Big Data

Madison Logic’s CEO Erik Matlick on Leveraging Intent Data

Madison Logic~Erik Matlick123 Erik Matlick is CEO of Madison Logic, the premier provider of intent data solutions for 1,000+ of the world’s leading B2B marketers and publishers. Madison Logic just became the largest aggregator of B2B intent data with 40 million user interactions per month. The company also announced two brand new product launches. The Makegood spoke with Erik regarding Madison Logic’s rise to power and the new products on the way.

The Makegood: Congratulations! Your company just became the largest aggregator of B2B intent data with 40 million user interactions per month. You joined as CEO 4 years ago. Can you expand on how the company has changed since you arrived? 

Our mission and goal has always been about data; using and leveraging data for marketing and advertising. When we started, we launched our initial lead generation product platform to generate sales leads and manage ads. As publishers began to work with the early platform, we explained that leveraging this data would help them better target and serve lead generation ads. To make the platform operate optimally, we would hone this behavioral intent data.

Eventually, we knew there was a larger vision and product that would emerge from behavioral intent data. Honestly, however, we didn’t know at the time what that would end up being. We just knew that we would figure out the best way to use this aggregated intent data.

About a year ago, we had an epiphany when we started leveraging intent data ourselves on our email sends. We found that rather than sending out 100,000 emails to generate x amount of leads, we could send out a fraction of those emails by using intent data, which would generate the same volume of leads. If we knew what people were interested in – because they had read an article or downloaded a white paper or viewed a webinar on a particular subject in the last 30 to 90 days – our open and click-through rates, as well as the overall interaction with the content that we distributed, rose significantly higher. We started to do some testing and achieved a 200-300% lift in conversion metrics on email sends when paired with intent data. Yes, literally 200-300%.

While email marketing is an industry within an industry that is sometimes overlooked, it’s clearly a significant sub-market. Marketing automation has proliferated to thousands of companies, all of whom are using it to market and nurture email campaigns. We realized that leveraging intent data could actually help the entire industry, making email marketing more efficient in much the same way that marketers have used data for display advertising over the last five years or more. We’re now using intent data for both email marketing and display.

The Makegood: You also recently announced two new product launches: Content Consumption Monitoring™ and the Contributory Data Partnership. First, can you talk about Content Consumption Monitoring™? How it works, what the early returns are, etc? 

We coined the term Content Consumption Monitoring but feel it’s really self-explanatory. On behalf of marketers, Content Consumption Monitoring refers to our ability to monitor what their users are consuming online: articles they’re reading, white papers they’re downloading, webinars, even conferences they’re attending. By monitoring users, their content consumption and what their interests are, marketers can be smarter and more targeted about the messages they send to those prospects, whether they reach them through email or display ads.

In talking to marketers, we’ve discovered that between 75-90% of the contacts in marketing automation platforms are consistently dormant, which is both astonishing and disheartening. That large percentage has had effectively one interaction with the company, generally a single download, which might place the contact into marketing automation, but can’t account for that individual when they are never heard from again. Marketers have spent millions of dollars building these databases in their marketing automation platforms, and they still don’t know what these people are interested in. That’s the problem Content Consumption Monitoring attempts to solve.

If 90% of your database is dormant and you don’t know what to send them, (a) you can’t possibly score them, because you can’t score a user who had one interaction with you a year ago and (b) you don’t know what information to send them. If you’re a large enterprise IT company and you sell dozens if not hundreds of products, how could you know what that person is interested in today?

But business buyers are very different from consumers, because business buyers are always in the market for product. It’s just a question of what product they are researching today. And just because they bought a product today, doesn’t mean they won’t be back in market for the exact same product in a year or two from now when their contract expires.

The Makegood: Secondly, can you tell us about the Contributory Data Partnership? 

I’ve spent my whole career in B2B publishing, starting with Ziff Davis, and this really excites me. Traditionally, publishers don’t like sharing data and don’t work collaboratively with one other. The Contributory Data Partnership is actually the first time anyone’s been able to get these publishers to pool their data.

What we’ve been able to accomplish in a few short months is, honestly, nothing short of amazing. Right now more than 400 publishers are all sharing their behavioral data in this contributory partnership. They’ve embedded the Madison Logic pixel on their website and all their registration pages, so that any time one of their users interacts with these pages, we can index that user session with the specific topic of interest. We’ve built a taxonomy of 1,200 B2B topics – actually 1,300 now – which extends to quite granular subjects. For instance, cloud storage, cloud networking, things like that. We create an intent graph based upon a wide array of action types – including downloads and registrations – against these granular topics. By putting all of these publishers together and monitoring a large segment of the B2B ecosystem, we’re able to leverage that data to better target messaging in both email marketing and display advertising.

The Makegood: With a wide view of a huge chunk of the advertising industry, what are some trends that you have noticed over the past few months? 

Two years ago, everything was about mobile. Last year, everything was about social. I was at DreamForce recently, and while the show was huge and well-attended, I did not see as much innovation or hear a specific buzz word this year. Account-based scoring is a new trend in this field – we’re working with a number of companies who specialize in this currently.

Multi-channel is another big trend. A few years ago, marketers were talking about mobile; now they’re talking about audience regardless of how you reach the audience: via mobile, web, desktop. It doesn’t really matter. The automation world that we live in today is ripe for behavioral data to make it more efficient. I do think that will be a trend – especially if we’re successful as we plan to be.

The Makegood: Now that you’re number one and have two new products to help you stay there, what do you think your next step will be? How will you continue to lead the pack?”

I think we’re just at the beginning. Our goal now is to become the leading aggregator of intent data. This is definitely an “if you build it, they will come” situation. Companies that offer services such as account-based scoring are already approaching us. There are number of companies that specialize in accounts scoring, but what they’re all missing is intent data. At the moment they’re scraping the open web and looking at social data, all of which is limiting.

So our goal is to become the largest aggregator of intent data. We started with B2B and we’re going to stay in the B2B space, but will begin to aggregate data for an increasing number of verticals in that market.

The Makegood: Thank you, Erik