Demandbase—Can it Turn Your Web Traffic Into Treasure?

Like most analysts, my schedule is usually chockfull of briefings from vendors. Some of these are boring, some are interesting, and once in a blue moon, a vendor comes along with a solution that everyone should know about.

Demandbase (www.demandbase.com) is one of these solutions. I initially came across the vendor late last fall, when I was judging for the Destination CRM Awards, and Demandbase was one of the nominees. I wanted to learn more, but between the Christmas holidays and my job change, I didn’t get to schedule a briefing with them until a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s why Demandbase is so interesting—particularly now, in this bruising economy. Companies spend a lot of time and money to drive prospects to their Web sites in the hopes of converting them to paying customers. With email campaigns and a dizzying array of social media (not to mention direct mail and other traditional marketing tactics), there are more tools than ever to get visitors to your site.

But most companies—especially in the B2B space—have a tough time harvesting the quality, “best-fit” leads from the irrelevant traffic. How can you tell if your campaigns hitting—or missing–the mark when it comes to reaching and attracting the right visitors to your site?

Demandbase zeros in on this problem by giving B2B companies much more visibility into who is visiting their Web site, and delivering qualified, scored lead services. Demandbase starts by aggregating and scrubbing lists from major database providers such as Hoovers, LexisNexis, Dun & Bradstreet and ZoomInfo. This provides the underlying business contact data for its lead qualification and scoring services, which are integrated with each other.

These services help you weed out the irrelevant leads and target the quality leads. Demandbase offers free, pay-as-you-go, and subscription based services. Demandbase Stream is the freebie service, and even this offers great value. You download a widget from the Demandbase site, and link it to your Web site with some JavaScript in a couple of clicks. Once you set it up, it displays ticker-style information about who’s visiting your site, what search terms they used, and what pages they looked at. It deciphers web traffic URLs, and filters out the ISPs and other irrelevant data. You can also create a Watch List to alert you when existing customers, prospects, partners and competitors are on your site. Demandbase Stream even works with blogs. (However, some blogs, such as wordpress.com, don’t allow you to add JavaScript to your page, so you have to use the company’s image-based tracking system instead. Its not quite as detailed, but I’ve installed it and am finding that even this more limited information is useful).

Demandbase fee-based services work with Demandbase Stream. For instance, when you see a qualified lead in Demandbase Stream, you can use granular search capabilities to locate specific people in targeted geographic areas, and purchase business contact information from Demandbase Direct. With Demandbase Standard, you create a target customer profile, and buy leads that fit your profile one at a time, or by the thousand, directly from it’s aggregated database. Demandbase can send them via email or to your CRM system. Price per lead depends on the score, and is typically about $2 per record. Demandbase is currently offering $20 worth of free contacts so you can take Demandbase Standard for a free test drive.

The company launched Demandbase Professional last week, which is a subscription service that starts at $325 per month. Demandbase Professional provides all of the services above, and additional features that integrate inbound marketing programs like online advertising, search marketing, social network marketing, etc. that drive traffic to your site with your outbound direct marketing programs.

Demandbase closed an $8 million round of funding last summer, and says that it is growing 30% quarter over quarter. This trajectory should continue, since Demandbase addresses a challenge that is ever present, but particularly compelling when times are tough. So compelling that I think the right question is, can your B2B business afford not to try it? 

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