Dun & Bradstreet Acquires Bisnode

Dun & Bradstreet, which has long relied on global partnerships to address the sales, marketing, and risk evaluation needs of its multi-national customers, is expanding its presence in Europe with the acquisition of Bisnode Business Information Group.  Bisnode is 70% owned by private equity firm Ratos and 30% by Bonnier.

The $818 million acquisition, which is 75% cash and 25% common stock, expands Dun & Bradstreet’s presence in Scandinavia, Central Europe, and D-A-CH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).  The acquisition provides direct ownership in eighteen “strategic territories in Europe” and “provides opportunities for scale by leveraging existing Dun & Bradstreet product portfolio, data supply chain, and technology infrastructure.”

Upon close, Ratos will hold a 1% stake in Dun & Bradstreet.

Bisnode’s Belgian operations were not included in the deal.

The deal adds 110,000 Bisnode customers to Dun & Bradstreet’s customer base and provides direct access to an additional fifty Global 500 companies headquartered in the Bisnode countries.  The deal provides direct ownership of 33 million business records (around nine percent of the WorldBase file).  It also allows for the direct sale of Dun & Bradstreet products into major European markets.

Bisnode currently has an annual revenue of around $400 million, net income of $28 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $70 million.

Bisnode has been a Dun & Bradstreet reseller since 2003.  Dun & Bradstreet’s solutions account for 33% of Bisnode revenue, and revenue has been “growing in a solid manner for the past few years” in the Bisnode territories.  The remaining Bisnode revenue consists of proprietary in-market solutions.

“We are pleased to bring Bisnode into the Dun & Bradstreet family following a nearly two-decade strategic alliance.  The powerful combination of our data, analytics, and innovative solutions, paired with Bisnode’s deep client relationships and expertise in European markets, will provide our existing and future clients with vital business intelligence to support their own growth ambitions. We look forward to welcoming the Bisnode team to Dun & Bradstreet and to working together to grow the global business.”

Dun & Bradstreet CEO Anthony Jabbour

When the deal closes, Dun & Bradstreet will create an International Strategic Advisory Board headed by Neeraj Sahai, President of Dun & Bradstreet International.  Ratos AB CEO Jonas Wiström will be joining the Advisory Board.

“Integrating our two leading organizations provides significant opportunity to deliver a broader product set to a substantially larger global client base. As the international business community becomes increasingly data-driven, we look forward to combining our teams to unlock further potential, drive innovation, and deliver solutions that are tuned to client and market needs,” said Sahai.


Continue to Part II.

Validity Launches Everest Email Deliverability Platform

Email deliverability vendor Validity announced the global availability of Everest, a new platform for email optimization, analytics, and delivery.  The platform combines the capabilities of 250ok, Return Path, and BriteVerify, businesses that they acquired over the past two years.

“Validity built Everest to give marketers everything they need to ensure email success,” promised the firm.  “Everest is a complete email analytics platform powered by Validity’s exclusive data feeds, the largest data network in the industry, and widespread integration and support within the email ecosystem.  It offers marketers a complete set of tools to prepare, test, optimize, and measure their email campaigns.  With fully configurable dashboards, a highly intuitive user interface, and seamless integration with many of the leading email service providers, Everest makes it fast and easy to optimize campaigns.

Other features include performance tracking reports, customizable alerts, list hygiene, and campaign benchmarking versus competitors and global senders.  Unique features include email certification for avoiding spam filters, View Time Optimization (VTO) for Verizon Media mailboxes, and enterprise-grade managed services.

Everest pre-send optimization features include form validation, bulk upload verification, and design and content tools.  Emails are checked against over seventy device-mail clients.  Email links and images are tested, and A/B testing is supported.

Competitive intelligence features include message samples, subject lines, sending volume, message patterns, and performance metrics.  Everest also flags competitor list hygiene issues, authentication gaps, and blocklist history.  “Beyond that, you’ll be able to compare brands side-by-side to identify low-hanging fruit and quick wins around sending volumes, accessibility, mobile compatibility, image animation, localization, and sending best practices.”

