Demandbase Acquires Engagio

Demandbase announced that they acquired Engagio yesterday.  The two ABM Orchestration companies have complementary assets that will help position them in the nascent, but growing, ABM platform segment.  According to Demandbase, “The acquisition reinforces Demandbase’s leadership in the ABM space and positions it to become the dominant B2B marketing platform company.  Furthermore, the acquisition will help accelerate Demandbase’s revenue growth from $100 million to reach its next immediate milestone of $250 million.”

Deal terms were not disclosed.  Engagio CEO and co-founder Jon Miller, who also was a founder of Marketo, said that Engagio was not a distressed asset, but a complementary acquisition based upon a shared vision of ABM.

“Engagio didn’t need to do this deal,” said Miller.  “We had plenty of runway and had taken prudent moves to break even.  This deal didn’t happen because the company was struggling or needed an exit.  We shared the same vision, and that is why the deal happened.”

The firms are long-term partners and have done co-marketing in the past.  A deal has been in discussion since late 2019 when Gabe Rogol became the CEO of Demandbase.

“We had half our road map done but needed this other piece, and Engagio had half their road map done and needed this other piece, and we found each had the piece that the other needed,” said Rogol.

But COVID made the investors nervous as it increased the level of market uncertainty.  “We had a lot of push back from our investors,” Rogol recalled.  “The reaction we got was, do you want to do an acquisition at a time when you don’t know what’s going to happen in a week from now?  We told them this would fulfill each other’s roadmap more than anything else we could do.  This says a lot about our investors and the support that we had.”

Demandbase was an early pioneer in the ABM space, positioning Account Based Marketing as a critical strategy for B2B sales and marketing teams.  While other companies were still focused on demand generation, Demandbase was calling for a strategic focus on key accounts.

Just last week, Demandbase was named a leader in the “The Forrester New Wave: ABM Platforms, Q2 2020” report.  Demandbase was given high scores for its account-based advertising, personalization, product roadmap, and market approach along with its marketing automation connectors.

“We are honored to be recognized by Forrester as a leader among ABM platforms.  ABM is now an established technology category and a proven business growth strategy.  That’s why we continue to see so many B2B companies investing in ABM, even in these uncertain economic times,” said Demandbase CMO Peter Isaacson.  “As Forrester noted in their report, customers recognize our commitment to deliver best-in-class functionalities like site optimization and hands-on customer support to help them become successful.  We believe that this evaluation simply confirms our leadership position, and the power of our platform to help support B2B companies through data, insights, and action.”

In the same report, Engagio was named a strong performer.  Forrester noted that Engagio “offers a channel-agnostic approach to coordinating account-centric engagement across the customer’s existing complementary marketing and sales solutions” but needed to “step up delivery on its product roadmap and vision.”

“This acquisition combines the leader in ABM with Engagio, one of the early pioneers of the category.  It will change how B2B revenue teams operate,” said Rogol.  “Sales and Marketing alignment isn’t enough.  These teams must start moving as one — with a single set of data and insights, orchestrated across the entire buying journey.  Demandbase can now deliver that with the definitive, no-compromise ABM Platform.”

The two firms have been partners for four years and shared “a consistent vision for the category,” along with dozens of common customers, wrote Rogol.  “By bringing together the clear leaders in ABM, we are better positioned than ever to help B2B marketers acquire, grow, and retain customers.”

“Most people who are not ABM experts look at us and think we are competitors.  But in actuality, we have been co-marketing partners.  We jointly founded the ABM Leadership Alliance and we actually have over 30 customers using the product.  So, even though it looks on the surface like there is overlap, in reality, there was very little.

The second thing that we realized is how similar the company’s core values are and how similarly we operate.  Mergers are really hard to get right.  History shows that it is probably more likely than not that mergers do not meet the expectations that people had, but the way you overcome that, the way you make the merger successful, is when the companies have that common values and common operating models.  This was an idea that had to happen because the combination was so compelling, from both a product and a company value perspective.”

