Use Intent Data to Engage With Prospects and Accelerate Growth.
In a recent webinar, we discussed our findings from a survey of 250 UK B2B digital marketing decision makers to shed light on ways you can use intent data to engage with prospects and accelerate growth.
In short, we found that buyer intent data has never been more important to marketers, but its full potential has yet to be realised.
To put it one way: your prospects are out there right now, searching for a solution to a problem your business can solve. But even if you can help, you probably won’t get the chance to because the average B2B customer has finished the buyer journey before they ever speak with a salesperson.
Worse, 50% of buyers choose the first vendor to contact them, according to a study by InsideSales, highlighting the necessity of getting there before the competition.
So, why is this happening and what can you do to get your foot in the door?
The answer lies in intent data. Increasingly, marketers need to identify their in-market buyers early to be successful – and this is where intent data comes into play, by helping you find prospects that are looking to buy now.
In this article, we explore and expand on some of the key findings from the webinar, to help you understand and anticipate how buyer intent can support you on your journey to data-driven success.
What is buyer intent data?
In a nutshell, buyer intent data is online behaviour-based activity that links buyers and accounts to a specific topic. In today’s digital world, when a B2B buyer has a pain point, they visit websites, download whitepapers, read online articles, scroll through social media and search for any other means to solve their problems.
In the process, they leave behind a digital footprint. This is what we call intent data, which is essentially anything that indicates a lead is in their buying cycle and preparing to purchase a solution.
The webinar revealed that an overwhelming 98% of B2B digital marketers surveyed in the UK are already using intent data in their demand generation activities. In addition, 72% are planning to significantly increase their spending on intent data and 87% also report that it’s already providing a return on investment.
This is a strong indication of the growing dependence upon intent data. If you’re yet to start using it in your own marketing efforts, it’s less likely that you will be the first vendor to reach prospects, which is often the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity.
Different types of intent data
Before unlocking the full potential of intent data, it’s important to understand its two main forms: 1st party and 3rd party data. Simply put, the former is your own internal data, acquired from your website and other channels, whereas the latter is collected from external sources, but can still be put to use by your team.
Both will play an important role in marketing efforts, each bringing their own unique benefits. To give you every advantage, it’s best to combine all types of intent data to give you a holistic overview of the user journey and buyer intent. But in particular, 3rd party data can provide the biggest data pool of competitors and buyers beyond your own sources.
However, it’s worth remembering that not all data content is created equally. So, when selecting a source of 3rd party data, be sure to do your research to first gauge the quality of data its offering, as well as its authenticity and if it has been gathered according to legal regulations, such as GDPR.
Using buyer intent data
There are, of course, some obstacles to using buyer intent data. This includes connecting disparate data silos, segmenting data with analytics and automation, and ultimately activating always-on, omnichannel campaigns.
We found that half of marketers 48% had difficulties integrating intent data into their marketing technology stack and connecting signals to existing accounts and other sales and marketing activities.
This can make using buyer intent data a seemingly difficult task, in terms of both time taken and return on investment. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our buying intent solution – D&B Buyer Intent – allows organisations to identify their in-market audiences that are displaying early-stage buying signals by mapping billions of digital content engagements across the web to more than 360 million companies in the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud.
In turn, this allows you to identify buyers that are displaying off-site intent signals, to pursue these accounts through omnichannel marketing and then use visitor intelligence to help unmask the intent signals.
This approach delivers greater clarity into determining how intent audiences are transforming into engaged audiences – and becomes the fuel for converting engaged audiences into customers, while saving you valuable time and boosting ROI in the process.
Find out more
To learn more about intent data, watch our webinar today. Or get in touch to see how we can empower your sales and marketing teams to integrate and unlock the potential of buyer intent data for your organisation.