Verizon VTO delivers emails at the top of the inbox when the addressee is in her email client, quadrupling open rates and doubling click through rates for Yahoo, AOL, Verizon.net, and ATT.net mailboxes.

Everest “is, by a wide margin, the most comprehensive, insightful, value-add email platform ever offered in our industry,” said Validity CEO Mark Briggs.  “Any business that relies on digital marketing should consider Everest as the key to delivering email success.”

SalesIntel Launches VisitorIntel

B2B DaaS vendor SalesIntel added visitor intelligence (first-party intent data) to its marketing capabilities.  VisitorIntel matches website traffic to companies and enriches the subsequent event records with firmographics, technographics, and contacts.  Visitor intelligence provides an early warning system that a company is being researched before anybody registers for a white paper or requests a callback.

SalesIntel also has a partnership with Bombora for their B2B intent data derived from a co-op of media sites.  Thus, SalesIntel users have access to both first and third-party intent intelligence.  The firm licenses IP and cookie to domain data, but most of the VisitorIntel intellectual property was developed internally.

Marketers insert a few lines of JavaScript into their corporate website to enable VisitorIntel.   SalesIntel then matches visitor activity to company domains and associated account intelligence.  While the visitors are anonymous, sales or marketing can reach out to targeted personas at the company, leveraging SalesIntel’s universe of recently verified contacts with emails, mobile numbers, and direct dials.  If relevant contacts are not available for the account, users may avail themselves of SalesIntel’s Research on Demand service.

Marketers may filter the visitor window (e.g. today, yesterday, this week, this month) to view recent site activity.  Site activity may be downloaded as a CSV or uploaded to Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Outreach, or SalesLoft.  When sent to SalesLoft or Outreach, a cadence / sequence can be initiated.

VisitorIntel should be viewed as a V1 release.  Activity is processed daily, with plans for real-time updates.  Its reporting is also fairly simple.

“It always helps our sales and marketing teams shorten sales cycles when we are able to target companies that have expressed interest in our products and services, and website visits are a terrific indicator of that interest.  If we can find the people who are checking us out on the web, and easily find the other people in that organization who we might want to reach out to, we are ahead of the game.  We believe our clients can similarly benefit, so we conceived and launched VisitorIntel within our SaaS product.”

SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani

VisitorIntel is available as part of SalesIntel’s Pro premium package that also includes data enrichment and Bombora intent.  Pro pricing begins in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

SalesIntel also added keyword searching to its list building.  SalesIntel filtered two million terms down to 70,000 searchable keywords.  Keywords let marketers identify prospects based on ideal buyer persona or targeted messaging.

“Good, clean, and insightful data is the true enabler for sales and marketing teams, and it is core to our mission to provide our clients with as much detail as we can so that they can truly know their target buyer,” said CEO Manoj Ramnani.  “Keywords will greatly benefit our user base by providing that extra level of detail.”

SalesIntel has trebled its customer base over the past year, benefiting from market consolidation and its high-quality data positioning.  Sales slowed during the first two months of the pandemic, but have picked up with a strong pipeline.

SalesIntel continues to build out its database of quarterly re-verified contacts, reaching 6.2 million this month.  They have begun to internationalize this dataset.

Terminus Engagement Hub

ABM Platform vendor Terminus announced the immediate availability of the Terminus Engagement Hub, which applies data and attribution for advertising, email, web, and chat.  The hub includes integration of RambleChat, its newly acquired account-based chat service.  Other new capabilities include Trended ABM Scorecards and new target account list building rules.

Terminus’ 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 moves beyond the company website and enables it contextually 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 Terminus Chat.

The enhanced ABM Scorecards “help identify success across market segments over time, prove value, track win rates, and compare performance to prior periods.”

Terminus expanded its ABM Dashboards and custom views, including views of Engaged Accounts, ABM Win Rate, Opportunities Created, Revenue by Industry, and Pipeline by Program.

New Data Studio features include account filters ”based on advertising performance and engagement metrics for next best actions.”   

