Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Demandbase Buys Web Data Collector Spiderbook to Expand Its Account Based Marketing Footprint Yet Again

I’ve been writing about Demandbase since 2009, when they had already begun their climb from compiling company profiles to enhancing Web site visitor records to personalizing Web content to targeting Web display ads. This has landed them at the center of today’s Account Based Marketing excitement which, in turn, paved the way further developments such as last month’s announcement that Demandbase data and account scores would be part of Oracle Eloqua’s ABM solution.  That solution, in case you missed it, links leads to accounts and makes account data available for segmentation, campaign rules, and personalization.*

But the Oracle announcement was last month’s news and the question with Demandbase is always, what’s next? The answer came yesterday with the announcement that Demandbase is buying Web data collector Spiderbook. As usual with Demandbase, this is both a logical extension of their current business and major increase in the value offered to its clients.

As its name implies, Spiderbook scans Web and social sites for information about company and individuals' behaviors and events. This can be refined into several types of data including enhanced business and individual profiles, buying intent, topics of interest, and personal relationships with a company’s own staff. Demandbase will combine these inputs with its own data to give clients with lists of target accounts and individuals within those accounts. At the other end of the funnel, Demandbase will help salespeople choose messages by feeding them information about the likely interests of target individuals. These are both new functions for Demandbase – and selling net new account and contact names is a big leap.

In the finest software marketing tradition, Demandbase accompanied its announcement with a new graphic that shows it is “now the only end-to-end platform”  in the ABM category (having added "identify" and "close"). Those are carefully chosen words that shouldn’t be misread as claiming to be a complete platform – as the Oracle Eloqua deal so clearly illustrates, there are still ABM functions that Demandbase doesn’t provide, although it certainly supports them. Content creation, journey orchestration, and email would be high on the list.

In a way, I’m pleased to know Demandbase still doesn't do everything.  It lets me look forward to seeing what they add next.

*Had you assumed Eloqua already did that?  Now you know better…and hopefully won’t make the same assumption about other marketing automation systems.  Some do, most don't.

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