What is intent data, and why is it important?
Posted by LeadScale on October 28, 2022

Intent data, in a nutshell, it is information that answers two key questions: what people are looking for and why. A published Forbes article quotes a demand base report that stated: “B2B customers today progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever engaging a sales representative”. Whilst this statistic is not inherently alarming, it does mean that many buyers bypass salespeople. By the time they have researched, compared prices, and bought, your prospect has completed an entire sales cycle: one that cuts your team out.  

Intent data gives insight into which prospects are currently buying the products and services you offer. This insight is invaluable for your sales and marketing team. If prospects are researching your product or service, intent data will help you get your foot in the door before your competitors. 

Examples of intent data:

  • Web browsing data (via first and second party cookies) 
  • Interactions with social media content 
  • Downloading content from your website (case studies or white papers) 
  • Clicking on links in your emails 
  • Requesting a quote 
  • Clicking on Adverts or web search queries
  • Attending virtual or physical events live or on-demand 

How do you find intent data?

There are two main types of intent data; first party and third party. First party intent data points to your users’ behaviours and preferences whilst they are interacting with your brand, while third party information comes from interactions on websites you don’t own. Whilst both types of data can be incredibly valuable, you obtain them in slightly different ways.  

A vital source of First party intent data is content. What content are people consuming? How often? How many people are viewing your content? How long are they spending on your page, and what are they clicking? Knowing information like this can help you to decipher what the majority of consumers are looking for. Google Analytics and similar software are helpful tools that allow you to track these pieces of information and highlight which pages people visit on your website. It can also give insight into the actions they take while they’re there.  

What is intent data in B2B?

There are multiple reasons why intent data can be invaluable in the B2B world. For example, intent data shows when a buyer is ready to buy. This principle applies to services or whatever other offerings a firm may have. From a first party intent data perspective, you can also zone in on the clients or prospects researching your offering, even without any other form of engagement.  

Knowing who is showing active interest can help teams prioritise who they plan to target and help them personalise their approach. However, you should not reserve this strategy solely for new clients. It can also be a way to keep existing clients by highlighting pain points. Firms can also use intent data to track the progress of sales leads, ensuring that follow-up contact is prompt and relevant. As a result, B2B firms that use intent data can enjoy a significant advantage over their competitors. 

Put bluntly, intent data is a must-have in B2B sales, and those not taking advantage of its countless benefits are missing out. 

How to use intent data to boost your marketing efforts?

Once you have intent data, you can use it to improve your marketing efforts in several ways. For one thing, you can use it to create more targeted content. For example, if you know what people are interested in, you can write articles, blog posts, and even eBooks that address those needs directly. Other tools, such as Google AdWords, can give you a broader view. For example, what are most people within your demographic searching, and how can you implement those keywords across your page?  

Another area that intent data can improve is lead generation efforts. For example, you can boost your conversion rates by targeting active people within your industry who are more likely to interact with your content. You can also build trust and loyalty over time by showing you understand their needs and interests. 

Once you have your intent data, you can begin to implement it to improve your marketing and sales techniques. There are a few different ways you can utilise this data, and we highly recommend organising it like this for best results: 

  1. Leads showing high intent should be classified as prospects and sent directly to sales. To streamline your sales and marketing efforts, you need to know where to hit and how hard so-to-speak. Filtering out leads by purchase intent prevents time wasters from slipping through the net and can strengthen the relationship between your sales and marketing units. Sales know precisely who to reach out to and can prepare to close the deal with that lead.  
  2. Leads that have shown some intent should be added to your marketing nurture and targeted with mid and bottom-funnel content.  These leads may need more education on your product or service and how it can benefit them before they’re ready to speak with sales. Not all leads will show high purchase intent, and that’s okay. These leads should still be marketed to, but with content that helps create awareness of your brand. You want to showcase why your brand is superior to your competitors. 
  3. Leads that have yet to show intent should be added to your marketing nurture and targeted with top-of-funnel content. The goal when marketing to these kinds of contacts is to create awareness and educate them on your product or service. Highlight problems that they may be experiencing currently, and then tell them how your brand could fix said problem!

About LeadScale

Data populates our modern world, and it can be challenging to navigate the chaos. At LeadScale, the only data that matters is data that drives productive action. Through technology and expertise, our team empowers firms to identify opportunities by owning every moment of the data journey.

Contact our team and find out how you can use data fuel your firm’s future.