Wouldn’t it be great if you’d know where to find prospects that are most likely to buy? Or what’s bugging them to delay buying? If it was possible to get insights on the purchase-intent of your buyer? Or if they are truly looking to buy?
Most businesses spend huge amounts on advertising campaigns and still don’t come any close to meet their intended targets. If you’re looking to shoot a bullseye, landing huge B2B buyers from profiling alone is an imprecise way. This is where Intent Data comes in.
Intent is an efficient tool that helps B2B marketers in precise prospect targeting based on their behavior when in the purchase cycle. Are you receiving mixed signals from your buyers? Intent data is the solution. And it’s burying traditional marketing ways deep into oblivion. These tactics are widely adopted (40% to be precise) by B2B marketers around the world. But the information on ‘intent data’ is found to be random, scattered and disconnected. Getting customers’ buying journey mapped and monitored is becoming a sophisticated task for marketers today.
Digital technologies and increasing acceptance of AI and machine learning are picking up consumer preference, and buying stage behavior is adding multiple choices in consumer data screening. We will throw more light on the concept of intent data, its origin, use and future implications with a systematic overview that will act as the perfect reference on intent data for every marketer in the B2B landscape.
What the Heck is Intent Data?
Intent data is data about buyer intentions. It contains data regarding what, where, and how a buyer thinks, prefers, refers, compares, analyzes, uses, experiences, extracts, combines, discusses, infers, decides, and purchases. This data refers to the ultimate buying intention from where it develops, leads and proceeds, and engages and ends.
This has a lot to do with cognition and consumer psychology or cognitive psychology, which is the scientific study of the mind as an information processor. Marketers are practicing cognitive psychology – studying the mind of the buyer through intent data, as a real-time indicator of buyer interest.
Thanks to AI and machine learning, configuring and storing huge amounts of interactions, is now possible. This repository data, which comes from customers’ browsing and purchase history, is used to analyze their behavior about the purchase and determine their intent. Intent is basically behavioral data.
The data brought together from internal and external sources, which include CRMs, downloads, information available online, etc. If you think you know your customer, intent data will prove you wrong. Intent data provides a more strategic approach for B2B marketers with better target selections, detailed insights into the accounts, and customized sales pitches. This approach also brings together the sales and marketing teams to derive and promote specific content.
Intent data offers a wealth of opportunities to marketers and is intelligently reinventing the marketing funnel.
More than 40% of B2B marketers are planning to use intent data in 2020 for these key reasons:
- To identify the current phase of a buyer in the buying journey
- To identify stakeholders within target accounts
- To help marketing and sales teams prioritize and target key accounts
- To track deals back to campaigns they originated from
- To identify focus areas to create content upon
- To engage a company in an active buying cycle before the competitors
How Is Intent Data Helping B2B Marketers Narrow down Their Targets and Close Them?
Buyers spend a considerable amount of time researching a solution. While some are just casually researching a problem, others intend on looking for solutions. Intent data helps filter these two types of researchers and provides marketers with the ones that matter. This latest approach has AI, and intent data involved.
Artificial intelligence works on analyzing millions of interactions and determines the digital signals or intent emitted by the buyer when they’re in the purchase process. This enables B2B marketers to identify specific targets depending on the signals they transmit. The digital signals raise a prompt if a buyer is looking for a solution or intending to buy the one you have. Thus, enabling businesses to approach a buyer at the right time with appropriate solutions.
The data obtained can be used for account based marketing, automated customer outreach, personalized email marketing, etc. Intent data is saving valuable time and funds for organizations and B2B marketers, driving them to scale up their scores.
7 Steps to Leverage Intent Data
The true value from intent data can be obtained only when we target the prospective buyer at the awareness stage and be an integral part of the buyer journey thereon.
The best way to leverage intent data is through the following steps:
- Step 1 - Find and identify what the prospect is trying to search (keywords, phrases, a combination of words, etc.)
- Step 2 - Write quality content specifically on what the prospect is searching for
- Step 3 - Promote the content on all the channels that the prospect is exploring
- Step 4 - Analyze the 'where-to' and 'where-from' in the buyer journey
- Step 5 - Examine all nodes of engagement and place a call to action
- Step 6 - Monitor chances and instances of engagement that take place
- Step 7 - Nurture the lead generated and establish the account
This way intent data will be put to the right use and leveraged to the right capacity. It will pave the way for scaling leads and nurturing each key account in a customized fashion.
How Is Intent Data Connected with Account Based Marketing?
From tailoring and customizing information to providing a seamless shopping experience, the use of intent data or behavioral data is making waves for B2B organizations around the globe. It has certainly made its mark, and there’s no denying it.
Gone are the days where demographics and age-old B2B lead generation was a thing. The wake of digital disruption has brought us to a stage where mastery over the marketing funnel will no longer work, and to succeed one must go beyond the funnel.
According to Think with Google, adoption of user intent in 2019 is expected to skyrocket, paving the way for better and engaging strategies to reach out to prospects. Tweet This! Let’s take a closer look at how 2019 will unfold for marketing trailblazers.
To fuel growth, more and more B2B marketers are using intent tactics to personalize their content and maximize conversion rates. As opposed to tracking a B2C consumer, the dynamics of tracking B2B consumers can be quite a bit more intricate.
The bottom line is – how well do you know your consumer?
The repository of data stored from your target prospects’ purchase history, browsing, etc., can be used for real-time customization of suggestions, promotions, and recommendations. Thanks to modern-day technology – AI-powered search and machine learning now makes it easy to handle millions of unique and personalized interactions.
Understanding what data your company collects will not only give you leverage over what to offer but will also match with the intent of the target user.
For instance, take a look at the interest-based targeting program launched by LinkedIn that integrates profile data with intent signals to improve targeting efforts. It aims to move toward objective-based advertising by serving relevant ads and content to align with a member’s professional interests. LinkedIn’s Director of Product, Abhishek Shrivastava says, “A lot of B2B targeting is based on reaching accounts or looking at job titles and so forth, and that is something we’re trying to change by combining profile data with expressions of intent, to make the targeting more compelling.” With the help of its self-serve ad platform, it is now easier to strengthen your influence with the buyer group within your target accounts.
Intent data can do wonders for your business by unraveling who's in the market right now and if they’re up for solutions like yours. According to Brandon Redlinger, Director of Growth at Engagio, if multiple contacts within an account are found to proactively searching for a solution over the past 1-2 months, that indicates buyer criteria and intent.
If you’re looking to strengthen your MarTech Stack, then user intent should be your weapon of choice. The fact that it has taken the world of B2B organizations by storm not only makes it the need of the hour but also the driving force of sales and marketing efforts.