Former Engagio CEO / Demandbase Chief Product Officer Jon Miller

Engagio brings a set of complementary content and functional capabilities to Demandbase.  On the data management side, Engagio offers 1st-Party Sales Data, 1st-Party Marketing Data, and Lead-to-Account Matching.  Engagio Orchestration tools include Engagement Analytics, Audience Management, Cross-Channel Automation, Journey Attribution, Customizable Dashboards, and ROI Reporting.  Engagio campaign automation supports LinkedIn Advertising, MAP and CRM integrations, Sales Insights, and 3rd-Party Audience Management.

Just last month, Engagio announced the availability of Scout for Sales, their new email and calendar mining tool that “empowers sellers to understand their target accounts more deeply, prioritize them for maximum results, and take action to close deals faster.”

Demandbase data management tools include 3rd-Party B2B Data, Website Activity Tracking with IP Firmographic Match and Enrich, Ad Campaigns, and Proprietary Intent.  Demandbase orchestration and measurement tools cover Account Selection, Dynamic Audiences, Audience Segmentation, and ABM and Engagement Analytics.  Demandbase offers a set of campaign management tools, which include a Proprietary DSP, Account-based Ads, Intent-based Targeting, Website Personalization, Webforms, and integrations with MAPs, CMS, and analytics platforms.

At its March Innovation Summit, Demandbase rolled out three new capabilities: Site Analytics with improved web engagement metrics; Data Stream, which pushes Demandbase data into BI platforms for expanded account-level reporting; and Self-Service Targeting.

In February, Demandbase released Dynamic Audiences, an ABM feature that helps B2B marketers automate their advertising and marketing campaigns.  Dynamic Audiences automatically adjust campaign audiences with dynamic targeting based upon CRM updates, recent offsite intent activity, website engagement, or other events that support a specific campaign.

“The combination of Demandbase and Engagio accelerates the development of our next generation, account-based B2B marketing platform.  One that spans people and accounts.  One that manages the complete buyer’s journey.  One that is truly omnichannel—from ads to personalization to sales activity.  And one that truly aligns sales and marketing so that you can drive the metrics that matter—pipeline, new business, retention, and upsell.”

Demandbase Acquisition FAQ

Demandbase admitted that the ABM category is still being defined.  In its discussion of the merger, Demandbase offered the following process elements as core to ABM:

  • B2B Customer Data Platform: The CDP supports both first and third-party data sets, multi-platform data ingestion for the creation of a 360-degree customer view, intent signals for both accounts and contacts, and audience segmentation.  “Unifying the data is critical for aligning sales and marketing, as it gives both teams a common understanding of each account, the buying committees within them, and the insights needed to move them through the buyer’s journey,” wrote Rogol.
  • Planning, Orchestration, & Measurement: Analytics and orchestration help sales and marketing teams determine whom to reach out to, a compelling message, and shared metrics for determining success and ROI.  Features include Next Best Action recommendations, dynamic messaging across the buyer’s journey, and “an understanding of accounts and buying teams.”
  • Omnichannel Campaigns: The ABM platform requires a broad set of messaging and marketing tools, including website personalization, advertising, and third-party integrations.
  • An AI/ML-based technology foundation: The ABM platform should deliver real-time insights for personalization, interpreting intent signals, and account-based insights.
  • An Intuitive User Experience: The User Experience needs to hew more closely to B2C product experiences, and “in order to maximize productivity, B2B technologies should be understood without extensive product training,” wrote Rogol.

In the near-term, Engagio and Demandbase will operate as standalone platforms.  An Enterprise Edition will offer both platforms “at an aggressive price point.”  The initial plan is to have a combined platform available in November.  “We anticipate there will be different baseline product versions offered with a continued ‘a la carte’ solution offering for additional functionality to our clients (e.g. Targeting, Orchestration, Engagement, Attribution),” stated the firm’s acquisition FAQ.

“Going into next year, there is just so much innovation that can continue to happen.  The process of B2B marketing and selling is undergoing so much change.  That move from the linear baton handoff to the coordinated soccer team, that just creates new opportunities.  New opportunities for a platform that combines accounts and people into a single solution.  That lets people work, not just to generate new business, but to also drive cross sell expansion and retention, which is so important to so many companies these days.  I think the last piece that I think CMOs can expect from this is just a simplification of their technology stack.  There are 8,000 MarTech companies out there.  It’s a really challenging thing for any company to figure out, “What do I need and what are all the pieces and how do I assemble this thing into something coherent?” Having a unified platform like this lets them have fewer pieces of their stack, simplify the model, simplify the equation and ultimately save money, which a lot of people are looking to do in today’s economy.”

