If you are a recent MBA graduate looking to get hired in a sales and marketing team at a major MNC, your skillset and knowledge base will be tested across all parameters. One such test might include your dexterity in creating marketing solutions based on Intent data. It is a valuable resource for the sales and marketing team these days, and if you hope to find employment as a marketing executive, then you must have the knowledge of how to leverage the Intent data.
First, let us understand why Intent data is important for any B2B business. Any consumer you get nowadays is an informed consumer who will not be easily influenced by gimmicky advertisements. They know what they want and can find a suitable product on the Internet based on their needs. Thus, the keyword here is what the customer needs.
A consumer’s purchase journey begins with research on the World Wide Web for the specific product or service they need. During this journey, the consumer will visit multiple websites, read content on blogging sites, visit review sites, and even watch videos by influencers. All of these activities denote a consumer’s purchasing intent and will reflect on the Intent data. A marketing team equipped with this data can intervene early on during the consumer’s research and guide them toward their website. This will result in increased sales and revenue for the company.
You must know the factors to consider before purchasing Intent data from a third-party vendor. In this guide, we will answer all your queries so that you and your employer can make the best use of Intent data to increase sales.
What is Intent data?
To put it simply, Intent data is an aggregated set of figures that enables companies to understand consumer behavior. A person researching on the internet about a specific product or service that you sell is a prospective buyer for you. You can reach out to these potential customers or leads to make a sale. Intent data is essentially an indication that a lead is currently on a purchasing cycle.
Intent data is collected from consumer activities on the Internet. This is generally in terms of content consumption. Anytime an internet user reads a specific article about your products on your website or blog, frequently visits your website, subscribes to your sales emails or trial service, etc., they are exhibiting their purchase intent.
You should leverage this data and reach out to the prospective buyer. You can convince them to choose your product by using persuasive language. If they are still on the fence, you can offer more discounts or create a more personalized product that suits their needs. Overall, it creates an opportunity that no B2B business would want to miss.
How is Intent data collected?
Intent data can be collected in two ways:
Internal Intent Data or First-Party Data
All B2B businesses like yours will have a website. Some will even have a mobile app to reach more customers. Anytime a prospective buyer interacts with the website or the app, it creates Intent data. Your website will have a listing of all the products and services you provide. There will be product descriptions and reviews for the prospective customer to read and decide. Furthermore, most websites have a chat helpdesk which can give the buyer more engagement.
The in-house marketing team can track all of these activities using analytics tools. This is a great way of collecting Intent data because the entire process is handled internally. But there are certain drawbacks too. Whenever an internet user visits your website, checks out a few web pages, and leaves, your marketing team has no way of engaging with the buyer.
It can only be done if the buyer clicks on the chat box and provides relevant information. Also, if the buyer downloads your app from the Play Store, you can get their data from the signup details. In this case alone, you can make good use of the Intent data by contacting the buyer.
External Intent Data or 3rd Party Data
As the name suggests, this Intent data comes from outside your organization. There are many third-party vendors who collect and aggregate Intent data from many websites. These vendors have such advantages as an IP lookup feature. Through this feature, the vendors can get the IP address of the prospective buyer. This is a useful bit of data as the B2B sales teams tailor their sales strategies with respect to specific geographical locations.
The vendors also rely on the “Cookies” generated by the website whenever a prospective user visits it. By tracking these, the vendors can provide reliable Intent data about the consumer’s behavior and preferences. The in-house marketing team is often ill-equipped to handle the complexities of collecting and analyzing Intent data. For this reason, many businesses are gravitating toward third-party vendors.
Five Things to consider when purchasing intent data
Before you recommend a particular vendor for purchasing Intent data, you must consider the following five factors:
- Ensure that the data collection process meets compliance laws
To analyze Intent data, a large amount of data must be ingested into a secured database first. This is a challenging task if you are buying the Intent data from third-party vendors. The vendors generally sell this data in an unstructured form. While transferring this data into your database, you need an effective tool to sift through the data and categorize it in a particular order.
These tools must lock the data in place and allow no alterations from external sources. This way, the data can remain secure and be in compliance with data privacy laws.
- Check whether relevant accounts are provided
Suppose the vendor provides a batch of Intent data for accounts that are not relevant to your domain. These are leads that are not part of the company’s target market. Pursuing them would result in wasted resources and yield no returns.
Therefore, you must first review to check whether the vendor sells Intent data that is relevant to you or not. By determining the relevance of the vendor’s Intent data, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are focused on the right audience.
- Purchase organized B2B Intent data
In today’s information age, marketers have the benefit of a large amount of consumer data at their fingertips. They use this data to create marketing strategies that are effective and result-oriented. But identifying the most crucial pieces of information from a pile of data can be strenuous and time-consuming. Isolating pertinent information is going to become even more important as account-based marketing continues to gain popularity.
Thus, it is vital that you choose those vendors who sell structured Intent data. This way, you and your team members can avoid the data overload from an unorganized list of Intent data. A well-structured Intent data will have separate rows for the account, contact information, and opportunity data. This way, the list becomes actionable for your analytics tools without further interventions.
- Integrate the sales reps’ activities into your marketing strategy
Intent data tell a marketing team that an individual has shown buying intent. Thereafter, the sales reps are assigned to this individual. This process helps prioritize leads and focus on those more likely to convert into customers. But market researchers have proven that the marketing team utilizes only 44% of every 100 leads.
To help address this issue, ask your sales reps to register their activity in the Customer relationship management (CRM) system so that you can review the lead flow process. This is an excellent way by which you can assess the efficiency of your sales team and help them with more access to information and tools. By letting your sales reps know which leads are high-priority, and which ones have already been attended to, you are enhancing the customer experience.
- Make sure that the purchased Intent data is mapped to your internal taxonomy
Any marketing team that buys Intent data will tell you that sorting the data into different categories is difficult. Therefore, only buy from a vendor who can guarantee that the data you receive will be mapped to your segmentation structure. This way, you can use this data to contact leads as soon as you get the Intent data.
This segmentation is vital as it is arranged upon the level of interest that a potential customer has shown toward your product or service. You can add the data to an existing segment in your CRM or create a new segment as needed. Once all of this data is successfully mapped, you can start creating marketing campaigns based on the behaviors of the target customers.
Intent data is any B2B marketer’s secret weapon. They use it to identify new and old leads and take pertinent actions based on the lead’s behaviors. Since Intent data has become so vital for the success of a company, it is no doubt that businesses are investing heavily in collecting and analyzing it to gain a competitive edge. We recommend that you follow our guide when suggesting the right vendor for your company’s sales interests.