Data is often referred to as the most important commodity on earth, eclipsing even oil. It’s hard to imagine a world in which the thirst for data is finally quenched. Businesses seem to want as much as they can get, even if the volume of information is outpacing their ability to keep up. But similar to the different grades of fuel sold at gas stations, different forms of data serve a wide variety of use cases, and not all data is of equal quality. The marketer’s job is to turn the commodity into actionable insights.
For marketers, finding the most predictive buyer intent data is both a challenge and an opportunity. By using buyer intent data, marketers can target those who have already expressed an interest in their product or service. It is a vital part of any customer acquisition strategy. But despite the frenzy to collect as much data as possible, many businesses are not actually putting that data to work.
In order to get the most out of intent data, marketers must learn how to develop effective programs and efficiently allocate resources to reach customers already searching for their solutions.
Collect and act on data quickly for best results
Intent data may come from first-party interactions (owned systems) or from third parties that have collected and aggregated data from the cooperation of several B2B websites and media publishers. These sources are complementary, providing a more complete picture of the prospects’ buying activities. But that doesn’t change the fact that marketers may feel overwhelmed when dealing with more than one data source.
B2B marketing teams often feel inundated by multiple forms of data, and usability has become one of the biggest challenges they face. But before they can use intent data, they need first to understand it, develop proper insights, and provide the insights to the right team. If the process takes too long, e.g. the team doesn’t receive the data fast enough or fails to act in a timely manner, the information might be out of date by the time they do. So timing is just as important as the data itself.
Get to the heart of buying intent
Our research found that a majority of sales and marketing executives believe that intent data improves lead conversion by at least 50%. B2B marketers are trying to use intent data to help sales prioritize leads, but over half of respondents also told us they are only somewhat successful (or worse) at using intent data to generate leads at scale.
Marketers frequently encounter this roadblock: the sheer volume of data. With intent signals coming from multiple web properties and platforms, it can be challenging to process the information. If marketers can’t derive valuable insights from intent data and scale it to meet their growing demand generation needs, they’ll be readily surpassed by those who have already overcome these obstacles.
To obtain, process, and use intent data effectively from different sources, marketers should focus on an RFE analysis of their prospective customers: Recency, Frequency, and Engagement. Potential customers should be prioritized by who has engaged with a relevant piece of contact recently, how frequently they’ve engaged with relevant content, and how long those engagements have lasted. Marketers will then be able to use intent data to rank prospects, gain insight into which ones are likely searching for their solutions, and classify leads based on buying intent.
With this in mind, marketers can also leverage insights from intent data to build and understand their targeted ICPs (ideal customer profiles), which will assist them in building relevant and segmented messages across buyer personas. Marketers can then use this data to create a multichannel approach to stay top of mind for prospective customers through email nurture campaigns and outbound calls, using account-based marketing (ABM), and leveraging site and search retargeting tactics.
Make use of this invaluable asset
Marketers feel overwhelmed when dealing with multiple intent data sources, which provide a broad overview of the prospects’ buying activities while bombarding users with too much information. This creates usability challenges, leading to issues in how quickly data is shared and used. Out-of-date data is worse than having no data at all because it may provide misleading guidance about a customer’s intent. But when used effectively, intent data is an invaluable asset that marketers can use to better leverage ICPs and segmented market personas.