Last year’s ABM Innovation Summit was end-to-end about AI. The reason was simple.The only way to deliver personalized, relevant messages to individual members of purchase-teams, at large numbers of accounts, geared to their position in the funnel, was an onslaught of alogrithms – something Demandbase claimed to be in a good position to offer, following the 2016 acquisition of data science specialists Spiderbook.

Spiderbook’s former CEO, Alan Fletcher, is now Chief Product Officer at Demandbase. When I asked him over lunch at the summit why there was less emphasis on AI on this year’s agenda, he acknowledged that customers had taken a step beyond needing to hear about the potential of AI-driven ABM, and now wanted to discuss execution.

And execution, what’s more, across new channels. That’s something that was on Demandbase CEO Chris Golec’s mind too: “The traditional way of B2B marketing, of hoping a company comes to my website; hoping they find the right content; hoping they fill out a long form; and hoping the salesperson calls them back a day laterThat’s a lot of hoping.” In a series of sessions, practitioners explained not just how to get started with ABM, but how to execute at a savvier, and more sophisticated level.

At the heart of the matter, said Nani Jansen, Demandbase director of product marketing, is audience creation and management. Developing a target account list should go beyond basic parameters (revenue, region, and industry, for example) and look at “fit.”

The Demandbase platform, said Jansen, doesn’t just surface lists of ranked target accounts; it provides a detailed explanation of why the accounts are on the list, and why they have the ranking they do. For Heidi Bullock, CMO of Engagio, and also presenting at Summit, cross-selling and up-selling opportunities add value to an ABM strategy. Read more from…

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