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Dun & Bradstreet's CEO Wants His Data to Power a World Gone Programmatic


Who Bob Carrigan
New gig CEO, Dun & Bradstreet
Old gig CEO, IDG Communications
Age 49

What specifically is Dun & Bradstreet able to do for advertisers now?
We have applications for procurement managers so they can see the supply chain and make sure all their customers are legitimate and healthy. We have lots of solutions that help marketers in general to help customers, and a lot of the use cases are secular.

You guys were managing a huge database of commercial info before it was cool.
Yes, and now it's very relevant to the programmatic ad space. We've spent the last few months building a platform in a way that's useful for agency trading desks and DSPs, and we're working with a few companies to learn the usefulness of this data for advertising. As the programmatic world moves more and more into the b-to-b space, we're looking for an opportunity to surface that data in a way that makes it easier for marketers.

How is Dun & Bradstreet going to change over the next few months and years? And how is Droga5 going to help with those changes?
Part of it is just positioning—we have these crown-jewel assets we sit on as a brand, but we need to modernize it so that we understand all the cool things we can do. We want to talk about how we can help human beings manage their customers and their risks, and Droga5 is perfect for that. I hope that's reflective overall of the change here to thinking more from the outside in. We're looking at modernizing this company in all its elements.

Everybody talks about big data, but you're pretty serious about data quality. How are you guys working on that?
If you go to Data.com, that's basically a storefront for our data that's natively available. If a company is using a Salesforce CRM, it's great to have the application because we can provide data to help them keep very accurate customer records. If they type in a name, we make sure it's correct. The CRM is only as good as the data in it. This idea of data embedded in software is becoming increasingly important.

What's next for D&B?
We have supply chain management, we have compliance solutions, and we clean and optimize customer lists. We have our Hoover's application, which small to medium businesses use to identify prospects. There are future opportunities, too, in figuring out how to surface our data in ways to properly engage with their ad targets. We're thinking much more expansively, given all the cool stuff going on.

Why make the move to D&B?
It was a company I'd known about for a long time. The opportunity to transform this company into a modern industry leader was a great one. We're focused on a b-to-b space, a space that I knew and loved, and the world is increasingly becoming data-driven.

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