By Kira Jerome, Intern at Heinz Marketing

As a marketer, you know how important it is to get in front of the right prospects at the right time. Your sales team may be asking for more leads, or maybe they have the volume, but not the low-hanging fruit—those prospects that fit your target audience and are ready to buy. A technology that could alert you when your ideal prospect was ready to buy sounds too good to be true, right? This is intent data. You may have heard about intent data, but maybe you’re not quite sure what that is or why its beneficial.

So, what are intent data providers? How are they different from traditional list databases? Should my organization be using one? These are all terrific and relevant questions to be asking in the ever-changing landscape of sales and marketing.

Let’s start from the beginning. Intent data is important because it shows when “high-fit” accounts or leads have been researching solutions that your company specializes in. When they do this, they leave digital footprints that can be tracked. Utilizing this kind of information can drastically increase the number of qualified leads and new sales opportunities for your company and focus your sales team’s energy on the most fruitful prospects at the right time.

There are various list building companies than can provide you with information such as firm size and type, yearly revenue, technology used, location, etc., but intent data providers go a step further and offer an inside look at which companies are actively searching for a solution like yours. To get this information, intent data providers use a combination of IP addresses and browser cookies to tell you when these accounts/leads are interested in or looking to buy a solution that your company offers. Each intent data provider has their own algorithm and method, which might include factors such as the amount of content consumed, the number of content consumers, the type of content consumed, time on page, scrolling speed, and other indicators to generate a surge score for each company on each topic.

Another important note about intent data – it is not intended to be used alone. Think of it as an additional tool at your disposal.  It’s best when combined with other solutions that provide firmographic and technographic information. From there you can see which accounts or leads are a good fit in terms of buying personas, whether they have engaged with your company before, and even if they seem to have intentions to purchase. Are they searching for similar solutions? These three elements make up the most common scoring model using intent data. Using a combination of information paints a more holistic picture and can better show which accounts and leads should be prioritized by your sales team.

If your company is ready to choose an intent provider, we want to guide you in the right direction with some important questions and points to consider when choosing.

  • First, you’ll want to find a provider that tracks signals from a broad range of channels, websites, and online activities to make sure they are processing all possible buying signals.
  • It’s also a good idea to ask how often they update and refresh their data – how close are these intent signals happening in relation to real time? You want your information to be as current, relevant, and accurate as possible.
  • You’ll also want to ask if the specific intent provider specializes in a certain industry or company type, or is known for having a certain niche. Do they have more insights for small to medium business? Do they have a reputation for their large outside-U.S. intent signals? Are these specialties going to hinder or benefit you in the target market you are looking at?
  • Asking what their process of qualifying leads looks like and how they get their information is another great conversation to have that ensures you will be investing in only the best data. Are they using large-scale web scraping? Do they have a mix of first- and third-party data? Do they have a partnership with other businesses to supplement them? These are some great starting points.
  • Finally, do some research or talk to a representative about how well their software will integrate with your current CRM system and marketing technology platforms. There’s nothing worse than having amazing data that must be manually entered into other systems to use effectively.

In the world of B2B marketing, intent data is a relatively new resource. There is an opportunity for your company to stay ahead of the tech curve and your competitors by integrating this type of software while it is in its early adoption phase. By asking the suggested questions above we hope you will be on your way to finding the right intent provider for your needs. For more information, please see some additional resources below.

Third Party Blog Posts

Intent Data Software Review Websites: