Scott Brown ZoomInfo Community Content: brilliant or creepy?
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Wednesday, 13th April 2011 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added Tweet about this item on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

By Scott Brown


VIP decided to review ZoomInfo again this year because, in Autumn 2010, the company launched several advancements to the underlying technologies that help them gather, match and verify business information.


In May 2010, VIP’s Penny Crossland reviewed ZoomInfo in a comparison with LinkedIn and Jigsaw (see “Comparative Review of Social Networks”, VIP Report, May 2010). While ZoomInfo customers are obviously happy with the company’s products, one of the recurring issues with ZoomInfo continues to be the accuracy of the available data.

VIP decided to review ZoomInfo again this year because, in Autumn 2010, the company launched several advancements to the underlying technologies that help them gather, match and verify business information.

ZoomInfo is to be applauded for its worthy – and extremely difficult – goal of providing “near real-time” business information. It’s this kind of vision that will continue to drive improvements in ZoomInfo’s information gathering process, and the value of its database.

One of the ways ZoomInfo is attempting to do this is through a new offering, Community Edition. ZoomInfo now offers three different products, built upon ZoomInfo’s database. Users can search the ZoomInfo directory for free and can view company profile information (but not individual information) without registration. ZoomInfo Pro is the professional, paid version, which offers users full functionality.

The new Community Edition model seems to be a middle path. It is both a stroke of brilliance, and a somewhat creepy way to mine information about your own business contacts. If you participate in Community Edition, you can get access to the entire ZoomInfo Database, and several tools for search, alerts and targeting, at no charge. However, by doing so, you allow ZoomInfo access to mine your business contact information from your email client.

I’m intrigued to see how the Community Edition model plays out. Will users be tempted by the model of “you show me your contact information, I’ll show you mine”?

More importantly, will it improve the accuracy and timeliness of ZoomInfo information? Time will tell.

I searched for three individual profiles and three companies. While results were acceptable for some searches, other results were patchy, and often simply incorrect. I will admit that my test searches for the review were not scientific, nor were they comprehensive. If I were looking to purchase ZoomInfo Pro for my own use or for my organisation’s use, I would be sure to conduct several more searches to get a better sense of the accuracy of the information.

In the end, the value of a resource comes down to the value and accuracy of the information it provides. ZoomInfo is to be commended in its pursuit of a very difficult task: pinning down the constantly shifting world of business contact information.

VIP subscribers can read the review by logging into their FreePint account.

Purchase your copy of VIP Report: Product Review of ZoomInfo from the FreePint Shop. Or save money by purchasing VIP No. 89, which also includes the VIP Report: Product Review of ProQuest Dialog STM.

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