Former Engagio CEO / Demandbase Chief Product Officer Jon Miller

“I think this is good news for the ABM category,” opined senior content marketer and marketing technology analyst Barb Mosher Zinck of Diginomica.  “ABM’s rise to popularity (even though the approach has been used for years in Sales) has been somewhat fast and without a clear definition of what the technology should look like.  Most companies that have an ABM strategy use several tools to make it work.  And that makes it more complex and harder to do.  Integrating these two platforms is going to give us a view of ABM that we haven’t seen with any single technology before.  And that might make it easier for companies to adopt the strategy faster.”

Miller will be joining Demandbase as the Chief Product Officer while Brian Babcock has been tapped as the Chief Technology Officer.  Engagio employs a team of 40, while Demandbase has 300 employees.

“The acquisition accelerates everything I wanted to create in an ABM platform.  We will combine Demandbase’s strong go-to-market function and technological expertise with Engagio’s deep marketing automation and CRM expertise,”  said Miller.  “But it’s our shared vision for reimagining both the ABM and B2B martech landscapes that gets me truly excited for the future.”

Zoominfo Health Scan Analysis

Zoominfo, which is readying to IPO, launched a Health Scan Analysis to help firms identify “key segments for opportunities” within their Total Addressable Market (TAM).  The service identifies targetable market segments that are less impacted by COVID along with which segments to avoid.  Firms can then “quickly pivot their go-to-market strategy and focus their efforts on worthwhile prospects ready to buy.”

The Health Scan begins with a consultation where customers share details about their pipeline and business challenges.  Zoominfo’s data solutions team then analyzes the company’s pipeline and win-rate trends before and during the downturn.  The analysis includes “benchmarks to pinpoint where any pipeline degradation may have occurred.”

The Data Solutions team conducts a market assessment that identifies opportunities and sizes their TAM.  The report also includes a market segmentation analysis and a “hand-selected list” of targets from Zoominfo’s database of companies and contacts.

“Recognizing that current market conditions are extraordinarily challenging, it’s more important than ever to ensure that our customers are generating high-quality contacts for their pipeline.  We discovered valuable takeaways when examining our own position in this same manner.  As a result, we’re offering our clients these data-driven insights on how to optimize their go-to-market strategies so they can continue to hit their numbers and thrive in a changing market.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

From the initial interview through report delivery [Sample PDF], Zoominfo promises a five business-day turnaround.

Zoominfo is not the only firm that provides pipeline analyses. Dun & Bradstreet offers a similar analytics service which combines firmographics with industry risk data and InsideView offers Apex.

D&B: Pipeline Health Analysis for Risk Reduction and Targeting Ideal Customers

Dun & Bradstreet, which has been running pipeline health analyses for its clients over the past three weeks, assessed over 35 million accounts across 125 pipelines.  They found that 21% of accounts were subject to high financial risk based on several factors: slow payment, bankruptcy, unpaid debt, and business viability, a statistic which VP of Product Marketing, Dun & Bradstreet Sales & Marketing Solutions Dennis Olcay called “jarring:”

“We continue to keep a close eye on this number, but that is a jarring statistic that demands attention as it relates to go-to-market strategies,” wrote Olcay.

“The dominant theme of our customer conversations today is how to be both sensitive and impactful in the new environment.  We have found the new environment has unleashed entirely new forms of sales and marketing campaigns – far less driven by self-positioning and more characterized by seeking to meet customers where they are.”

Digital Marketing Solutions CRO Michael McCarroll

Dun & Bradstreet offered a high-level risk segmentation based upon SIC codes and each industry’s risk profile (see chart on the right).  Industries were stratified across five categories: Essential businesses (e.g. food supply, hospitals), Supports Remote (i.e. businesses which were able to transition to WFH), requires contact (e.g. hospitality, entertainment), delivery-based retail (e-commerce, e-delivery, logistics), and central production (e.g. manufacturing, natural resource extraction). 

Dun & Bradstreet cautions that simple SIC analysis is only the first pass in performing a risk assessment.  Firms may be in the same industry but have different go-to-market and operational strategies that impact their risk profile.  Another factor is their exposure to supply chain and customer risk.

