Ramble Marketing Bot

Chat vendor RambleChat released Ramble Marketing Bot, its new chatbot builder for sales and marketing.   According to RambleChat, users can build custom bots in a few minutes that “help businesses qualify leads, start more sales conversations, offer up content, and book meetings for sales 24/7.”

Enterprise and Developer customers can continue to deploy and develop bots through the IBM Watson Assistant integration within the Ramble portal.  Ramble designed their Marketing Bot for firms that lack technical expertise.

Ramble lists the following Ramble Bot features:

  • Easily Qualify Leads & Conversations
  • SDR / BDR After Hours Support
  • Collect Critical Buyer Information
  • Custom Routing
  • Playbook / Bot Cloning
  • Offer Content, Links or Suggestions

Ramble Bots may also be customized by different experiences, pages, and time zones.  For example, users can be supported by different bots based upon time of day, with a more comprehensive bot provided after hours.

Ramble Bots support Ramble’s Chat from Anywhere functionality where a chat may be initiated from emails, LinkedIn posts, display ads, Facebook, or other digital channels.  ABM Anywhere chats may be handled by the bot or immediately routed to the appropriate sales rep.

“Ramble’s unique architecture enables us to deploy chat within third-party applications, like SalesLoft, which changes how sales leaders utilize chat for pipeline contribution.  We not only make chat ‘outbound’ and ‘inbound,’ but we give companies the ability to extend chat anywhere online as a means of instant connection and sales acceleration.  Moving beyond ‘omnichannel’ and towards ‘omnipresence.’”

Ramble CEO Justin McDonald

RambleChat announced that Q1 has been their best quarter so far, with quarter-on-quarter growth of 74% and solid Q1 bookings.  The firm noted a slowdown in March, but “we believe this is only temporary.”

Demandbase Keynote: Three New Products

At Demandbase’s virtual Keynote on St. Patrick’s Day, Demandbase discussed the evolution of ABM platforms and three new products: Site Analytics, Data Stream, and Self-Service Targeting.

The first product announcement was around Site Analytics and improved web engagement metrics.  The functionality is not a replacement for Google or Adobe Analytics but enables an understanding of account-level interactions across the company website.  It also provides page-level intelligence concerning which pages matter the most, allowing marketers to promote and optimize high performing pages.

Site Analytics also helps uncover new audiences for sales and marketing outreach, such as verticals outside your current ICP.  It can also be used for understanding which accounts are demonstrating interest in a new product launch for SDR outreach, optimizing content based upon key account viewing activity, and monitoring trends to determine campaign performance and the impact of various marketing activities.

Marketers may filter by page, URL keyword, account filters (industry, revenue, and employment), page performance, and audience.  Marketers may also save filters and create new audiences based upon site traffic.

The second launch was Data Stream, which lets analysts push data from Demandbase into BI platforms for expanded account-level reporting.  Data Stream is designed for firms that have already invested in data modeling and reporting and that have a data team or data analyst working with a BI or reporting platform.  Demandbase data includes audience and account intelligence, campaign metrics, site analytics, and intent.

Daily, data is pushed into a data warehouse (e.g. Google Big Query, Amazon Redshift, Azure Synapse Analytics) or Cloud Storage (e.g. Google Cloud, Amazon S3, Azure Blog Storage).  From there, customers can load the data into reporting tools such as Tableau, Domo, or Google Data Studio and combine account-level data with other data sources.  This process provides an account-based lens to digital marketing alongside intent data and other corporate datasets.

Data Stream “helps you form a complete picture across your prospects and customers,” said VP of Marketing Phil Hollrah.  “Being able to deliver this data in an automated fashion with no manual intervention needed is a huge benefit to our customers.  You can set up your reports, you can auto-refresh this data daily, and then those reports are going to be up-to-date with the latest information.

Demandbase Self-Service Targeting Campaign Builder

The third release was Self-Serve Targeting for account-based advertising.  Previously, this was only available as a managed service, but now marketers can set up campaigns and creative, then modify and optimize the campaigns.  Self-Serve Targeting is supported by a five-step wizard that allows marketers to upload and change creative.  Marketers set up campaigns with budget, geolocation, duration, and audience.  And because it is self-serve, marketers can quickly adjust campaign budgets, scheduling, frequency, or creative, allowing them to make real-time changes.

The wizard provides a campaign forecast that estimates the max spend versus projected budget, estimated impressions against qualified accounts, and the likely reach across the targeted accounts.

Self-Serve Targeting supports multiple campaigns for different segments, whether performing 1-to-1 or 1-to-many advertising.

