Terminus CEO Shares Details On BrightFunnel Acquisition, Plans For Growth Of ABM Platform

Published: January 17, 2018

eric spettTerminus recently acquired BrightFunnel, a marketing attribution and forecasting solution, highlighting an ongoing trend of converging technologies to help B2B marketers better execute and measure the impact of their ABM and inbound initiatives.

Customers of both solutions shared mutual happiness around the acquisition, noting that it is a step in the right direction for Terminus’ ABM platform.

“I was thrilled for the whole Terminus team when I heard the news they’d acquired BrightFunnel,” said Julia Stead, VP of Marketing at Invoca. “This is a great new home for BrightFunnel, my favorite marketing attribution tool, and I look forward to seeing what comes next for the Terminus ABM platform.”

Nate Kristy, Marketing Director at MRI Real Estate Software, added that he is excited about what the acquisition means for future integrations and capabilities within the platform. “From a reporting perspective, it’s essential for marketers to demonstrate the impact their marketing programs have on driving revenue. By using BrightFunnel, we can already show attribution today and look forward to revealing even greater ROI from our ABM tactics in Terminus and our other marketing channels.”

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In an interview with Demand Gen Report, Terminus Co-founder and CEO Eric Spett shared his perspective on the BrightFunnel acquisition, how the two solutions will pair together and how the martech space will continue to consolidate and evolve in 2018.

Demand Gen Report: What is the plan to integrate the two solutions? Will BrightFunnel remain a separate entity, or be folded into Terminus’ platform?

Eric Spett: Our goal for bringing these products together is to really do whatever is going to best align with how our customers and the market would like to purchase and utilize the software. We’re in the early stages of figuring out exactly what that means from a tactical roadmap perspective. But right now, what we’re really trying to do is get a better understanding of how some of our mutual customers would like to see it work. We have some market feedback, but we ultimately just want to align the product roadmap with how the market would like to buy and to use it. So over time, that’ll become clearer, but no firm answers today.

DGR: When talking with your customers, what are they asking and looking for when it comes to measuring marketing attribution?

Spett: Firstly, I think one thing that’s important to understand — and a big reason why the acquisition happened — is that we at Terminus are very happy BrightFunnel customers. It’s the lifeblood for everything that our VP of Marketing, Peter Herbert, does and all of the money that we spend on marketing programs. So we have a lot of familiarity with the product and its values and capabilities.

Now, as you start to think about Terminus and what we’ve been up to with our account-based advertising product, this will give you hints of our product strategy. One thing that we’re hoping to do very quickly with the product is to take the BrightFunnel digital attribution suite — the one that focuses on third-party advertising — and make it available to all the 400-plus Terminus customers off the bat. So just being able to provide better funnel attribution against, specifically for us, account-based advertising.

From there, what we want to do is provide better account-based reporting and account-based attribution. Think of it as an attribution suite but with a similar account lens on it. This includes some of the features that BrightFunnel already had in their ABM module as part of their global filters where you could filter your analytics and reporting by target accounts and non-target accounts.

BrightFunnel has a ton of success in the enterprise market and most Terminus customers are in the mid-market, so it’s really about getting better advertising analytics. We’re going to help provide them multi-touch attribution features to meet their needs. Then finally, for enterprises who are sophisticated and need the full suite, we’re going to offer the full-blown multi-touch attribution and analytics, which is where BrightFunnel has been experiencing tons of success and growth.

DGR: What does your product roadmap look like going forward? Any potential acquisitions? What features/functionalities are you looking to incorporate into the platform?

Spett: Absolutely. So our vision as a business is to unify the go-to-market teams of every B2B company in the world. What we’re doing today to help us get there is building the best-in-class ABM platform in the community. From a platform perspective, we want to build a platform that helps businesses flip their funnel to execute and orchestrate campaigns.

When we simplify that down, it aims to answer:

  • How do you identify and prioritize best-fit accounts?
  • How do you execute marketing and engage decision-makers?
  • How do you measure it?

[Terminus] is focused on the middle part of that which is engagement and execution. We’ve started to do some things on the top and on the bottom of that. So for identifying and prioritizing target accounts, we integrated with Salesforce, it’s the way that our account-based visitor ID product feeds and helps prioritize named accounts. Then, on the measurement part, our account-based visitor ID product is a really good measurement tool for account-based advertising and other anonymous visitors.

Our core focus has really been the digital execution, doing a little bit to help feed into the account-based model, doing enough to help with the measurement component. So, what this acquisition does is expedite our product roadmap from the measurement perspective by, in our estimate, about two years.

This is exciting for us to have our first acquisition under our belt at the business. The majority of our executive team does have extensive experience with M&A. So this certainly does open the door for future acquisitions in the future.

DGR: Do they see BrightFunnel employees being folded into Terminus? What does that look like?

Spett: All of the employees are “Terminators.” So they’re officially Terminus employees legally. We knew we love their product and we had many conversations about BrightFunnel before the acquisition conversations started — the team is fantastic.

We’re very excited about the San Francisco office on Sutter Street. It’s right in the heart of Union Square. We plan on growing it. We plan on hiring more out there. We’re now working on the brand integration plan. Of course, we do love BrightFunnel as a product name and a product line; so we’re starting to toss ideas around. They’ve built a nice brand in the community. They’ve built an amazing product. So we certainly want to respect the hard work that they’ve put in so far.

DGR: What is your sense of the martech space? Do you expect more consolidation like this?

Spett: I believe so. I don’t know that it will happen as quickly as some are making it out to seem. I certainly think that, over time, especially in the category of account-based marketing in the different types of verticals that have emerged under it, that there’s certainly going to be room to bring together best-in-breed pieces of product, software and teams together to make something even more powerful.

Frankly, that’s always kind of been our strategy. We’ve always known our North Star and where we’re heading. Our vision was always to partner, build or buy. So, I think certainly going forward there’s going to be more opportunities to buy; there are tons of opportunities to partner; and there are tons of opportunities to build. I think we’re probably not alone in that mindset.

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