“Despite the promise of MarTech to enable speed and scale for your go-to-market strategy, this is a time to hit the pause button and rethink your go-to-market approach,” cautioned Olcay.  “Don’t sacrifice tailored messaging for the sake of scale and speed to market – the additional thought you put in now to think about fit, intent, and risk will pay dividends when your audiences notice you’re empathizing with them and offering real value that aligns to the specific challenges they are experiencing.”

And Dun & Bradstreet isn’t the only firm that is promoting pipeline analyses for its clients. Zoominfo is offering a similar service which I will cover in my next blog. If you don’t know where to find revenue in June and Q3, a pipeline analysis is an excellent place to start.

Dun & Bradstreet and DueDil (UK) are offering industry barometers to help refine your targeting. Vertical IQ is offering industry-specific pandemic analysis as part of its industry overviews. Experian is providing a regional and industry analysis by risk level.

And on the marketing side, HubSpot has been publishing weekly marketing metrics for their 70,000 customers. Data includes deal open rates, deal close rates, email prospecting, site visit rates etc. Users can even drill down by segment and country to benchmark their sales and marketing performance against peers. The most recent analysis is for the week of May 18.

LeanData Engagement

Operations vendor LeanData released LeanData Engagement, an analytics solution that works alongside its lead-to-account matching and automation tools.  LeanData Engagement is available on the Salesforce AppExchange and associates sales and marketing engagement activity with relevant accounts.  Engagement is tracked along the full account journey and identifies which individuals are engaged in each account along with the sales and marketing activities that drove engagement.

Lead engagement visualization tools identify which accounts have open opportunities and with which teams they are engaged.  Sales Follow-Up Lists help reps understand which buying committee members are actively engaged.

A campaign engagement dashboard within the Salesforce Campaign object displays engagement activity, allowing marketers to evaluate campaign performance and decide if any adjustments are required.

LeanData Engagement “allows marketers to forge greater alignment with their sales organizations to improve campaign-conversion rates, accelerate pipeline growth, and maximize return from sales and marketing investments,” said the firm.

“Especially during times of economic uncertainly, it’s critically important to understand how your customers and prospects are engaging with your company,” said LeanData SVP of Product Hendrick Lee.  “With LeanData Engagement, the interactions of every buyer are automatically connected to the right accounts in CRM, thus unlocking truly holistic account-based marketing analytics.  Engagement is an important addition to LeanData’s revenue operations product family which exists to help companies unlock greater revenue growth, increase performance, and improve customer experience across the buyer journey.”

Kerry Washington, the Principal Analyst at SiriusDecisions, observed that one of the best opportunities for ABM improvement is identifying when multiple individuals at an account are demonstrating interest in a product or service.  SiriusDecisions emphasizes the importance of understanding and penetrating buying committees, not merely individual decision-makers.

“Because more than 75 percent of B2B purchases are made by groups of people working together – not individuals – the best indicator of a true buying cycle is the engagement of multiple buying committee members,” said Cunningham.  “In the past, identifying that engagement was difficult.  However, modern solutions have emerged that allow B2B organizations selling to committees to more effectively take action on this vital intelligence and thus gain a strong competitive advantage.”

LeanData Engagement starts at $25,000 per year.

Terminus Acquires Ramble (Part II)

Last Friday, I began my coverage of Terminus’ acquisition of Ramble. The deal adds in-house ABM chat capabilities to Terminus’ ABM platform. It is a logical platform extension as Ramble’s ABM Chat Anywhere capabilities support both inbound web chat and chat links for social, email, digital advertising, etc. Ramble has also launched ABM chat capabilities within SalesLoft and Salesforce.

“By now, no one needs convincing that chat is more powerful than forms,” said Terminus Chief Product Officer Bryan Brown.  “Data shows websites with sales chat enjoy an 82% increase in conversations over those without it and a 256% increase in outbound email response rate.  There are a lot of terrific chat solutions offered by companies and today, officially, Terminus is one of them.”

“We live in an on-demand society where instant conversation is a new standard for the B2B sales process,” said Ramble CEO Justin McDonald.  “Conversational Marketing and ABM-chat are at the core of what we do, but our vision has taken it further.  We instantly connect buyers with the right sales rep, from the right territory, and the right product line from any online touchpoint.”