New list building functionality “enables users to import and connect Salesforce Account IDs and push lists across engagement channels while also connecting those audiences to powerful measurement and attribution analytics.”

“We’ve taken our powerful data and attribution capabilities in Terminus and separated it into two parts – Data Studio and Measurement Studio. We’ve also integrated new marketing channels to help marketers create experiences for their prospects and customers.  Advertising Experiences, Email Experiences, Web Experiences, and Chat Experiences are all now available in one place; all in the Terminus Engagement Hub. It’s never been easier to run coordinated, multi-channel marketing campaigns.”

Terminus Chief Product Officer Bryan Wade

“ABM is more than a marketing strategy, it’s a business strategy.  And it’s more important than ever,” continued Wade.  “Marketers are challenged to nurture an existing customer base while still driving quality top-of-funnel activity, all in a digital world.  Now with the Terminus Engagement Hub, our customers can own every point of engagement with target audiences and track all activity at the account-level in a single platform.  Full-funnel ABM is now easier than ever.”

Drift Prospector

One of the new elements of Drift’s Revenue Acceleration Platform (discussed yesterday) is the just-launched Drift Prospector, which “helps your sales team accelerate revenue by knowing which accounts to focus on and what to say. ” Sales reps can home in on engaged accounts, determine members of the buying committee at those accounts, and reach out to prospects.

“Gathering all the touchpoints a prospect has with a company, Drift Prospector helps sellers see which of their accounts have the highest intent so they can connect with more of their buyers faster, helping to accelerate revenue for the business,” wrote the firm.

Drift Prospector analyzes customer touchpoints from Drift, 6Sense, Demandbase, Marketo, Pardot, Outreach, and Salesforce.  The service prioritizes target accounts, unifies behavioral insights across the buying committee, and supports outbound communications.  Buying signals are converted into engagement scores, which help prioritize accounts for outbound messaging.

Buyer intelligence includes contact name, title, number of activities, and when the contact was last active.   Deeper insights include “what the person was doing – including what pages they were on and which emails they opened, so [that] the seller can respond to each person on the buying committee in a personalized way.”

Prospector identifies additional contacts within the buying committee and tracks their engagement.  When buyers land on a customer’s website, the revenue organization can “capitalize” on buyer’s intent and notify the team that somebody is ready to “engage them in a real-time conversation.”  If there is nobody available to chat, the revenue organization can “easily send them an email, enroll them in an Outreach sequence, record them a Drift Video, or connect with them on LinkedIn.”

“There are a lot of tools out there that are focused on solving a single problem.  For example, there’s Salesforce to manage accounts and log activities, Outreach to orchestrate outbound prospecting, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator to research key contacts at target accounts, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I think these tools are a step in the right direction.  But the reality is that your sellers still have to jump between them.  And none of these tools tell your team where they should be spending their time in order to deliver the best result – whether they’re goaled on meetings or bookings.”

Drift CRO Todd Barnett

Drift is offering a broad vision of digital marketing which includes intent monitoring, buying committee identification, chatbots, live chat, video, and meeting scheduling.  While they do not support all of the top of the funnel channels, partners 6Sense, Demandbase, and Marketo LaunchPoint can fill that gap; they are staking out a full customer lifecycle approach to marketing that moves beyond lead generation.  The vision includes tools for unifying sales and marketing activities, analyzing engagement, prioritizing accounts, and buying committee discovery.

Drift is based in Boston, with offices in San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa.  They were founded in 2015 and claim over 50,000 customers.  The firm continues to grow with 35 open positions across sales, marketing, product, engineering, customer support, and customer success.

Drift Revenue Acceleration Platform

Drift announced its new Revenue Acceleration Platform, which it described as a new category that expands its original positioning of Conversational Marketing to a broader company vision.  

Revenue Acceleration “combines conversation, marketing, and conversational sales to help companies grow revenue and increase customer lifetime value,” said Drift CEO David Cancel.

Drift still backs Conversational Marketing and Sales “100%,” but is expanding its vision of marketing to impacting the entire customer lifecycle “from acquisition to renewal to expansion.”

