Data Driven Business Week / DemandCon: An Idiot’s Review

Frustrated Businessman

Frustrated-man11My kids are right: I’m an idiot. The first thing I did arriving on a late-night flight to San Francisco for Data Driven Business Week was leave my iPhone in the airline seat pocket.

Next morning, I emerged, digitally naked, from my hotel on Powell Street. No phone, no email, no idea of my calendar for the day and no map to get to the conference. I wandered crowded streets, past faceless people, until a homeless guy got two bucks for showing me that I was actually standing outside an Apple Store. Apple got the other $500.

A few minutes later, back out into the world with a lightness in my step and wallet, I hit Data Driven Business Week, a multi-conference combining Demand Con, Marketing Optimization Summit, Conversion Conference and Predictive Analytics World all under one roof.

Here are the tweet-lights from the show:

Sirius Decisions says buyers are now 67% of the way through the buying process before they meet with your sales people


Gartner say by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship without talking to a human @cahidalgo #demandcon



Marketers spend 9x more driving traffic to websites than on improving conversions @gregott @demandbase #demandcon



Re: marketing automation adoption “Many people buy a Cadillac but are using it like a Yugo.” – @MaribethRoss #DemandCon



Avg life of social media link is 3 hours @kippbodnar #demandcon



Great quote to pin to the wall: “Remove YOU from the story as much as possible.. it will travel farther.” @juntajoe #demandcon



But there was a word of warning here and one that could significantly hold back from the further promise of marketing automation, segmentation analytics, persona development and story telling at scale:


@tripkucera says 3 of 4 top reasons companies don’t have lead lifecycle mgt in place come down to skills gap #demandcon



This issue of skills, highlighted by Aberdeen’s Trip Kucera made me think of my Apple Store experience and the power of data-driven business and the people that make it work. It’s amazing to see how an IT company like Apple approaches the retail sales process. We are talking process, from the moment you step into the store. I was quickly triaged by one of those helpful, hip blue-shirts who led me to Specialist Laura. It was all familiarly efficient. Familiar, because this was my second visit to buy a phone in the past 10 days (yes, my lost phone was new.) Again, I was impressed with the rapid pecks on iPhone’s apps, integrating accounts, deciding options and then the best part — the finger signature. No check-out counter, no lines, no sales terminals.

Smiling, Laura set the phone up for me. I knew how to do it of course, as I’d gone through the exercise just days before, but I let her. I asked her about the technology and how much training they had to undergo. She said it was a continual process and, with a laugh, told me that it’s harder to get into Apple than Stanford!

My take-away from Apple and from Data Driven business Week is that the rewards for getting it right are enormous but that it takes people, people.

(However, it looks like Apple has the Stanford graduate intake thing all sewn up… you’ll have to recruit from elsewhere!)


Key B2B Marketing Email Stats


Looking for email marketing industry benchmarks? From average open rates to unsubscribe rates, B2B marketers measure the success on their email programs by many factors. Ultimately, the most important factors to gauge success are MQLs and marketing-generated-revenue, but the following stats are very helpful in gaining an understanding of where you stand against the average industry results.


  • Average open rate – 22.0%
  • Average click-through rate – 5.9%

Source: Epsilon Quarter 4 2009 Email Trends and Benchmark (Jan 2010)

Marketing emails using a house list experience, on average:

  • Open rates of almost 20%
  • Click-through rates of 6.64%
  • Conversion rates of 1.73%
  • Bounce rates of 3.72%
  • Unsubscribe rates of 0.77%
Source: Direct Marketing Association (2010)
To track campaign success:
  • 72% of marketers rely on clicks
  • 59.2% of marketers rely on conversion rate
  • 58.4% of marketers rely on impressions
Source: Datran Media “Marketing and Media Survey” (2010)
Thanks to

We’ve created a tool to help you determine the amount of marketing activity you need in order to hit your marketing-generated-revenue goals. It takes into account the response rate of each campaign, and the conversion of your prospects along the way. Try the B2B Demand Generation Funnel Calculator.

From Tamara’s Desk: What’s Working in Demand Generation?

