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  • Helen Pritchett

How Intent Is Your Data?

Intent data isn't new, but is it the next big leap forwards in the world of data-driven marketing and sales?

Marketers are increasingly challenged to own more of the funnel, but it’s harder than ever to identify the right buyers at the right time. COVID forced B2B marketing to go utterly digital when traditional buyer-finding tactics such as face-to-face events and conferences were eliminated overnight. These days, interactions are still overwhelmingly digital and intent data is becoming a vital ‘not so secret weapon’ that marketers can leverage to find the right data for the target buyer at the right time.

Marketers face many challenges; intent data can help alleviate those challenges with accurate engagement signals and first party data.

Intent data can be described as a behavioural dataset that indicates what a business or an individual is interested in. It can help predict whether a buyer intends to invest in your (or similar) products or solutions.

That sounds ever so simple, however, it's not easy and it doesn't always work. If you are looking at what potential customers are doing on your own website (first-party data), then intent data is extremely beneficial. You see what product pages they are looking at, what content they are reading, how much time they are spending on your site and so on. Such data can be used to make more efficient and confident marketing and sales decisions. The downside is you can’t often identify who these potential buyers are.

What is more, using third-party data, it can be harder to pin down potential activity and interaction. However, intent data can be significantly enriched by mapping it back to an intelligence-rich database such as ProspectaBase. Whilst this is not a sales blog, it might be useful to know that ProspectaBase has a service called PureData which turns dirty data into clean data and adds infrastructure insight to create intelligence rich leads for marketing. Such an approach is a great way of using intent data by enhancing its contents and converting it into short term pipeline opportunities.

COVID impacted the B2B marketing landscape quickly and permanently, digital competition and buyer fatigue combine to make targeted marketing success more difficult to achieve. Multi-channel personalised digital experiences are key. Marketers are challenged to own the funnel and need to hit their numbers and prove their worth. Buyers face budget cuts and delays which makes them choosy about what marketing tools they choose.

Intent data gives marketers the power to: identify, target, and engage. It provides an insight into prospects' buying signals, so you can position your product to be their best solution.

These days, most B2B buyers are almost through the customer journey before they even contact a salesperson. In fact, according to Gartner, B2B buyers spend about 83% of their time independently researching before making a purchase. Consequently, it is vital that you make the most of any marketing intent data to understand where your buyer is in the buying journey, and to intercept them with targeted marketing that will encourage interaction and purchase.

To win customers, brands need to deliver personalized experiences and create deeper connections with prospects throughout the entire buyer journey. Intent data provides the type of insights marketers need to do just that and undertake successful account-based marketing (ABM). Combining intent data-led ABM with expertly executed lead nurturing provides a heavyweight solution to pipeline building and sales converting over the mid to long term. Nurturing prospects with personalised, targeted follow-up communications delivers a customer-centric strategy that builds awareness, loyalty and relationships.

Data matters a lot in the world of account-based marketing. Not just ordinary data, but high-quality data that provides accurate information on target accounts. ABM enables marketers to focus efforts on the accounts that are most likely to become buyers; intent data can fine tune the roles of everyone who’s involved in the buying process, so marketers can select the right accounts to focus on. Having such information at your fingertips as part of an ABM strategy can help develop a list of accounts filled with engaged prospects who are more likely to engage in sales conversations.


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