What Intent Data Is and How Marketers Can Better Use It

The post-pandemic landscape has witnessed increased online activities among decision-makers as they research and purchase products and services.

Before finalizing a selection, B2B customers tend to conduct more exhaustive research on a product or service than B2C consumers. With that in mind, businesses may lose valuable advantages with a customer engagement strategy that omits buyer intentions or buyer intent data.

However, marketers who consistently tap on intent data can effectively read the room and attract customers before competitors can move.

What is Intent Data?

The accessibility of data in the digital age has made it highly likely that interested parties will undertake at least some research on an item before making a purchase. User intent data refers to a critical marketing strategy component that zooms into the content consumption practices of prospects, indicating the likelihood of a conversion.

Intent data may include multiple user activities on company websites and blogs, opening emails and clicking links, reading case studies and white papers, participating in online Q&A platforms such as Quora, and adding products to an e-commerce cart or favorites list. However, intent data may also appear as static data, such as user demographics and inferred data that combines static and observed aspects of account/lead information.

While purchase signals vary according to the content type, they indicate a user’s general interest in a specific product or service. For instance, marketers may monitor prospects’ online actions through third-party tracking capabilities. As such, a lead who adds a SaaS solution to a cart might indicate higher user intentions than leads who conduct a search for “SaaS tools” on a search engine.

Acquiring Intent Data for Lead Generation

Brands can gather buyer intent data from internal systems, such as data points collected through visitor analytics software and customer relationship management (CRM) logs.

First-party information may prove instrumental in driving marketing efforts by offering unmatched context and accuracy based on specific business needs. Additionally, returning customers keep buyer intent data refreshed and updated each time they interact with a business, keeping the information reliable and easily convertible into actionable points.

Some B2B companies may purchase buyer intent data from third-party vendors that specialize in constantly monitoring and analyzing the information of co-op sites.

Third-party companies aggregate external data from multiple sources, including site cookies, databases, and website crawlers, to provide brands with a holistic view of ideal customer profiles (ICPs). User intent data based on ICPs can significantly empower brands that leverage account-based marketing in targeting niche demographics.

Third-party buyer intent data enables brands to broaden their pool of prospects while offering a deeper assessment of specific demographic behavior before and after a website visit. However, due to the large volume and complexities of third-party user intent data, brands need to check for inaccurate or outdated information that might compromise targeting efforts.

Marketing Advantages of User Intent Data

User intent data provides reliable purchase signals that help businesses identify opportunities before competitors. As such, marketing managers can assess the central factors that drive content consumption, guiding prioritization efforts across campaigns. For example, marketers can automatically optimize product offers in real-time based on past purchase decisions.

Similarly, companies may optimize account-based marketing campaigns by presenting relevant ads to the right companies, significantly reducing their cost per lead. In addition, applying user intent data eliminates the time and inaccuracies associated with cold outreach methods by revealing data-backed buyer patterns.

Engage Prospects Early in the Buyer Journey

Brands can optimize outreach efforts with intent data for lead generation, reaching out to qualified prospects with minimal delay and guesswork. B2B marketers may leverage the information to streamline acquisitions and establish a consistent sales pipeline.

Enhance Marketing Content

User intent marketing provides exclusive buyer data businesses can use to tailor and refine ongoing content. These unique insights look into buyer concerns and preferences and can bolster existing SEO and content practices for greater customer engagement, response, and conversions.

Refine Lead Scoring

Intent data marketing can boost a company’s lead scoring by identifying prospects motivated to purchase. The data can help separate cold leads from individuals who direct their search toward resolving specific pain points. Marketers and sales teams can determine the most suitable engagement strategies for each prospect.

Complete Conversions

Brands may refer to buyer intent data as missing pieces for determining the best approach to completing visitor conversions. Consulting intent data can highlight factors that can increase conversions and reveal reasons for delayed or canceled purchases. The user intent data can incorporate firmographics and the characteristics of B2B prospects. It can also utilize technographic data, focusing on the technology a potential customer uses.

Analyzing the information enables marketing teams to make the necessary adjustments, such as reassessing pricing structures and content strategies and guiding prospects toward conversion.

Closing Thoughts – Optimizing Marketing with Intent Data

Ultimately, intent data empowers marketers to create more impactful campaigns by leveraging insights into customer purchasing processes. Calculated analysis of lead intent enables marketing teams to map and optimize user journeys from the earliest stage, constantly driving powerful predictive strategies that generate top value for buyers at each contact point.

User intent data works best when combined with firmographic and technographic metrics. Doing so creates a comprehensive scoring model for effective decision-making throughout buyer journeys.

Ultimately, brands can confidently identify quality leads with aggregated intent data, enabling marketers to improve conversions and establish lasting customer relationships. Through predictive intent data, brands can transition from a reactive to a proactive marketing approach, capturing customer attention during the peak point of interest through unmatched personalization.

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