Flash: Demandbase Acquires InsideView and DemandMatrix

ABX Platform vendor Demandbase acquired InsideView and DemandMatrix, providing it with an established and well-regarded Sales Intelligence platform, company and contact data, technographics, and data hygiene capabilities.  The acquisitions follow on last year’s acquisition of ABM Platform Engagio, which was unified with Demandbase as part of the Q4 Demandbase One platform release.

“It’s a feeling of expansion, born of learning so much from our customers, and born of the digital transformation that has happened in the last year,” said Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol.  “This is an intentional step for us beyond being solely an ABM leader and into broader B2B go-to-market. That’s important because ABM is just a part of the go-to-market challenges that B2B companies face.”

The new services are packaged as an ABM Suite consisting of four clouds: ABX, Advertising, Sales Intelligence, and Data.  Customers will have the flexibility to order various elements of the suite, selecting the clouds and services that fit their needs.

“Our focus has been on building the most complete ABM solution (we call it ABX, because it’s not just marketing),” said Rogol, “and that was the impetus behind acquiring Engagio, putting a lot of the top of funnel and lower funnel stuff together.  That will still be important.”

While some may view this as Demandbase growing beyond ABX, it is an opportunity for them to complete the ABX vision.  I have long been critical of Demandbase’s limited framing of ABM within the marketing department.  While they acquired Spiderbook, a small sales intelligence vendor, a few years ago, it withered on the vine and is no longer mentioned by the firm.  InsideView provides them with an opportunity to realize ABX as a complete customer lifecycle solution.  There are still missing elements such as sales engagement tools and chatbots, but they are now working on a much wider canvas.

Demandbase is in a sprint to establish the ABX platform space against vendors such as Terminus, 6Sense, and Dun & Bradstreet.  It has been using the ABM three-letter acronym for a dozen years and was a lonely voice extolling ABM for half of that time, arguing for a shift from demand generation marketing to account-based strategies.  Earlier this year, it shifted from ABM to ABX (Account Based Experience), which places a greater emphasis on long-term relationships with customers and the broader revenue team (sales, marketing, customer success).

“We’re proud to join forces with these two great companies. Our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey. This requires great data — and we now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase moves from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market…

These new offerings let us work even more flexibly with our customers. Customers can mix and match to focus on the areas most important for them, whether that’s data embedded to their existing systems, or advertising, or sales intelligence, or a full account-based transformation. We are moving aggressively to deliver on this mission, and no company will move faster than us to achieve it.”

Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol

Acquiring InsideView and DemandMatrix strengthens its position in both marketing and sales.  Furthermore, InsideView’s sales triggers provide Demandbase customers with a rich set of talking points for account managers and customer success teams, letting them know if there are executive changes, M&A events, new partnerships, etc.

Demandbase One added the Sales Intelligence and Data Clouds with this week’s acquisitions.

Demandbase, which offers an ABX Cloud and an Advertising Cloud, now supports a Data Cloud and Sales Intelligence Cloud.  The Sales Intelligence Cloud is based upon InsideView and supports:

  • Prospect Finder – A traditional list-building feature for company and contact data.  Along with firmographic and biographic data, the InsideView prospect finder includes connection variables (Who Know Who “six degrees”), sales triggers (17 + custom variables), data availability (e.g., LinkedIn Connections, Email), and suppression lists.
  • Browser Extension – A Chrome extension for quick lookup and prospecting.  The extension displays InsideView company and contact profiles from LinkedIn, company websites, and CRMs.  Records may be sent to the CRM or Sales Engagement Platforms.
  • News and Social Insights – InsideView publishes daily email alerts based upon their sales triggers.  As these are event-based, most company noise (e.g., stock price fluctuations, scores for teams playing at branded stadia) is removed and duplicates suppressed.  They also support inline social media viewing for Facebook, Twitter, and Company Blogs.  Inline viewing helps account managers and customer success teams stay abreast of key accounts.  It also assists marketing and CI professionals in monitoring key partners and competitors.
  • Corporate Hierarchies – Family trees assist with lead-to-account mapping, selling deeper into an organization, and ensuring that leads are accurately scored and routed.

The Data Cloud consists of Demandbase, InsideView, and DemandMatrix assets.  InsideView contributes close to 100 million global contacts and 17 million companies.  DemandMatrix supports technographics (current tech stack, future technology needs, technology-based skill set trends, cloud consumption revenue, and IT Spend). 

