Outsell Report:  About ZoomInfo – What to Know and Why It Matters

Company, Contact, and Personal Information vendor ZoomInfo recently announced the ZoomInfo Data Passport, a dataset for sales, marketing, and recruiting teams that offers accurate and compliant global company and contact data and intelligence. The company said it increased its company information and contact information coverage in Europe this past year by 78% and 81%, respectively, and that its international revenues grew 75% year over year.

ZoomInfo, known mostly for its US data, is making a big push outside the US to increase its international market share and compete more head-to-head with others, like Dun & Bradstreet, as well as smaller regional players. The ZoomInfo Data Passport includes versions for Europe and North America, and a Global version that combines the full worldwide ZoomInfo dataset. These datasets cover businesses with over 100 employees and are GDPR and CCPA compliant, with the following reach:

  • ZoomInfo Data Passport Europe:Covers 8.4+ million company records, 23.9+ million contact records, 8.6+ million direct-dial phone numbers, 2.9+ million mobile phone numbers, and 23.8+ million email addresses
  • ZoomInfo Data Passport North America Plus:Covers 25+ million company records, 126+ million contact records, 41+ million direct-dial phone numbers, 39+ million mobile phone numbers, and 105+ million email addresses
  • ZoomInfo Data Passport Global:Covers 100+ million company records, 150+ million contact records, 50+ million direct-dial phone numbers, 41+ million mobile phone numbers, and 129+ million email addresses

Analyst Rating: Positive

Through this announcement, ZoomInfo clearly shows its international expansion plans. Its work to get TrustArc GDPR and CCPA Practices Validation last April as well as the TRUSTe Enterprise Privacy Certification Seal last year became the pre-work to entering Europe in a larger way. ZoomInfo offered limited European data before this, and with the new dataset offering, the company is now a more attractive solution for European companies looking for sales, marketing, and recruiting company and contact data.

Winners and Losers

As ZoomInfo increases the size of its dataset outside the US, it will go more head to head with regional Company, Contact, and Personal Information providers. In Europe, this includes credit and risk data providers like CRIF and Cerved as well as smaller European players like Enento Group and New Work SE (formally Xing and the European equivalent of LinkedIn). These firms have more to lose now and need to compete not just on dataset size but also on quality.

ZoomInfo will also now compete more directly with Moody’s and the combined D&B and Bisnode. This battle will play out in workflow tools; right now, D&B holds the edge with its extensive SMS offerings. D&B acquired Bisnode in 2020 specifically to expand in Europe in terms of data, customers, and sales presence. D&B still holds the upper hand when it comes to tool breadth as well as sales presence in Europe.

What’s Next

Sales and marketing’s thirst for accurate and robust contact data is increasing as sales and marketing organizations struggle to keep known customers and prospects known and to ID unknown visitors to their sites and channels. People today are changing jobs at a much more rapid rate: We recently heard from several large event companies that about a third of all show attendees typically changed jobs each year pre-pandemic, but in 2021, they see that number at 50-60%.

Organizations are struggling with their event data, with large parts of their audiences now in movement, impacting their ability to keep track of people. The result of all this job movement now playing out globally impacts not only event marketers but also marketing ops and sales ops staff, who must manage marketing automation and CRM platforms. The fear is that known customers or prospects become unknown because the technology has yet to recognize and authenticate their appearance elsewhere. That fear is increasing today because it represents a potentially lost customer or prospect.

Large vendors, like D&B, ZoomInfo, and the credit agencies, have in place the data technology infrastructure to address this problem more proactively and stay ahead of the privacy compliance game when people move. Smaller contact data providers that rely more heavily on scraped LinkedIn data will struggle the most in 2022. Because people don’t often update their LinkedIn profiles immediately as they change jobs, these companies have more to lose as those signals become weak and interrupted.

Essential Actions

The changing dynamics of contact data in the greater sales and marketing intelligence space highlight a few key steps that companies must take going forward.

✔ Focus on Data Quality, Not Quantity

Contact data quality suffers when so much of the dataset is morphing because people aren’t where they’re expected to be due to job changes. Despite this, so much vendor effort is still spent on “I have a bigger database” messaging that’s now becoming meaningless. Sales and marketing professionals don’t want lots of records that are marginally accurate — they want fewer records that are very accurate to use immediately in their campaigns. Rank quality over quantity, by far.

✔ Build a Crisis Plan for Key Partners

As we’ve seen many times, good partners make the best acquisitions, such as when D&B bought Bisnode. Many companies lose key partners when those players get acquired by competitors or by others with different plans for the acquired, like when IDG bought Kickfire or Demandbase bought InsideView and DemandMatrix.

The sales and marketing intelligence space is full of companies operating on a frenemy basis — friends in one area while competitors or enemies in another — because no one company offers all the data today. A heady M&A market will accelerate the dimming of partnerships as companies get bought.

Maybe it’s time to take crisis planning to the partner level, especially if that partner is strategic from a data perspective. Employ a “what-if” scenario that looks at who ZoomInfo, DemandBase, D&B, IDG, Ziff Davis, or others might buy next.

Companies

Cerved Business Information SpA; CRIF SpADemandbase; Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.International Data Group (IDG); Moody’s Corporation; New Work SEZoomInfo

Randy Giusto

VP & Lead Analyst – Media and Marketing Strategy and Intelligence Solutions, Outsell, Inc.

Randy Giusto covers the B2B media and business information, advertising and marketing technology, marketing and IT research, and news industries. He provides guidance to C-suite executives and their teams by identifying media, data, information, research, and marketing services best practices, how business models are evolving, and emerging tools and companies.

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Outsell Inc. is a co-founder of BIIA