Demandbase on Thursday is extending what it calls its ABM Ecosystem with a channel program that aims to match B2B brands with agencies, consultancies, systems integrators and other service providers that can help them achieve their account-based marketing goals.
Ogilvy, gyro, Quarry and Edelman will be among the first partners in the “premier” tier of the program, which will be based on achieving Demandbase Solutions Certification, focused training in ABM and deep expertise in particular areas, such as web site personalization.
According to Kent Ragen, Demandbase vice-president of Channel Sales and Alliances, the company has long relationships with many of the organizations joining the program, but formalizing it made sense because more B2B brands are looking for specific help to backfill roles or apply ABM best practices.
“The message to clients and Demandbase prospects is when you are making your investment in Demandbase technology, you can do that in the comfort of knowing there’s an ecosystem of experienced organizations that can help you,” Ragen told B2B News Network. “It’s like an extended family that can help you get to value.”
Initially, the program might involve Demandbase “curating” relationships between customers and partners who best fit their needs after hearing about it through a customer success team member, Ragen said. Over time, he said more pre-sales activity will occur, where DemandBase and a partner will work together on activities like pitching ABM to a customer or prospect.
The long-term plan, which Ragen said may take until the first quarter of next year, will be to set up a directory of partners with a thorough description to let customers self-select a service provider.
“At its core, the most consistent profile we see among successful partners is a deep knowledge of something like web site personalization or in the consulting and strategic planning realm or tactically around reporting from dynamic and disparate sources into custom dashboards,” he said. “That’s when we find marrying partner capabilities with Demandbase technology makes for really interesting solutions for our customers.”
While some brands may continue to try to manage ABM programs on their own or bring work back in-house as they get more experience, Ragen suggested there will inevitably be customers with gaps.
“I see many years of growth in store for agencies and consultancies and system integrators to build practice areas around ABM and be able to deliver those services to clients,” he said.
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