The explosion of consumer data — made possible by the rise of e-commerce and social media — completely changed how companies target their customers. That has been great for consumer brands, but the world of business-to-business marketing remains behind the times.
Seattle startup Versium wants to change that with a new service called Versium Reach that combines consumer data with business marketing data. The service represents a pivot for Versium, which has traditionally targeted consumer brands with its marketing tools.
“The goal is to really help marketers adopt marketing practices that were traditionally [business-to-consumer],” said Versium CEO Dillana Lim. Business marketers say that data quality is important to sales and marketing decisions, but only half are confident in the quality of data they have, according to a survey by Dun & Bradstreet.
Versium creates profiles of advertising targets that include both professional and personal data. That means advertisers can deliver ads to their targets as they scroll through social media as well as more traditional means like direct email and cold-calling.
Business-to-business marketing “is really about trying to make a one-to-one relationship,” said Lim, who was recently named CEO of the company after joining as chief operating officer last November. Lim was one of the founding members of Talentwise, which was purchased by SterlingBackcheck in 2016.
Versium was started by former InfoSpace co-founders Chris Matty and Kevin Marcus, who set out to help businesses make sense of the huge volume of data they were generating. The Redmond-based company has more than 25 employees and has secured two seed funding rounds to date, raising $3.7 million.
Versium’s competition includes other leaders in business-to-business marketing data, such as Infogroup, Dun & Bradstreet, TechTarget and DiscoverOrg.
The service also employs artificial intelligence to create lists of people who are similar to the ones that advertisers have identified. To get started, marketers can either import their own or start from scratch by picking an industry and narrowing the results by factors like company size, revenue and the seniority of the target customer.
While social media platforms have given marketers unprecedented ability to target specific groups, they keep tight control of the data. Versium, which targets small to midsize business marketers, gives the data directly to its customers in a protected form to use as they wish on online ad platforms. Pricing for Versium Reach starts at $500 and goes up to $5,000 for an agency model.