What is intent data? How to get it, use it & more

Deliver More Effective Campaigns With Intent Data

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Imagine a world where you had clear insights into which companies needed your product and when they were ready to purchase it. That world is not only possible but is easily accessible when you use intent data.

In this guide, you’ll discover what intent data is, how to obtain it, and how to implement it so your marketing and sales teams can deliver more targeted, effective, and cost-efficient campaigns.

What is intent data?

Intent data is information about web users’ content consumption and behavior that illustrates their interests, current needs, and, ultimately, what and when they’re in the market to buy. It relies on artificial intelligence to generate these findings and is an essential element of Account Intelligence — the overall insights that enable your marketing and sales teams to understand accounts and leads better.

Without intent data, marketing and sales teams’ efforts are blind and hunch-based. Maybe this sounds familiar — your team casts a wide net and experiences a low success rate, gathering little data reflecting what worked and what didn’t. Intent data helps go-to-market (GTM) teams end this cross-your-fingers sales and marketing approach.

Components of buyer intent data

There are two primary components of intent data: first-party data and third-party data. Here’s a closer look at these types of data.

  • First-party data: This data belongs to your company and your company only. The data comes from web users interacting directly with pages on your website, either by reading blog posts, filling out forms, clicking links, or engaging with your site in some way. One benefit of first-party data is that you have complete control over what and how you collect the data, following GDPR rules.
  • Third-party data: Third-party data is the information outside vendors collect regarding content web users are interested in on other websites, providing insight into whether you should cover similar content on your site, too. It’s shoppable by your company and your competitors, meaning it’s not yours alone, and GDPR requirements are not guaranteed (and sometimes ignored). When gathered by a reputable provider, this data gives you insight into web users who aren’t yet interacting with your company’s webpage but have interests that may align with your company.

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When used together and thoroughly cleansed, first and third-party data can help you get a complete picture of user intent and how to move prospective accounts through the buyer journey.

How to get intent data

Since most businesses only have a partial view into account intent by looking at their first-party data, the easiest way to access all intent data insights is through a professional platform or service.

The most capable providers take the following steps to deliver intent data:

  1. Collect data around content consumption events and signals
  2. Deanonymize and identify accounts or users
  3. Analyze the content of pages the user viewed
  4. Identify patterns and trends

 

By following these steps, intent data providers identify and transform valuable information so companies can track down prospective accounts.

It’s crucial to note that, during step three, some providers simply look for keywords in content and often pull it from metadata, which isn’t the best indicator of the core messaging on the page. Top intent data vendors, like Demandbase, go a step further by using sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) to machine read the text on any page and evaluate it for relevance to the core topic.

What intent data providers look for

Most intent data providers examine the following types of raw data and factors to compile intent data:

  • Amount of content consumed: Users ready to move down the sales funnel will likely consume more content than those just starting.
  • Number of consumers: If certain content is seeing a spike in readership or engagement, it might indicate seasonality or growth in interest.
  • Types of content consumed: Identifying the type of content a user is most interested in gives a sales team a great starting point when contacting a prospective account.
  • Time on page: Like the amount of content consumed, the time a user spends on a page can help show their interest in a particular topic and readiness to move down the sales funnel.
  • Scroll speed: Scroll speed may indicate how much time a user spends researching a particular topic.

Access to all of this data helps companies identify in-market, good-fit accounts and topics most relevant and compelling to them. These factors better inform marketing and sales teams, allowing them to focus on the most promising prospects.

Want to learn more about using intent data to create more effective campaigns? Get the TOPO Intent Data Market Guide today!

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How to use B2B Intent data

Once your sales and marketing teams are all set up with the intent data they need to build a strong campaign strategy, they’ll need to know how to use it.

While every company is different, there are five prominent use cases for B2B intent data:

1. Create targeted lists

Creating targeted campaign lists is one of the best use cases for buyer intent data. This application may look like first building a list of target accounts in your intent data platform based on your ideal customer profile (ICP). You may look at firmographic information like company size, industry, and geography, and technographic data, i.e., information related to a business’s tech stack. You’d then overlay your list with buyer intent data to determine who’s most likely to buy right now.

This strategy is valuable because it saves your company time and resources, ultimately reducing costs. Rather than throwing out the net and seeing what comes back, your marketing and sales teams can effectively target accounts.

2. Personalization

Another benefit of intent data is enabling your GTM teams to lean into personalization. It’s easy to ignore generic emails and ads from businesses with no idea about an account’s current needs, but you can capture their attention when a message speaks — with context — directly to their pain points.

Intent data makes outreach more personal. Imagine getting a message that empathizes with your exact situation and constructively points you toward information that helps you solve the problem at just the right time. Personalization is a powerful tactic that can garner more responses from qualified accounts.

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3. Reach buyers before the competition

What if you could reach prospects before they consider a competitor? That’s what buyer intent data allows. In fact, 35-50% of sales go to the vendor who responds first to a follow-up email from a prospective account. Intent data gives you insight into prospects entering the sales funnel, so your GTM team can engage them first with personalized messaging ahead of the competition.

4. Lead scoring

B2B businesses can use intent data to improve their lead scoring and account scoring efforts — i.e., how they determine MQLs and MQAs (marketing qualified leads and marketing qualified accounts). Intent signals vary based on each company’s needs, but one example of an intent signal is when a lead visits a company’s pricing or request for a quote page. By doing so, this prospect shows that they’re considering purchasing the offering and are a highly qualified lead.

Lead scoring and account scoring help you apply a metric to interest and determine which prospects are worth a GTM team’s time and energy.

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5. Smarter B2B go-to-market (GTM) strategies

Intent data not only helps you measure qualified prospective accounts — it also guides you in building a more intelligent B2B GTM strategy.

With intent data, your GTM teams can engage with ideal accounts, time their outreach, beat the competition, and quickly identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. For example, suppose a current client searches the web for a service your company offers, but they aren’t yet aware your company provides it. In that case, intent data informs your GTM team of your account’s behavior, so they can engage with them effectively.

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Why is intent data important?

In a nutshell, intent data helps you eliminate blind and broad sales tactics, reduce time and resources spent on finding qualified accounts, and give sales and marketing teams the information they need to deliver personalized messaging. It allows B2B companies to get in front of the right buyers earlier, faster, and more effectively.

With the best intent data tools in hand, you can beat out the competition time and time again.

Transform your GTM strategy with intent data

Finding and contacting qualified accounts has historically been one of the biggest challenges for B2B marketing and sales teams. Intent data is changing the industry by giving these teams the visibility they’ve been lacking into current customers and potential accounts. If your sale and marketing teams want to build more robust and effective GTM strategies, it’s time to get a hold of intent data.

Demandbase is a prominent intent data provider. We monitor nearly 3 million (and counting) pages and over 250,000 intent keywords.

We also filters out keywords that aren’t relevant to your business needs to make the process as streamlined and automated as possible.

See how Demandbase B2B intent data can help you transform your marketing and sales strategies.

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