Other Data Cloud services include Demandbase Account Identification, InsideView Apex (ICP Discovery and Expansion), InsideView Data Integrity hygiene tools, and the InsideView API.

“For the last 15 years, we’ve been focused on empowering our customers to experience rapid revenue growth through the power of data.  InsideView’s leadership in sales intelligence made it clear to us years ago that stronger ties between sales and marketing lead to more revenue—and data is the key. By joining forces with Demandbase, we’re combining our legacy and leadership in sales, and the industry’s freshest, most reliable data, with leading marketing technology. Our customers will be able to do more with data across more B2B revenue channels from sales, to advertising, to account-based campaigns. We’re taking the convergence of data and workflow to the next level.”

InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti

InsideView was highly rated in The Forrester Wave B2B Marketing Data Providers Q2 2021 report, scoring a five (highest score) across 14 of Forrester’s 24 evaluation criteria.  Among the categories in which they excelled were data management, data coverage, and customer support.

Rogol emphasized the value of technographics for enterprise technology companies, saying that “for technology companies, the number one feature in a data science model is what technologies your prospect owns.”

“B2B data is complex, and customers consistently ask us for help with their data stack,” said DemandMatrix CEO Meetul Shah. “We started with further innovating technographic data to give customers valuable insights into their prospects and what other technologies they might buy. By now being part of the Demandbase Data Cloud, we’ll be able to provide customers access throughout the B2B data stack to help them realize their revenue goals.”

Both Milletti and Shah will continue running their respective businesses and join the Demandbase executive team as general managers.  The two subsidiaries will operate separately, but the firm will consolidate the data across the offerings.

Acquisition prices for the two firms were not disclosed.  The InsideView service lists its revenue at $30.5 million and 275 employees, which has remained stable over the past few years.  DemandMatrix is listed at $3.0 million in revenue with 90 employees.

InsideView’s self-profile (May 4, 2021)

“At Demandbase, our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey.  This requires great data,” said Demandbase.  “We now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase goes from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market.”

InsideView and DemandMatrix customers benefit from the more extensive go-to-market capabilities of their parent.  The DemandMatrix suite helps customers:

  • Design and orchestrate their entire buyer’s journey across marketing and sales
  • Personalize their website experience, track account-level engagement, and attribute revenue
  • Deliver account-based display, native, and social media advertising that is brand safe for B2B
  • Target and segment their market

Rogol admitted that the integration work would not be easy.  “Obviously, we still have a lot of the execution work ahead. One thing to point out is that these are different types of acquisitions than Engagio. With Engagio, the goal was to get to the most comprehensive ABM platform. These are adjacent expansions, so they’re going to operate as standalone businesses pretty much.”

Barb Mosher Zinck of Diginomica was bullish on the transactions, calling it a “smart move” to consolidate the data from three companies under a single platform.  “It’s essentially a Customer Data Platform (CDP) without the CDP name (and some CDP capabilities), providing all the critical information sales and marketing need to find the right accounts and contacts within those accounts. The intelligence DemandMatrix brings on technology is key, as is the ability from InsideView to see when things are changing in a company.”

“I also like that Demandbase has broadened its offering from only account-based marketing to sales intelligence because the two groups are tightly aligned,” continued Mosher Zinck.  “These two solutions can operate separately but bringing them together under the same umbrella with access to the same data is key to ensuring a company-wide focus on customer experience.”


The following Market Flash published on May 4th to my newsletter subscribers. I also offer a detailed InsideView product review for purchase ($349).

RevenueBase Launched (Part II)

Continuing from yesterday

A sample RevenueBase ICP built during the initial discovery workshop (additional sections include personas and technology).

Instead of building the ICP on commonly available firmographic variables, the ICP is customer service based and defined through the discovery process.  A bespoke taxonomy is created that applies custom tags by persona, industry, size, etc.

“We want to align your database with your go-to-market strategy,” Feldman told GZ Consulting.

RevenueBase promises to “replace all of your data vendors with one solution” that “reaches every company and decision-maker across the globe that will benefit from your unique offering.”  By delivering high-quality, targeted data, revenue teams can shift from managing databases and researching prospects to creating campaigns and focusing on selling.

