Modern B2B technology buyers are a mysterious group. Smart, informed and tech-savvy, they like to keep to themselves and are typically challenging to reach. With limited visibility into the behaviour of tech buyers, it can be difficult for marketers to evaluate where these prospects are in their purchase journey and how best to connect with them. Many organizations are now utilizing intent data to help them better understand technology buyer behaviour and improve marketing success.
What is intent data?
Intent data is “information that indicates a prospect’s level of interest in a particular product or service online”. When a prospect is preparing to make a purchase decision, they will be actively performing keyword searches, visiting websites, and downloading relevant content. Intent data is the product of capturing and analyzing the online activities of the prospects to determine their readiness to purchase and likelihood of converting to a customer.
Why is intent data useful?
The use of intent data can have a significant impact on the performance of your marketing and sales strategies. A recent Gartner survey shows that organizations using intent data are two times more likely to have a 10% conversion rate compared with the 6% average conversion rate experienced at the top of the marketing funnel. By using the insights uncovered by intent data, organizations can:
Types of Intent Data
There are three types of intent data: first-party, second-party, and third-party. For optimal results, marketers typically combine all three types of data in their marketing efforts.
First-party data is information that your organization collects from its own digital activities and assets such as CRM, email campaigns, blog, and other website interactions. It is described as first-party data because your organization has a direct relationship with the user.
Second-party data is information that is obtained from organization A by another organization due to its direct relationship through a public engagement with organization A. For example, if organization A purchases new software and registers it with the software provider, the software provider can collect data about how organization A interacts with the software. Providers of second-party data typically protect user privacy by aggregating and anonymizing the data prior to selling the information.
Third-party data is information that is collected by providers through indirect relationships with users. These providers collect information about industries and organizations by monitoring countless websites via advertising networks, cookies, search history, and data sharing. Similar to second-party data providers, third-party data is aggregated and anonymized to ensure user privacy.
Combining intent data with other data types
Intent data is invaluable as it signals a prospect’s interest in your product or service, but to ensure that you have a qualified prospect, you still need to understand if the prospect is a good fit for your organization. It’s important to use intent data in combination with other data types as you create your targeted campaigns:
Demographic data: job title, job level, age group, gender, education, and family status.
Firmographic data: industry, size of organization, location, sales and revenue, growth trends, and ownership framework.
Technographic data: the technologies and tools used by organizations, what they use them for, and how long they’ve used them.
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