‘Intent Data’ and ‘Surging’ – two words that are generating a lot of interest in Marketing circles. But what’s the big hoo-ha about?
The biggest challenge facing sales and marketing teams is knowing what companies and contacts to focus your time and resources on. A massive amount of time is wasted on working on prospects and leads that have no real inclination to buy at this moment.
But what if you could know what a prospect is interested in along with the who, where and when they are actively looking for information relating to your product?
That is what intent data and surging can provide for you.
Using intent data, you are able to determine the following:
- Who the decision-makers and influencers are within an account, so that you can be more efficient at reaching the right audiences;
- Identify the accounts that are showing the most interest in your products and services;
- Identify the topics that are most relevant to your target accounts, so that you can deliver the most relevant messaging that will yield the highest return on your marketing spend.
So What Exactly Is Intent Data?
In the era of big data, companies, regardless of their size, generally collect and utilise two categories of raw information: profile and behavioural.
Intent data fits within the latter category.
Intent data is prospect or customer activity that can be used to predict whether a prospect has an interest in a topic. And something that can offer such a granular level of insight to sales and marketing people is damn exciting, not to mention extremely valuable.
The primary purpose of intent data is to detect patterns of activity that are predictable to enhance your accuracy in marketing. When you can anticipate the thought patterns and logical next steps of a prospect, it is more likely your targeted messaging strategies will pay off.
And when you use it in tandem with Surging topics (covered below), you have a very powerful communication method. Why? Because intent data can remove the guesswork from marketing.
There are 2 types of Intent Data – Internal and External, so let’s quickly explore them.
Internal Intent Data
Internal intent data includes activities a prospect carries out on your website or in response to your automated marketing programs.
It is internal because your company captures the information. Detecting that an email recipient clicks on a link that takes her to your website is one example of an internal activity.
Assume a prospect views an off-site article or ad, clicks on the call-to-action link that goes to a company landing page, and then follows a few steps on-site leading to a conversion. Over time, companies can gather activity inputs from a lot of people following their own respective paths to content and solutions.
The goal of analysing internal intent data is to identify predictable patterns.
Company execs want to figure out if certain types of buyer personas tend to follow similar routes or are affected by similar message strategies. If so, marketers can more effectively hone strategies to align with other prospects that fit the same buyer persona.
External Intent Data
It is more difficult for a B2B provider to capture external intent data (also called third-party data) because it is driven by off-site activities. As prospects read content on other sites, they can follow the call to action or bounce. Understanding responses and identifying predictable patterns is equally important in off-site content marketing actions.
To gain access to external intent data, you typically need to partner with a third-party provider or acquire the data from one. Madison Logic and Bombora are examples of third-party providers of external intent data. External data is usually gathered based on user IP addresses, site registrations and cookies.
This short 90-second video gives a good overview of how intent data works with your targeted account list.
Dennis Syracuse, CMO at Madison Logic says it best:
Intent data is key to narrowing your marketing targets. It is the “aim” in “ready, aim, fire.” In the simplest terms, intent data demonstrates when a prospect or account is actively researching solutions such as yours, making them far more receptive to your message.
The Sophistication of Surging
A surge occurs when a company or user significantly increases searches and consumption of topical content.
As a B2B provider, knowing when a prospect is looking for information on the types of solutions you provide is a huge advantage. It allows you to time your targeted communication in sync with the buyer’s journey so that you are reaching out to them at the right time.
Let’s say your company is in the Cyber Security solutions space and your marketing teams have created content around cyber security.
Using intent data and surging together, you can pinpoint exactly what topics users are researching in the marketplace. With this information in hand you don’t need to create content about “cyber security”, instead, you can drill down further and focus on the terms “embedded network security”, “social-engineering attacks” and “biometric authentication”, which are surging in the marketplace.
Here is an example of the surging Technology topics for the months of June and July this year.
Now imagine being able to match the companies and titles of people in those companies who are searching for those topics. Pretty powerful stuff, right!
Matching internal and external intent data to your profile data helps in identifying predictable patterns of behaviour. The ability to accurately project next steps in a buyer’s journey is a major advantage in communicating information and solution benefits in the right way and at the right time.
Intent data can help identify higher quality leads that have an increased probability of closing and surging means you can identify the right people at the right time.
We have the ability to leverage Madison Logic’s proprietary data-driven platform to discover the accounts that are showing intent on topics related to your product or service through whitepaper downloads, attended webinars, read case studies, viewed infographics, articles of interest, mobile activity, search, watched videos, and social activity.
We can identify the companies that are actively engaged in research for specific topics and detect a “surge” in those topics. Would you like to learn more? Contact us today.
Intent Data – How To Use It To Identify Potential Customers