Online users leave digital clues about their intentions wherever they go on the internet. When they visit your website or click on links in emails, that information is 1st party data that belongs to you. If they visit other sites or participate in discussions on social media platforms, it’s 3rd party data. It’s crucial to consider both when you’re trying to determine a user’s intention.
Understanding Intent Data
Until recently, many details surrounding a typical buyer’s journey were unavailable to B2B marketers. You could determine what potential clients did when they arrived on your website, but there was little data on what those same prospects did elsewhere online. Consumer insights from Google show B2B buyers typically perform up to 12 internet searches before choosing a brand’s website to visit. This means a large portion of the research that influences their decision happens before they click on any website.
Intent data is information gathered using cookies that reviews and analyzes users’ topic searches, online behavior such as social media clicks, news articles read, and visits to competitor websites. Artificial intelligence makes it possible to identify these prospects, determine their level of interest and position in the buying cycle.
Unless you have an “insider” on your payroll (just kidding!) with access to real data on your target clients, you have to obtain 3rd party data from external data providers. Companies such as Bombora, Infer and Mintigo track thousands of topics online and accumulate data from websites, publishers and directories to determine user intent. Buying the data you need can be costly, so you need to know how to unlock its full potential.
Generating B2B Leads with Intent Data
Once you know who is in the market for your product, the next step is turning them into actionable leads. That’s where context comes into play because it’s one thing to know someone from Company X is researching your offering, and another to find out why.
At this point, you can serve users content aimed at getting them to click deeper into your site, which can help you to identify them. Are they a junior employee doing research for a report, or a senior executive checking pricing before instructing the procurement department to purchase? These are different levels of intent, and if you determine the behavioral context, it enables you to target them with additional, appropriate information.
Developing an account-based marketing campaign gives you the opportunity to reach identified prospects with content aimed at their specific point in the buying cycle. To optimize your use of 3rd party data, take these steps:
- Identify clear targeting requirements. That way, you’ll pay only for data specific to your best prospects.
- Ensure data accuracy by asking for evidence of the data provider’s standards and the methodology they use to collect it.
- Pay for good quality data, and ensure the provider you choose offers a refund policy if you find the information isn’t up to scratch.
- Use a range of data sources, or use an agency that does so. This helps to ensure you get the diversity of data necessary for an unbiased view.
If all this sounds like a nightmare to implement and manage, find a marketing expert who understands the world of intent marketing to help you navigate the process.