Black Box Secrecy is Martech’s Biggest Scandal

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May 21, 2024

5 mins read

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Black Box Secrecy is Martech’s Biggest Scandal

Why we’re promoting transparency in an industry that loves keeping you in the dark.

Many martech tools today are black boxes.

“Trust the machine,” they say. “The machine knows better than you.”

Spoiler: it doesn’t.

Go-to-market (GTM) strategies change constantly—monthly, quarterly, yearly. The market’s perception of your organization shifts almost daily. And technology? It changes even faster.

Having the ability to adapt your technology to market changes or your strategy is crucial to your success. You need transparency. Visibility. Flexibility. You need data you can trust.

Account-based marketing (ABM) isn’t magic. So why are so many platforms promising “silver bullet” solutions and failing to deliver? They disappoint users because:

Their processes are cryptic

Trust is eroded where there is no visibility. 

When it comes to your GTM platform, you need data you can trust. You deserve full visibility and transparency into how accounts are identified and the ability to adapt criteria to fit your needs. You need to understand what activities contribute to each account’s predictive score.

Yet, too many platforms present you with obscured data and logic you can’t see, understand, or modify. They lock you into their black box, leaving you in the dark.

You need full transparency into what moves accounts through your funnel. Understand exactly why accounts are in the purchase stage, with clear explanations.

Some support teams will answer your questions openly and transparently. Others, when asked to explain, will give you a vague explanation that doesn’t track, tell you that the knowledge is “proprietary”, or will ghost you altogether.

They nickel and dime you

Some platforms claim to be ready out of the box, but what they really mean is you must be ready for them. Customization options are practically nonexistent. You’re forced to adapt to their software instead of the other way around. Software shouldn’t force you to change your sales or marketing processes due to its own inflexibility.

So, what happens? You spend a fortune on add-ons. They’ll upsell you on features that should be standard, charging you for things like:

  • Each predictive model ($20-50k)
  • Number of accounts being advertised to
  • Additional CPM for people-based advertising
  • Additional social audiences
  • Number of API calls

The total cost of ownership skyrockets, far beyond the initial projections promised by sales teams. These same platforms:

❌ Bombard you with forceful sales tactics.

❌ Squeeze you for every feature.

❌ Lock you into multi-year contracts.

For most companies, these smoke-and-mirrors platforms just don’t make any economic sense.

They put you in the passenger’s seat

Paying $10k to tweak a model? Insane.

Waiting 2-3 weeks for support? Ridiculous.

Losing control of your strategy? Unacceptable.

Too many platforms trap you into dependency. They force endless add-ons, make you wait weeks for support, or push you to bring in external services just to manage your GTM strategy.

This reliance on support tickets, additional purchases, or third-party services keeps you stuck.

You need technology that adapts to market changes. You need the ability to test, customize, and present insights that are valuable to your marketers and sellers alike.

Instead, these platforms hijack the wheel and leave you stranded.

Your GTM platform shouldn’t dictate your sales or marketing processes. It should bend to your needs, and put YOU in control.

We believe in shattering black boxes

Why settle for a black box you can’t tailor or explain? Get the go-to-market platform that adapts to you, not the other way around. Demandbase does this through a variety of features and products designed to empower you. We’re not here to dictate your strategy or execution—we’re here to support and enable it.

Some platforms use this as a chance to upsell or claim they know better. Not us. We’re here to help, support, and enable your GTM vision without plundering your budget.

Demandbase One™ seamlessly integrates with your current strategy and evolves alongside your business. Whether it’s day 1, day 200, or day 500, we scale with you, adapting to your targets and success metrics without hidden costs.

It’s unsustainable to lack control over your own strategy, and at Demandbase, we’re committed to changing that. We ensure you’re enabled, in control, and supported in your strategy.

That’s why we’re introducing new features that enhance transparency and customization

Account Journey Builder: Create multiple account journeys

✔ Design specific journeys for different product lines, geographies, or business units.

✔ Spot cross-sell and upsell opportunities by analyzing each account’s interest in a specific product or service.

✔ Provide tailored journey stages for users, enhancing relevance and specificity.


Database Folders: Streamline and organize workflows

✔ Organize your lists into specific folders for easy access.

✔ Customize the structure to fit your workflow with nested folders.

✔ Enhance transparency by clearly categorizing and managing all your lists.

✔ Save time by quickly locating and accessing your lists without hassle.


Field Management: Eliminate redundancy and save API calls

✔  Eliminate redundant data syncing from multiple platforms and maintain a single source of truth.

✔ Reduce unnecessary API usage by deactivating duplicate fields.

✔ Bulk deactivate redundant fields to save time and effort.

✔ Empower admins to manage and control data ingestion from various platforms.

✔ Ensure only essential data is synced, improving platform performance.


Custom Sync: Control ingestion and boost performance

✔ Manage what data is ingested and by which object for CRM and marketing automation integrations.

✔ Customize sync settings to control API call frequency, reducing unnecessary usage and costs.

✔ Gain precise control over data ingestion and sync intervals, reducing unnecessary API calls and ensuring efficient data handling.


Experience total transparency with Demandbase One™

Tired of black box martech tools that promise the world and deliver nothing but headaches? So are we.

With Demandbase One™, you get full visibility into your data, the ability to adapt to market changes, and the power to customize your GTM strategy to fit your unique needs.

No more guessing games, no more questionable data, no more shelling out extra for features that should be baseline. Break free from the shadows and demand transparency, flexibility, and control. Demandbase One™ is your answer.

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Tom Keefe

Principal GTM Expert, Marketing Operations, Demandbase

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