Most B2B marketers – more than 60%, according to Dun & Bradstreet – spend on programmatic advertising. But when trying to connect their programmatic investment to actual leads generated down in the funnel, they hit a wall.
To help them break through, Integrate, a mar tech and data orchestration platform for B2B marketers, is acquiring ListenLoop, a programmatic self-serve software platform centered on account-based marketing.
The acquisition, announced Wednesday, is Integrate’s first foray into M&A. Jeremy Bloom, Integrate’s CEO and founder, declined to share the deal price, but said ListenLoop’s 25 employees – composed mainly of engineers – are coming aboard, bringing Integrate’s total headcount to around 225.
B2B marketers spend their ad budgets on three primary categories: demand generation to drum up qualified leads for the sales team (aka, Download this white paper!); events (aka, Let me scan your badge!) and programmatic account-based marketing (aka, Check out my pre-roll ad!).
Account-based marketing, B2B marketing’s answer to audience-based targeting, allows marketers to hit specific accounts or domains with personalized messaging or discover new companies to target based on who is engaging with their advertising.
“But there’s a disconnect between the top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel,” Bloom said. “The KPIs for programmatic are things like ad engagement or click-through rate – not creating pipeline.”
And for B2B marketers, not being able to prove pipeline creates an awkward situation. They’re spending millions on programmatic, they think it’s working, but their dubious CFOs want them to prove it.
With ListenLoop, Integrate is launching what it’s calling a programmatic account-based demand generation solution. In other words, it’s a self-serve platform that lets B2B clients track ROI from programmatic all the way down to sales-qualified leads.
Marketers upload their target list of accounts into Integrate, which uses ListenLoop’s technology to populate top-of-the-funnel advertising efforts. The targets also flow down to demand generation partners at the bottom of the funnel. Marketers can then create and track campaigns to engage users and nudge them down the funnel until they turn into the kind of hot lead that the sales team needs to know about.
When Integrate beta tested the solution with clients, including Dell and cybersecurity company Gigamon, it compared results for running programmatic campaigns, running demand generation as a standalone and doing both at the same time.
“We saw an increase in pipeline opportunities when the two were connected, a more intelligent view of where we should be spending the next marketing dollar and more velocity in the lead-to-close time,” Bloom said. “And that’s just because we’re getting smarter about what accounts are in market at what period of time.”