The wealth of data available to B2B marketers today is vast and often very complex to manage when it comes to achieving specific business goals.
Many marketers know that it’s all about using the available data effectively to get the best possible ROI. Leveraging intent data could be the key to personalized customer experiences.
Intent data’s entry into the B2B world has only just begun, and with the right dialogue, the right technology and an open mindset, it will soon become an integral part of significantly improved B2B marketing. Now is the time for B2B companies to act, define their target groups and experiment with possible uses to benefit from intent data in the future. Because intent data is behavioral data that indicates when a buyer is paying significant attention and time to a particular topic.
In the early phase of a purchase decision, it provides actionable insights that would otherwise go unnoticed. This allows businesses to engage with users at the right time once they show intent in their decision-making process. This ensures products and services are positioned and promoted more effectively and allows marketing managers to guide their prospect to the point of sales.
In the B2C world, marketing gets most of the information about customer interests and purchase intentions from e-commerce websites. Because these data-rich websites provide insight into what products or services a customer is interested in, B2C marketing managers can closely monitor customer behavior and interpret preferences for specific products.
In contrast, the B2B sector is still relatively backward when it comes to accessing and using online data. Many B2B companies rely on direct contact between customers and sales: They are very familiar with personal communication and longer buying cycles and are often less digitally savvy.
But a lot has also happened in the B2B sector in the past two years. The accelerated shift to digital solutions and ways of working has shown B2B companies the value online marketing can bring to them too, whether it’s for nurturing buyer relationships or data-driven lead generation.
The hesitant transition from B2B companies to digital marketing tactics in the past is also responsible for the fact that the use of intent data has not yet arrived in the B2B world. Driving the development and adoption of intent data requires intelligent technology, expertise, and support within the organization itself.
Intent data shows the purchase intention of companies and provides information about which topics, products or services a company is currently dealing with. Intent data thus provides a much deeper insight into a buyer’s thought processes than other targeting data. They add an extra layer to B2B online targeting, especially when running Account Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns.
A Demand Gen Report highlighted that 62% of B2B companies would incorporate insights from intent data. They are willing to go beyond basic demographics and company data to gather richer information about the targeted users. But the survey also revealed that while B2B companies would love to take the opportunity to gain better insight into their audience's intentions, they're not sure where to start.
For intent data, implementation has been the biggest hurdle to entry so far. Many companies lack an understanding of where to find intent data and how to incorporate it into their marketing strategy.
For intent data to thrive in the B2B world, marketing managers must develop successful case studies that demonstrate the impact and performance of intent data. This makes it easier to convince decision makers to integrate intent data into their marketing processes.
First, target group personas and keywords must be defined to provide the right data for the business and forms the basis for highly personalized ad targeting. Such preparation is important to launch a data-driven campaign and provide guidance for future campaign optimizations.
By Daniela La Marca