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3 obstacles to using B2B intent data for European expansion (and how to overcome them)

Feroze Engineer

There comes a point in time when many businesses looking to increase their pipeline turn to international markets. Often their first port of call is Europe or EMEA, as its total addressable market represents a lucrative opportunity for demand generation.


Creating a uniform marketing strategy for Europe is risky, as it’s not a single region but a vibrant melting pot of different cultures, languages and resources. Buyers and decision makers will not define themselves as ‘European’. They will each have their own unique background, pain points, needs and limitations, and as such, should each be treated as their own individual markets – especially if they are working at an enterprise level. 

Knowing buyer intent is therefore crucial to the success of European marketing.

With intent data, businesses can identify prospects exhibiting buying signals or surging intent in their services and target high-value accounts that are in-market. Intent data can also be used to deliver personalised messaging and content to target accounts, thereby guiding them through the funnel to increase conversions.

While intent data brings with it many obvious benefits to businesses, there are 3 obstacles which need to be overcome first before it can be used to inform a successful European marketing strategy.

1. GDPR and Data Privacy 

GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation remains the first and foremost issue when it comes to intent discovery in Europe. 

Breaching GDPR guidelines means facing severe fines, and because of this, businesses are wary of using third-party European intent data. 

On the other side of the coin, there are intent data providers who are either unable to guarantee they are GDPR compliant, or choose to avoid tracking European intent entirely so as to not face any legal complications.

There are ways by which businesses can ensure their European marketing strategy is GDPR-compliant. The solution here, of course, is to find an intent data provider that is able to legally prove it is 100% GDPR compliant. 

2. European Data Coverage

As mentioned before, understanding buyer intent is crucial to the success of European marketing. To accurately identify European buyer intent, buyer activity on local language websites – specifically within Europe – needs to be tracked.

However, most third-party intent data providers are unable to offer this because they only track data signals from US-based publisher networks, websites and social media channels. This means the intent data they share lacks true insight into European customers’ intent. 

Naturally, such data will not provide the depth and accuracy of insight needed for businesses looking to increase their sales pipeline across Europe.

The best way to overcome this obstacle is to compare intent data providers and to go with the one with not only the broadest coverage, but the most global. Specifically, they should be able to deliver the most extensive reach for European geographies.

3. Local Language Support

This is an obvious issue. 

  1. 65% of online users prefer content in their native language 
  2. 20% of online searches are carried out in local languages 

English might be the most commonly used language online, but it accounts for 25.9% of internet users. In the European Economic Area, there are more than 20 official languages, of which Spanish, French, German and Portuguese combine to form 17% of languages used by internet users. 

Businesses relying on intent data to inform their European marketing strategy therefore need to ask their data provider if they offer native language keyword tracking – thereby supporting intent discovery in multiple languages such as French, German, Italian, Spanish and more.

Otherwise businesses will base their strategy on poor data and risk not identifying B2B businesses across Europe that are broadcasting intent signals in non-English languages.

The Best Approach for European Marketing

To conclude, European demand generation and ABM teams that rely on intent data to identify true European buyer intent must ensure that their intent data provider:

  1. is 100% GDPR compliant
  2. delivers the most extensive reach for European geographies
  3. supports local language intent discovery to provide exclusive access to the broadest range of websites solely covering Europe

Doing so empowers businesses targeting the European market to increase pipeline, get a better win rate, achieve better sales efficiency and improve ROI.

Download our eBook on Discovering True European Buyer Intent to learn more.




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