“We weren’t thinking big enough,” posted Cancel.

Cancel described marketing as evolving across a series of eras.  In the 20th century, “the madmen era,” marketing focused on the brand and didn’t have a seat in the C-Suite.  Marketing was “in service to the CEO.”  The Internet brought us the second era, “the demand generation era,” when “we became reliant on do-it-yourself in human ops,” and the CMO role was created.  Marketing focused on lead creation and was “in service to the CRO.”

However, the world of marketing is continuing to evolve.  Demand generation is “not enough anymore.”  We are now entering the third era, “the revenue era,” which is broader than Drift’s original vision of Conversation Intelligence.  

“We had a vision of the world where people are free to have a conversation with any business, at any time, on their terms.  We thought what we were doing was helping marketers drive more leads.  But what we found is that when companies adopted Conversational Marketing, it wasn’t just about marketing.  In fact, what we were doing was unifying sales and marketing and directly impacting revenue.  And not just revenue from new business, but revenue across the entire customer lifecycle.  We have already seen this transition with some companies.”

Drift CEO David Cancel

COVID-19 has accelerated the transition to this new era where the buyer is in control, “digital is everywhere, and the best experience, story, and service wins.” The new Revenue Acceleration Platform brings together Drift Chat, AI [chatbot] Automation, email, video, and a new Drift Prospector service.  


Tomorrow’s blog covers the new Drift Prospector Service. Here is a graphical preview:

ClickDimensions Partners with InsideView

Sales and marketing intelligence vendor InsideView partnered with ClickDimensions to improve customer pipelines and content delivery within Microsoft Dynamics.  The partnership will support enhanced Dynamics data cleansing and enrichment tools for Account, Contact, and Lead records.

ClickDimensions is creating a Data Management services offering and will resell InsideView products and DaaS solutions for Dynamics.  ClickDimensions plans to exclusively sell these services as an add-on to their current product line and as part of a premium offering.  ClickDimensions will also provide data advisory services.

ClickDimensions will be rolling out a product suite of native MS Dynamics hygiene and prospecting tools in the coming months.  The new suite will be built upon InsideView data management capabilities, including lead enrichment, data cleansing, email validation, lead-to-account mapping, family tree, and account assignment.  The suite will also support analytics and visualization tools for monitoring data health.

Admins can set the timing, frequency, and scope (i.e. fields and records) of updates.  Both batch and real-time hygiene will be supported.  There will also be a one-time enrichment as part of the ClickDimensions offering. 

The new service will deliver “the insights they need to find and engage prospects more effectively, the tools they need for targeting intelligently, and the ability to automatically clean, enrich, and manage Microsoft Dynamics 365 company and contact data.”

ClickDimensions will be deploying a private preview in August for the InsideView’s Diagnose, Data Integrity, and Target offerings.  A September GA is scheduled for these services.

“Given the state of the world today, finding new customers is now more than just a growth driver, it is a matter of survival as businesses seek to replace revenue from customers that have pulled back or gone out of business,” explained ClickDimensions CEO Mike Dickerson.  “In addition to finding new prospects, businesses need to be even more relevant.  Buyers expect the same level of personalization and relevance from B2B interactions as B2C, and that requires complete and accurate data.  Our partnership with InsideView will enable our customers to ensure their data is always fresh and always current.”

“The velocity of change in customer data is unprecedented in today’s business environment, and many companies can’t keep up.  InsideView helps companies keep data accurate, refreshed, and actionable so they can focus on customers and revenue.  Combined with their marketing automation solutions, ClickDimensions customers will have the tools and intelligence they need to manage their customer data and target and engage the right buyers.  The partnership is a great match for B2B companies using Microsoft Dynamics.”

InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti

ClickDimensions describes itself as “The Marketing Cloud for Microsoft Dynamics.”  ClickDimensions embeds multi-channel marketing automation and analytics natively within MS Dynamics, supporting full customer journey engagement.  Marketing automation services include web forms, landing pages, visitor intelligence, lead scoring, social marketing, event management, surveys, SMS messaging, email marketing, and campaign automation.  The firm also provides marketing consulting services, including campaign execution, marketing advisory, and user training.  

