• September 4, 2018

Drift Announces Conversational Advertising, Drift Assistant, Siftrock Acquisition, and Partnerships with Marketo, Demandbase, and Outreach.

Drift, providers of a conversational marketing and sales platform, today announced Conversational Advertising, Drift Assistant, the acquisition of Siftrock, and partnerships with Marketo, Demandbase, and Outreach at its Hypergrowth user conference in Boston.

"The last decade in B2B sales and marketing was all about the business following up later," said David Cancel, Drift's founder and CEO. "But today, B2B sales and marketing has to be about now. The internet has changed everything and put customers in control of the buying process, not the business. As a result, people won't put up with waiting days and weeks to get a response. They want answers now. So, at Drift, everything we're doing is about removing friction, shortening the sales cycle, and connecting businesses with the customers who are interested right now. Today we are excited to share what the future of B2B buying will look like."

Conversational Advertising

eMarketer estimates that B2B marketers will spend $4.6 billion on digital advertising in 2018, but until now, those ads have typically driven potential customers to traditional landing pages with lead forms to fill out so that someone from the company can reach out later. With the launch of Conversational Advertising, Drift connects potential customers directly from an ad to a conversation.

Conversational Landing Pages can be used for just about everything in marketing, from growing an email list or sharing on social to getting more people to subscribe to a blog. Companies can use Conversational Landing Pages just like they would traditional landing pages.

Drift Assistant for Marketing and Sales

With the launch of Drift Assistant, sales and marketing teams now have an artificial intelligence-powered assistant to handle much of their digital paperwork.

"B2B businesses have gone digital, but we haven't been able to move on from all of the paperwork," Cancel said. "Only a third of a sales rep's time is actually spent selling, with over 60 percent of their time wasted on administrative tasks and meetings. Meanwhile, marketers have resorted to sending emails from noreply@company.com or other email aliases so they don't have to manage responses and deal with routing conversations to the right person in the company. Drift Assistant handles all of that digital paperwork, so sales reps and marketers can get the time they need back in their day to focus on providing the personalized buying experience that customers expect today."

The Sales Assistant provides sales reps context for every meeting, notifications for follow-ups, and information to have better conversations with potential customers. It handles all of the required research ahead of meetings, sending an email of everything the rep needs to know about the potential customer, including the company's tech stack, context from previous conversations, and notes on recent website activity. When someone cancels or reschedules a meeting, Drift Assistant helps reps reach out to keep the lead warm. Drift Assistant also helps reps followup with next steps after every demo.

To power Drift Assistant for marketers, Drift acquired Siftrock, a Seattle-based company that helps B2B marketing and sales teams manage their email replies at scale. With Siftrock, marketers using Drift can now do the following:

  • Manage email responses automatically. Drift Assistant will track email replies automatically, route them to the right sales reps in real time, and sync data to marketing automation systems.
  • Send emails that lead to conversations.Instead of sending a"click here to register" email, reps can now ask, "Would you like to attend?" and the assistant takes care of the rest.
  • Keep all email data up-to-date. Drift Assistant works within systems from Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, Eloqua, HubSpot, and Act-On.

Drift Partners with Marketo, Demandbase, and Outreach

Drift also announced partnerships with Marketo for marketing automation, Demandbase for account-based advertising, and Outreach for sales engagement.

"Marketo and Demandbase are not just leaders in marketing automation and [account-based marketing]; they've seen the value of Conversational Marketing firsthand," Cancel said. "We're excited to announce Drift's exclusive alliance and deepened integrations with Marketo, and we couldn't be happier to have Demandbase on board as our exclusive launch partner for Conversational Advertising"

"Outreach has built a best-in-class sales engagement platform, and an integration with Drift is something that many of our customers have been asking for," Cancel.added. "Now sales reps can provide an amazing buying experience by sending emails with Outreach right inside of Drift that drive directly to conversations and connect buyers with sellers immediately. We have a deep belief in Drift being an open platform and that stronger partnerships across the sales and marketing ecosystem will allow us to deliver the most value for our customers over time."

"Consumers are increasingly seeking new ways to engage in real time with brands in the digital landscape, and we are thrilled to forge a strategic alliance with the leader in the emerging category of conversational marketing,” said TK Kader, senior vice president of strategy and alliances at Marketo, in a statement. ";I am confident that Marketo and Drift will lead this market together and deliver unparalleled value to our customers in the age of the engagement economy."

"The key to high-performing ABM strategies is connecting marketing programs directly to sales activity," said Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase, in a statement. "We are incredibly excited to be the exclusive launch partner for Drift's new Conversational Advertising product because now B2B marketers can target specific companies with our account-based advertising and move to a conversation with sales in a single click. The time from engagement to conversation to pipeline has never been faster."

"Great conversations are the most powerful way to drive conversion," said Manny Medina, CEO of Outreach, in a statement. "To accomplish this, you must have a consistent customer journey, from calls and emails to your buyer's experience on your website. Now sales and marketing teams can share context from every touchpoint in the customer journey to drive stronger results wherever they communicate with their buyers."

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