Intent data, also known as predictive data, is information about a person’s online behavior. Marketers use this information to forecast a person’s or organization’s likelihood of purchasing a product. Use it correctly, and it’s a way to accelerate your business.
To better understand what intent data is, let’s use video-making equipment as an example. Imagine that your marketing department decided to produce a promotional video. At the start, it’s most likely that a few people from your firm, probably the marketing director or possibly an editing assistant, will look for the video equipment they require.
Their online searches will probably involve more than just looking on a single website. They’d be likely to start by using a search engine, which would take them to a shop or article. After many hours, they would without a doubt realize they’d just spent an eternity searching through innumerable video equipment offers.
They may do this on several occasions over several days, weeks, or months while they work out exactly what equipment they need to acquire, the suitable types of videos they want to make, and the correct video strategy they wish to implement.
Great, but what does that have to do with intent data?
The intent data of the people searching for video equipment will comprise the following:
- Where they went
- How long they spent exploring
- What kind of queries they typed into the search engine
- What forms they filled out
Many years ago, when data providers began mining internet usage to determine which firms were most actively investigating various topics, intent data became a huge issue in marketing.
The more a particular topic or area is searched for, the more likely it is that someone is seriously interested in purchasing it. And, if you know someone is interested, you can specifically target them and persuade them to buy the product or service.
Different Types of Intent Data
Four forms of data combine to provide a clear, informative picture under the “intent data” umbrella used by intent monitoring solutions.
These different types employ a mix of sources to track online visitors, such as browser cookies, IP addresses, and other zero-party data. Of course, one of the best ways to get intent data is through actual customer interactions, turning chatbots and their knack for natural language processing into one of the most valuable resources for intent data gathering.
1. Internal Intent Data: Also Known as First-party Data
This type of data is information a company gathers through website tracking and tools like marketing automating processes and automation platforms. It’s sometimes referred to as engagement data, and it can be a good indicator of purpose.
It’s easy to determine interest, buyer stage, and more by highlighting when visitors engage with your material. You could also do this by examining time on page and the topic of the page.
2. Second-party Intent Data
This data is similar to first-party intent data, but it’s collected by a third party and shared with or sold to companies with the prospect’s consent. Review and publishing sites frequently employ second-party intent data, including marketing partnerships such as webinar attendees or event participation.
Let’s imagine you collaborate with another company to organize a webinar. While you may be collecting registrations, your business partner will be interested in knowing who attended so that they may interact with them in the future.
It’s crucial to remember that the prospect allows their information to be shared with another company.
That’s why the checkboxes at the bottom of every online form are so crucial.
3. External Data: Also Known as Third-party Data
This type of data is gathered by third-party Image Sources (usually via cookies and at the IP level) that allow you to gain insight into intent on sites other than your own.
This gives you a more comprehensive picture of an account’s online interests and intent, as well as the ability to highlight intent on specific topics and sites important to your campaign’s focus.
When first-party and third-party intent insights are merged, they can provide a complete view of what an account is exploring and their business drivers, goals, difficulties, and, most importantly, their likelihood to buy.
4. Intent Search Data
The fourth type of intent data is gleaned via search engines, so the cost of SEO becomes a major factor.
Search engines use algorithms to offer individual users responses to their queries. As the world’s most popular search engine, Google is tight-lipped about its algorithm, but the SEO community believes more than 200 components come together to create Google’s search results.
While we do not understand the algorithm’s exact workings, we do know that search intent is tilting the scales, particularly in the most recent core algorithm upgrade. Google’s algorithm considers the searcher’s motivation, which ranks pages higher based on how well they can answer the searcher's intended question.
For example, perhaps you’ve been experiencing a touch of wanderlust, wanting to enjoy a spell in the great outdoors. Let’s say that you’re thinking of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. So, you Google:
The results don’t tell you how to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, as Google doesn’t think you want a rock-by-rock guide to climbing it. It believes that your search intent meant, “If I wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, who could offer the chance to do it?”
And the good folks at Google are right.
How Can You Use Intent Data to Drive More Sales?
Intent data can help sales and marketing teams considering SaaS marketing develop efficient go-to-market plans, segmentation, and tailored outreach to the relevant people.
Companies that don’t employ predictive intelligence data are just responding to data from their own website, although their potential buyer has probably been trying to solve a problem for a long time.
Sales and B2B marketing teams have five key uses for intent data:
1. To Identify Early Buyer Interest
Purchase intent signals can help you determine which companies are researching your solution before filling out a form on your website or contacting your sales or marketing teams.
2. To Create Account Listings That Are Specific to Your Business
Sales and marketing teams can dynamically filter accounts that show active interest out of outreach lists.
Marketing and sales personnel may better tailor first outreach if they have data that matches what accounts are looking for.
4. Account Prioritization and Lead Scoring
You can use predictive purchase data to aid you in choosing a lead scoring system. Companies that express interest and purchase intent before engaging in a competitive bidding procedure should be given priority.
5. Analyze and Keep Customers
Obtain real-time insight into which clients are looking for information on specific issues and solutions. These insights into existing customers allow you to upsell and anticipate problems rather than being caught off guard by clients who refused to renew or purchased a product from a competitor you didn’t know about.
Working with intent data is a novel concept for many.
For this reason, partnering with a marketing agency that understands how to use intent data to activate campaigns will certainly help your business. You will avoid making common mistakes while speeding up your outcomes and return on investment.
Like pretty much any other type of data, intent data is not without flaws. Suppose you employ intent data to target only consumers who demonstrate intent. In that case, you’ll almost certainly miss out on some customers who are interested but not captured by the intent data provider's model.
Placing too much emphasis on intent data might lead to prioritizing fast wins over creating a long-term pipeline. However, when combined with other data and techniques, such as building backlinks, intent data contributes to a comprehensive model that also considers suitability and engagement.
If you use it properly and know its limitations, intent data can help you predict who isn’t likely to make a purchase. More importantly, though, it can assist you in forecasting who will.