While it may just sound like another marketing buzzword, intent data can be an incredibly powerful way for businesses to generate a better return from their sales and marketing.
In a nutshell, intent data is any information that indicates a lead’s interest in your solution. This interest can capture all stages of the buyer’s journey from initial awareness to a final purchase decision.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CLICKED ON AN AD FOR FUN?
Generally speaking, most of us aren’t going around clicking on ads for the fun of it – particularly in the industrial B2B space. No matter how engaging you think your ad is, I can almost guarantee that no one in their right mind is visiting a website on pre-cast concrete unless they foresee a future use for it.
That is the first level of intent.
They stepped on the lot, and that in and of itself indicates that there is some level of buying intent.
KEEP TRACKING OVER THE ENTIRE BUYER’S JOURNEY
But, of course, just because they’re looking around doesn’t mean they’re sales-ready right now. In B2B, the sales cycles tend to be long and complicated, so the chances of someone buying on their first visit to your website is slim to none.
That’s why you need to continue tracking the intent data of a lead over time. The more times they engage with you, the more likely they are to eventually turn into a sale.
There are two primary types of intent data; first-party & third-party.
FIRST-PARTY INTENT DATA
First-party intent data is the most commonly used type of intent data. It relates to activity happening on your own website.
Identify someone on your home page? Receive a case study download?
The ability to follow these activities on your website and relate them back to a lead is done using first-party intent data.
THIRD-PARTY INTENT DATA
Third-party intent data relates to activity happening on websites outside of your own.
For example, someone reading your content on a media publication or researching your solution on Google. They’re showing interest in a less direct way, but the information can still be incredibly valuable to your sales and marketing team.
COMBINING INTENT DATA WITH IDENTITY RESOLUTION
Depending on the solution you use to garner intent data, it may be anonymous. While anonymous intent data can still have value in terms of understanding general buyer behaviour – it’s not as useful as having the lead’s identity.
Ideally, you want a solution (like ActiveConversion), that shares both intent data as well as identity. That way you can easily follow up with the lead and direct the buyer’s journey.
HOW CAN YOU USE INTENT DATA?
So, you’ve found a lead showing buying intent. Now what?
You can, give or take, treat them like any other lead. Reach out with a personal call or email, send them content in a nurture campaign, add them on LinkedIn.
While they may not be sales-ready right now, it never hurts to begin a connection.
Once you’ve completed your initial reach out, you can continue to track their intent data to determine when they’re travelling through the sales cycle. For example, you can track when they’re re-opening your old emails or coming back to your website. Both of these would be clear indications that the lead is ready to re-engage.
Intent data gives you the information you need to make sure you’re reaching out to the right people at the right time. It improves your targeting and ultimately makes you far more likely to close a sale.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Intent data is transforming the world of B2B sales and marketing and ActiveConversion is leading that charge.
Want to explore how you can start using intent data in your business? Let’s chat.
Like this post? Follow ActiveConversion on LinkedIn:
About Gail Moch
Gail has a background in marketing and technology that she puts to use as ActiveConversion's marketing manager. She has a passion for innovation and creativity that she applies to all aspects of her life. When she isn't at the office, Gail can be found relaxing with her husband and two dogs.