Demandbase CEO Chris Golec on stage at a recent technology conference.
Demandbase CEO Chris Golec on stage at a recent technology conference.

Following through on a promise to invest in artificial intelligence (AI), Demandbase, a San Francisco-based B2B marketing technologies provider, has released a new AI technology that better enables B2B companies to turn digital signals into actions. 

Called Real-Time Intent, company officials said the new functionality works similarly to the way in which a human entering keywords into a search engine signals intent. 

Demandbase closed a $65 million funding round in May of this year, bringing the company's total funding to $150 million. At the time the company promised to use the funds to invest further in AI. Recent investments in AI build on Demandbase's acquisition of data science company Spiderbook about a year ago.

The company also said it will use the new funding to hire data scientists, a move which CEO Chris Golec confirmed has transpired. 

Scent of Intent

Demandbase claims that Real-Time Intent will allow marketers to ferret out buyer intent in their research stage, surfacing actionable signals earlier in the purchase process. They do not have to wait for prospects to visit websites and take actions there. 

Armed with such insight, marketers can then take actions like using hyper-targeted ads, beefing up their sales intelligence and personalizing website content at the account level.

"Over the years, we've built a pretty massive network of B2B web interactions and a variety of different data sets including stuff that we acquired via our acquisition of Spiderbook to Demandbase's proprietary data," Golec said. "We've put that together and layered on AI."

Demandbase's screenshot of its new real-time intent technology that helps B2B marketers.

Beyond Data

Golec referred to this combination as "not just data, but information." 

Demandbase's networks churns 400 million B2B visitors per month (60 billion B2B monthly interactions), Golec said. Through its new Real-Time Intent, marketers can determine what prospects are reading or writing about.

"It gives us a head start in the buying cycle," he said, "even long before they visit a website."

Golec said companies may be sitting on valuable data inside their CRM systems, but there are also tons of transactions that take place outside of "your own four walls."

Fall Harvest

Demandbase combines its proprietary IP-based data and patented identification technology, data from its ad networks and exchanges, third-party firmographic data, and publicly available online data such as social media APIs, articles, press releases and SEC data. 

Demandbase Real-Time Intent will be available to all customers in the fall. Another feature, website personalization at the persona level, will become available later this year.

"We are doing AI vs. just talking about it," Golec told CMSWire. "With AI, it's not just about technology, it's about the data that it’s sitting on."

With mountains of the stuff on hand Demandbase certainly sits in an interesting position. But accurately deriving human intent is easier said than done and for data to be useful it needs to be structured in ways the algorithms can understand

Nuance matters and the AI sky is being promised every which way we turn — stay tuned as the rubber hits the road and the story unfolds. We want to see that data.