In a follow up to my 7 things to do before you launch your ABM program, I wanted to talk about the challenges we as marketers have when executing our program. Having done this myself, and having it validated in the recent 2022 ABM Survey by Demand Gen Report, the biggest pain points identified were:
Of course you should use first-party buyer intent if you have it available, but third party buyer intent is less than optimal. First let’s define first-party buyer intent as data your company owns where the buyer shows deep interest in your product or service, such as downloading a Buyer’s Guide.
Third party buyer intent is something you buy to add on to your first-party data. Companies like Bombora, which has long been considered the gold standard in intent data, has been OEMing it for years. Tools like ZoomInfo, Clearbit, and others, package it into their offering, making their tool more robust.
There are some tools who saw the value of buyer intent and tried to build their own proprietary database of buyer intent data. However, much like when Apple Maps came out and tried to compete with Google Maps, it takes a long time to adjust that algorithm to get it right for every type of buyer and business type.
These sites claim to have their own buyer intent data showing you people who have researched your product and/or competitor’s products. But be careful and do your due diligence. For example, a well known review site claimed to have buyer intent data for our product. We set it up and all of a sudden we were getting a ton of non-relevant accounts claiming to be interested in website personalization or website optimization and coming back multiple times. When we inquired we were told it was a flaw within their tool around remembering search criteria.
The biggest problem with third party data is recency. You don’t know when the last time it was updated. Let’s look at ZoomInfo for example. With all of the people who went through the “Great Resignation” or the “Quiet Quitting” phase, most of their contact data is out of date by at least one or two jobs. The world is changing so fast, it’s difficult for these companies to keep up with all of the changes.
There are five types of buyer intent data: search, engagement, firmographic, technographic, and the dark funnel. Let’s look at them first before we look at the tools and what they offer.
~ Tracy Sestili, VP of Marketing
Tracy Sestili is a tenured marketing executive leading teams at Intellimize, Fountain, SparkPost (acquired by MessageBird), Cisco, and TiVo. She has previously served on the board of Women for WineSense, and co-founded a nonprofit for lung cancer, for which she received a Bay Area Jefferson Award.