Retargeting with Intent Data

Jun 17, 2019 | Author Ed Marsh

The Demand Gen Tactic We Love to Hate

Even folks who know nothing about cookies and digital marketing know about retargeting and "remarketing." It's probably the biggest driver of incognito window use on browsers, and it leaves us feeling violated even when we know how the systems work and may even use retargeting for our own demand generation.

After all, it works. Execution is often a bit clunky — it shouldn't be so hard to suppress those who have actually converted — but it drives activity like abandoned cart workflows.

The key limitation to retargeting, however, is that in order to retarget someone they have to have visited our site.

Wouldn't you love to be able to remarket to folks who have engaged with competitors and taken action indicating they're researching and possibly buying the products and services you sell even if they've never visited your site?

Retargeting: Using Intent Data for Custom Audiences

It's actually possible to do so by using 3rd party intent data in an often overlooked use case of intent data for marketing.

Marketers can build custom audience lists from intent data lead lists using the following steps:

  1. Filter leads according to intent signals which map to campaigns and ads - buying stage, problem to be solved, persona and other factors can be inferred from Contact Level Intent Data, and appropriate leads selected for each campaign
  2. Email validation - run a quick process to validate the email addresses provided
  3. Upload the list - whether your using Facebook Custom Audiences, Google Remarketing, Twitter Tailored Audiences, or LinkedIn Matched Audience will impact the ideal list size
  4. Run appropriate campaigns - target messaging and CTA appropriately for the intent signal observed. Of course other best practices apply in terms of frequency of display, etc.
  5. Dynamic follow-up - track these audiences so that the marketing and sales follow up explicitly reinforce the key message based on the observed intent signal and the campaign that converted. You can even use marketing automation to provide suggested questions, templates and enablement content based on what you've inferred, through automation, in the process. This pushes the conversion dots closer together for busy BDRs.

Avoid Retargeting a Mirage

This approach assumes your intent data delivers not only indications there's interest somewhere in the account, but also information on who specifically is taking the action.

This isn't an absolute requirement. Account based marketing (ABM) display platforms like Triblio and Terminus will target display ads on major platforms at known (anonymous) employees at target accounts, or in the case of intent data, accounts that meet the target account profile criteria, and at which there's evidence of intent. And then everyone hopes the intent details, which are often obscured behind opaque "topic" taxonomy, match the campaign. Not to mention the potential disconnect between anonymous activity somewhere in the bowels of an organization and the actual decision makers.

It's obvious, however, that displaying the ad to the actual person who took the action, and matching the campaign to the details of the engagement, will dramatically increase effectiveness.

Retargeting with Intent Data: Walk the Personalization Talk

There's lots of talk about account-based marketing at scale and personalization in marketing. Too many of the ABM "solutions" rely on blasting people across the enterprise. That's the inherent contradiction that impairs performance but doesn't get much discussion.

We know that traditional remarketing / retargeting is effective precisely because it's focused on people who have shown intent on your own site and it speaks to their specific intent. We preach personalization. and then, when it comes to ABM, we revert to spray and prey.

Contact level™ intent data enables remarketing to engaged prospects who have demonstrated intent anywhere across the web, not just on your own site - and it's a powerful add-on for ABM. 

Love the idea of Intent Data but need some help connecting the dots of activation? We offer activation options to compliment the data. BDRs, ABM strategy, and managed remarketing programs that can help you turn great data into great results.


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