Darryl Praill, CMO of Sales Engagement Platform VanillaSoft, is excited about the announcement and opportunity to integrate chat into his campaigns:

“All of these platforms [Terminus, Sigstr, and Ramble] are about three things specifically:

  – Targeting your audience
  – Knowing your target contact and accounts digital ID so that you can recognize them across multiple channels
  – Engaging with them in a live conversation so that you can qualify them

Yes.  You can absolutely do this today by cobbling together different vendors, but you’re limited by their APIs and their roadmap.  By having a single vision and a master platform under the guidance of one development team, ABM is maturing into a beast and Terminus has clearly taken the lead on this, moving much faster and more aggressively and more confidently than the other players in the space.”

Darryl Praill, VanillaSoft CMO

The full Ramble team is joining Terminus with McDonald being named General Manager of Chat.  Both Ramble and Terminus are headquartered in Atlanta.

Terminus has assembled an impressive executive team with deep executive experience in the MarTech space.  CEO and Chairman Tim Kopp was the CMO at ExactTarget which was acquired by Salesforce.  He also is a General Partner and Managing Director at Hyde Park Venture Partners and serves on G2.com’s Board.  Chief Product Officer Bryan Brown was the VP of Product Strategy at SilverPop and the Product Strategy Executive for Commerce Marketing and Analytics at IBM.  Chief Customer Officer Bryan Wade was CEO at Sigstr and SVP and Chief Product Officer for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.  CMO Derek Slayton held the GM & Global Leader position in Dun & Bradstreet’s Sales & Marketing division, joining them from NetProspex where he was the CMO.  Chief Evangelist Sangram Vajre co-founded Terminus and heads up the FlipMyFunnel Movement.  He also served as the Head of Marketing at Pardot.

Many of these execs held leadership positions at marketing automation and omni-channel marketing platforms (e.g. ExactTarget, SilverPop, and Pardot).  They well understand the strengths and weaknesses of MAPs.  For example, MAPs are lead-based, not account-centric like Terminus and Ramble.  As ABM continues to ascend and a greater focus is placed on orchestrated communications and attribution across the account, platforms such as Terminus, Demandbase, 6Sense, and Engagio are better situated to meet the requirements of B2B CMOs.

Ramble Chat Anywhere Features (Source: Ramble)

Terminus Acquires Ramble

Yesterday, ABM Platform vendor Terminus announced the acquisition of ABM chat vendor Ramble.  Terminus has acquired three companies in three years: Brightfunnel ABM analytics, Sigstr relationship intelligence, and Ramble account-based chat for sales, marketing, and customer success.

In late 2019, Terminus acquired relationship intelligence vendor Sigstr, which it quickly incorporated into its service.  Sigstr supports signature block advertising within emails, allowing marketing to customize signature block messaging.  Sigstr relationship intelligence analyzes email and calendar patterns across an account to determine a relationship score and relationship strength trends.

Ramble is another logical acquisition as its Chat from Anywhere functionality allows sales and marketing to embed chat links in email, LinkedIn, Twitter, digital ads, QR codes, proposals, and other outbound communications and media.  Chat from anywhere allows chat to move beyond the company website and be contextually enabled through a broad set of communications channels.  Thus, chats are attached to the proper account, routed to the account owner, and attributed to the campaigns and actions which drove the engagement.

Chat from Anywhere is also integrated into SalesLoft and Salesforce with employees responding via web browsers or mobile apps.  Chat-based Leads are mapped to Salesforce.  If the lead is not in Salesforce, then a new contact or lead is created by RambleChat.

“Native chat is a game-changer for our customers as we help them drive full-funnel engagement,” said Terminus CEO Tim Kopp.  “We’re in the middle of a major industry shift – marketers want all-in-one platforms over best-of-breed integrations because, at the end of the day, integrations can only do so much.  Now with Ramble, our customers can personally engage target audiences at any stage of the funnel.  We’re so impressed with this team and couldn’t be more pumped to officially have them as part of Terminus.”

And with 8,000 MarTech vendors populating the ChiefMartec 2020 landscape, vendors that can orchestrate audience selection, multi-channel campaigns, and analytics will have a significant advantage over vendors that serve only one or two channels.