Site Analytics and Data Stream are generally available.  Self-Serve Targeting is available as part of an early adopter program.

Demandbase Keynote: Three Phases of ABM Evolution

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
  • Core ABM Platform: A comprehensive ABM platform consists of
    1. A data layer containing first and third-party data that “provides a unified view of your accounts”
    2. A decisioning layer that manages planning, segmenting, orchestration, and measurement
    3. An actioning layer that supports advertising, site personalization and engagement, sales enablement, and third-party marketing activity integration
    4. 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”
    5. 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.

Priority Engine Email Alerts

TechTarget, which gathers second-party, opted-in intent data, released IT Deal Alert Priority Engine Email Alerts.  The overly wordy offering helps “enterprise technology sales teams quickly identify and take action on the best opportunities in their territory.”

TechTarget research found that firms that “target active prospects with timely, relevant outreach generate twice as many opportunities.”  Active prospects are more likely to respond to sales rep outreach, accept meetings, attend meetings, and convert to opportunities (see TechTarget graphic on the bottom).

Priority Engine Email Alerts are delivered weekly and customized for each recipient.  Alerts may be set up by sales rep territory or ABM account lists to monitor “relevant buyer activity” at target accounts.  Sales reps can then click on the alerts to view account reports, contacts, and purchase intent insights (e.g. buying stage, competitors under consideration, relevant topics).  

TechTarget offers both first and second-party intent, so reps know about both technology research conducted on TechTarget’s 140 B2B Technology media sites and on their company’s website (first-party intent is supported via a KickFire OEM deal).

As TechTarget Account profiles include detailed intent data, reps are better able to qualify opportunities, tailor their message, and avoid landmines set by potential competitors.  Ideal Customer Profile Accounts are labeled, helping reps prioritize key Accounts.

“Sales reps are busier than ever and can easily miss opportunities, especially if they don’t have the right data in front of them,” said TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney.  “Priority Engine Email Alerts deliver the best opportunities in their territory directly to their inbox with all the intelligence they need to close more deals faster.”

In their investor presentation in November, TechTarget laid out a series of future enhancements including timeline views of territory activity, contact-centered call lists, SFDC single sign-on, opportunity timelines, leveraging data on customer website visitors, and individual-level qualification and ranking.  Several items, including alerts, territories, and Salesforce syncing, have already been released.

TechTarget will also be launching a Priority Engine Express service for SMBs and resellers this quarter.

Emissary Expands Services

Emissary is expanding its set of consultative information services to deliver holistic solutions that accelerate enterprise deals across all stages of the sales cycle.  Their new solutions include propensityto buy surveys, custom industry and account planning reports, and qualified introductions.  These services leverage their private network of Emissaries to help enterprise sales and marketing teams align on their target accounts and create actionable strategies to accelerate deals.  

Emissary hosts a private sales and marketing intelligence network that leverages the insights of former Fortune 1000 executives to drive deals forward.  What differentiates Emissary from traditional sales intelligence firms is their ability to deliver tacit knowledge that is locked up in people’s heads but not available in traditional company profiles or via web searches.  Tacit knowledge is only available through direct conversations and interviews.  Tacit knowledge includes topics such as biases of key decision-makers, roadblocks in the purchasing process, messaging that is likely to resonate, planned initiatives, internal concerns, and hidden influencers.  Emissary sales and marketing services tap this tacit knowledge and deliver it via direct interviews, researched profiles, and recommendations.

Emissary’s primary customer base is comprised of technology firms that are looking to sharpen their ABM strategies, increase their deal size, and improve their close rates.  Their services are sold in annual packages with bespoke pricing.

“The goal of Emissary is to give sellers and marketers the information they need to have inspiring and thought-provoking conversations at the executive level.  This helps elevate the relationship instead of just pitching a value proposition.”

Emissary CRO Eric Rosenthal

Enterprise sales teams leverage Emissary knowledge across all stages of their sales cycle.  Emissary’s sales packages give sellers the insights they need to prioritize their accounts, pitch to the c-level, close deals faster, and hit their annual bookings numbers.  These solutions include propensity to buy surveys and industry reports gathered through analyst interviews with their Emissaries.  These bespoke reports generally run six to ten pages and are customized for each client.  As multiple Emissaries are interviewed for each report, the report is informed by diverse functional perspectives. 

Emissary’s account prioritization service helps sales and marketing teams align on their ABM targets.  ABM accounts are distributed amongst their Emissaries to score propensity to buy.  This prioritization helps sales and marketing teams focus on accounts with the greatest near-term potential. 

