Foundry’s new study dives deeper into how intent-based marketing allows organizations to drive more impressions and engagement with their audiences

Boston, MA, May 2, 2023Foundry, the media, data, and martech division of IDG, Inc., has released a new research report that showcases how using intent-based targeting from multiple sources performs more effectively and efficiently than traditional Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) fit targeting in B2B advertising.

In several control vs. exposed A/B tests, Foundry consistently found that the use of intent-based ad targeting in pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns yielded significantly stronger performance, greater reach, and reduced cost-per-click (CPC) amounting to 2.5 times greater overall campaign efficiency.

Improved Impressions and Click-Through Rate

Foundry’s research finds that the ad groups reaching the exposed (intent-based) audience resulted in 83.5% more impressions on average than the control audience. This effect remained true and repeatable across all three independent tests. Google defines click-through rate (CTR) as a ratio measuring how many viewers clicked an ad out of the total viewers. A high CTR suggests that the ads shown are relevant to their audience. Ad platforms like Google consider relevance when determining which ads to show, often leading to higher impressions for intent-based ads.

This experiment also showed an average CTR increase of 220% on ads shown to intent-based audiences in all three tests. The increased CTR in these cases suggests that individuals showing intent across the sources captured have a higher likelihood of clicking an ad compared to those not actively showing the same types of intent signals.

“Our new research strongly suggests that moving away from traditional targeting methods and shifting to multi-source intent targeting may result in the ability to drastically improve a given marketing campaign’s effectiveness,” said Olivia Kenney, Director of Product Strategy & Innovation Marketing at Foundry.

Reduced Average Cost-Per-Click

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is the amount paid for each click on an ad. Average CPC is calculated based on the total cost of clicks by the number of clicks. CPC was assessed based on the average CPC associated with each separate ad group, as targeting, ad assets, landing page, and budget all impact CPC. Based on the research, intent-based audiences saw a 59.6% lower CPC than the control audience based on a 95% confidence score. Although the total cost of both ad groups in each test was similar, CPC is significantly lower due to the higher likelihood of that audience clicking an ad. This improved efficiency is reflected across all three tests and coincides with the elevated CTR in the exposed audiences.

Impact of Intent-Based Targeting

With Gartner reporting a drop in marketing budget as a percentage of total revenue from 11% in 2020 to 6.4% in 2021, the lowest ratio in recent years, marketers must find novel ways to do more with less. The improved efficiency seen in this research enables marketers to strategically spend each dollar so that no amount of budget is wasted to reach individuals who are not showing buying propensity. Based on these results, with the same budget using an intent-based audience, B2B marketers could see 2.5x improvement to campaign efficiency than if they were using standard firmographic and demographic targeting.

“With these results, we can see the significant impact that intent-based targeting can have on B2B advertising campaigns,” said Sreejata Chatterjee, Product Lead at Foundry. “By utilizing data from multiple sources, we can reach individuals who are showing buying propensity which not only improves campaign effectiveness, but can also help marketers achieve greater results with the same or less budget in an increasingly challenging environment.”


For this experiment, Foundry used a blend of first-party, proprietary second-party, and third-party data, combining and prioritizing them using a smart scoring algorithm described in the research. The database comprises 52 million intent signals per week, including social activity, website activity, and proprietary second-party data from owned publishing networks. Intent signals were mapped to a database of 4 million companies and over 40 million B2B contacts. Within the database, intent signals are grouped into 7,560 category taxonomies such as Accounting Software, Competitive Intelligence Tools, and Data Entry Services Providers. The data used in this experiment was collected and used compliantly in accordance with data protection regulations. Audiences were strictly business/company-based and B2B in nature and data did not include contact-level location, phone number, or any sensitive information.

Download the full report here.


About Foundry, an IDG Inc. Company

Foundry helps companies bring their visions to reality through a combination of media, marketing technologies and proprietary data on a global scale. Our intent data and martech platforms are powered by data from an owned and operated ecosystem of global editorial brands, awards, and events, all engineered and integrated to drive marketing campaigns for technology companies. Foundry is dedicated to generating and innovating with data, driving demand for technology marketers with 38 offices in markets around the globe. Foundry is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group, Inc. (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, research and marketing services company. To learn more about Foundry, visit