The State of the Data Industry – D&B Acquires NetProspex

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My grandmother always said that you can’t make a good pasta sauce without the right ingredients. Translating that advice to the marketing world, data is one of the key ingredients that drives business success.

Last week, data information power house Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) acquired emerging NetProspex for $125 million net of cash assumed. The acquisition is an example of just how important data has become for B2B marketers.

“This acquisition brings incredible value to today’s B2B sales and marketing leaders,”

NetProspex CEO Michael Bird. See Bird’s take here.

D&B’s bread and butter is corporate level data for business insights and market analysis. Need to find the top 50 healthcare organizations in the United States and all associated financials? Need to perform a market segment analysis on the high tech companies in San Francisco? D&B is a great choice for proprietary global business data and analytics.

But with the emergence of marketing automation, today’s B2B marketer needs data that is actionable. Sure, listing out your target market in a powerpoint is nice, but what can you do with that? If an organization uses D&B to identify the target accounts, it needs to go further.

Why NetProspex?


Contact-level intelligence is where NetProspex steps to the plate. NetProspex’s comprehensive professional contact database fills in the contact-level gaps to offer a more complete data solution. A company can not only identify target accounts, it can now dig into who to target within that account.

“This acquisition fills a growing need for marketers by providing an actionable view of companies and the people who run them, putting quality relationship insight at the center of their marketing data strategy.”

Bob Carrigan, President and CEO and Director of D&B

End-to-End Data Scenario – No More Finger Blisters


When I say “end-to-end,” I’m referring to a solution that solves both account-level and contact-level needs. Let’s look at this scenario.

Fictitious Greycard Software needs to perform a market analysis for its $250K enterprise software package. After gaining insight via D&B, Greycard Software has identified the top 100 list that it considers gold. Historically, Sales reps would call into those accounts using relationships and cold calling until their fingers got blisters.

With the acquisition of NetProspex, prospecting just got a little easier. Greycard Software can find out exactly who sits in the target roles within those accounts so Sales can develop a more efficient calling strategy.

The real power comes in when marketing automation is added to the mix. Let’s say jday@greycardsoftware fills out a white paper request. Greycard Software can instantly flag the lead so reps can jump on it faster than Julius Peppers jumps on a fumble. Because Greycard Software is leveraging NetProspex’s enrichment capabilities, Jay Day’s complete company and title information will get populated into the record. This additional intelligence streamlines the overall followup process.

So is this the Only Game in Town?

Data Acquisition Choices

Absolutely not. One could argue that existing solutions already solve the end-to-end data need. For example, DiscoverOrg may not have the proprietary D&B intelligence, but it does offer some great account-level organizational charts. Combine that with DiscoverOrg’s contact-level database and you get a great account-level strategy solution combined with actionable contact data.

I won’t compare and contrast solutions within this article but know that there are some other great data players to consider including ZoomInfo, InsideView, DiscoverOrgHoovers, and RainKing. These companies offer varying levels of account-level and contact-level intelligence.


D&B’s acquisition of NetProspex offers a comprehensive data intelligence solution for D&B customers. As with any acquisition, time will tell how the market will respond to the combined offering.

Sources: Dun & Bradstreet Acquires NetProspex to Deliver Largest Global Reach and Insight on Companies and the People Who Run Them



Josh Verrill

Services: Strategy, Assessment, Ongoing Services

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