Prioritization services also include recommending the best contacts to reach out to at an account.  Once the Emissary has provided one-to-one deal coaching with the sales rep, they may also provide qualified introductions to their contacts inside the target account.

Other marketing services include consultations around product marketing, industry positioning, messaging, case studies, and campaigns.  Emissaries in a targeted segment can evaluate and help create specific industry and account messaging that speaks to C-level buyers and breaks through the noise of traditional product and solution-based selling.


Emissary is offering members of Market Insights free access to their sales podcast, Emissary Live.  New company, industry, and persona-based (e.g. Procurement, CISO) content is added weekly.

6Sense Round C

Account Based Orchestration platform 6Sense closed a $40 million Series C round with growth equity firm Insight Partners, raising its total funding to $105 million.  Previous investors include Salesforce Ventures, Venrock, Battery Ventures, and Bain Capital Ventures.  The market cap was not disclosed.

6Sense doubled its revenue in both 2018 and 2019.  Last year, it added Box, Cisco, Dell, Zendesk, Sumo Logic, NetApp, Domo, Motorola, Cumulus, Symantec, and Tableau to its list of named customers.

“As a startup, a company can sell via personal relationships and word of mouth.  In the scaleup growth phase, the equivalent is Account-Based Marketing and Sales,” said Jeff Lieberman, Managing Director at Insight Partners.  “After an exhaustive review process, we were blown away by the data-focused sophistication of 6sense’s technology and firmly believe it is the best solution for B2B companies who need to scale their go-to-market efficiency and grow revenue.  The company’s account-based solution should be a core part of every scaleup company’s growth strategy.  We’re excited to invest in 6sense as the market-leading solution.”

“An investment is a sign that we’ve done something over the past 2 ½ years,” said 6Sense CEO Jason Zintak.  “Investing is confidence, and it’s just so incredibly humbling that we as a team, as a company, have gotten to the point where people want to trust us and hand over money.”

Zintak attributed the firm’s success to the belief that AI and Big Data are at the core of the MarTech stack:

Our strategy has always been to lead in those areas, specifically 6sense’s ability to

    – Process large amounts of data and deliver actionable insights
   – Segment micro-audiences based on these data insights
   – Uncover anonymous buyer intent and identify accounts
   – Predict which accounts are an Ideal Customer fit, and when they are “in market,” allowing organizations to focus engagement on accounts most likely to buy

6sense has evolved from delivering predictive scores to providing customers with a robust Account-Based platform for the entire revenue operations team.

6Sense CEO Jason Zintak

The investment will be dedicated to accelerating its product roadmap, “both organically and inorganically.”  Zintak listed three roadmap objectives:

  1. Improved orchestration, which moves from rules-based engagement to “true AI-based orchestration of tactics.”
  2. Expanding intent and predictive data use cases beyond email to include website personalization, content experiences, advertising, conversational marketing, etc.
  3. Delivering insights to all revenue operations functions, including marketing and customer success.

The firm lists 37 open positions across customer success, engineering, data science, administrative, marketing, sales, and product.  6Sense has shown steady employment growth over the past two years.  Roughly half of the employees are in revenue generation roles (Sales, Support, Marketing, and Business Development).

“Our mission is to tackle the biggest challenges facing B2B sellers and marketers by helping brands reach the right accounts for their business at the right time, through the right channels, and with truly engaging experiences,” said Zintak.  “Our company growth has been fueled by the success of our customers, and our Series C funding will enable 6sense to further invest in AI-driven orchestration capabilities to help companies of all sizes build and scale account-based programs, uncover new opportunities, and efficiently create pipeline and revenue.”

6Sense competitors include Everstring, Demandbase, LeadSpace, and Lattice Engines (Dun & Bradstreet).

Market Insights Newsletter Splits in Half

This was one of the two weeks a year that I take off from writing my Market Insights Newsletter, but I wanted to let you know that I’m splitting the newsletter into two newsletters.  When I started writing the Market Insights Newsletter back in 2012, it focused on Sales Intelligence, Social Selling, and B2B DaaS.  Since then, B2B DaaS has increased greatly in importance, and I’ve added adjacent topics including Sales Engagement Platforms, data privacy / compliance, ABM, and Customer Data Platforms.  The result was a doubling in the length of the newsletter and an increase in the frequency that articles were bumped.  Some features are often bumped for a month or longer due to length.

In August, I took my summer vacation, but there was no August news break.  It took me a few months to catch up on announcements from that week.  This led me to the realization that I needed to split my newsletter in half to improve both topical focus and story currency.  The split will also allow me to profile more startups.

