Demandbase Sees Uptick In Exchange Ad Buys Using Its IP-Based Business Data

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Demandbase_Chris_GolecDemandbase used to focus exclusively on optimizing website content based on the company an inbound visitor works for. As we noted late last year, it has expanded to push that IP-based business data into RTB buys. In an update on the business, CEO Chris Golec tells AdExchanger about 25% of customers have used the new paid media offering. He says the company has had special success poaching AdWords budget for hardcore B2B Marketers.

AdExchanger: When you last spoke with AdExchanger, you had just launched your Demandbase Company Targeted Advertising platform. Can you catch our readers up on what the company has been doing?

CHRIS GOLEC: So there are companies that target using IP addresses, but that’s based on just geo-targeting. IP targeting is not new but adding business information on top of those messages is proprietary and unique to what we do. We have the ability to identify users who come to a customer’s website based on the company they belong to and we’ve built modules that plug into content management systems, marketing automation systems, CRM systems, etc. Until about a year ago, everything we were doing was selling these modules to make websites more personalized and engaging for audiences.

Where this is going now is we’ve noticed most of the people coming to our customers’ websites are not from businesses that will ever buy anything. So we built our own RTB platform that ties into ad exchanges like Google’s [Doubleclick Ad Exchange] and FBX to help companies focus on the sweet spot and advertise to the companies they’re interested in. For example, if Salesforce.com wants to sell to media companies, we can serve Salesforce ads that are personalized with the target company’s name or a salesperson’s photo and contact info to those companies.

Given what Salesforce.com is doing in linking their CRM data with ads, do you see Salesforce as a competitor?

No, they’re one of our largest customers. We plug into 35 different technologies, including Adobe’s and Oracle’s platforms and Salesforce.com is just one of those.

How many customers do you have and what percentage of your customer base is using your ad platform?

I’d say about 25% out of about 200 [are using the ad platform] and we expect to at least double or triple that by the end of this year. Those customers include Dell, Microsoft and Dun & Bradstreet. Even small companies like Strongmail, they shifted all their Google AdWords budget to Demandbase since they have a target set of 10,000 companies to sell to and very seldom does someone from those 10,000 companies put in a keyword. It’s a lot more effective for them to put that money toward advertising directly towards those target companies.

You mentioned a social component earlier. Where does social fit into your offerings?

We’re working on that now. The idea here is if you’re running different types of ad campaigns, what’s the level of social engagement from these companies and does that lead to revenue? Website activity is the best predictor of future revenue for B2B companies. And so, when you look at website traffic and revenue, you’ll also be able to look at whether social activity picks up from the companies you’re targeting and if it leads to revenue.

What about mobile? What are you doing in that space?

I would break mobile into two segments: wi-fi versus cellular. About 2% of our customers’ traffic is through cellular mobile since those users are hidden behind carriers like AT&T.  Our mobile traffic overall is at 15% and a lot of that is coming through wi-fi, since when an employee uses an iPad, for example, and connects to the company’s Wi-fi, we can track that.

What can you say around revenue and growth?

This year we more than doubled our revenue from last year and expect to double it again next year. The most exciting part of our growth is that a lot of it is by adding new functionalities versus just getting new customers. If you look at marketing automation firms, their average price is $20,000 and has been the same for the last four years. Our average price per customer was about $20,000 four years ago and now it’s about $95,000. Whatever a company spends on their website they’re spending 20 times that amount to get people to go to their websites. Because of that, there’s a lot more opportunity on the advertising side from a pure dollar standpoint.

What other areas are you developing?

So we have the website and advertising arms. The next two are social and CRM. We’re trying to complete that customer lifecycle where we’re helping companies attract, acquire and then retain and grow their customers. We are going to be pulling in data from CRM systems and joining that with other data and sending it to our customers in a more elegant dashboard in a few months.

You’ll be able to look at the relationships between your website activity and CRM data or advertising campaigns and sales activity. It’s becoming more of a full platform enabler without displacing anything that you’re using. We are also introducing subscription models into the advertising, rather than doing episodic campaigns, where some of our customers are converting to “always on” advertising subscriptions.

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