3 Intent Data Insights From a Demand Gen Marketer

After more than a decade in marketing—most of it in demand generation—I thought I’d encountered most tools of the trade. From content marketing to SEO to paid ad strategy, I eagerly kept pace with the trends, never realizing I had neglected one of the most important tools available to successful marketing teams: buyer intent data.

When I joined Intentsify last month as the new marketing director, I dove headfirst into the intent data world—and it was eye-opening. Intent data wasn’t entirely new to me, but coming from an organization that focused primarily on inbound marketing strategies, I certainly wasn’t implementing it to the fullest potential. Looking back, I wish I had better utilized those data streams in my conversion efforts.

But just because I was living in the dark doesn’t mean that you have to!

1. Buyer intent data is good, but intent aggregation is better

Intent data provides exceptionally useful information on your prospective customers. You can quickly identify their pain points and the solutions they seek through surging keywords and topics, and high-value content consumption.

The information gleaned from an intent feed is invaluable to any account-based marketing (ABM) campaign. But what if you could incorporate multiple data feeds into one easily digestible stream? Intentsify’s Intent Activation™ software does just that. It layers complementary intent feeds on top of its own proprietary data to provide a broader and more precise view of a target buyer’s needs. And perhaps most importantly, these streamlined insights make it simple for marketers to act on those insights.

2. Intent data benefits inbound marketers, too

Account-based marketers have traditionally relied upon intent data to target prospects at specific buyer journey stages. But what about inbound marketers? Tasked with filling the top of the funnel, many inbound professionals focus on casting a wide net to get as many leads as possible—knowing full well that only a fraction of those leads actually fit their company’s ICP and buyer personas.

Enter intent data! Inbound marketers can use intent data in an endless variety of ways to keep their top of the funnel full with prospects that actually fit their ICP/persona, are researching their pain point, and are actively searching for a product/solution.

Here are some quick and easy ways to leverage your data stream—particularly keyword and topic information—for inbound efforts.

  • Blog content: Create blog content that focuses on your leads’ pain points. If multiple companies on your target account list (TAL) are searching topics related to how to use intent data, for example, write a blog post addressing that topic. Then run a digital ad campaign that targets those keywords, as well as the companies, and look-alike companies, that complement your TAL.
  • Paid search: Google search ads are a great way to reach prospects that are searching for keywords directly related to their pain point. Use your intent data feed to identify commonly searched topics and keywords (e.g., “knowledge base software,” “knowledge management software”), and create ad campaigns with different variations of those keywords. With Google ads, you can refine your targeting as much as you’d like, down to specific regions, demographics, and audiences.
  • Social media: If you know that certain topics and keywords are trending on your TAL, leverage that information to inform your social media strategy. For example, if “cybersecurity readiness” is a popular keyword for your company’s product, create social posts that emphasize the trend and capitalize on prospects’ readiness to purchase a solution.

3. It's easy to misinterpret intent data

It may be tempting to assume that any one intent data feed offers all the answers, but don’t fall into that trap. Remember that each provider collects different information about online research activities from different sources. For example, some intent data vendors use keyword-based collection methods, while others monitor topic categories. There’s a big difference between these two derivation techniques, and both hold value. It’s important to understand the differences, as well as when and how they are best used.

Similarly, don’t make large-scale assumptions from a singular data point. Take the previous “cybersecurity readiness” example. If you were only considering keyword relevancy, an intent data provider might equally weigh each website containing those keywords. When you take a topic into account, however, you get contextual relevance as well. Considering both keywords and context together provides a more accurate view of buyer intent than one of those data points alone.

One of the most compelling insights I’ve had over the last few weeks is quite simple: Don’t underestimate the power of intent data, but refrain from overestimating the importance of just one piece of data. Intent data gives you a holistic look at your prospects, and in that regard, has evolved into a critical demand generation tool.

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