RevenueBase employs AI for aggregating and integrating its multi-sourced data with the AI building a quality hierarchy for selecting which field to accept when vendors disagree on a value.  The research team assists the AI modeling by collecting training data.

Data quality steps include custom research, quarterly email re-verification, and annual phone checks.  Data is delivered via a quarterly secure CSV file transfer with a 90% accuracy SLA.

Content includes standard firmographics, mined and licensed business descriptions, sizing ranges, industry codes (SIC, NAICS, and custom), contact information, and technographics.  Funding data includes total funding, most recent round amount, and most recent round date.  While full family trees are not available, locations are tied to parent companies.

Contact data includes mobile numbers, direct numbers, LinkedIn URLs, tenure at current job, work addresses, and mapped persona.

RevenueBase has already aggregated 700 million business contacts and 100 million companies, providing it with one of the most extensive sets of contacts in the industry.

RevenueBase combines firmographics, technographics, and custom data insights collected by its research team.

Intent data and sales triggers are not currently available.

RevenueBase provides opt-out notifications to its customers, letting them know when an individual has opted out of their database or the database of one of their contributing vendors.  It also suppresses California mobile numbers in support of CCPA.

RevenueBase is off to a strong start.  Since soft launching the service in October, they have generated $800,000 in revenue and have a $500,000 ARR.  Early success has allowed it to launch the service without accepting outside funding. 

The firm is still in the early stages of development.  It has focused on building its content aggregation model, custom research, and customer service/discovery model based upon Feldman’s experience as both a B2B marketer and data industry executive.  As such, RevenueBase has an advanced DaaS vision but does not yet have APIs and connectors for data delivery.  However, it has a unique approach that is gaining early market traction.  Initial customers include Siemens, PTC, Localytics, SolidWorks, and CB Insights.

RevenueBase is sold as a flat-rate subscription service between $50,000 and $100,000 per annum.  Additional fees are applied for custom research. RevenueBase is headquartered in Boston.

RevenueBase Launched

RevenueBase, which describes itself as a Revenue Database as a Service (RDaaS), formally launched on Tuesday as a “one-stop data solution” that recognizes data as a “strategic asset for a business.” 

According to 2016 research by SiriusDecisions, marketing databases are riddled with critical errors with bad data ranging from ten to twenty-five percent of records.  SiriusDecisions noted that the firms with higher data quality have shifted from periodic data cleansing projects with discrete completion dates to data maintenance processes with “ongoing policies and procedures to maintain data quality.”

RevenueBase was founded by industry veteran Mark Feldman, the VP of Marketing at NetProspex prior to its acquisition by Dun & Bradstreet.  As a marketing head at Backupify, Motion Recruitment, and Localytics, Feldman became frustrated with B2B data issues, including misalignment with the sales and marketing team’s go-to-market strategy, data decay, difficulty acquiring data, and managing disparate vendors and formats.  His stint as a B2B data customer led him to return to the B2B data space and create an RDaaS company that broadly aggregates company, contact, and technographic data that aligns 1:1 with customers’ go-to-market strategies.  It then builds a custom database for clients that it calls a Revenue Database, which is updated on an ongoing basis.

“When I was hired to run growth operations at Localytics, a web and mobile app analytics company, my first directive from the CEO was to put together a list of target accounts to assign to our new enterprise account executives. It was my first week and my reputation was on the line. I started by going to our data vendor and asking them to help me build a list of all of the companies in the world that were focused on mobile monetization strategies across millions of monthly active users. Seems like a slam dunk, right? Nope.

My list for Localytics was full of bad data. There was no way to confirm the companies listed had the mobile monetization opportunities that our software could solve, or that mobile monetization opportunities would be high up on their list of priorities. I quickly realized that, in the B2B world, not all data is created equal. Right then and there, I saw an opportunity to change the B2B data game by solving the major growth impediment challenges facing revenue leaders—acquiring, integrating and maintaining the quality of their data—by building the world’s first Revenue Database as a Service.”

RevenueBase CEO Mark Feldman

“Like so many B2B marketers, I was frustrated with the inadequacies of traditional list providers,” wrote Feldman.  “I saw an opportunity to revolutionize the B2B data game and solve the greatest challenges facing revenue leaders today. Our all-in-one Revenue Database as a Service solution provides next-level data quality, expediency, and accuracy.  We transform your data stack from a constant struggle into your greatest asset.”

