Key questions to ask your intent data provider

Here are a few questions to help you in your search for an intent data provider

There’s no doubt that intent data can be a powerful tool for your sales and marketing teams. With the right source or platform, it’s easy to find your best-fit customers and accounts, grow your pipeline, improve close rates, and – most importantly – hit your revenue targets. Yet even with all this potential, it’s important to understand that not all data is created equal. Here are a few key questions to help you in your search for an intent data provider that is right for your business.

How is intent data collected?

Intent data providers usually collect one or more of the following:

  • First-party data: This is information collected from websites you own and includes data in your CRM or visitor and subscription data.
  • Second-party data: Essentially, this is first-party data collected from other companies or aggregator sites such as G2 or TechTarget.
  • Third-party data: This refers to data collected from a broader ecosystem of publisher networks or data aggregators.

Why is this important? Because the value of intent data depends on how wide the net of data collection is cast. How many websites does the provider track, and how often? Is their reach large enough to get the best view of user behaviour? Does it cover the geographies that you want to target?

A reputable B2B intent data provider is one that is transparent about their process, so don’t be afraid to ask for as much detail as you can here.

How accurate is your intent data?

Accuracy is incredibly important and depends on how a platform works: how many websites are used to collect intent data, how are the keywords list built and are they customizable, in how many languages is intent detected, can you screen out irrelevant intent, etc.

Many providers — such as Bombora — base their intent data on collecting intent from a limited number of sites on set topics or keyword groups using English-only sites.

This lack of flexibility can be a real problem. Every business is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to uncovering the right intent. This is why it’s worth asking your intent data provider if they allow you to create a custom list of keywords and topics to track intent signals specific to your organisation, if you cover other languages, and from how many sites.

An intent data provider must be able to show how their data is of value to you. For example, if you are looking to enter the European market, then your intent data provider must have strong coverage across Europe (and not simply mirror information from the US). It would also be of significant value if it tracked both English and European languages or offered local language support. Asking your provider to show you their reach and keyword uptake in different geographies and languages can really set certain brands apart from others.

Which languages and local websites do you cover?

If your business is global and or covers non-English speaking countries, you need to make sure your provider is able to detect signals from local language websites in the local language or you won’t be able to detect the right intent and identify and target the right accounts.

Can I customise data to my business?

Some intent data providers only define data topics in a fixed way. This is fine if you are selling broad solutions in large markets however if what you are specialised in is niche solutions for niche markets the possibility to customise keywords is extremely important.

Some intent data providers will also say that you can customise keywords but how long will it take for them to be operational?

Ideally, what you want is a provider who offers a good degree of customisation that can be done in an adequate amount of time. If they do, then you can pick keywords to build your own topics of intent, which means that data you see is unique to you, and relevant to your ideal customer profiles and accounts. This is data that can’t be sold to competitors because it is so highly personalised to your business. This is the real power of intent.

What support do you offer?

While this is a broad question, it does allow you to touch upon a number of important points. First and foremost, will your intent data provider set up the platform for you and conduct an onboarding program, or will you be left to figure things out by yourself? Building an effective intent data campaign takes time and expertise, and it is important that you get the help you need to make it work.

Secondly, are they constantly refining and optimising their platform? Keywords should not be static, so will your intent data provider offer support to help you stay on top of emerging trends and spot new opportunities?

Another vital question to ask your intent data provider is whether their platform can easily integrate with other tech stack. Can you use your lists to build audiences for display advertising? Can you enrich your data base not only with intent but also with firmographic data?

If you are looking for the right provider, download our quick guide “Questions to ask your intent data provider”, so you can make the right choice?


Check out what Cyance can do for you.

Related Tags:

Leave a Reply