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Intent Data is the Answer, Not More Cowbell

Jul 02, 2019 | Author Ed Marsh

Buyer Intent Data Helps Answer Who, What, When, Where and Why

Intent data helps companies predict the purchase intent of potential customers by analyzing a prospect's online behavior across the internet--not just across your website. But not all buyer intent data is created equal. Most intent data has one or more of four common flaws.

  1. account level only - you don't know who the actual contact is
  2. limited scope - often sourced only from a limited collection of "publishers coop" sites rather than from around the entire web
  3. opaque context - "topics" are built on a hidden taxonomy which means that granular detail and context, critical for effective personalization and prioritization, is missing
  4. possible privacy exposure - when drawn from sources like Bidstream and AddThis, data may violate ToS

Those limitations have hampered efforts by demand generation marketers to optimally deploy intent data in their efforts. But those limitations are no longer constraints.

Contact level™ intent data answers all of those commonly asked questions. Marketers receive full contact details for the actual person that took action with this optimized version of buyer intent data. Signals are harvested from all of the unstructured data around the internet, and sourced from public content to avoid ToS conflicts. (In fact it's GDPR compliant.) Additionally it's provided with detail on the nature of the action, and the specific focus (key term, competitor, etc.)

The implications of this are enormous.

When you know what problem someone's trying to solve or the outcome they're trying to achieve, then you can put helpful information in front of them - whether your interaction is through email, call scripts, conversational marketing bots, paid social nurturing, remarketing, event marketing, or even (cover your ears) direct mail.

That's why, when run side by side, we've seen reduction in sell cycles of up to 82% and close rates of up to 50% with contact level intent data.

Louder, Faster, More Obnoxious - When Did That Become a Demand Gen "Strategy"?

Who's your demand gen "The Bruce Dickinson"? You've almost certainly got one. You know the character who, against everyone's better judgement, demands more...cold calling, blind emailing, carpet bombing paid social. (If you haven't seen the video recently, give it a watch. I'll wait.)

It's comical, except it's not. Because too often it's real. 

Turning back to this cowbell analogy (I'm still chuckling about the video 🤣) with buyer intent data you needn't wander desk to desk, but know exactly which desk, cubicle or office you need to visit. Even more importantly, you know what your message will be. Rather than "HEY, LISTEN TO ME!! I WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY MESSAGE!!", the granular context of of nuanced detail around the type and details of the prospects' activity let demand gen marketers deliver a focused, relevant and timely message that's likely to resonate with prospects based on their current priorities.

Contact Level Buyer Intent Data Will Help You Stop Whaling on Your B2B Marketing Cowbell

Most demand gen is built around stale playbooks. Search a database for target companies. Then search again for the contacts who hold typical buyer profiles at those companies. And then email, call and pester them on social platforms until they cite you for spam, capitulate, or happen to recognize a need at the precise random moment you're in their face.

That's not fruitful for anyone.

Contact level intent data allows you to know who's actually, currently researching and preparing to buy what you sell, or trying to solve a problem you address? That's the seductive promise of intent data. (Wondering what intent data is? Our guide to buying and activating data lays it all out.) 

The problem is that most intent data falls short. It's not enough to know which accounts are active if you don't know which people are taking the action. Sure, maybe you can stop wandering building to building with your cowbell, but you'll still need to stroll from desk to desk pestering everyone you can find, hoping that one of them might have been the active contact.

That's where contact level buyer intent data comes in.

Sooth Prospects...Don't Agitate Them

You might not be into electric harp (not really my thing either) but it's pretty easy to understand how this might play better with a frantically busy prospect than the unwelcome cowbell.

You're under pressure to meet conflicting KPIs. 

  • more leads
  • better leads (shorter sell cycle, higher close rates)
  • better engagement
  • loyalty

A traditional Predictable Revenue model can do the first (although it's harder and harder) but even with the incorporation of traditional intent data, it's not delivering the other three.

Contact level intent data can.

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