RevenueBase takes a white-glove approach to serve its customers.  Revenue Archetypes are defined during customer workshops and consist of an ICP, market segmentation, pains addressed, buyer personas, sales showstoppers, and “jobs to be done.”  The Jobs-to-be-Done descriptor is a bit misleading as it is account, not persona-based.  Jobs-to-be-Done describes the core functional “job” that an organization is trying to accomplish.

Personas cover function, level, titles, buying unit members, demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.

RevenueBase then builds a revenue database for its clients and supplements it with custom data collected by its overseas team of fifty editorial researchers.

“A revenue archetype is a model of what your ideal customer looks like, i.e., one you can derive revenue from,” said Feldman.  “It’s where there is a mutual benefit.  They need your product/service and will pay a fair price for it.  They also will favor you over the competition because your solution will result in the best cost-benefit tradeoff for the customer.“

Conversely, the Revenue Archetype also defines companies that are not good fits (e.g., industries or geographies that require a standard not met by a firm’s offerings, such as HIPAA or GDPR).  It also identifies roles not involved in purchasing a company’s products or services.  These individuals may be too junior in the organization or not work in functions that use a company’s products or services.


Coverage continues with a discussion of RevenueBase’s ICP modeling and database.

Cyance Funding Round (Part II)

Cyance Account-level Intent Insights for first and third-party intent.

(Continued from yesterday’s article)

Cyance’s intent signals are gathered from 55,000 publisher sites and capture 24 billion monthly events.  Six months of trend data are analyzed. Cyance intent monitoring supports six languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch, with additional languages planned.  Roughly 40% of signals are gathered from Europe, 40% North America, and 15% AsiaPac.

Cyance already tracks 140,000 intent keywords and allows new custom keywords to be defined for each customer.  Keywords are then mapped to custom topics which reflect each customer’s products, services, and value proposition.  Custom keyword tracking allows for greater granularity and transparency in their intent data and enables the accurate identification of intent signals and custom topics.  Additional global, unified taxonomies are scheduled for a Q3 release.

Our proprietary, highly accurate intent data and ABX platform means our customers’ sales teams have more targeted insights based on the most accurate, geographical data possible at their fingertips.  In this way, we enable better conversions throughout each stage of the sales funnel, as well as helping them to retain and grow their existing accounts. For large organisations seeking to successfully identify and close new clients, having the right data is crucial.  Other intent data providers on the market today simply aren’t capable of providing sales teams a fully customisable view into what their prospects and clients are searching for in large-scale enterprise IT solutions.  At Cyance, we fill the gap in the market for European buyers seeking regional intent data that provides highly accurate, GDPR compliant insights into user intent.”

Cyance CEO Bulent Osman

Cyance has firmographic information for 100 million companies and locations (along with linkage for rolling up intent) and intent signals for 40 to 50 million global companies.  Firmographic information is supplemented by technographics and GDPR-compliant contact data licensed from a well-regarded European vendor.

Cyance supports both FIT (Firmographic, Intent, and Technographic) and TCR (Timing, Context, and Relevance) models.  FIT models combine an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with behavioral account scores that trend intent over time, looking for spikes in activity.  To simplify intent data for sales reps, they employ a semaphore (colored light) display system. 

TCR analyzes Timing, Context, and Relevance in determining intent:

  • Timing looks at the buying stage of the intent behavior to help improve the prioritization of accounts subject to customer/prospect strategy mode (e.g., acquisition, retention, or expansion).  Cyance weights intent signals that are mapped to a buying stage.
  • Context combines buying stage with the best-fit personae most likely behind the research at each buying stage.
  • Relevance maps all intent signals to customer topics (customer products or value propositions).  This makes it easier for customer teams to translate behavior into best-fit product and content alignment.

TCR maps intent signals to buyer stage (early, mid, late) and value proposition, enabling acquisition and expansion intent to be treated differently than retention intent.  Acquisition and expansion look at current activity vs. baseline for early buyer stage, while retention looks for mid-to-late research signals, indicating an existing customer may be researching competitive solutions. 