Most of my readers will continue to receive a Sales Intelligence (SI) newsletter which covers

  • Sales Intelligence
  • B2B DaaS
  • Data Hygiene
  • ABM
  • B2B Data (Companies, Contacts, Intent, Technographics, and Triggers)
  • Customer Data Platforms
  • Compliance (GDPR, CCPD, KYC, AML, PEP)

The SI edition of Market Insights will continue to publish on Sundays.

The new Sales Engagement (SE) newsletter covers

  • Sales Engagement Platforms
  • Hybrid Engagement Platforms (Sales Intelligence + ICP / TAM + Sales Engagement)
  • Sales Engagement Platform Ecosystem (e.g. Chat, Video, Attribution, Meeting Management, Analytics)
  • Sales Enablement

The SE edition will publish on Mondays.

Contact me if you’d like to be set up with a trial edition of either newsletter. I offer SMB pricing for startups, so don’t assume that I am unaffordable like other analyst services.

Terminus Acquires Sigstr

Sigstr Location Intelligence analyzes the strength of connections at the metro level.
Sigstr location intelligence analyzes the strength of connections at the metro level.

ABM platform vendor Terminus acquired email analytics vendor Sigstr earlier this week.  The full 60-person Sigstr team will be joining Terminus, including CEO Bryan Wade.  Sigstr has received $11 million in funding across multiple rounds.  Sigstr’s flagship product inserts customized banner advertising in signature blocks.  In 2018, the firm launched Pulse, which tracks relationship strength based upon email opens, response times, messaging velocity, and generated calendar invitations.

“Combining our solution with the Terminus platform activates an untapped channel that changes how businesses engage with target accounts,” wrote Wade.  “We’re long-standing partners from both a technology and go-to-market perspective, making this combination a no-brainer and massive opportunity for our combined customers, and account-centric businesses everywhere looking to sharpen how they engage across the entire customer lifecycle.”

The merged company will be able to “determine their best-fit segments, prioritize accounts, and identify the next-best-action for execution.” Terminus can now align account-based messaging across the full lifecycle, prioritize accounts and assess buying team interactions, and integrate ABM messaging with employee email marketing.

“[Pulse] Relationship data adds a rich 1st-party piece of intelligence to your account-based efforts.  To deliver this information, Sigstr uses its proprietary Relationship Score, which analyzes the email and calendar interactions between employees at your company and those at your customer and prospective customer accounts.  It provides detailed insights into the sentiment and strength of relationships at an account, buying team, and individual level.  Utilizing this data set alongside engagement and intent intelligence already native to the Terminus platform supercharges how your revenue teams prioritize efforts and take action.”

Bryan Brown, Terminus Chief Product Officer

“I couldn’t’ be more excited about bringing two powerhouse teams together to shape the future of B2B marketing,” said High Alpha managing partner Scott Dorsey.  “Category leaders are built around great teams and innovative products.  This team has exactly what it takes.”

Sigstr customers include AT&T, Amazon, and United Way.  Terminus was also a long-time customer.  The firm blogged that the deal was “a reflection of both our confidence in and reliance upon Sigstr as a staple of our marketing strategy.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Earlier this month, Terminus named Tim Kopp their new CEO and Chairman.  Kopp is the former CMO of ExactTarget and is a Partner of Hyde Park Ventures.  Former Terminus CEO Eric Spett continues as a member of the Board.

“Marketing and business are at a crossroads.  We’re shifting to a new frontier of automation that prioritizes more effective account targeting, engagement, and acquisition,” said Kopp.  “The emerging generation of CMOs is transitioning toward hyper-targeted campaigns and intelligent, data-driven digital marketing.  ABM has moved past marketing, and Terminus is the definitive leader powering account-based transformation and helping businesses achieve rapid, long-term growth.”

Hybrid Engagement Platforms

Cognism Intelligence within Salesforce. Hybrid Engagement Platforms Continuously update CRMs and MAPs.

The market is beginning to evolve a set of hybrid engagement vendors that deliver a broad set of sales and marketing services.  The boundary between sales and marketing is quickly crumbling.  Hybrid engagement services manage both data and workflows.  Features include

Future functionality will include Next Best Actions, Embedded 1:1 Video, SNAP (Sales Navigator) Integrations, and Programmatic Advertising.

No vendor provides all of these services and some provide them as separate offerings, but firms such as Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo, Infogroup (Salesgenie), Lead411, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Cognism have all taken steps over the past two years to meet the emerging requirements of the CRO.

For the moment, I’m calling these emerging offerings Hybrid Engage Platforms, but that is a placeholder name as the market evolves.