Demandbase Snaps Up B2B Marketing Data Platform WhoToo

DBDemandbase has acquired Seattle-based WhoToo, a behavioral data platform focused on B2B marketing, for an unidentified sum, the company disclosed Thursday.

Underscoring the deal was Demandbase’s desire to beef up its behavioral marketing data set and hook into clients’ existing data-management platforms.

“This isn’t just data for data’s sake,” noted Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase: “We’re working closely with the WhoToo team to very quickly bring our account-based segments into the DMP world, so our customers can layer in that information to their existing Oracle [BlueKai], Adobe or [Nielsen] eXelate deployments.”

Demandbase focuses on account-based marketing, which Golec described as a deviation from the marketing automation norm.

In traditional B2B marketing automation, more focus might be placed on acquiring new leads or pushing a few select products. Performance is essentially measured based on how many times an individual downloaded a white paper or completed a form.

Account-based marketing, however, focuses more on the individual accounts a sales team is targeting. Often, there is a more complex customer pipeline spanning multiple products and services.

“One of the major challenges with account-based marketing is that clients want to link data across a number of different platforms,” Golec said. “The acquisition of WhoToo will allow us to layer in hundreds of millions of profiles, personas and behavioral information, which will strengthen our platform.”

Demandbase’s platform is used by large companies like Dell, DocuSign and Motorola. Because its system spans corporate IP addresses, online forums and CRM systems, Golec said the targeting effectiveness is much richer than relying on cookie-based targets alone.

“We package [our data] in a way that makes marketing more effective,” Golec claimed, noting integrations with about 45 large exchanges and marketing platforms such as Google DoubleClick, Adobe, Salesforce and The Trade Desk.

Since Demandbase also has its own demand-side platform, it has an execution layer many standard marketing automation systems lack.

Generally, sales and transactional information is relegated to CRM databases isolated from website activity or the media component, but Golec said Demandbase’s value proposition is to unite the two camps.

WhoToo employed eight engineers, who will join Demandbase and expand its total headcount to 180, according to Golec. The acquisition will also give Demandbase more of a West Coast presence.

The deal follows a flurry of acquisitions in the B2B marketing arena, most notably LinkedIn’s purchase of B2B data marketing platform Bizo and Dun & Bradstreet’s buy of NetProspex.

Golec believes B2B marketing data is an untapped opportunity, particularly since one of the incumbent providers was essentially privatized when LinkedIn sunset Bizo’s data-as-a-service business.

“As a lot of our customers are putting together their own data strategies, you really need an open standard,” Golec noted.

He went on to explain the challenge marketers face from a data perspective on some of the big social platforms: They’ve amassed a lot of private data that can’t be shared and have difficulty measuring campaign results at a granular user level, as well as outside of their respective ecosystems.

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