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Demandbase hosted its 5th annual ABM Innovation Summit this week in San Francisco and used the event to track the growth and evolution of the ABM category. The company also debuted a new Analytics product to its account-based marketing platform, as well as an expanded partnership with Salesforce.

Peter Isaacson, Demandbase’s CMO, noted that the event reflected the explosive growth of the ABM category, expanding from just over 100 attendees five years ago to more than 1,000 this year.

“The category has expanded far more quickly than any of us could have predicted,” Isaacson said. “B2B marketers have quickly shifted from asking ‘what is ABM?’ or ‘why should I do it?’ to ‘how do I build great strategies and programs?’”

Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase, also addressed the evolution and expansion of the category, pointing out that there is a growing ecosystem of agencies and consultancies building out ABM practices to support client demand.

Looking ahead to the future of ABM, Golec forecasted there will be tighter alignment between adtech, martech and sales tech categories.

“To track the true impact of ABM programs, B2B marketers now have to move beyond looking separately at clicks, impressions, MQLs or even pipeline,” Golec said. “You really have measure these three worlds together.”

To address this gap, Demandbase unveiled its ABM Analytics product. The new tool positions marketers to view the performance of their ABM initiatives and understand the progression of target accounts across channels and across the buying cycle.

ABM Analytics is designed to enable marketers to compare audience and account performance, evaluate individual programs and contrast the performance of various vendors in a single location. The company said the solution will allow users to:

  • Monitor the health of their ABM strategies by analyzing the progress of their most valued accounts through the buying cycle;
  • Create side-by-side comparisons of audiences with different revenue ranges, employee sizes or verticals to understand how their segments perform at every stage of the funnel;
  • Understand the performance of individual marketing tactics such as advertising or direct mail, diagnose problems and opportunities along the customer journey and take targeted actions to improve performance; and
  • Build credibility throughout the organization by sharing transparent ABM progress reports.

“For years, B2B marketers have struggled to connect disparate data sitting at agencies, in their web log files and CRM to measure the true impact of their marketing programs,” said Golec. “Our new analytics functionality leverages the best practices from some of the world’s most sophisticated B2B marketers and brings them to life for every company, no matter where they are on their ABM journey.”

The company also announced an expanded collaboration with Salesforce, which will be available to Pardot and Demandbase customers in June 2018. The integration will combine real-time intent data and account insights from the Demandbase Conversion Solution with contact and account records from users’ Salesforce Pardot data. Through the collaboration, marketers are positioned to empower sales teams with a complete view of target accounts, including early buying signals.

Demandbase added that the integrated solution is designed to uncover the activity of Pardot contact information and the aggregated activity of account-level insights from Demandbase’s AI and proprietary IP-based data and patented identification technology. This will enable ABM teams to see when a target account visits their website, what relevant keywords and topics they research online, which key contacts are looking at what pages on their site and when they’re being mentioned in the news or on blogs. The information will be displayed within Salesforce, and can also be delivered via email and Slack.

“ABM has transformed how marketing teams drive new business and retain customers, but many B2B companies still struggle to deliver the comprehensive account view that can help sales teams drive pipeline and close business,” said Golec. “We’re excited to extend our partnership with Salesforce and give marketers the ability to empower sales teams with a complete picture of their target accounts so they can increase their productivity and win rates.”

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