Terms of the deal were not made public. CEO Chris Golec told me the acquisition will allow Demandbase to add a “finer layer and more sophisticated targeting” as it ingests WhoToo’s hundreds of millions of behavioral, functional, and persona profiles about consumers and business users.
This will allow B2B marketing down to the level of employees’ interests and functional areas, he said, such as targeting technology support personnel in medical offices.
His company specializes in account-based marketing, where the focus is on developing relationships with a selected list of businesses and then selling to them across product lines and updates, instead of mass marketing a few products. Key competitors include Marketo’s Insightera and LinkedIn’s Bizo, but Golec said the WhoToo acquisition helps extend DemandBase’s advantage in targeting data.
Demandbase’s core focus has been to identify business people who visit websites by their corporate IP address, and then retarget them with appropriate ads or personalized content when they return. In contrast to Bizo, Demandbase uses networked IP addresses instead of cookies to guide its targeting.
A person from a major airline, for instance, might return a few times to the site of a software vendor, and they would receive personalized ads or content on their returns even if they haven’t provided any info about themselves. Demandbase also targets ads and content to that user when they are on other web sites that participate in its network.
In addition to the data, the acquisition also gives Demandbase access to WhoToo’s existing relationships with DMPs (data management platforms) like BlueKai, which aggregate targeting data for advertisers and marketers.
Golec said Demandbase had not previously worked with DMPs, in part because it likes to keep its data for its own customer companies and not make it available on an open market.
Now, he said, it will be easier for Demandbase to “roll in first-party data [from a client company] with our own,” although he indicated it would likely be on a private basis for specific client companies.
Founded in 2012, WhoToo will retain its office in Seattle, and its management and employees will remain in place. WhoToo founder and CEO Matt Rowlen will lead Demandbase’s expanded data team.
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