Four-way intent data helps simplify your customers' marketing journey to drive conversions

Marketers are far from putting up billboards and running ads in newspapers.

Or do we have?

While digital marketing feels different to us, the biggest change our potential customers are experiencing is a massive increase in the number of ads they are exposed to each day. Your prospects are blocked with 10,000+ ads every day (almost double what it was a decade ago), and they're not interested in the vast majority of them.

We've been convinced that targeting is the best way to make sure our ads are getting in front of the right audience. However, we overlooked an important difference: targeting places our ads in front of people who we think should be interested in our solutions. not people who actually are.

So how do we find those interested who are actively looking for the products or services we offer?

Enter the following: Intention data.

Studies have shown that nearly half of B2B buyers identify a solution before ever reaching out to a seller. And we all know how they do it: they search online.

Deliberate data companies (like ours) collect all of the digital breadcrumbs these shoppers leave on their digital buying journey, and this digital path paints a picture of which prospects are and are not interested in your product or service.

In short, this is how intent data works.

How can you incorporate intent data into your current marketing efforts?

Here are four simple data strategies to start with today.

1. Reduce the clutter in your target account list

Just because you want accounts to be interested doesn't mean they're ready to buy. Intent data can help you figure out which accounts are currently most actively looking for your solution so you can spend your time promoting the right prospects without wasting time on accounts that are not ready to buy.

2. Know exactly what your prospects are researching

First party data is great, but it can leave some big gaps. For example, you may know who is visiting your website, but you may not know which of your prospects also spent the afternoon researching your competitors.

By combining your first-party data with high-quality third-party intent data, you get a clearer picture of your buyer's actual journey by capturing what your prospects have been looking for all their digital journey – not just what they've done on your website.

3. Segment prospects by keyword clusters to create relevant ABM trips

Don't rely on educated guesswork to segment your prospects. With a more holistic view of their online activity, you can set up more customized ABM trips to ensure you reach the right prospects with the right message exactly when they need it most.

4. Create personalized content tailored to the current needs of your prospects

"I describe it as: 'We can hear them sneezing and we offer them a Kleenex.'"

—Ben Howell, Head of Demand Generation and Paid Digital, Americas, Salesforce

Your prospect's interests are not static, and their specific needs often change from week to week. Buyer intent data helps keep your content relevant so you have exactly what your customer is looking for every time.

If this all sounds overwhelming, it isn't. Certain intent data providers can be integrated with HubSpot, Outreach, Salesforce, and other platforms you are already using today to help you personalize at scale.

Are you ready to incorporate intent data into your marketing toolbox?

Not so fast! Not all intent data are created equal.

Vendors use two main methods of collecting intent data at large, and it is important to understand the differences between the two.

1. Bidstream data

Bidstream intent data is collected indirectly.

User activity is captured by an ad pixel in an ad on a page, not the page itself. To understand the intent of the user, for example, the intent data provider removes keywords and visitor information from the page on which the ad is displayed, and tries to put them together.

As you can imagine, this often results in inaccurate and incomplete information as it makes assumptions about the user and the page content and will only work on pages that have ad space available.

An even bigger problem with bidstream data is compliance. Because of the way the data is collected, you have no control over whether users have chosen to share their data or whether they consent to it. Using this data could violate GDPR, CCPA, and other user privacy regulations.

2. Co-op data

Unlike Bidstream Data, data collaborations consist of member sites, each signing up and agreeing to implement a tag that captures user information and content across the site (whether or not there are ads).

This means that user data is captured directly from the page, not the ad, and represents real user interaction with the website.

From a compliance point of view, data collaborations are much more secure than bidstream data, as the websites of the co-op members can obtain network-wide approval before collecting user data.

Where does your data come from?

Here are five questions to ask your prospect to make sure you're using the best intent data available and keeping your business off the compliance hot seat:

  1. Are you collecting your data from a high-quality data collaboration or are you collecting scratchy bidstream data?
  2. Do you limit yourself to collecting intent data only from websites with ads?
  3. Is your solution fully GDPR and CCPA compliant?
  4. Do you rely solely on IP addresses to identify account-level activity?
  5. Do your data sources get your visitors' consent before data is collected?

Get out there now and find the customers who are dying to hear from you!

Additional resources on intent data

Create an enterprise marketing strategy with B2B intent data

The Essential Intent Data Guide

How and why B2B marketers use intent data

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