What Intent Data is and Why You Need It


By Payal Parikh, Director of Client Engagement at Heinz Marketing

There’s been a buzz in the industry around customer intent data. It’s the next shiny object that is luring B2B marketers so they can gain and provide more insights into their prospects and have a better shot at closing a deal.

But what exactly is Intent Data?

It is a dataset of an individual that shows what they are interested in and, therefore what they are likely to do next. This allows B2B marketers to identify when the individual is considering or actively looking to make a purchase of a similar product or service.

Intent data is specifically an individual’s web content consumption. This provides insights into their interests. Think about it, someone searching for ‘recliner couches’ on the web is more likely to consider purchasing a recliner couch. They already know that they need one. For a B2B organization, it helps us understand the lifecycle of the buying process. With this kind of insight, organizations can design online experiences that are sending individuals towards having a meaningful conversation with sales.

Types of Intent Data

First-Party Intent Data is the data you collect about your own users. This includes data collected about visitors on your website using web analytics software like Google Analytics. First-party intent data also includes data collected by your CRM, your marketing automation platform, and any other technology you use on the website and marketing efforts. This is the information you directly track and record from user interaction on your website, email, social, and other digital properties.

Second Party Intent Data is something about you but not on your website. This includes data collected by review sites and publishing networks. It also includes survey responses collected by another organization about you. You can purchase or access your data from the company that owns it.

Third-Party Intent Data is the data collected external to your organization. These are all digital touchpoints that are not on your website and include external websites, social media, content platforms, etc. This is all the activities your prospect is reading or searching on the web outside of your own website. Once collected, this dataset is stitched together.

Why Do You Need this Data?

Intent data allows marketers to know what prospects need as a next step to bring them closer to purchasing. It also provides insights into the prospect’s pain points, what solution they are searching for, hence tailoring the offer that speaks to those needs. Which in turn increases the likelihood of the prospect converting into a customer.

With intent data, you can reach out to prospects who are already looking for a similar solution like yours and can provide them with relevant content. You can form a relationship with your prospects much before your competition knows they are looking for a similar solution.

It is not just about finding which companies are showing intent, it is also about finding who is the decision-maker and the influencer within those companies.

Read Matt’s blog that talks about The decline of attribution and rise of intent: Measuring marketing’s value in a complex sale.

Here Are Some Benefits our Customers Have Observed

Research indicates that an average B2B buyer spends 67 percent of buyer journey digitally. Having this intelligence at your fingertips means striking when the iron is hot. Having deep insights into your current and future customers helps achieve:

  • Better quality leads that result in higher conversion rates throughout the funnel
  • Higher win rate, which means higher marketing contribution to the revenue
  • Better engagements within prospect accounts
  • Shorter sales cycles since you are focusing on accounts showing intent
  • Higher quality leads are passed on to sales, which in turn builds trust for a better sales and marketing alignment

Having buyer intent data at your fingertips is just a first step. How to utilize it, turn it into intelligent data is key. Many teams have purchased an ABM technology but do not know how to utilize it to its full capacity. Here at Heinz Marketing, we help leaders and marketing teams with how to operationalize the technology and bring sales and marketing alignment.

If you need tools and tips from us on how to start leveraging your ABM tech stack, or which ABM tech you should purchase, reach out to us for a free 30 min consultation! payal@heinzmarketing.com