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Make marketing helpful and not about sales, says Erik Matlick

“It’s becoming such a turnoff to end users when they’re over-marketed to, and in a lot of ways marketers are missing opportunities,” explains Erik Matlick about the oversaturation of brand messaging in today’s ecosystem.

He’s built a business that initially intended to serve an untapped market in B2B data, and has evolved into giving marketers the tools they need to drive more revenue while producing less output.

In this episode of the Inside Intent podcast, Bombora co-founders Erik Matlick and Mike Burton discuss the evolution of and strategy behind building an Intent data business that is driving innovation in the way businesses execute Account-based Marketing. 

Building a business aligned with market trends

As most entrepreneurs will tell their stories, success does not come overnight. That same storyline applies to Erik’s journey when building Bombora and what is known today at the B2B Data Co-op. One thing that has remained consistent throughout Erik’s multiple ventures, however, is that they have all been a part of the B2B industry because it has proven to be most lucrative. That has afforded him the opportunity to have a keen eye for the trends in B2B, and develop businesses that address voids.

When Mike asked about the trends that drive Bombora’s business today, there is a common theme of marketers and salespeople wanting to give their addressable market what they need at the right time. Matlick talks about the strategies that help marketers achieve that efficiency, without bombarding them with ads. 

“There’s a lot of noise out there for users and business people’s attention. And I do think that there is a trend of ‘less is more’ and trying to be helpful to the potential buyer…people are looking for marketing to be helpful and not so salesy.” The methodology and rising trend of B2B sales and marketing using Fit + Intent modeling is helping to identify the right people to reach out to, and making these efforts more effective. 

Additionally, the ‘trend’ or new necessity around being compliant with data handling is what Matlick says is, “table stakes for a data provider to have consent. We’ll see how that pans out in the states because it actually could be a little more rigorous here. The easiest litmus test is, ‘does this user know that their user data is being captured and sold?’”

The biggest trend for Bombora internally that is gaining the most traction amongst customers and prospects is Company Surge®. “It’s not just looking at whether a company has intent. The big breakthrough for us looking at a propensity model: how much content does that particular company consume on a specific topic, on a weekly basis? And, if there’s a significant increase or decrease in the amount that that company views. A lot of marketers are talking about it and trying to identify which companies they should be marketing to at any given point in time.”

The strategy behind being a ‘data-only’ business

Erik Matlick did not start Bombora with the intention of becoming another platform or tool for marketers, and that’s turned out to be a major win for the growth of the business. 

“The big finding for us was that focusing on B2B data is actually an enormous market with lots of intricacies, and to be good at it, you really need to focus on being a pure data business. Second of all, there are lots of software platforms out there that are best-in-breed and they’re very good at what they do. For us to try to displace them for each and every aspect of a marketer’s life is near impossible, nor is it a great idea. 

What we started to realize was that if we are best-in-breed on the B2B data side, we could build integrations rather than building software. So that’s what we’ve been focusing on ever since. It’s really all about putting it into the workflow of where those marketers can use the data.”

Erik proves that building a successful business is not always about creating a better version of something that already exists; it’s about finding an untapped market and being the first and best at filling a void. 

Listen to the conversation between Erik and Mike to hear more about the essential elements that contributed to building Bombora since its inception in 2014.