Cyance supports integrations with Salesforce, Drift, and HubSpot, with Outreach and Marketo coming soon.  For programmatic, Cyance offers integrations with LinkedIn Campaign Manager, LiveRamp, Avocet, and theTradeDesk.

Cyance’s primary customers are in technology and financial services.  85% of its revenue is generated in Europe and 15% in North America.

Cyance does not disclose its pricing but bases it on the geography licensed and the product tier. Cyance is headquartered in the UK, with remote sales reps on the continent

Cyance Funding Round

Cyance list of accounts with spiking intent.

European third-party intent data vendor Cyance closed on an £860,000 funding round that included existing investors Blackfinch Ventures and Nexus Investments.  The funds will be deployed for ongoing product and market expansion, including enterprise customer expansion in Europe and ABX platform development.

Last year, the firm doubled its headcount, grew revenue by 18%, and raised ACV by 30%.  It also shifted from being an intent data vendor to an ABX platform.  As with many other MarTech vendors, revenue flattened in Q2 of last year and began growing again in the second half of the year.  They have built significant momentum in 2021 and are on pace to nearly double ARR this year.

“The fact that we’ve seen such solid commercial and financial performance over the past 12 months, despite the tough market conditions, demonstrates the appetite for accurate and localised intent data and the enormous potential within this market.  And as businesses start to look beyond the pandemic and the economic recovery gathers pace, we expect demand to increase further.  Taking on this new investment allows us to strengthen our team and further invest in our product.  We’re now perfectly placed to take advantage of these new opportunities and cement our position as the leading ABX platform with unique intent data for European buyers.”

Cyance CEO Bulent Osman

According to CPO Jon Clarke, Cyance is “rapidly building out an ABX platform proposition” that drives better decisioning and aligns sales and marketing teams.  The platform serves both sales and marketing teams, promoting revenue team collaboration, cohesion, and efficiency with a unified versus siloed data platform.

As with other vendors that have recently begun using ABX instead of ABM, Cyance emphasizes account-based programs and processes across the full revenue team and customer life cycle.  ABM has long emphasized sales and marketing alignment, but the bulk of product development has been marketing-centric.  The shift to ABX captures both the broader vision of ABM and a greater emphasis upon the customer experience across the full lifecycle.

“Cyance has transformed account-based marketing by developing and integrating a sophisticated SaaS solution with global, third-party intent data which addresses the needs of the European market,” said Reuben Wilcock, Head of Ventures at Blackfinch Ventures.  “They have demonstrated solid growth from global B2B brands in the last 12 months, despite the challenging times we find ourselves in.  We’re excited to continue supporting Cyance as it helps some of the world’s leading companies to transform their demand generation and account-based marketing programs and achieve more efficient ROI.”

Their January release sports improved intent signal tailoring and segmentation, beefed up technographics, new customer dashboards, and improved service and support.  The platform offers an updated UI, enhanced ICP definition, and buying journey stage identification.


Coverage continues with a discussion of Cyance’s database and intent models.

Bombora Growth Capital Financing; Implements BERT

First and third-party intent data vendor Bombora closed on $20 million in growth capital financing from Runway Growth Capital.  The cash infusion “will be used to help Bombora capitalize on market opportunities, build stronger partner relationships, and accelerate its pace of innovation.”

The funds will help them expand data partnerships across the sales and marketing ecosystem. 

“We want to make it easier for brands and their agencies to use it in their own stacks and chosen solutions, and for our platform partners to enhance the value of their own offerings,” said Bombora CEO Erik Matlick.

The firm is also looking to “deliver solutions that enable addressable advertising across the cookieless landscape for publishers and partners alike,” Matlick told Adweek.

“The B2B intent data market is growing quickly, and marketers are seeking better, more efficient ways to identify and engage with in-market prospects. We have been impressed with Bombora’s expertise, and its ‘data collective’ approach really stood out to us in the market.  This partnership adds to Runway’s already strong history of supporting key players in the data and marketing technology space and we are excited to have Bombora join our portfolio.”

Mark Donnelly, Managing Director, Head of Origination at Runway

In other news, Bombora announced that it implemented BERT-based natural language processing in its intent categorization, resulting in a 26% increase in topic prediction.  BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) looks at the context of each occurrence of a word.

