No matter what’s involved in your B2B sales and marketing strategy, you’ll be leveraging intent data to some extent.
Buyer intent data is a valuable source of information that allows you to see exactly where buyers are on their journey and target your marketing efforts much more directly.
The question is, how reliable is buyer intent data?
There are hundreds of services and tools aimed at collecting third-party intent data, but is it actually valuable? And, more importantly, will it improve your marketing or just dilute your client pool?
In this post, we’ll talk about the different types of intent data, how it’s collected, and how you can use it to improve your lead generation efforts.
Ready to add more warm leads to your pipeline? We’ll help you create high-converting outreach campaigns that bring in a consistent stream of warm clients on autopilot. Request a demo to see how we do it.
What is Intent Data?
Buyer intent data is information that shows you which buyers are actively in the buying cycle. For B2B companies, this data is used to show which companies are ready to buy, making outreach much easier for sales teams.
There are different tools you can use to collect buyer intent data. But generally, intent signals include:
- Clicks on a social media ad or link
- Visits to your website
- Length of time spent on your website
- Email newsletter subscriber behavior
Why Use B2B Buyer Intent Data?
B2B buyer intent data can boost marketing and sales efforts and give valuable insights you won’t find elsewhere.
Here are a few reasons why you should be using buyer intent data if you’re not already.
Helps target qualified leads
Around 60% of all B2B marketers report that generating new leads is the hardest part of their job. But tapping into buyer intent data can make the process of finding qualified leads much easier by focusing on those leads that are ready to buy.
When you have a list of leads who are already interacting with your content and showing interest, you can target your marketing efforts much more effectively and make the job of your sales team more streamlined.
Many B2B businesses think of outreach as a numbers game – the more you do, the more chance you have of finding a lead.
Although cold outreach can work well if structured correctly, it’s not the most efficient way to find leads.
Having buyer intent data at your disposal will allow you to focus your outreach on an interested list of potential clients.
When you have less outreach to do, you can focus more on creating personalized, valuable messages that are more likely to get replies.
This is a much more solid strategy of getting consistent warm leads, rather than relying on volume outreach.
Improves your account-based marketing campaigns
Account-based marketing targets specific companies, rather than a demographic. This is an incredibly effective content strategy if you know exactly which companies to target and how best to engage them.
Buyer intent data provides crucial information on whether a company has visited your website, interacted with your ads, and more.
This information will show you which companies you should be targeting and helps you personalize the approach with the information they’ll be interested in.
Types of Buyer Intent Data
Now you know why B2B user intent data is important, let’s take a look at the different types you can gather.
User intent data is split into two different categories: first-party and third-party. Both have advantages:
First-party data refers to any data you acquire firsthand from your target audience. This includes:
- Internal website searches and keyword queries
- Your own website cookies
- Email tracking
- Social media listening tools
- Any firsthand interactions with customers
This is the gold standard of user intent data because it’s a direct view of your audience. Since it’s data collected directly through your own website and social channels, it’s free and allows you to drill down into individual buyer behavior.
No matter your industry, you should be utilizing your company’s first-party data to improve your marketing strategies and outreach campaigns.
Third-Party intent data
On the other hand, third-party intent data is information collected outside of your organization from multiple sources.
This will include different websites, social media channels, and browser cookies.
Although not as reliable as 1st party intent data, third-party is still useful to use and offers a couple of key advantages 1st party can’t.
For example, third-party intent data sheds light on the earliest steps in the buyer journey before they reach your site. This helps marketers hone their messaging to reach potential buyers quickly and get them in the top of their sales pipeline more effectively.
When you’re using user intent data, think of it like this:
- First-party intent data is great for targeting specific buyers and targeting warm leads.
- Third-party intent data is better for wide-scale marketing and reaching more B2B customers who aren’t yet ready to buy.
How to Collect Buyer Intent Data
The methods for collecting buyer intent data differ for first and third-party data.
When collecting first-party intent data, you’ll need to analyze your own website analytics, CRM, and reporting tools.
There are also tools that allow you to track accounts that are interacting with your content using IP addresses to find unknown data.
Third-party data, on the other hand, is gathered through a third-party data tool. These tools will let you track visitors to competitors’ sites, form submissions to external sites, sign-ups to external newsletters, etc.
Because you’re relying on a third party to provide this data, it’s important to find a reliable tool that offers quality, real-time data.
How to Use B2B Intent Data
Collating intent data is one thing, but using that information to improve your sales and marketing is where you’ll give yourself a competitive edge.
Here are the ways you can implement the data you gather to enhance your marketing plan and get more leads.
You don’t want your sales team talking to every single lead your marketing team acquires. Cold leads will be much harder to convert and could lead to your sales rep wasting time on meetings that never end in a deal.
By using intent data to lead score your potential customers, you can prioritize and only give the best ones to your sales team.
Cold leads can be cycled through your marketing funnel to give them a chance to make it through the whole buying journey before being passed along to sales representatives.
The intent data you gather should also be used to personalize your outreach campaigns. For example, if you find through first and 3rd party intent data that the CEO of a company is researching both your and a competitor’s product, you’ll be able to personalize your outreach and maybe even offer a free demo of the product they’re interested in.
An impressive 99% of marketers agree that personalization gives you an edge over competitors and shows a level of dedication that potential customers like to see in the B2B market.
Bant.io makes creating automated, personalized outreach campaigns quick and easy. Using tried and tested sequences, you can plug in your intent data and make your marketing efforts significantly more impactful, all on autopilot.
3. Lead identification
Perhaps one of the most important uses of buyer intent data (especially third party) is identifying potential customers in the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer journey.
It’s these leads that your marketing team needs to identify as early as possible and get into your sales funnel.
Without intent data, it’s difficult to target buyers in these early stages, but once you can see who is interacting with keywords, engaging with relevant topics, online searches, signing up to competitors, etc., you can create much more targeted PPC ad campaigns.
4. Lead Nurturing
Finally, B2B intent data can be used to help nurture leads more effectively. Once you understand your leads more and can see what sort of content they’re interacting with, you can hone your message and provide the information they need and want.
This not only keeps them engaged with your brand for longer but also keeps your brand top of mind for when they have a purchase intent.
How Reliable is Buyer Intent Data?
First-party buyer intent data is the most reliable form of data you’ll get since it comes directly from your own analytics.
You can drill down to see exactly what buyers are doing when on your website or interacting with your ads, which is valuable to inform marketing efforts.
Things get a little more complicated with third-party intent data because of the volume and quality you receive.
Many marketers want to acquire third-party data to target prospects in the buying stage of the buying process. The problem is, these prospects probably aren’t familiar with your brand yet and may not be ready to buy.
Just because intent data tells you a B2B prospect downloaded a competitor’s PDF doesn’t mean they’re at the decision stage, and they may need more nurturing.
Not to mention the quality of the third-party data is contingent on the quality of the service or tool you use to acquire it.
To use third-party intent data as reliably as possible, it’s best to treat this as top-of-funnel prospects and allow your marketing team to create better nurture campaigns before focusing on outreach.
Start Leveraging Your Buyer Intent Data
If your marketing team is struggling with acquiring leads or your sales team is tired of having meetings with cold leads who are difficult to convince, leveraging buyer intent data is a solid strategy to consider.
Not only will you get valuable insights that will make finding new leads much easier, but you can also use the data to improve your outreach.
That’s where Bant.io comes in. We’ll help you create highly personalized outreach campaigns that bring in a consistent stream of warm clients for your sales team.
With high-converting sequences and automated processes, we help make lead generation the easy part of your marketing.
Get in touch today to request a free demo to find out how our software will transform your marketing.