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How B2B Marketers Are Using Intent Data – Research and Charts

Intent data. It’s not just another piece of jargon to add to your B2B dictionary. In fact, according to research from Ascend2, RollWorks, and Bombora, 97% of B2B marketers believe that intent data will give brands a competitive advantage in the year ahead.

What is intent data?

Intent data is dynamic, account-level data that signals interest in a business category or specific products and services.

Intent data is based on content consumption of users across the web (also known as 3rd-party intent), or it can be based on direct interaction with company properties such as a website (also known as 1st party intent data or engagement data). It can be used to identify interested prospects and reach them with contextually relevant and personalized messaging.

Intent data can also be used to understand your open opportunities or existing customers better and move them through the conversion, retention, and expansion funnel.

How are B2B marketers using intent data?

B2B marketers have more information at their fingertips than ever before, but how are they using intent data now to position their brand ahead of the competition?

Ascend2, in partnership with Rollworks and Bombora, surveyed 126 B2B marketing professionals, and here are a few research insights and key takeaways from the research study, The B2B Perspective on Using Intent Data.

Insight #1: B2B Marketers Are Using Intent Data to Target New Accounts

B2B marketers are adopting the use of intent data with prospecting efforts in mind. Identifying new accounts to target, aligning their sales and marketing efforts, and prioritizing accounts for prospecting are at the top of the list of primary goals according to 56%, 51%, and 38% of B2B marketers, respectively.

Bar chart that shows the goals for using intent data

Identifying new target accounts and aligning sales and marketing are the top goals for using intent data.

Key Takeaway: If your martech goal is efficiency, consider an account-based approach. Account-based marketing (ABM) means taking a fit-first approach to B2B marketing, ensuring you’re only targeting the accounts with the highest likelihood to buy. Research shows that 94% of marketers find ABM successful at achieving their primary objectives. The more targeting you become in identifying your best audience, the more you can improve efficiency in your overall programs.

Insight #2: Accurate and Actionable Intent Data Is a Challenge

For 56% of B2B marketers, data quality is a major challenge when using intent signals, and half of those surveyed report having trouble making intent data actionable. Having a strategy in place to capitalize on intent data allows marketers to more successfully run targeted content and ad campaigns, better enable the sales team and drive more revenue.

Bar chart that shows the top challenges B2B marketers face when using intent data.

Data quality, making intent data actionable, and data security are the top 3 challenges B2B marketers face when using intent data.

Key Takeaway: Intent data can be seamlessly into ABM platforms, allowing for effortless implementation. This enables marketers to quickly take action on insights and drive account growth at scale.

Insight #3: Data Quality and Source of Data Are Key

When adding an intent solution to a technology stack, it is crucial for marketers to first evaluate goals to better define what they need. This prevents bloating a tech stack and paying for unnecessary tools. Over two-thirds (67%) of marketers are most concerned with the quality of data being delivered from an intent data solution, while 44% report that the source of data is of utmost importance.

Bar chart that describes the most important attributes of an intent data solution or vendor.

Quality of data, source of data, and ease of implementation are the top 3 most important attributes B2B marketers look for when selecting an intent data vendor.

Key Takeaway: Above all, B2B marketing technology needs to be user-friendly and customizable. You’ll want to look for tools that allow you to build and measure your programs the way that makes the most sense for your business. If you want to target specific accounts, the good news is that technology to support your strategy is not exclusively for enterprise companies with large budgets—now, small and mid-size companies have access to account-based tools that are fast, affordable, and customizable.

Insight #4: B2B Marketers Are Using Intent Data for Personalization and Targeting

Intent data gives marketers the ability to leverage personalization across various channels. About half of B2B marketers report that delivering targeted ad content (52%) and personalization efforts (49%) are the most actionable ways to use intent data. From ad copy to landing pages to the subject line in sales outreach, intent data can fuel many areas of sales and marketing.

Bar chart that describes the most actionable ways B2B marketers are using intent data.

Delivering targeted ad contenta, personalizzato, and account-based initiatives are the top 3 ways B2B marketers are leveraging intent data.

Key Takeaway: The more you know about what your accounts are looking for, the easier it is to reach them with the right offer. That’s where intent data can help inform digital advertising personalization for key accounts based on topics they’re surging on.

You can also segment these accounts into subsets audiences to reach them with personalized ads catered to their surging topics. Not only are you able to find accounts with intent, but you can now speak to them just right.

You can download the entire The B2B Perspective on Using Intent Data for more data, tips, and strategies to plan, implement and optimize your intent data plans this year.

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