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Good morning, Marketers, and isn’t it nice when things come together?
I was reviewing the latest contribution to MarTech Today from Scott Vaughan, in which he says (not for the first time) that ABM is only one part of a successful B2B go-to-market strategy, and that the strategy needs to adapt to the fact that the B2B journey is now buyer-driven -— a phenomenon enormously accelerated by the digital transformation the past 14 months.
And while I was reading Scott’s piece, I was thinking about the preview I’d had of today’s news from Demandbase, which is the martech realization of what Scott is preaching — for enterprise customers, anyway. Demandbase — almost synonymous with enterprise ABM — is making account-based experience just one part of its offering going forwards, and presenting itself as a broad go-to-market offering.
A striking harmony between theme and execution.
Demandbase announces major acquisitions, shifts focus from ABM
The veteran ABM vendor 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,” Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol told us. “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 of technology companies already own) -— a leading predictive indicator of intent for companies selling technology.
How to become a more impactful, buyer-driven marketing org
B2B marketing is going through a significant shift in requirements, responsibilities, and expectations. Now is the time to project out to what the world will look like in two to three years and develop a strategy and roadmap. The shift is being driven by changes in buyers’ habits and expectations — all accelerated and magnified by the pandemic. In the B2B world, buyers have become digital-first, doing their homework remotely and making decisions across distributed teams. This has blown-up the traditional buyer-seller relationship and forever changed B2B marketing.
In his latest article, marketing and growth expert Scott Vaughan outlines five essential strategies to becoming a buyer-driven B2B marketing org. It starts with abandoning internally-driven programs and going all in on buyer-driven processes and timelines. It requires rethinking over-reliance on marketing automation, finally obliterating silos, and recognizing that ABM is only one part of a successful B2B strategy. Finally, it means building trust, authenticity and compliance into everything.
“The next few years will be about shifting from internal-focused to buyer-driven strategies,” writes Scott. “Let’s not wait until fall 2022 to tackle this nor to the next conference to discuss how to make this transformation a reality.”
What consumers want from email — and other channels
The UK-based Data & Marketing Association has revealed some of the highlights from its members’ only Consumer Email Tracker 2021 report. Email still wins when it comes to consumer channel preferences, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town.
From consideration through purchase, and on to service and rewards, consumers prefer to be contacted by email. But brand apps are close second when it comes to discovery and rewards -— opposite ends of the buyer journey, while social media is in second place for purchase and customer service. One takeaway is that email can trigger engagement in other channels.
Additionally -— and these effects may be related to how we live now -— desktop and laptop engagement are almost dead level with mobile again for email consumption, while relevance now outscores offers and discounts in the context of email enjoyment.
Why we care. There’s a careful balance to be struck in an evolving situation. Email is still a winning engagement channel. For all the talk of omnichannel, email is where most digital customer journeys begin and end. But the other channels are increasingly relevant, and what seems important above all is orchestration -— that useful buzzword -— across all the channels.
Forrester launches Forrester Decisions
Research firm Forrester, who specialized in tech, marketing and customer experience, announced the launch of Forrester Decisions yesterday. The new product portfolio will be available in August 2021, and aims at helping executives, leaders and their teams act on growth decisions based around customer insights and strategy.
The new offering includes customer-based models, frameworks and consultations with Forrester experts. The services come in six different segments of the marketing and sales community:
- Customer Experience;
- B2C Marketing;
- Technology (Forrester Decisions for Technology Executives, for Security & Risk, and for Technology Architecture & Delivery);
- B2B Marketing (B2B Marketing Executives, Marketing Operations, Demand & ABM, Portfolio Marketing and Channel Marketing);
- Sales (B2B Sales Executives, Sales Operations and Sales Enablement); and
- Product Management.
The curated tools include plug-and-play templates. The frameworks, models and methodologies included in the Forrester Decisions portfolio were gained through Forrester’s acquisition of B2B research and advisory firm SiriusDecisions, which was finalized in 2019.
Why we care. Organizations have to be on the same page when it comes to revenue goals and digital transformation. With Forrester Decisions, Forrester is leveraging the operational alignment for which organizations use a tool like SiriusDecisions. Marketing and sales can work closer together, as needed, and be equally “customer obsessed,” drawing on Forrester research.
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.