Because ClickDimensions is native to Dynamics, there are no integration costs or data synchronization issues.  

ClickDimensions is based in Atlanta and has 3,700 customers.  Regional offices are located in the Netherlands, Ireland, Israel, and Australia.

HubSpot Sales & Marketing COVID Activity Metrics

HubSpot has measured aggregated sales and marketing platform activity across its 70,000 customers since the pandemic began and benchmarking this activity against the pre-COVID level (January through early March).  Looking back at Q2, CMO Kipp Bodnar noted that “the data shows steady and sustained growth in buyer engagement, and that businesses with an online presence were ready to capture that interest.”

Marketing teams have risen to the challenge of keeping prospects interested in a messy, chaotic crisis and met an audience of buyers who suddenly spend all day at their computer,” commented Bodnar.  “While email volume has risen significantly — typically a no-no for teams hoping to keep their open rates up — open rates have risen faster than volume has grown, demonstrating that teams have been successful at providing relevant and helpful content.”

Marketing email open rates are up ten to twenty percent above pre-COVID levels, with the last week of June running 18% above the baseline.

Sales teams have been less successful in their outbound communications.  While sales emails have risen 60% since mid-March, “response rates have been dismal. Marketing teams have been able to connect, but sales teams haven’t. This is a huge area of opportunity for businesses as they enter the next quarter of COVID-19.”

Sales email open rates are down 25 to 30%.  “As sales teams increased email sends, customers began to tune these messages out or even mark them as spam in their inboxes,” warned Bodnar.  “So far, it seems if email send rates remain this high, we can expect response rates to trend in the opposite direction.”

“Volume and quality is a tradeoff — the time a team saves by sending out email blasts is wasted if that outreach isn’t personalized, relevant, and helpful. These gaps are clear in the data. At this point, sales teams should be working closely with marketing to understand how they can improve their email engagement rates, and sending far less email.”

HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar

Website traffic increased during the pandemic as decisionmakers and influencers began working from home.  Global site traffic is up 16% in Q2 vs. Q1 with it peaking at 24% above the benchmark on April 20th.  Software industry site traffic is running at 40% above pre-pandemic levels.

Customer-initiated chat levels have also risen sharply during the pandemic.  Total volume is up 31% over the pre-pandemic baseline, with every measured industry seeing increased volume.  “Sales teams have pivoted to chat to grow their pipelines, while customer service teams are leveraging this medium to manage the increased demand for support,” observed Bodnar.

Call prospecting has dropped significantly during the pandemic as it has become more difficult to reach individuals who are now working at home.  Call prospecting fell as much as 27% below baseline the week of April 6th and now is down around 9%.  Before COVID, there was a rough balance between phone and email prospecting, but in Q2, email activity doubled that of phone calls.  “Sales teams will need to return to their pre-COVID balance in order to see improvements in response rates,” argued Bodnar.

Deal Creation has improved in eight of the eleven weeks since April 6th, with deal creation up the past four weeks.  APAC deal creation was down 5% in Q2, North America down 6%, EMEA down 12%, and LATAM down 12%.  Large companies have recovered deal creation activity faster than small firms.  Computer Software deal creation was down 3% in Q2.

Deal Won has improved ten of the last eleven weeks, after dropping to 36% below baseline the week of April 6th.  For the full quarter, deals won were down 11%.  Smaller firms did best at closing deals, with larger firms posting the weakest performance, likely due to large firms selling a greater percentage of high-dollar, strategic deals that would have stalled in their pipeline.  Computer software Q2 was 14% above baseline, but this probably overstates industry performance due to Q1 often being the slowest month of the year and the loss of many “hockey stick” end of quarter deals at the end of Q1 as the pandemic struck.  Some of these likely slipped into Q2.

Bodnar provided three suggestions for Q3: invest in chat, shift from quantity to quality in sales prospecting and communications, and invest in online discoverability.

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.”

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.”