Office Woman

Tamara Graves is our Senior Director of Demand Generation here at NetProspex, driving pipeline activity and opportuntiy creation for our company, but more importantly, helping our entire team understand the day-to-day needs and problems of our clients working in B2B demand generation.

She recently contributed advice to DemandGen Report’s “What’s Working in Demand Generation” about the “secret sauce that helped leading B2B organizations fuel efficiency and growth” in 2011.

Here’s what’s working, from Tam’s POV:

  1. Lead Nurturing
    NetProspex has completely redesigned its multi-touch drip campaigns, with full nurture programs slated for 2012. Experts indicate that content is king when it comes to effective nurturing. By providing relevant, timely content, marketers can demonstrate the value proposition of their solutions and services more efficiently.
  2. Combining Inbound + Outbound
    We are utilizing landing pages through HubSpot to expand inbound efforts in conjunction with lead generation, testing integrations between its solutions and marketing automation tools.
  3. Data Management
    Our clients are focused on fixing and ensuring the quality and cleanliness of their data- and so are we. “Continual cleansing and appending of data is planned for 2012,” according to Tamara. “Considerable effort was put into finely segmenting the target to the right message, using analytics of our prospect and customer data.”

Read the full article on DemandGen Report.




Need sales leads? NetProspex says its service finds data in the rough

Netprospex in Boston Business Journal

Boston Business Journal by Kyle Alspach, VC Editor

Date: Friday, December 30, 2011, 10:12am EST

For most startups, it probably wouldn’t be relevant for its CEO to have a background working as a diamond prospector in Africa. Not so at Waltham’s NetProspex.

“We’re looking for diamonds out of dirt,” said company CEO Gary Halliwell. “That’s what we do.”

Halliwell is referring to his company’s service for providing contacts to sales and marketing professionals — using a combination of crowdsourcing (users trade in contacts), technology that “cleans” the contacts and aggressive verification (including phone calls).

The end result is verified email addresses and phone numbers for customer leads, the company says. Halliwell contends that the service could ultimately be a billion-dollar opportunity. (Full disclosure: The American City Business Journals, parent company of the Boston Business Journal, is an investor in NetProspex.)

After steady growth in recent years, NetProspex says it had a breakout year in 2011, passing the milestone of having 25 million verified contacts on file and doubling its revenue (the firm doesn’t disclose specific revenue figures, but says it’s ahead of the plan it set a year ago).

Halliwell, an Oxford-educated geologist who spent five years exploring for diamonds out of a tent in the Kalahari Desert for De Beers, co-founded NetProspex in 2005 after serving as president of Zoom Information, a B2B contacts site.

The inspiration for the company was simple: Sales and marketing people need accurate contacts to do their jobs, but most options out there are notorious for having low accuracy rates.

“If the data is wrong, it’s useless,” he said.

The contacts are sent in by marketing professionals, and can be traded on a one-to-one basis (one contact for one contact). Users can also buy contacts, which is a main source of the company’s revenue.

Tech industry professionals make up a large part of the company’s customer base; professionals at EMC, Nuance, NetSuite and SAP are among the users of the service.

In the first quarter of next year, NetProspex also plans to commercially launch a service that will “clean” contacts for enterprise customers that feel their own contact lists are falling short.

NetProspex employs 48, and has raised $7.5 million in outside financing to date, from backers including Edison Venture Fund of New Jersey and American City Business Journals.

The Winter Release of NetProspex’s B2B Contact Tools

NetProspex Winter Release

It’s no secret at NetProspex that we have really great clients. They shared ideas and suggestions that would help create better prospect lists for demand generation, and, well, we listened. In this release, we’ve made suppression files easier to manage, launched an alert system for net-new contacts in a target market, built a dashboard for easy search management, and updated contact trading.

The Winter ’11 release is so cool, it’s hot.



New Contact Alerts

  • Daily, weekly, or monthly alerts when new contacts are available in your target audience
  • Instant access to your best new prospects

Suppression File Tools

  • Store files securely in the cloud, and keep them out of searches when necessary
  • Exclude entire domains or individual contacts


  • Leverage your new “home base” for list-building or prospecting
  • Access recent and saved searches, credit balance, folders, and trades

Contact Trading Updates

  • Trade contacts faster and easier than ever before
  • Learn more about your traded contacts
  • Keep track of past trades and their quality score

Read the full release notes here. 


