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FullContact is a fully-connected contact management platform for professionals and enterprises who need to master their contacts and provides a 360 degree insights into the people who matter most to them. FullContact’s cross-platform suite of Apps and APIs enhance contacts with insights, while keeping them organized, synchronized, up to date, and safe.

Kevin William David interviewed Bart Lorang, CEO at FullContact to know more.

Hi Bart, so tell us about FullContact?

FullContact is an open Customer 360 Insights Platform, delivering the insights and information which empower businesses to be awesome with the people who matter most to them. By providing the broadest and most accurate data, integrated smoothly and securely via a cross-platform suite of easy-to-use apps and APIs, FullContact enables companies to enrich and enhance their understanding of their existing customers, and helps them identify, find and make meaningful connections with future prospects.

We are currently working on a series of new APIs and integrations for both the platform and apps side of our business which will continue to improve the quality of our data and the ease of our delivery.

Tell me more about the problem you are trying to solve?

We believe the notion of B2B and B2C communication silos is dead, Human-to-Human is the essence of what matters in long lasting, relationship-centric customer experiences. Despite the fact that available Customer data is expanding, it is increasingly siloed across multiple SaaS point solutions, making it nearly impossible to stitch all customer data together to form a true Customer 360 view. FullContact’s patented open identity graph, helps solve this issue.

What’s unique about what you are building & why do you think companies should use FullContact?

There are three major areas that set FullContact apart and gives our customers the confidence to work with us:

  • Data Quality: Updated over 30 million times a day, our patented open identity graph provides the most accurate and recent data about people, companies and relationships. Our data is fueled by unique data crowdsourcing through first party apps, our extended network of data partners and strong Data Science / Human-in-the-Loop capabilities.
  • Ease of Integration: Our open platform allows builders to bridge identity silos through easily accessible APIs that integrate seamlessly with the services they already use.
  • Highest Security: We employ world-class security and privacy controls and practices because trust is of the utmost importance to us. We’re SOC2, PCI, Cloud Security Alliance and U.S.-EU/Swiss Privacy Shield compliant.

Who uses FullContact? Can you tell us a bit about the different customer segments using FullContact?

We have an ecosystem of over 17K customers spanning many verticals and ranging from bootstrapped startups to global enterprises. Our focus is on serving builders, innovators, and tech-savvy product and data teams.

How are your customers using FullContact? Could you share a few different use cases?

FullContact customers use our apps and APIs in many different ways. Our apps provide teams and professionals with a powerful contact-syncing and management tool enabling them to build deeper relationships through insights into their contacts. Our suite of APIs offer identity resolution, data enrichment, and email verification.

  • Our Identity Resolution unifies a customer’s fragmented information into one complete identity allowing for seamless communication.
  • Through data enrichment, we append contacts with social, demographic, psychographic, affinity and interest data to help our customers segment and personalize their experiences.
  • Our email verification validates email addresses to eliminate hard bounces, reduce spam complaints and minimize fraud.

Due to the breadth of our offering, customers use FullContact in a wide variety of use cases. Most commonly we are used to cleanse and append contact records, segment and personalize marketing messages, enhance the value of the apps that customers are building, and to provide meaningful context to conversations with their own customers.

Have there been unique use cases for FullContact that you hadn’t thought of or expected?

We have an information technology company that uses our APIs to identify eyewitnesses through their posts on social networks as well as for fraud prevention.

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

In our sales and marketing efforts we use insights generated by our platform to create highly personalized campaigns — and we’re not afraid to be creative to get a prospect’s attention! For instance, we’ve worn wingbandits at early conferences (see picture below) and we’ve even been known to leave Star Wars aficionados a voicemail in our best Darth Vader impersonation!

Also, our employees benefits program, especially our Paid PAID vacation policy has always provided FullContact with a lot of national and international coverage and has helped attract excellent talent to the company.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

We made a bunch of technical architecture mistakes. We used MongoDB. We used Grails. We used Git and Solr as a data store. We tried using HBase as a transactional data store. Eventually, we had to go back to proven, reliably technology — like MySQL, Cassandra, ElasticSearch.

This was incredibly painful, and took us nearly a year to re-factor on the back-end.

What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added? Are there any that have been particularly impactful for you?

Google, Microsoft, and Apple are table stakes for what we do. However, systems like Zapier and PieSync open up a world of opportunities for our users to move their data between a host of cloud based software systems that hold contacts.

Finally, What are the top products that you depend to run the company & how do you use them?

Amazon Web Services — our cloud infrastructure, the backbone of our business

Zendesk — (with the FullContact Insights app, of course) — to provide exceptional customer support

G Suite — for email emails, as well as docs, sheets and slides.

WordPress — For building our blog and website.

SendGrid — as our preferred ESP.

Salesforce — as our primary CRM.

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