At the Adobe Summit earlier this year, Greg Ott of Demandbase made two things clear to B2B marketers: Buyers no longer make purchases alone, and most of the buyer’s journey happens before they actually engage with the potential vendor.

Targeting Companies of Buyers

B2B marketing technology provider Demandbase released today a new premium feature on top of its Company-Targeted Advertising solution that gets B2B marketers to buyers earlier on that journey through specific targeting and advertisements with access to Facebook inventory.

How so? Demandbase targets the company of the Facebook visitor -- using business attributes associated with the organization’s IP address (company name, industry size, revenue, etc.) -- and then delivers advertisement messages during key times on Facebook.

The social media premium feature for Facebook will be available to Demandbase Company-Targeted Advertising customers in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Why This Product?

In an interview with CMSWire, we asked Ott what makes this solution unique. He told us Demandbase, instead of using cookies (either retargeting or third party), uniquely knows the company associated to the IP address or network of the Facebook visitor.

customer experience, Demandbase B2B Feature Targets Company Profile for Facebook Ads

B2B marketers, he said, can select the companies they want to target, track the specific accounts their ads are served to on Facebook or elsewhere, and whether those companies engaged on Websites or with their sales team -- regardless of whether they clicked on an ad; it's a metric called Account Lift.

“We're making Facebook advertising work for B2B advertisers by making it company targetable,” Ott said when CMSWire asked him the solution’s “wow factor.” “Instead of Facebook’s targeting or user profile information to serve ads, we use our own company identification technology to determine who to target the ads to.”

Demandbase Keeping Busy

This week’s solution isn’t a major surprise for the industry considering Demandbase’s activity this year. Just a few weeks ago, Demandbase announced that its real-time identification technology is now connected with Marketo, enabling the platform to plug in to Marketo landing pages and lead capture forms. 

In March, Demandbase secured US$ 15 million in financing in an investment round led by Scale Venture Partners and including existing investors Sigma Partners, Altos Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Adobe Systems.

How did it want to spend the cash? Supporting innovation and speeding up adoption of its technologies by US and European enterprises. Helping Demandbase is its dossier of partners: i.e. Adobe, Drupal, Ektron, Eloqua, ExactTarget, Google Analytics, Marketo and Salesforce.

It seems to be part of a long-term plan by Demandbase to focus on real-time identification technology and targeted advertising, with its first key release about a year ago

What’s next? Ott told us Demandbase will continue to apply real-time company identification technology to other outlets and social media platforms for B2B audience targeting. Today’s announcement, he said, is its initial one on Facebook.

Why Not Rely on Traditional Metrics?

When we covered the Social Media & Web Analytics Innovation Enterprise last month, we talked about the importance of true fan engagement for companies in their social media marketing campaigns. Get more fans. Engage them with the right messages. Get them to tell their friends about it. Offer them something free or start a contest to get them to like your pages. 

So why can’t B2B marketers rely on this kind of engagement? What's not effective about using likes, posts, shares, etc. in terms of courting buyers?

Ott, when asked these questions by CMSWire, said B2B marketers need a more targeted message.

"Likes" and "shares" are "great for consumer marketing and individual products, but a different kind of segmentation is needed for B2B,” Ott told us. “With Demandbase, you’re advertising only to the companies or accounts that fit your sales profile.”

We’ll have to wait on determining the success of this one with Demandbase’s release coming later in the quarter. But if it’s working on Facebook, expect to see growth in other social media platforms from Demandbase in 2014.