B2B Social Media Examples (From SocialMediaPlus 2011)

Mike Bird and Ben Grossman

Click here to view our Prezi about B2B Social Media in today’s SocialMediaSummit, where Michael Bird (NetProspex Chief Revenue Officer) and Ben Grossman (Digital Strategist) revealed:

  1. The State of B2B Social Media
  2. Examples of B2B Companies Embracing Social Media
  3. Actionable tips to get started with Social Media

To download the NetProspex Social Report, visit

Find the love in your B2B prospects with lead nurturing

Find the love with lead nurturing

To get the most value from a prospect database, marketers have to be agile and skilled in managing leads at various stages.  One of the most important things on a B2B marketer’s endless to-do list is to develop an on-going strategy for prospects who are not ready to buy. The old days of relying on the cream of the crop (sales-ready leads) to drive pipeline while ingoring the rest are over, as best-in-class companies reap the benefits of a lead nurturing and lead scoring strategy.

Eloqua’s Jesse Noyes has developed a wonderfully original way of looking at buying stages and nurturing folks from one to the next, and back:

Eloqua’s 8 Stages of Lead Nurturing


Locking Eyes
You lock eyes at a bar or the supermarket, and you think there’s something special. This is where you approach to see if there’s that initial spark. This stage involves a lot of small talk. You don’t know much about your prospect – he or she might have filled out a form or downloaded a white paper – so this is where asking the right questions is vital. It’s all about seeing if there’s any chemistry.

First Date
You’ve determined there’s some mutual interest. Now it’s time to see if that spark has lasting power. This is where you go out for a bite to eat and ask a lot of questions of each other. You have explicit criteria to investigate (how big is her or his company, what’s your prospect’s title, etc.) as you build a basic prospect profile. This is where you are both deciding whether it’s worth a second date. If you’re not already, you’ll want to employ a robust lead scoring program to keep track of your lead’s movements and makes sense of his or her behavior.

Dating Casually
The first date went well. Next, you spend your time getting to know each other better. What is it your lead’s larger aspirations? How can you be part of accomplishing your lead’s ambitions? Likely your lead will want to take it slow and easy while you pursue him or her. At this point you know you have a qualified lead, but you want to get your lead more invested in buying specifically from you.

Getting Serious
Dating is going pretty well. Your lead has shown a level of engagement with your content and brand. You know he or she is looking at a more serious relationship. You keep the nurture campaign going, providing high-value content, as you try to take your burgeoning relationship to the next level.

The Boyfriend’s Back
Doesn’t it always go this way? Once your lead starts getting serious about you is probably right about the time the competition will show up. This might be a pervious relationship your lead is having difficulty letting go of, or someone else just vying for his or her attention. You’ll want to differentiate yourself. This could be with price-point comparisons, demonstrating the level of ROI you bring to the table, etc. The idea is to appear as the better bet.

So your lead is sold. Now it’s time to meet his or her family, and vice versa. You want to make a good impression among the other stakeholders in the relationship. Be ready to show why you are the best match to the executives and other internal teams your lead reports to. Also, prep your company to be warm and welcoming.

This is a pretty obvious one. You’ve impressed your lead, his or her family, and everyone has come together for the wedding. The champagne may be flowing, but remember a successful marriage requires just as much, if not more, work than dating.

Remember the Anniversaries
Every healthy relationship requires work. To keep the marriage healthy you need to make sure your customer is getting stellar service. But you also want to ensure they are taking advantage of all you have to offer. You’ll want to gauge how they are using the product. Are they using several features or just one? Are they engaging with educational content you send their way? Be sure to check in early and often. Like any relationship, you want to keep the lines of communication open.


“If done well, successful nurturing can build a strong brand and solution preference long before a prospect is actively engaged in a buying process. Lead nurturing software allows for leads to be tracked and content delivery to be automated through various marketing channels.” – Eloqua

Are you feelin the love?