Digital Marketing

Demandbase announces major acquisitions, shifts focus from ABM

Veteran ABM vendor Demandbase today announced two major acquisitions, the sales and marketing intelligence platform InsideView and the technographics provider DemandMatrix. This follows its acquisition of ABM orchestration and analytics platform Engagio in June 2020.

With these solutions integrated, the Demandbase One B2B Go-to-Market Suite will have ABM (re-styled as ABX — account-based experience) as just one of its components. Having been a leader in ABM, especially for the enterprise, since its founding in 2006, this marks a significant shift in focus for the company.

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

Henceforth, Demandbase will be structured as a suite of clouds, including the ABX cloud, their B2B advertising solution, a sales intelligence cloud, and a data cloud. InsideView will provide insights into account activity complementary to the intent and in-market data Demandbase is known for capturing. DemandMatrix will provide technographics (information on technology that companies already own) -— a leading predictive indicator of intent for companies selling technology.

A B2B suite. “Our focus has been on building the most complete ABM solution (we call it ABX, because its not just marketing),” said Rogol, “and that was the impetus behind acquiring Engagio, putting a lot of the top of funnel and lower funnel stuff together. That will still be important.”

InsideView represents, Rogol said, the adjacent space to ABX. “Sales intelligence is what’s going on in accounts, who are the people in the accounts, and what message should you reach out with? It’s a different category (from ABM), and it’s covered in a different way by analysts.”

Data from the ABX and sales intelligence clouds will help power Demandbase’s DSP, a B2B advertising solution Rogol considers a differentiator for the company.

Finally, the data cloud will being together five key B2B data assets — intent and real-time account ID, where Demandbase was already a strong leader; firmographics (general data on companies); technographics (data on technology owned by companies); and contacts. The suite also offers CRM data-cleansing capabilities.

“All the pieces come together with the combined companies,” Rogol said. It will be possible for clients to subscribe to individual parts of the suite. “That’s something we really learned from global enterprises,” Rogol explained. “They don’t necessarily want it all at once, and we’re dedicated to being flexible.”

Why technographics? Rogol explained the significance of technographics for its clients in the technology vertical, which Demandbase acquires with DemandMatrix: “We do a lot of predictive analytics, looking at all the different data that we have available and our customers have available, to predict who could become a customer — ever or soon. For technology companies, the number one feature in a data science model is what technologies your prospect owns.”

Technographics, he said, is the most important data set in predictive models for companies in the business of selling technology, a significant part of Demandbase’s client base.

“So far companies have been coming at the in-market concept in multiple ways,” said Meetul Shah, CEO of DemandMatrix. “What Gabe describes, and what we’ll have together as a company, is a cohesive way of defining the best in market account for you.” Marketers will not need, he said, to choose between Demandbase intent data, DemandMatrix technographic data, or data from dozens of different sources. “Marketers don’t care how they’re getting best in-market accounts. Their job is not combine fifty different systems to get the job done.”

Shah, and Umberto Milletti, CEO of InsideView, will continue to run the day-to-day operations of their companies.

The integration challenge. After ingesting Engagio last year, with co-founder and CEO Jon Miller becoming joint CMO and Chief Product Officer at Demandbase, the company now faces a double integration challenge. “It’s not easy,” admitted Rogol. “Obviously we still have a lot of the execution work ahead. One thing to point out is that these are different types of acquisitions than Engagio. With Engagio, the goal was to get to the most comprehensive ABM platform. These are adjacent expansions, so they’re going to operate as standalone businesses pretty much.”

Why we care. Demandbase is 14 years old — and in martech terms that is at least middle-aged (for comparison, Salesforce is 21 years old). Yet it seems to have spent the last year re-inventing itself at pace. Executive changes at the top, with Rogol replacing founder Chris Golec as CEO, were followed by the headline-grabbing acquisition and integration of Engagio. Now comes news, not just of two further acquisitions, but of the almost unthinkable relegation of ABM to being just a part of the suite.

Demandbase might not be a solution for every B2B marketer to consider: it’s known to be a costly investment. But to the extent these developments reflect important changes in the B2B marketing space, its story is worth following.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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