Like other vendors that have canceled public events, Demandbase gave its ABM Innovation Summit keynote as a virtual event on St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s theme was “ABM Next,” though CMO Peter Isaacson admitted that their annual conferences are always forward-thinking. Demandbase also announced three new product offerings: Site Analytics, Data Stream, and Self-Service Targeting (covered in tomorrow’s blog).
Demandbase is a long-time champion of Account Based Marketing (ABM), having been a lone voice in the woods for many years. Back in 2007, they began offering a visitor intelligence service that mapped IP addresses to firmographics. Since then, they released a B2B DSP, account-based retargeting, website personalization, account-based chat, and an AI-based ABM platform. In 2020, they are launching buyer committee targeting, though they did not provide any details on this roadmap item.
Demandbase contends that we are now entering the third phase of ABM. The “Evangelical” phase was aligned with the development of initial ABM technologies and “an awareness of the importance of the account,” said CEO Gabe Rogol. The Evangelical phase shifted the focus of B2B marketing efforts from leads and individuals to accounts. In late 2015, the “Early Adopters and Buzz Phase” began with crystallization around the term ABM. Phase II included point solutions, the beginning of AI tools, and the first full-scale implementations. While Phase II included significant topical buzz, there was not a great deal of consistency and best practices for ABM success. Phase III is a definitional phase where “ABM is table stakes,” but “there is not a clear definition, yet, as to what are the core technologies that make ABM successful and what are the best practices that make ABM successful.”
Rogol offered three core requirements for ABM success:
- Core ABM Platform: A comprehensive ABM platform consists of
- A data layer containing first and third-party data that “provides a unified view of your accounts”
- A decisioning layer that manages planning, segmenting, orchestration, and measurement
- An actioning layer that supports advertising, site personalization and engagement, sales enablement, and third-party marketing activity integration
- An AI and machine learning layer which helps “understand which accounts are most likely to buy and what are the next best actions to take both as a marketing organization and a sales organization”
- An intuitive user experience
- Account Based Audiences: Rogol called Account Based Audiences “the fundamental unit of B2B Marketing. Much like a people-based audience that’s united by common behaviors and demographics, an Account Based Audience is united by the way it is behaving across your CRM, your website, [and] marketing automation.” It should be “marketed to in a similar way to drive through the customer journey.” Account Based Audiences should be accessible to all customer-facing teams, including marketing, sales, customer success, and data and engineering “so that your organization can act in a unified way that amplifies the strategy and impacts the ABM.” Finally, Account Based Audiences should be available through all marketing, advertising, and sales channels.
- Control and Access: Although “AI drives the decision making,” B2B marketers still want access and control over their data. “ABM is one of the most important categories in B2B marketing,” Rogol added, “but you need to be able to control and access the data.”
“B2B marketers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data available to us every day. Being the control freaks we are, marketers are constantly frustrated trying to extract the right insights to tailor our campaigns and reach our target audiences,” said Rogol. “We are launching new solutions that will empower all of us to take control of data to create tailored campaigns that will drive growth for their organizations. These new solutions are a reflection of what’s coming next in the world of ABM.”
Tomorrow, I will be covering Demandbase’s product announcements on the virtual keynote.