In the fast-paced landscape of digital marketing, businesses are constantly on the quest for insights that can give them a competitive edge. In this pursuit, a game-changing tool has emerged: intent data. It's not just another buzzword—it’s a strategic powerhouse that has the potential to transform how businesses understand their audiences, tailor their messaging, and drive conversions.
What is Intent Data?
Intent data refers to information that indicates a person's or a company's interest or intention to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a service, or researching a particular topic. This data is valuable for businesses and marketers because it provides insights into the behavior and preferences of potential customers, allowing them to tailor their marketing strategies and sales efforts more effectively.
Intent data falls into two main categories:
First-Party Intent Data
First-party intent data is collected directly from your digital properties, such as your website, mobile app, or social media accounts. It includes data like website interactions, content downloads, email subscriptions, and other online actions taken by your visitors or customers. Analyzing this data helps businesses understand the behavior of their existing audience, allowing them to personalize marketing campaigns and improve user experience.
Third-Party Intent Data
Third-party intent data is collected from external sources, often through data providers or specialized platforms. These sources can include publisher websites, social media platforms, forums, and other online communities where users discuss their needs, preferences, and intentions. Advanced algorithms and machine learning (ML) techniques are employed to aggregate and analyze this data, identifying patterns and signals that indicate potential buying intent. Marketers can use this information to target specific audience segments with relevant offers and advertisements.
Why is Intent Data Important?
Intent data is particularly valuable in the context of account based marketing (ABM), where businesses focus their marketing efforts on a select group of high-value accounts. By analyzing intent data, marketers can identify accounts actively researching products or services related to their offerings. This insight allows for highly targeted and timely engagement, increasing the chances of converting these potential customers.
Intent data is crucial for businesses because it enables them to anticipate customer needs, tailor their marketing strategies, and engage with potential customers in a more personalized and effective manner. By leveraging both first-party and third-party intent data, businesses can gain a competitive advantage in the market by staying ahead of customer demands and preferences.
What are the Five Types of Intent Data?
There are five types of buyer intent data: search, engagement, firmographic, technographic, and dark funnel. Let’s look at them first before we look at the tools and what they offer.
Search Intent Data
Search intent data (third-party) is derived when someone searches for a specific term or phrase in a search engine, such as Google or Bing. This is great to use to inform your SEO, email, or content strategy of what buyers currently care about.
Engagement Intent Data
Engagement intent data (first-party) is a signal derived when someone interacts with your content on social media, your blog, through email, or your website showing interest in a particular topic or your product/service offering. CAUTION: make sure you value the piece of content for what it’s truly worth. A buyer’s guide probably shows buyer intent. But the download of an eBook just shows interest in that topic, not necessarily a strong indicator they are looking to buy.
Firmographic Intent Data
Firmographic intent data (third-party) looks at facts about a company such as revenue, number of employees/company size, location, industry, vertical, etc. All of this data is fairly easy to get to except for revenue unless the company in question is publicly traded.
Technographic Intent Data
Technographic intent data (first or third-party) examines the tools in a company’s tech stack and the hardware and network infrastructure. You can gather this through surveys (first-party) or via a tool that captures it (third-party).
Dark Funnel Intent Data
Dark funnel intent data refers to when people do research in closed groups, amongst colleagues and personal connections to vet software. These are interactions the vendor will never see and sometimes show up as a direct traffic demo request.
Intent Data Sources
Use the table below to identify where different tools source their intent data from.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to apply intent data to strengthen your website personalization strategy, book a demo with our team. We also have powerful integrations with ABM platforms like 6sense, Demandbase, and Rollworks to make achieving your conversion goals even easier.