Demandbase, a leading go-to market platform that is popularly known to have established several key ABM fundamentals over the years has had an interesting list of innovations and acquisitions these past few months,
To talk about some top highlights on Demandbase’s evolving journey, MarTech Series caught up with CEO, Gabe Rogol:
Tell us about yourself Gabriel, we’d love to hear more about your journey to CEO at Demandbase!
I started my career in B2B advertising, I spent the first fourteen years selling to marketers and over that time I got really passionate about go-to market plans and how to drive demand and turn that into sales. Towards the end of this fourteen year stretch of my career, (this was in 2012!), I started getting a lot questions from our largest advertisers on what it takes to target accounts that matter as opposed to targeting everybody, they wanted to know if we can help them do that. We didn’t have that kind of capability back then in the marketplace.
Coincidentally, it’s around then that I met Chris Golec, the founder of Demandbase. He had built a powerful data set that mapped IP address to companies; this helped identify which companies were coming to a particular site.
This is what drove our conversations further and by connecting the dots, we sort of paved the way to form the basis or our ad cloud product back then.
I was Head of Sales and CRO for many years since joining Demandbase and I had the opportunity to implement ABM in our company. Then about two years ago I stepped into the CEO role right when we were hitting a 100 million dollars, it’s been an amazing journey!
2020-2021 has been an active period for Demandbase in terms of the acquisitions that were undertaken – we’d love to dive into this a little more, tell us about the story behind Engagio’s acquisition last year and your two acquisitions this May…
I’ll start with the Engagio acquisition, after becoming CEO in 2019, we noticed an interesting dynamic; there was a lot of confusion surrounding what ABM really was. That confusion was preventing people from becoming successful and the goal for me as a new CEO centered around what we can do to clarify what ABM really is to a larger market, how do we drive the right ABM best practices…
At the end of the day in ABM, it’s about the data you have on that key target account, the data on the main decision makers at those accounts… we knew what we were good at and what we wanted to do and build.
Engagio had all the pieces we needed to drive this data-delivery-decision cycle and vice versa and we had an aligned version, so we went at it even though Covid hit, this was a completely remote acquisition and it turned out to be an important moment for ABM and it’s become more prominent since then.
In the least year, Covid drove digital transformation, making the whole sales and marketing process more digital-first and now companies need more to make ABM successful.
The acquisitions we undertook this May put us in a position to do more than just strengthen a brand’s ABM but also be a one-stop shop for data and sales intelligence, to provide key elements like who to reach out and what to reach out with, to help close the whole revenue loop.
That’s the key rationale behind the Engagio acquisition and this year’s InsideView and DemandMatrix acquisition.
How have these acquisitions significantly enriched the Demandbase suite of offerings and how does this now differentiate Demandbase in the marketplace?
Prior to this we were a leader in ABM and we extended that with the Engagio acquisition. Our InsideView and DemandMatrix acquisition takes ABM as a core of our solution to a part of our solution!
We are innovating how sales-marketing-revenue teams align, giving companies more data and insights to help them focus on targeting the right accounts and the people that matter within those accounts.
We’ve been a leader in B2B advertising for a long time, the acquisitions gave us two new clouds and better sales intelligence to help companies not only target accounts that matter, but to also drive the relationship they should have with those contacts, with the right messaging.
Our go-to market suite extends the marketing-sales relation to drive business. Our fourth (new!) cloud – the data cloud is incredibly important to all of this because the number one block to a successful ABM strategy is poor data. We are now one of the only companies that provide this integrated suite of capabilities.
It’s been interesting to hear about the latest innovations at Demandbase, a little change of pace here; in what ways are you seeing evolutions in today’s B2B martech environment change the game for marketers and advertisers in terms of how teams operate today and how roles are evolving?
The biggest or clearest way to think about it – martech is now moving closer to revenue. It’s about making the whole post-sales organization more effective. Martech has really been about customer and content management systems, that delivery is more on upper funnel content, and building demand and nurturing leads or nurturing broader audiences…
Martech can now boost the sales side of things, how sales is planned, what can drive conversions with other accounts while creating a circle that drives brand-demand-revenue.
Revenue platforms, CDPs, other innovations give new ways for marketing and sales to work better together. This was a lot more siloed in the past.
A lot is still evolving now in the way things are measured, the advances in revenue operations roles are turning out to be a glue, there are changes in ABM roles, and a lot of change in all this alignment is done because of tech innovations and how they can be used to solve a lot of the main problems for today’s revenue, marketing and sales teams.
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How according to you will the B2B martech segment shape up to look like in the next few years?
Major categories of martech will start to consolidate but the vendors that support that will proliferate and provide add on functionalities;
I think there will be a lot more data and signals around what’s happening with your target clients, better insights on your prospects to drive opportunities and solve challenges and this will require continued development.
The future will be driven by ML and AI based applications, this was also lead to a re-emergence of attribution and measurement;
This was hot a few years ago, but the tech back then might not have been that dependable. Now as data becomes more accessible and sophisticated with AI overlays, this will re-emerge as a more powerful and reliable fundamental in marketing.
Some of the largest companies in the world rely on Demandbase to drive and maximize their B2B go-to-market performance. Demandbase is said to have pioneered the ABM category nearly a decade ago.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Demandbase, Gabe is responsible for fulfilling the company’s mission of transforming how B2B companies go-to-market. Gabe Rogol is a sales leader with a passion for scaling revenues and delivering successful programs to customers.