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understand and use b2b intent data to drive revenue

Understand B2B Intent Data and How to Use It for Revenue Generation

The term ‘B2B intent data’ is used to mean a wide range of signals that indicate an individual’s interest in a topic. What isn’t clear with intent data is how strong the buying propensity of the individual is. It has also come to signify only third-party intent data. This can be misleading to marketing and sales efforts. How should a B2B seller like yourself use intent data to prioritize and personalize your marketing efforts?

To effectively leverage buyer intent data, we must first have a clear understanding of intent data and its different types. As a definition, intent data is behavioral data indicating that an individual or a group has shown interest in a particular topic through their engagement with content and assets around that topic.

All intent data is not created equal

Most data providers and B2B companies use the term ‘intent data’ to market interest signals of wide ranging values and consider them as late-stage buying signals. Buyer intent data could either be strong signals of purchase intent or just an indicator of interest in a generic topic. It’s necessary for marketers to understand the different types of B2B intent data available to them and learn how to leverage each of these.

  • First-party intent data or engagement data

    When anyone outside your organization visits your website or interacts with your marketing activities (emails, ads and chatbots, etc.), these activities are recorded as first-party intent data. These are also known as engagement data because essentially these are a result of the engagement activities carried out by the individuals or groups.

  • Second-party intent data

Intent data that you obtain from a data provider (source) is called second-party intent data. These are data collected with consent by the data provider from its first-party interactions. Some of the most common sources are review websites, online communities, content syndication sites, etc.

  • Third-party intent data

This type of B2B intent data is largely collected by vendors and data providers (like Bombora) who didn’t participate in the interaction. This type of intent data is available mostly at an account level. This data just reflects the topics or keywords that your potential buyers are researching on. These data can be sourced from bidstream interactions, co-op data generated from groups of web publishers, and web scraping.

Combine third-party intent data with other types of intent data

Now, we know that not all B2B intent data is late-stage or bottom-of-the-funnel buying intent. But, intent data could still get really confusing. The insights gleaned from different sets of intent data for the same account may differ depending on the source they’re derived from. While an individual within an account might be comparing software in your space on review platforms, others within the same account could be reading high-level articles on your website. What then is your holy grail to determine the buyer’s journey of target accounts? Turns out there is no one fix to this.

Most organizations source third-party intent data from providers and expect it to be late-stage intent. This could lead to issues in understanding buyer journeys and misaligned marketing strategies. So, what should marketers do? To have a clearer picture of the buyer’s journey of your target accounts, marketers must combine third-party intent with other types of insights to create a relevant buyer experience. Only then can marketers support a range of use cases spanning the full spectrum of revenue marketing.

  1. Bring in data from all your marketing activities

    Third-party intent data providers and platform vendors would like you to believe that their data is decisive when it comes to determining buyer journey stages. This is a faulty assumption that anyone researching any solution has high purchase intent for the solution.

    Buyer groups in B2B setups move from one buying stage to another and drop hints across a wide range of channels and touchpoints. This means there are more signals to be captured besides third-party intent.

    B2B marketers need to bring in data from multiple sources including website, social, ad platforms and other channels and touchpoints for more accurate insights about in-market accounts.

  2. Use historical insights from both sales and marketing

    Third-party intent data could have you running after false positives and hide the false negatives. How do you make sure your SDRs are running after the ripe accounts only? Well, start collecting and analyzing your historical data.

    Marketers can use their historical data to assess sourced B2B intent data. This will help separate the strong third-party signals from the irrelevant ones. From here, marketers will have more clarity on the in-market accounts that they need to prioritize.

  3. Track third-party intent data surge and cool-off time

    The surge and decay in intent signals are critical data to understand if buyers are in-market. If an account starts showing third-party intent for a top-of-the-funnel keyword, then knowing the surge time is critical to ascertain when an account might become in-market. In combination with other insights, the surge and cool-off dates for third-party intent could help marketers prioritize accounts as well as the types of activities.

Identify more potential opportunities with smarter intent data use

By effectively combining third-party intent with first-party data, historical data and second-party data, marketers can get quicker insights into potential opportunities. With such intelligence, marketers can engage with accounts in a more personalized manner to improve buyer readiness. Like always, it’s all about ensuring nothing fails by existing in silo. Marketers must consistently bring together critical data from sales, marketing and other teams to get more value out of intent data.

Looking to start using B2B intent data to identify in-market accounts? Speak to our experts to understand how BambooBox can help you effectively use B2B intent data to drive revenue.
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