‘Intent data’ is a powerful tool.
Over the years as the importance of ABM in B2B Marketing has surged up, B2B Buyer intent data and its role in powering Marketing strategies also have started to make the headlines.
If you are a B2B Marketer or researcher or salesperson, you probably have the idea of ‘what is B2B Buyer intent data?’
Let’s revise it with some quotes from some marketing agencies.
“B2B intent data providers provide insight into a web user’s purchase intent; allowing you to identify if and when a prospect is actively considering, or looking to purchase your (or similar) products or solutions.” – Strategic
“Intent data is behavioural information collected about an individual’s online activities, combining both topic and context data.” – Marketo.
This was the definition.
Intent data is not a new concept though most of the stakeholders find themselves little curios about its usability in designing and implementing strategic marketing approaches such as ABM and other marketing strategies such as Content Marketing and E-mail Marketing.
What will be the take away from this blog post?
In this blog post, we will discuss ‘B2B Buyer intent data’ and its usability in making your business grow. Further, we will state the intent data vendor selection measures to have the maximum return from the marketing investment.
How to map the right intent from the actionable and 3rd party behaviour data?
The high-level goal of having intent data is to know the intent of a buyer so we can target the right prospect at the right time with the right content.
Intent data is used for creating high accuracy TAL, nurture existing prospect and predict the buyer journey of an account or a prospect.
It is not necessary that a person who is highly interested in the content must be a potential buyer. Intent matters more than the intensity.
Why deliver the ‘product demo’ invitation to a ‘research analysis’ or ‘article writer’ who has seen, read and saved your whitepaper or any other asset multiple times? Just because she is active and engaged with the content doesn’t make her a buyer.
Mapping the intent of a prospect:
To have the precise target list and to personalise content according to prospect interest so we could divert the resources to the things that matter.
Let’s take an example:
Whenever you turn GPS on the blue dot on the map shows you your current location. Right?
It is pretty cool but have you ever thought of how a satellite works to locate where are you exactly? It does not happen with the help of one satellite (if you are thinking so) it takes multiple satellite work together to show you the right co-ordinate you are standing at.
Like the GPS story – to define the right intent of a prospect we need to measure the multiple signals – not one not two but everything possible at a time with great co-ordination.
The first signal: Keyword data.
Every time you try to find a query to your problem on the internet, you leave your digital footprint behind. A keyword is something of that sort of. Intent data vendors with its partners collect your every move on the internet. That’s the keywords that are used to sort out different interests of different decision-maker.
There are two types of keyword data:
1st party: You know the prospects. You have their demographic info right in your database.
Explicit interaction: Interaction of a 1st party prospect to your own website or asset you have delivered them. You have recorded every move (with their consent) of a prospect right in your actionable lead database.
Where you can access 1st party explicit data?
1st party explicit data can be found in your own database. A smart publisher or agency maintains their own database – where they can have access to historical behaviour data, demographics and real-time updates in accounts.
Implicit interaction: Interaction of 1st party prospect to your look like and competitor’s website or resources or assets.
Where you can access 1st party implicit data?
A very well-known name – “bombora”. You must have heard of them. This is just for an example. There is a number of B2B intent data providers who can give you the valuable topic intent data to build TAL or to research specific account interest. A topic data is also known as keyword data.
3rd party: You don’t know the prospect. Vendors record their intent using IP monitoring tools. In this case, you are sure that from which account the signal may be received but not sure that from whom. This is extremely helpful to prioritise accounts for a specific keyword.
To know in detail about 3rd party intent data and how does the process go, you can read this article. “Pulling Apart the Curtains on Third-Party Intent Data Providers.”
The second signal: Backdrop insights.
Like already said, a research team, who are on a project to write a research report on a product similar to yours, may visit, download or forward the same asset multiple time. They may spend long duration on your website and leave buyer look like digital footprint behind. Although, they are not a buyer and not going to buy anything from you.
It is where the context or the backdrop plays a big role in intent data.
A prospect giving you an idea for what keyword he is looking information is a half story told. It is crucial to know a prospect and its position in the account, its influence is DMU (Decision-making unit), his parallel interaction with other sources and competitors (3rd party data) and the stage in the buyer journey to have a complete view of his readiness to move to the sales team.
The factors to be considered in backdrop insights:
- 3rd party Multi-channel behaviour.
How does a vendor record intent of buyers?
The quality of intent data from vendor to vendor may be different but the process of accumulating it is quite the same.
The basic standard operation process is like this –
- To track daily web activity of millions of business persons.
- Mapping the keyword and indexing accordingly.
- Use ML and AI programs to create TAL and prospect list relevant to industry and market.
Alone intent data is not useful. A right proposition of your own built actionable lead database and intent data can be a game-changer to your lead generation goal.
How marketers can use the intent data?
Intent data can be used for marketing, sales and event purpose. The accurate intent data make your marketing efforts more focused and sales team more confident. ABM is a great way to bring marketing and sales team on the same page, intent data powers this process.
How to leverage intent data?
To build brand awareness.
Digital channels are full of noise. It is hard for a digital marketer to make its own voice in the pool of millions of prospects. Knowing saying what to whom helps marketers narrow down their message and reach the right audience.
To build personalised web experience.
Websites are the digital visiting card of your business. We say websites are more of mere visiting card. Personalised cleverly, it can also be the best source of lead generation.
Analysing visitor data on your competitor’s websites or analysing your own google analytics data to decode visitor behaviour enables UX to be more personalised and buyer friendly.
To make Content Marketing work for you.
In B2B space the importance of content marketing is high. E-mail marketing is the base of content marketing and ABM is a big guy in it. Intent data can be used at large scale and strategically to make Demand generation goal very successful. 6sence the company itself explains how can intent data change the scenario of ABM in their operation.
To enable leads for sales.
Bottom of the funnel lead nurturing is crucial. It is a neck point of marketing. It is where things work or break for marketers. To avoid pipeline leakage at this stage – marketers need to watch prospects digital interaction that possibly could have competitor product analysis.
Carefully curated ready to buy leads are feasible because of intent identification. Intent data enables sales leads and make their way to the sales team to have a final touch.
To retain existing customers.
Intent data can help the customer success team to reduce the churn rate. Active 3rd party data insights of existing customer give its intent to turn to competitors.
Intent data can highlight those customers who are about to incline to competitors. With this data post-sales nurturing become effective and help to reduce the churn rate.
Big Data and AI.
To automate marketing tasks.
The biggest challenge faced in marketing automation is ‘Right personalisation at scale’. They say “No personalization is better than wrong personalization.” – and it is true to some extent.
Intent data helps craft the message according to the relevance of the stage and context a buyer in. This surely helps to increases e-mail open rate and engagement.
To fuel your actionable lead database.
An actionable lead database is something that is updated time to time with fresh data plus all up-gradation in existing data. Intent data of existing prospects boost its efficiency as data.
Buyers are becoming more self-reliable when it comes to making a buying decision. The abundance of information sometimes leads a prospect towards ‘analysis paralysis’, where having too much information becomes a problem rather than a solution. It happens because of buyer get irrelevant info regarding of its stage of buying.
Intent data used smartly with actionable lead data can become the greatest advantage of a marketer to target the right fit account with the right content.
When it comes to nurturing, marketers need to be more helpful than pushy, with intent data marketing will less sound like marketing and more like a consulting.