“Bombora’s engineers and data scientists never stop looking for ways to serve our customers better,” said Bombora Data Science VP Nicholaus Halecky, Ph.D. “The BERT-based B2B Topic Classifier demonstrates a substantial performance increase in Company Surge intent signal quality, and we know this will improve our customers’ business results.”

The BERT implementation was spearheaded by former PwC and DialogTech data scientist Amber McKenzie, Ph.D., who joined Bombora as VP Data Science. BERT is an open-sourced NLP developed by Google.  It was implemented in Google Search in late 2019 and has since been deployed by Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Wayfair.  BERT distinguishes meaning by assessing word order context, seeing the difference in meaning between “the stock of apples has dropped” and “Apple’s stock has dropped.”

ZoomInfo Workflows Enhanced (Part II)

Continuation from yesterday’s article about ZoomInfo Workflows.

For over a decade, Sales Intelligence vendors such as Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Artesian Solutions, and ZoomInfo have offered sales triggers based upon executive changes, funding events, M&A, etc..  D&B Hoovers, along with many European vendors that process registered filings data, includes data change alerts (e.g., credit score change, revenue growth) and registered filings.  As vendors are now adding in visitor intelligence and intent signals, there is the risk of quickly overwhelming sales reps with alerts.  And since most vendors do not yet offer workflow solutions for filtering and automating sales activities, there is a strong likelihood that reps begin to view these alerts as noise instead of actionable signals.  The more generalized the signal (e.g., website visits), the greater the possibility of signals being considered spam. 

To further confuse things, Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) have emerged as sales automation platforms, but they are only loosely tied to a few of the sales intelligence vendors.  In many cases, the functionality is simply Send to SEP functionality.

ZoomInfo and Vainu (see 3/21 issue) now tie together triggers and actions subject to filters.  While there is still a risk that reps are overwhelmed (e.g., too many automated cadences being sent to SEPs), the filters help mitigate the risk and ensure that activity is focused on an organization’s best prospects and tied to event-specific messaging. 

For technology sales, ZoomInfo offers technographic changes and Scoops.  The Scoops dataset is gathered from official data (e.g., public filings, PPP loans), surveys, and in-house research teams.  Daily, ZoomInfo reaches out to contacts in its database to gather market intelligence about projects and the challenges they face in their department.  As an incentive, ZoomInfo offers an Amazon gift card or charitable donation to each respondent.  The responses are the basis of many of their Scoops.

“We are constantly evaluating new sources and pieces of information that can provide value to our customers in the form of Scoops.  Last year, our Scoop number increased greatly because of new processes and expanded information coverage, including the addition of Scoops directly related to PPP loan recipients. Through continued innovation and expansion, we anticipate that our Scoops volume will continue to increase over time.  We have several in-house research teams dedicated to various types of Scoop coverage, and we utilize many of the same sources to gather Scoops that are laid out on our B2B Data Sources webpage, including updates from leadership webpages, news monitoring, public filings, and company-issued announcements.”

ZoomInfo Communications Director Steve Vittorioso

The Scoop volume doubled to 917,000 events in 2020.

While the primary Workflows use cases are focused on revenue acceleration, Workflows may also be used for executive recruitment.

Admins have an approval queue for workflows created by non-admins.

Admins can edit, clone, run, or delete Workflows.  They can also create workflows for non-admins or permit non-admins to create workflows subject to admin approval. 

Non-admins have access to fewer integrations, cannot assign workflows to peers, and are subject to lower export limits.

Workflows do not support FormComplete, ZoomInfo’s webform, but the functionality is on the product roadmap.


Continue to Part III.

Demandbase ABX Personalization

Demandbase, which reframed itself as an Account Based Experience platform last month, announced a pair of enhancements to its service: Site Customization and Form Enrichment.  Site Customization lets marketers display “unique site experiences for their target account” based upon more granular segmentation (e.g., firmographics, intent, website activity).

Other customization enhancements include

  • Preview links for stakeholder review before release
  • Account list targeting with personalized ads
  • Tailored landing pages based upon the stage of the buying journey

The website can be personalized based upon industry, stage, geography, company size, or other variables.  Messaging, CTAs, collateral, and creative elements can be customized based upon the visitor.

“The creative elements and the experience you want to give to your customer or prospect are up to you,” blogged Demandbase Director of Product Marketing Ruth Juni.  “One thing is for sure: Taking the time to think through the messaging from the consumer’s perspective will ensure you’re delivering the right message to the consumer at the right time.”