“That’s just too much tech and an endless list of APIs making technologies talk can’t provide elegant and measurable outcomes,” blogged Terminus Chief Product Officer Bryan Brown.

“We will be building the modern marketing cloud, end-to-end with an account based structure, and could not be more excited about it.”

Terminus CEO Tim Kopp

Marketers can personalize the Ramble chat experience via UTM variables.  “This helps marketers personalize the buying experience while also tracking demand generation data, lead flow, conversion metrics, and much more,” said the firm.

As Chat from Anywhere links are tied to Accounts, they automatically route chat conversations to the appropriate sales or customer support rep.

“Bringing Ramble into the Terminus platform makes a ton of sense,” said Ramble CEO Justin McDonald.  “We’re incredibly aligned with Terminus’ vision to build the most robust B2B marketing suite on the market, now including powerful account-based chat capabilities.  Not only is this a strong fit in terms of product, but it’s also a natural fit culturally.  We’re immensely proud to be joining this talented team.”


Continued on Tuesday...

Terminus Full-Funnel Marketing

Terminus announced a set of additional “full-funnel marketing” features to its ABM platform.  New B2B account-based marketing capabilities include dynamic web personalization, lead-to-account matching, account engagement scores, expanded ABM reporting, and streamlined workflows.

Dynamic Web Personalization ensures a “consistent and relevant experience” to website visitors independent of their originating channel.  With web personalization, markers can serve up “visually impactful content [that] appears depending on what segment a visitor is in, allowing every page on your website to dynamically deliver relevant information.”  Marketers do not need to build multiple landing pages.  Terminus supports personalization by industry, revenue range, intent, relationship, engagement, CRM stage, or Target Account List in the Account Hub.

The new Lead-to-Account matching ties leads to the appropriate Salesforce Account record.  The Lead-to-Account capability is powered by the Terminus B2B Account Graph that helps marketing “maintain CRM accuracy, enable custom reports and workflows, and keep sales teams organized and thinking about the entire buying committee.”

Terminus, which already provides relationship scores, added engagement scoring to its analytical tool kit.  As engagement varies by company and market, “users can now configure how valuable various digital touchpoints are to better report on what accounts are engaged in the ABM Scorecard.”   The ABM Scorecard is a marketing dashboard that evaluates marketing’s impact on engagement, pipeline, and revenue.  The ABM Scorecard assesses engagement impact across both time and segment.

“If you are struggling to understand how to measure the ROI of your account-based marketing program, the updated ABM scorecard with Trends is a great way to prove that you are driving desired business outcomes.  You can do this by segmenting by your targeted accounts and layering in Terminus firmographics to quickly see pipeline and revenue by industry, revenue range, employee range, etc. to show your CMO how you are driving results over time.  This enhanced scorecard allows you to quickly see how each one of your ABM programs is getting to engagement, pipeline, and revenue goals.  By trending your key marketing KPIs you can see if you’re accelerating or decelerating toward your goals, so you can easily pivot if necessary.”

Terminus VP of Growth and Product Marketing Janet Polyakov

Terminus completed its Sigstr integration following its late 2019 acquisition of the relationship intelligence firm.  Sigstr analyzes communications patterns in employee emails, helping determine both account and contact relationship strength.

“These Relationship Scores are a unique, first-party data source that informs teams how their relationships with specific accounts and contacts are improving or degrading over time by providing buying intent signals, sales coaching opportunities, and more accurate pipeline forecasting,” said Terminus.  “Additionally, Sigstr’s email marketing capabilities enable users to unify messaging across the web, owned websites, and the inbox.  The new capability provides users the ability to centrally control the email signatures of their employees while promoting dynamic, personalized content to the most engaged audiences in the inbox.”

Other new features include a native integration with Google Analytics and enhanced ad campaign reporting with trended advertising metrics.

“With these new capabilities, we’ve doubled down on our effort to be the most complete account-based platform on the market,” said Bryan Brown, chief product officer at Terminus.  “As marketers’ jobs become more demanding, it’s critical that they are able to execute with agility across multiple points of interaction, be it ads, web, or email, all from a single platform.  Terminus enables users to easily measure business outcomes well beyond clicks and leads that facilitate better collaboration across teams and deliver higher quality engagements.”

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.