What B2B growth leaders need to know about intent data.
What it is, what it does, why it’s essential and how you can get it working for your organisation.
What is intent data?
Intent data means signals and data that tell us about businesses and their buyers that are interested in the solutions, products and services that we sell. This data can be used to identify patterns of behaviour and searches that add up to a potential need for your products and services, making it a valuable insight when building audiences that you don’t yet know or don’t know in detail.
For example, if they’re searching or engaging with content and companies in your marketplace, this means they’re potentially strong prospects that are active in a buying cycle – they’re interested in what you have to offer and there’s a timely opportunity to engage with them.
Why is intent data important?
Online buyer behaviour creates a footprint, generated from vast amounts of data-driven events. To get meaningful insights about buyer intent signals from this data, it needs to be curated and filtered to build a more accurate profile of “real” buyer behaviour. Intent data normally works in combination with ABM platforms which synthesise the data. This provides information to help sales and marketing teams prioritise accounts and build personalised outreach programmes to achieve a higher conversion from their efforts and investment.
Using flagged topics and keywords, intent data looks at prospect behaviour and journeys on the web across a curated range of industry B2B sites, which may form a data co-operative. This gives you information that’s normally beyond your reach, because it’s gathered from third party websites, using third party data enabled by cookies (or universal IDs, which will soon replace cookies) and social media trend insights.
"Online buyer behaviour creates a footprint"
How to use intent data
B2B Intent data gives sales teams the right cues to start relevant conversations on topics of known interest to the prospect, based on evidence from multiple intent signals for that customer account. Hitting the right prospects with the right message at the right time drives better outcomes from sales teams’ engagements.
This data is focused on acquiring account level insight and aggregating data for a range of personas and individuals in the same organisation. Analysing intent data combined with your own first party data (from your own website and campaigns) can help you reveal priority accounts and emerging needs for new and existing customers.
By showing the emerging user journey, intent data can indicate interest at every stage. Looking at content consumed and online behaviour so far can start to indicate what the prospect may do next, so you can serve the right content and messaging to provide more personalised engagement – via marketing, advertising, sales or account management channels.
Intent data is becoming more of a critical part of the sales and marketing technology ecosystem. Forward-looking businesses have been adopting it for some time, now that there’s such strong evidence of its value. Sales and marketing teams see the proven competitive advantage gained by other organisations and are considering ever broader use cases for intent data around the organisation. It’s no longer an optional extra: intent data is a crucial asset in competitive B2B markets. If you’re not yet using it, we recommend that you get started now.