Marketers can also display unique web form designs with minimal field display.  Demandbase then enriches the submitted form with additional prospect details.

“ABX is rooted in an intense focus on the customer at every stage of the buying cycle, using intelligent insights to know when and how to engage, and what to say to each account,” said Jon Miller, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase.  “Your website is one of the most important interactions a customer or prospect can have with your brand, which is why it’s critical that your website experience should be as personalized as email or other channels.  Our new features for Demandbase Personalization make it easy to deliver the right website experience and elevate the entire journey.”

According to Gartner, 98% of marketers argue that personalization enhances customer relationships. “Gartner is predicting that smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 25% by 2023,” said Demandbase Product VP Seth Myers.  “Personalization is taking center stage in business today.  This makes the case even more for our enhanced Personalization product and its industry-leading features that treat personalization as seriously as it should be treated. We’re bound and determined to keep anticipating what our customers want and need, in order to continue to elevate ABX.”

A screenshot of the Demandbase One Dashboard showing the top trending Intent keywords over 12 weeks.

Demandbase ABX

Demandbase, which pushed Account Based Marketing (ABM) as a business strategy a half-decade before other firms picked up the terminology, is now positioning Account-Based Experience (ABX) as the next generation ABM strategy.  ABX supports buyers across the full customer lifecycle and emphasizes messaging timing and an improved customer experience.

“Account-Based Experience takes the same principles as good CX — trust, empathy, and relevance at every stage of the journey — and applies them to the account-based world,” states Demandbase. “One of the fundamental principles of ABX is recognizing that our buyers live in a world of information abundance and attention scarcity, making any form of interruption marketing ineffective.  Instead, companies need to build trust with potential buyers, identify the ‘magic moments’ when customers are open to engaging, and then orchestrate the perfect interactions across Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams.”

By broadening the scope of ABM, “it keeps the customer where they should be, at the center of your go-to-market strategy, whether you are in marketing, sales, an SDR, or part of the customer success team,” said Demandbase VP and ABX Evangelist Beki Scarbrough. “In many ways, ABX simply takes the best practices that have emerged around ABM and applies them across your customer experience.”

According to a 2021 ABM Benchmark Study by Demandbase and RevOps Squared, “53% of businesses say that Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success are equally responsible for their account-based customer expansion strategy.”

Demandbase notes that ABM focused on account fit, defining the Ideal Customer Profile as the most valuable accounts for targeting, but failing to account for timing.  Thus, many ABM accounts had a “poor experience” due to mistimed engagement.  When account outreach is mistimed, prospects are unable to engage “on their own terms and on their own schedule.”

Demandbase also recognized that ABM focused on the marketing department and not the broader revenue team.  While ABM starts in the marketing department, it has long been understood that ABM encompasses marketing, sales, and customer success management.

“Our belief in ABX positions us to expand the ABM category within the industry,” said Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol, calling it a “powerful go-to-market strategy.”

“ABX uses data and insights to orchestrate relevant, trusted marketing and sales actions throughout the B2B customer lifecycle. It’s all about engaging business buyers with relevant messages delivered in a trusted way on their own terms.”

Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol

One of my criticisms of Demandbase is that they were focused on the marketing department with few tools for other departments.  While they acquired Sales Intelligence vendor Spiderbook five years ago, the service withered.  Their technology partner list is heavily weighted to marketing with few sales-oriented partnerships beyond SalesLoft and Outreach.  Likewise, the ABM Leadership Council that they founded was marketing-centric and lacked vendors that supported other departments.  Conversely, the parallel Flip My Funnel movement, championed by rival Terminus, has long had a broader set of vendors and departments served.

Thus, Demandbase’s shift to ABX is a welcome update to their ABM vision and hopefully involves a broader functional scope of their offerings.  Unfortunately, Demandbase did not reveal any new functionality in support of ABX, so we’ll have to see how they plan to implement this broadened definition.  On April 7th, Jon Miller, Demandbase’s Chief Marketing and Product Officer, will provide additional ABX details at a webinar.

