Terminus picks up $90m funding as it pursues full-funnel, multi-channel ABM

Barb Mosher Zinck Profile picture for user barb.mosher March 5, 2021
Taking a deep(ish) dive into Terminus and the potential of multi-channel ABM.


Terminus has picked up $90m Series C funding, a nice kick-off to 2021, and further indication that Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is the go-to strategy for B2B brands. 

The last year or so have been somewhat transformative for Terminus, with several acquisitions that have added to the platform’s capabilities and their desire to “power high-performing go-to-market teams”, including in 2019 Sigstr, which enables custom signatures in emails. 

At the time I didn’t see the value of this, but after seeing it demoed in a recent Terminus demonstration, it finally clicked for me - this is about custom signatures (which include a banner) for accounts or types of accounts and the ability to select a specific signature from a marketing-approved list. In other words, it’s another way to ensure a consistent message across channels.

Sigstr was only the start, though. In 2020, Terminus also acquired Growflare and Ramble. Growflare added account-profiling and predictive data to the platform, enabling marketers to adjust account priorities based on intent signals dynamically as well as bringing psychographic data and lookalike capabilities to the platform.

Ramble meantime is an account-based chat solution. Conversational Marketing is growing in popularity, but an ABM-version of chat is very interesting because chat requests are routed to the people assigned to the accounts. There’s also “chat from anywhere” functionality that places the chat feature inside all types of channels, including email, LinkedIn, display ads, and more. With more people wanting to get answers faster, having the ability to chat precisely when you see something that piques your interest is a good thing.

Terminus Engagement Hub

I spent some time watching a demo of the Terminus Engagement Hub. It’s similar in some ways to the Demandbase One experience. It integrates with CRM and MA to enable building lists based on that data. Terminus gets its intent data from Bombora, along with data from the brand's own channels. 

You can view accounts by these systems, by ABM programs or tiers, and many other ways. It seemed very straightforward to view accounts, create lists for campaigns and view performance metrics. I liked that you could see website activity over a four-week period around topics of interest and relationship scores at the account and contact level.

Setting up a campaign - LinkedIn sponsored content or display - also looked easy once you have a list of accounts created. Filter that list down by intent action, demographics, or other filters, select your personas and your ads, and you’re good to go. There’s also website personalization driven by display ads or sponsored content, ensuring that the messages you send to specific accounts are consistent on the website when someone from the account arrives. 

Of course, all this account data is fed into the CRM, both marketing and sales activities, giving you that full view of what’s happening across the account. For those that don’t integrate a CRM (and likely for those that do), sales alert emails go to account owners when there is activity on the account. 

The final piece is the metrics. Scorecards are available, reports that show engagement, opportunities, won accounts, pipeline, deal velocity - by campaign, vertical, or account. Advanced analytics are also available that go even deeper into campaign analytics and opportunity journeys.

This wasn’t an in-depth demonstration, but it provided a good perspective into how to use Terminus and build ABM programs. What’s important to understand about ABM programs' potential is that it’s not only about acquiring new customers; you can also create programs that grow existing accounts and develop strong, loyal customer relationships. This is what Terminus talks about when it refers to “full-funnel marketing.” It’s a platform that supports marketing, sales, and customer success. 

My take

ITSMA did a study to see how organizations were working with adjusting their ABM programs during COVID and moving forward. Most of the respondents fell into the experimenting (piloting, measuring, refining their approach) or exploring (planning an ABM strategy) stage. There is a lot to understand about account-based marketing, including the different tiers, so it makes sense many organizations are still feeling their way through the process.

The key to success with ABM is adjusting the strategy as you work through it and learning what works and doesn’t work for you. What accounts to target, the messaging, channels, and tactics take a lot of work to figure out how to get started and get everyone on the same page.

They say you can get started in ABM without technology - and you can. But without the ability to combine data to find the best-fit accounts, and the ability to measure the performance of what you do in a centralized, straightforward way, you will struggle. 

Platforms like Terminus, Demandbase, 6Sense, and even HubSpot (which provides a limited set of ABM capabilities), really help shift an ABM strategy into high gear. I don’t think they are the answer - you have to have at least your starting strategy defined, but they do put the program into place much faster and enable you to adapt more quickly. 

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