We've acquired contacts from a variety of the usual suspects over the years: RainKing, DiscoverOrg, Jigsaw/Data.com, etc. etc. They each have their own profile data of the type we're specifically looking for: formal company name, subsidiaries, number of employees, revenue, industry/SAIC no. We currently use ReachForce (Smart Forms and cDQM) for data append both for leads and accounts. But as we're finalizing our ideal customer profile, we're aiming to choose a "vendor of first recourse" for account profiles (we'll address contact acquisition later, after finishing our ICP). That is, we want our baseline to at least start from a single, consistent source. We may get better data directly from the prospect account or some other source, but we at least want all departments to agree on the starting point, rather than picking and choosing opportunistically from our plethora of sources that are often inconsistent or suspicious-looking. Recommendations on vendors? I'm focusing first on the best fit to our business needs, not on technical integration capabilities. We want to stack rank the best sources first, and only then sift through technical requirements. Naturally, Dun & Bradstreet is appealing because of broad adoption of their company naming standards and the DUNS number (they call it a "social security number" for companies). Alternatives? (That aren't focused on credit reporting.) For this exercise -- baselining profiles -- we are not considering vendors that provide "socially acquired" data ranges of the type you get from LinkedIn or similar sources; we have found the data varies from "just OK" to "obviously wrong" to "bizarre.") Thanks!
You just need to choose the priority order. If you trust certain vendors over others, great. Most data vendors use some level of DUNS and it's probably the most clearly hierarchical and clean on DUNS, Geo, and Industry NAICS/SIC.
But your data use hierarchy could be like
Thanks Josh. All leads start out in Marketo and run through a basic wash cycle. All data sources write values into a private field, and then a Marketo whitespacing routine consults those sources, in priority order, and fills in Number of Employees from the first match. It also writes the source it used into a customer "Number of Employees Source" field. After the lead syncs to SFDC, a lead rep may do additional research and change the Number of Employees. A trigger in SFDC changes the source to "Sales". When Marketo sees new or updated number of employees from any of its sources, it will not make an update is Sales is documented as the source. So we're definitely thinking along the lines you mention. Right now, we just want to choose the "best" master source to sit at the top of that priority stack. The definition of "best" is hard to pin down! Thus the appeal to colleagues here about good or not-so-good experience with their account insight providers.