300 researchers. The editorial process is the basis of their high data quality and rich biographic and technographic intelligence. As such, it is the justification for their premium pricing. Hopefully, the firm doesn’t make the mistake that D&B did after acquiring Hoovers and allowing its editorial capabilities to atrophy when a high-quality dataset (Hoover’s editorial coverage of 42,000 companies) was mixed with a much larger universe of companies and contacts (D&B WorldBase). Given DiscoverOrg’s long-term focus on data quality and editorial research, it is unlikely that they would make this mistake. Conversations I’ve had with Schuck and Bullard over the years support this thesis.
Finally, third-party datasets are licensed. Content includes public company data (long a gap of both services), M&A details (added last year), government data sources, and social media feeds.
The database has grown to 20 million company profiles with 5 million C-level contacts, 16 million decision maker direct dials, and 20 million decision maker emails. Globally, Zoominfo provides 66 million emails and 42 million direct dials. They also maintain departed contact details to assist with data hygiene.
According to the Portland Business Journal, private equity firms TA Associates, The Carlyle Group and 22C Capital have invested at least $790 million in Zoominfo. The PBJ also noted that Zoominfo is profitable.
Tomorrow, I will provide additional details around Zoominfo’s product packaging.