The executive summary here is simple: We think this is a harmonious merger.
Not quite one year ago, Forrester published The Forrester Wave™: Predictive Marketing Analytics For B2B Marketers, Q2 2017, which evaluated 11 firms — Radius and Leadspace among them — against 28 criteria, as well as an accompanying blog post that summed it up.
Based on the work that went into the Wave, and following the market since, here’s what you need to know:
Both companies are strong performers.
Radius leads in marketing and innovation. The team briefs Forrester often — and always with substance. The company produces a string of good ideas: The Business Graph. The Network of Record. Radius Customer Exchange. It partners well with marketing automation and engagement platforms; for example, its connection with LiveRamp that enables Radius customers to target B2B buyers on B2C platforms. And Radius has stayed true to its origin story, described simply as: Data => Insights => Action.
Leadspace’s capabilities at the contact level stand apart. Yes, contacts — as in, people. While ABM may have taught novice marketers about the peril when “marketers market to leads but sales sells to accounts,” the bottom line is that people sell to people, and Leadspace has always understood that. The firm has provided actionable, contact-level detail that sales people need, such as specific job function, what technologies a person uses, their place in a corporate hierarchy, and a specific physical location.
Radius + Leadspace = Good news for current customers and prospective buyers.
Radius’ strength is company data, and its coverage is richest for small US-based businesses. Its use cases favor those who want to analyze total addressable market (TAM) and identify look-alikes. While Radius has made headway on enterprise data, Forrester has counseled clients: If your target is the Fortune 100 list, Radius is not for you. Once combined, Leadspace will bring better ability to engage enterprise clients and an international data set into the mix.
Leadspace’s focus is more about providing out-of-the-box models that help marketers predict outcomes such as propensity to buy. It has the data science chops to complement established internal teams or outsource entire predictive operations. It is also technically solid when it comes to evaluating predictive models, conducting A/B testing to reveal the lift that its analysis and recommendations deliver. In other words, Leadspace has capability that Radius lacks and wants to attain, and vice versa.
When we published the Wave, we said that Radius must decide whether it wants to compete in the data management market while trying to keep a foothold in predictive analytics. With this acquisition, Radius strengthens that foothold.
How easily the two will integrate remains a question mark. Doug Bewsher, who will take over as CEO of the combined firm, expects a combined road map in six months but promises that Radius will support current customers who want to make the two coexist in the meantime. How this comes together . . . well, as they say, the devil is in the details.
What does this mean for predictive marketing analytics in B2B?
As we predicted (pardon the pun), this market will consolidate — and this is the first major step since ESW affiliate Ignite purchased Infer last fall. Some will start mentioning “AI” to capitalize on the near-term buzz and emphasize the role of machine learning in everything from data collection and normalization to self-optimizing algorithms. Going forward, we expect there to be a clearer difference to buyers when it comes to data management and data intelligence (technology that makes sense of the data and makes it actionable for marketers and sellers).
Clients who want to understand the B2B data landscape in more depth should read the Vendor Landscape: B2B Marketing Data Providers, Q3 2017 Forrester report by Steve Casey and Lori Wizdo.
This year, I’ll publish a Now Tech that will help B2B marketers and insights pros consider what features vendors bring to the table when it comes to generating insights from their data. Two other reports on deck from Steve Casey: The Forrester Wave™: B2B Marketing Data Providers will evaluate firms in the data landscape that will have an impact on B2B marketers the most and a report that examines the range of data management solutions available to B2B marketers.