“We would argue that the B2B buyer was changing even before COVID, but has only accelerated 110%,” said Deb Wolf, CMO at Integrate. “Buyers today are so much more on their own, and marketers are left to figure out almost how to be the marketer and the salesperson, because they need to be in all these channels where the buyers are.”
That’s the context for today’s launch of Integrate’s Demand Acceleration Platform, aimed at helping marketers orchestrate the B2B buying experience for the digital era. Integrate describes this as an account-based, customizable, precision demand approach.
Precision demand marketing. “We think it’s an emerging category,” said Wolf. “Marketers have come from a marketer-driven strategy from marketing automation days, to a sales-driven strategy in a buyer-driven world.”
The new platform is based around two 2019 acquisitions by Integrate, event lead management company Akkroo and account-based programmatic platform Listenloop. It will allow marketers to connect engagement at all parts of the funnel, from content syndication to attract new buyers at the top, through webinars and display advertising, to understanding what individual account members are doing.
It should also provide visibility into how channels are performing, to inform best next investments. “I call that ‘defending the spend’,” said Wolf.
Stop thinking vertically. Wolf also spoke about breaking down siloes within marketing: events, social, demand. “How do I stop thinking vertically and start thinking about the buyer journey horizontally? How do we give insight and analytics to marketers to be able to do that.”
For Wolf, precision demand marketing represents a step beyond ABM. “When marketers are asked to go all-in on ABM, they look at a specific number of accounts and think about what those accounts are doing. But they leave themselves vulnerable to a new buyer who’s not on their account list, but is starting to do research.” There’s the regular funnel and the funnel for ABM: “How do we provide marketers with the opportunity to have conversations across channels regardless of the perspective they take?”
Even when we put COVID in the rearview mirror, Wolf expects the digital B2B buyer journey to persist. “I’m going to be in your city in two weeks, let’s get together? The buyer doesn’t need that. We’ve proven that over the last year, so we have to be thinking about getting them the right kinds of content at the right time.
Why we care. These are new frontiers for B2B marketers. With buyers creating their own journeys, usually remotely and digitally, the marketer should expect to be engaged further and further down the funnel. Does this mean a different role for sales — perhaps advising and counseling rather than trying to close the deal? Perhaps so. It certainly means more focus on orchestrating the later stages of the journey, rather than just pulling accounts into the funnel based on intent and propensity signals.
This story first appeared on MarTech Today.