How Demandbase Targets Accounts Using Domains

  • Updated

To effectively reach your target accounts, Demandbase needs to identify what users belong to each account online. (Users in this article refers to people at prospective and existing customer accounts who view published content where your ads could be placed.) Demandbase accomplishes this in two stages. First, we match the website URL assigned to each account on your list to its “clear and distinct” online presence, which we refer to as the domain. Second, Demandbase uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine what domain each user works with.

What Domain Means in Demandbase Advertising

The network domain of a B2B commerce website is typically the root of the URL that ends with .com as illustrated here:


In Demandbase Advertising we apply a more specific meaning to what constitutes a domain. The unique domain (the front part) of a website URL must be a clear and distinct online presence, which doesn’t redirect users to a different URL. We emphasize clear and distinct because for the purposes of Demandbase ad targeting the website value associated to the account must not be a proxy for a different URL.

How Domain to Account Mapping Affects Targeting

Provided that the website associated with the targeted account has a clear and distinct digital presence as manifested in a unique domain, Demandbase can serve advertisements to the people employed with the account. Inversely, accounts that aren’t entirely represented by a unique domain can’t be identified, and thus can’t be targeted. For example, divisions of a company that are represented as a path of a domain can’t be targeted (for example, However, if the division is represented as a subdomain of the existing site (for example,, then this division can be mapped and targeted to separately from the broader company domain.


When Demandbase ingests your target account list (via automated syncs with your CRM or MAS or via a manual upload), it’s critical that the website URLs associated with each account are accurate as these URLs form the entire foundation of our ability to target your account accurately. We map the domain of these URLs with Demandbase proprietary systems to identify what that account’s clear and distinct online presence is. 

For example, since is no longer a clear and distinct digital presence (it redirects to, Demandbase maps an account with the URL to In this case, the clear and distinct digital presence is, which surfaces as a domain in the Campaigns dashboard.

Important: If you choose an account list that consists of separate accounts and that all share the same domain, then Demandbase can’t parse out distinguishable metrics for the different accounts. Each account on the list doesn’t have a clear and distinct online presence, and all reporting is rolled up to domain level.

Once the domain of each account is established, Demandbase identifies users who work at that domain via proprietary machine learning technology. We process ~20 billion domain signals per day across a variety of sources. When Demandbase identifies these users on our network, we target them with your advertising messages. 

What Domain Mapping Means for Ad Campaigns and Reporting

Let’s summarize the Advertising workflow for reaching the accounts that you want to target by way of domain mapping:

  1. Every account record must contain a website. Websites are matched to domains.
  2. Demandbase assigns domains to individual users.
  3. When users request an ad on the Demandbase network, we target them with advertising messages targeted to the domains assigned to those users.

When only one account is mapped to a particular domain, domain mapping still occurs but doesn’t introduce any ambiguity as to which account can be reached by the campaign. But to be accurate when that’s not the case, the Advertising solution must reckon with an audience of multiple accounts.  

Impact on Ad Campaign Reporting

Campaign reporting primarily reflects domain and subdomain mapping, in addition to account-based results, to clearly illustrate the variances between accounts and domains–when such variances occur. Demandbase One still reports on aggregated account engagement and corresponding ad spend.

Earlier versions of the Advertising solution in Demandbase One reported campaign data by accounts only. The following list highlights some of the main user experience updates on the Campaigns dashboard with the addition of domains:

  • The Accounts tab that was on the Campaigns dashboard of the the Advertising solution is now the Domains tab. 
  • What represented counts for accounts is now counts for domains. But aggregated account data is still visible when you toggle from Domains to Accounts view for some metrics. 
  • When you mouse over a Domain name, information about the associated accounts and their websites appear in a pop-up. 

Tip: For a detailed look at the way campaign reporting is segmented into domains and accounts in the Advertising user interface, see Understanding Reporting on the Campaigns Dashboard.

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