Dun & Bradstreet agreed to acquire the data platform Lattice Engines to get a bigger piece of marketing budgets and keep ahead of startups and marketing clouds.

As marketers look to better target ads using data, the company said it entered a definitive agreement to acquire Lattice Engines, an analytics company that provides marketers with software that organizes and manages data.

Dun & Bradstreet president Stephen C. Daffron said the firm is investing in tools that help marketers manage their data in one place. Lattice Engines has a customer data platform that generates insights for marketers from first-party and third-party data — like predicting which channels are best for conversions and retaining customers. Marketers will be able to tweak messages and creative on the fly with Lattice Engine’s technology. For example, email campaigns can include similar messaging to a previous ad campaign that someone clicked on.

“Business-to-business buyers used to get lots of calls from salespeople; there’s a big transition going on where buyers tend to now go through 60 to 80% of the buying cycle before they even talk to a salesperson,” said Shashi Upadhyay, CEO of Lattice Engines. “That generates a massive amount of data and insight into what that customer is likely to do next.”

Dun & Bradstreet and Lattice Engines also said that they share the same customers. In North America, Dun & Bradstreet has 10,000 sales and marketing clients including BMC and TIBCO.

The deal, whose terms were not disclosed, is expected to close in 30 days, after which Lattice Engine’s 138 employees will join Dun & Bradstreet.

Talks between the two companies started before Dun & Bradstreet was taken private by a group of investors in February, said Dun & Bradstreet’s Daffron. Dun & Bradstreet had already acquired 11 B2B tech firms at that point, including NetProspex for $125 million in 2015. Daffron said there are no plans for other acquisitions in the near future.

Lattice Engines is one of a handful of mar-tech companies that sells data-organizing software. Startups like Segment and mParticle also provide customer data platforms for marketers, and marketing clouds including Salesforce and Adobe are rolling out similar tools. According to the Customer Data Platform Institute, the number of vendors hawking CDPs increased by 60% in 2018 and is expected to become a billion-dollar business this year. Daffron said business-to-business marketing requires more work than customer-facing marketing, though.

“We have 330 million-plus private companies — the size, shape and complexity of the database would only be useful if you had this higher level of analytic capabilities,” he said. “This is a breakthrough in the big-data space.”

Source:  Business Insider