“I’ve always described Account-Based Marketing as ‘fishing with spears’,” said Miller. “It’s a great analogy, but you’ve got to realize that it doesn’t feel very good to get poked by a spear!  Similarly, B2B buyers today want to research potential solutions anonymously, on their own schedule, until the time when they actually do want to engage with a vendor.  ABX lets us work with modern buyers on their own terms: anonymously when they want to be, helpful and relevant when they are ready, and always based on trust. It’s a much better customer experience and it delivers much better long-term results.”

BNZSA Intent Activation Engine

B2B IT Marketing Agency BNZSA (pronounced BEN-zah) entered the intent data space with the BNZSA Intent Activation Engine product launch.  The new service identifies, tracks, and activates buyer intent.  BNZSA combines technographic, firmographic, intent, NLP, and B2B telemarketing data to deliver a set of intent-activated leads.

The new service “connects all the disparate tools available to deliver the most accurate buyer Intent data, with the highest possible lead qualification and industry-standard GDPR compliance.”

Madrid-based BNZSA supports buying committee identification; intent, firmographic and technographic insight; and prospect engagement.

“At the heart of the BNZSA Intent Activation Engine is a combination of data and digital capabilities with inter-personal engagement,” stated CEO Brahim Samhoud.  “No one else offers this. There are intent vendors, technographic vendors, firmographic vendors, contact vendors, digital agencies, and tele-agencies.  Some provide pieces of the puzzle, but none does everything – until now.  No other offering provides B2B sales and marketing leaders with so many different execution options.”

BNZSA describes itself as a customizable, full lifecycle intent data solution for B2B sales and marketing teams.  

“The BNZSA Intent Activation Engine realises an end-to-end value journey through information enrichment via broad-based Intent, firmographics, and technographics, to digital warming through social media, content syndication, email, display, and PR, to local language phone-based BANT qualification,” wrote the firm.

The BNZSA Intent Activation Engine supports the following processes:

  • BNZSA Intent Data Pool: An aggregated database of billions of global, weekly intent records.
  • BNZSA Tech-Lab: An AI, NLP platform that analyzes intent potential and selects relevant records.  The NLP supports twelve European languages and combines it with machine learning and knowledge graphs.  High-intent records are matched with “client TALs [tele-prospecting accepted leads] for advanced re-targeting and adapted nurture tracks” while “the remaining selected data is further filtered by criteria specific to clients’ needs.”
  • BNZSA OmniDatabase: A reference database holding millions of company records for firmographic and technographic enrichment.  The OmniDatabase gathers data from half a dozen third-party data sources and is enriched by BNZSA’s data research team.
  • BNZSA Pipeline: Local-language demand-generation teams engage with prospects to generate a “predetermined number of highly qualified, information-rich leads” that are delivered to client sales and marketing teams.  The demand-generation teams support fifteen languages and places 15,000 calls per day.

BNZSA does not publicly disclose its data partners, but they are all respected firmographic, technographic, and intent data sources.

Leads are fed to Marketo, Salesforce, PipeDrive, and Microsoft Dynamics.  They also support warm handovers to clients where the demand generation rep schedules the call and joins the first meeting.  Because leads are BANT qualified, 70% of leads convert to opportunities with a 35% faster lead-to-close window.         

UK Country Manager Paul Stacey argues that personalizing messaging through digital campaigns alone is difficult and that ABM campaigns should never be purely digital.  The need for a human touch is even more important during the pandemic when face-to-face meetings are no longer possible.

“If you read the ABM technology vendor’s marketing claims, you would be led to think that automation can overcome marketing and sales teams’ current challenge for intimacy with clients and do it all instead – identify, reach, and engage with your highest-value prospects – at the touch of a button.  But can these off-the-shelf solutions truly automate at scale while retaining key customer insights and preserving intimacy?  I think not.

There is a place for automation of course, but it’s worthless without high-quality data, and essentially, the intervention of people. 

I would argue that the human touch is necessary in at least one, if not multiple, touchpoints in any company’s ABM campaigns.  Demand generation must ultimately be powered by people.”

BNZSA UK Country Manager Paul Stacey

BNZSA is based in Europe, so it is well-positioned to conform to GDPR and country-specific data privacy regulations.  It was founded seven years ago as a marketing agency focused on tele-based demand generation.  It has steadily grown at 30% per annum since launch and employs 200 in Spain, the UK, France, and Morocco.  Last year, it grew revenue by 38%.

BNZSA has over 100 clients and a 95% client retention rate.