The Convergence of Marketing Automation and Account-Based Marketing

When I first got started in software, it was at a company called e.piphany which specialized in what was then called Campaign Management. Campaign Management software automated the process of sending out campaigns — primarily direct mail at that time and then email. Campaign Management was mostly industry-agnostic — B2C, B2B, B2B2C, it didn’t matter — which also meant that it mostly catered to the lowest common denominator, usually B2C.

A few years later, a couple of ex-e.pihanites, our very own Jon Miller along with Phil Fernandez, started Marketo to focus solely on B2B marketing and created what has now become the Marketing Automation space. You know the story here, Marketo, Eloqua and a few others came to quickly dominate the B2B marketing world. But over time, even they recognized that Marketing Automation left something to be desired. 

Marketing Automation had the Marketing department focused on driving leads but Sales was still focused on selling to accounts. To fill this gap, Jon went on to found Engagio and ex-Eloqua and ex-Pardot folks went on to found other companies which ultimately started the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) space. Demandbase has since expanded the definition of ABM beyond just “M” for Marketing to ABX, Account-Based Experience, to address the full customer lifecycle — from awareness to purchase to retention and expansion.

While many companies have already invested or are starting to invest in account-based strategies, most are still using a mix of marketing approaches. And the emphasis on leads over account-based is probably even more prevalent in some industries that are not typical early adopters of new tech. At Demandbase, we’ve focused on promoting an account-based approach as part of a broader ecosystem by partnering with MAPs, CRM and Sales Engagement Platforms like Outreach and Salesloft. But, we’ve started to notice some changes in the market.

Recently, Demandbase was named to Constellation Research’s Constellation ShortList™ B2B Marketing Automation for the Enterprise: 

I’m pretty sure this is the first instance of an ABM vendor appearing on the same evaluation as the big Marketing Automation players, but I’m also sure it won’t be the last. We are proud to be listed among our friends and partners like Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce. And as a long-time member of the marketing and sales technology world myself, I’m super excited to be part of this next evolution as the Marketing Automation and Account-Based Marketing spaces converge towards what may become a brand-new way to go to market. This can only mean good things for marketers and sellers, and ultimately for your end customers.

Interested in reading the Constellation ShortList™ B2B Marketing Automation for the Enterprise? Check it out here.


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Vice President of Product Marketing, Demandbase

I'm responsible for go-to-market initiatives and product strategy at Demandbase. I thrive on customer interaction and engagement and love to build and mentor teams. I act as a coach and make sure my team members shine on their own merits while making sure they have the support they need for that success.