AI, intent data boost new B2B marketing tools from Demandbase, Get Smart Content & Leadspace

April 6, 2017 Ari Soffer

MarTech Today -- There’s a veritable cornucopia of advanced targeting solutions for B2B marketers this week, with new announcements from Demandbase, Get Smart Content and Leadspace.

Demandbase makes its living by recognizing when potential B2B buyers come to your website and serving them personalized content, or retargeting them with ads when they visit other sites. They identify the users via IP addresses, domains and other techniques, plus use site behavior to help indicate what they’re interested in.

This week, they’re increasing their membership in the AI club with a new web personalization solution called Site Optimization. The company describes this as “the industry’s first AI-based personalization solution” for B2B marketing, although some other B2B marketers — like YesPath — have also claimed they use AI for site content personalization.

Previously, Demandbase’s web personalization offering was rules-based: if this kind of visitor shows up on the site, display that kind of content.

The rules-based version is still available, CMO Peter Isaacson told me, but the AI-based version now automates this process. It looks at page titles and other content indicators to categorize and recommend site content for specific types of users.

Here’s a screen for cloud data platform provider Qubole, after a visitor from Accenture has been detected:

Isaacson said that it takes about two to four weeks for the new system to learn what kinds of content are most effective on a given site for a given type of user. Site Optimization can also employ its AI for A/B testing.

Demandbase’s new offering reflects a larger industry move from rules-based to AI-powered automated responses. It’s a trend that marketers should welcome, assuming the solutions work as advertised, since it can relieve the burden of setting rules for visitors down to the individual level, for every kind of content.

There are no stats yet on whether the AI-based Site Optimization works better than the rules-based version, Isaacson said, although “our preliminary data shows the level of engagement is way up” with the solution.

He added that the new AI layer is based on tech from Demandbase’s acquisition of data science firm Spiderbook last summer. He added that this new intelligence has already been implemented at his company for account identification and for account-based sales development, and, now that it’s in site personalization, boosting the ad side of the company with AI is on the to-do list.

Get Smart Content’s exclusive deal with Bombora

Austin, Texas-based personalization provider Get Smart Content is also upping its game this week for how it decides what to show B2B visitors to your site. But instead of AI, it is employing Bombora’s intent data for the first time in a new site personalization solution called Audience Insights.

Bombora is a leader in tracking B2B intent signals across the web, such as knowing that this user-with-a-cookie has downloaded a white paper on servers from another site and so must be intending to buy a server. It maintains a cooperative of B2B media and vendor sites, analyst firms and lead gen services that share their anonymized tracking of business users.

Get Smart Content VP of Marketing Nick Bhavsar told me that the deal is exclusive for the use of Bombora intent data in site personalization. Those intent signals are combined with a visitor’s site behavior and info about the visitor’s company, determined by data from CleanBit or KickFire, both of which are Demandbase competitors. Here’s an Audience Insights screen for setting up Bombora data:

But, Bhavsar added, his company also works with Demandbase on occasion — for its ability to ID B2B visitors, not for its site personalization.

Leadspace’s new Audience Discovery

Predictive lead scorer Leadspace is also boosting its chops this week in finding B2B targets, by joining the AI bandwagon.

It is announcing a new, AI-powered Audience Management Platform that it says is the first B2B platform to combine Data Management, Predictive Modeling and Audience Discovery.

Essentially, CEO and founder Doug Bewsher told me, Leadspace wants to bring the kind of encompassing audience management system to B2B marketers that their B2C siblings have enjoyed.

The new piece for his company and B2B marketers, he said, is the Audience Discovery component. B2C marketers might search every source of user data in order to find and target soccer moms, he said, but B2B marketers generally get info on people and companies, put that into a customer relationship management (CRM) system and market to them. When there is an attempt at discovering new kinds of potential customers, he said, it’s usually done by analyzing lists of possible buyers.

Using AI to match datasets and find lookalike matches, the new Leadspace platform creates what Bewsher says are fuller profiles of known B2B customers, combining a brand’s first-party data with intent data (such as from Bombora), company info from Dun & Bradstreet, data gleaned from searches, third-party data and so on.

These richer profiles can be more personalized, he said, and they better allow a B2B marketer to do lookalike matching against a wider range of possible customers at both an account and an individual level, because there are more attributes to match.

The result, Leadspace says, is that B2B companies using its new integrated and intelligent platform can find additional segments of companies and individuals to pitch, from a much wider universe of possibilities than before.

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