Intent data is information that captures a person’s digital behavior and provides insight into their interests, needs, and purchase intentions. It can include data such as website visits, search terms, content downloads, social media activity, and more. The goal of intent data is to provide marketers and sales teams with a more complete understanding of a potential customer’s behavior and preferences, allowing them to deliver more targeted and personalized communications. By analyzing intent data, companies can gain a deeper understanding of their target audience, prioritize sales leads, and develop more effective marketing strategies.
This information is collected through various sources such as web browsing behavior across Foundry’s network of sites, search history, social media activity, job postings, install base, and other digital signals. Foundry is unique in the industry for also including off-line event participation (analog data) from our 800+ events hosted each year. The data is analyzed using advanced machine learning algorithms and then used to create targeted and personalized marketing campaigns, deliver relevant content, and prioritize sales outreach to the most promising leads. This helps businesses to engage with their target audience effectively and increase their chances of converting leads into customers.
Why is intent data use trending up?
Now more than ever, prospective B2B buyers are shopping for and researching potential new solutions online. However, this increase does not always translate into more inbound leads. On average, only 2% of your website visitors will fill out a form, and to make matters worse, once they do, they are likely nearing the end of their buying process. This phenomenon is likely due to the fact that today’s B2B buyers are wary of salespeople and have access to unprecedented amounts of digital information. Buyers can answer product questions, get pricing, compare services, and more all without ever reaching out to a sales rep.
Unfortunately, for your sales team this means that buyers are forming opinions and making purchasing decisions about your products on their own. But the good news is that leveraging buyer intent data allows you to identify when companies or buying teams are interested enabling marketing or sales to add value to the conversation and influence their buying decision earlier than your competitors. Read on to discover the different types of buyer intent data, how to build an effective intent data strategy, some powerful use cases, and finally, things to look for when choosing an intent data vendor.
Types of intent data
What is Foundry Intent?
Foundry’s proprietary approach to generating Intent data leverages thousands of buyer intent signals from various types of disparate data sets. Normalizing these complex and often incongruous data to understand the signal through the noise is the work of a robust team of engineers and advanced machine learning experts. Foundry has acquired multiple martech and data analytics companies, and hired top talent to build the most robust intent data set available to B2B tech marketers globally.
Intent data is collected from various sources, including:
- Foundry owned and operated websites: User behavior on Foundry’s network of websites, such as page views, time spent, and form submissions, provide insight into their level of interest and intent to purchase.
- Search topics: Queries made on search topics within Foundry’s network of owned and operated sites, as well as in-bound keyword referrals from popular search engines, provide insight into the interests and needs of the users.
- Event attendance and interaction: Foundry is unique in the market for including attendee engagement data from over 800+ events hosted annually around the globe.
- Social media: User activity, such as content likes, shares, and comments, on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, provide valuable information about their interests and preferences.
- Install base: Understanding the current configurations of company technology, stacks, hosts, and partners.
- Customer Data: Companies can use their own customer data, such as purchase history and demographics, to understand their customers’ interests, needs, and preferences. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, like Salesforce and HubSpot, can store and analyze intent data related to customer interactions with the brand, such as phone calls, emails, and sales meetings. When third-party sources are overlayed on top of CRM data, marketers will find greater success in orchestrating marketing to prospects and customers alike. To enable better understanding of your own first-party web traffic, Foundry Intent is a simple solution.
Common intent data use cases in sales and marketing:
Contact, company or account-level intent data – which is better?
Intent data can be valuable at both the account level and the contact level, but it depends on the marketer’s specific goals and needs. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
Account-level intent data
Account-level intent data provides insights into the overall buying behavior of an organization, including the products and services that the organization is interested in, the decision-makers involved in the purchasing process, and the factors that influence the purchasing decision. This information can be useful for account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, which target specific high-value accounts and aim to engage decision-makers at the organizational level.
Contact-level intent data
Contact-level intent data provides insights into the specific interests, needs, and behavior of individual contacts within an organization, such as the products and services they are interested in, the content they engage with, and their online search and purchasing behavior. This information can be useful for personalizing marketing and sales interactions with individual contacts and for better understanding the behavior of specific decision-makers.
Ultimately, both account-level and contact-level intent data can be valuable, depending on the specific goals and needs of the company. Some of Foundry’s customers prefer to focus on account-level intent data for their ABM strategies, while others may prefer to focus on contact-level intent data for their lead nurturing and personalization efforts.
It’s also important to note that intent data is not an either/or proposition, and many companies find value in using both account-level and contact-level intent data in a complementary manner to inform their marketing and sales efforts.
Intent data privacy concerns
There are privacy concerns surrounding the use of intent data in marketing. The collection, storage, and use of personal data raise privacy concerns and can lead to potential misuse of this information. Here are some of the privacy concerns associated with the use of intent data in marketing:
- Data collection: Companies may collect a large amount of personal data without the user’s knowledge or consent, leading to potential violations of privacy rights. Foundry’s intent data starts with an interaction across our network of proprietary owned and operated web sites including: cio.com, csoonline.com, computerworld.com, Infoworld.com, Networkworld.com and many others. Our users opt-in to explore content and consent to data collection.
- Data accuracy: Intent data may not always be accurate, and incorrect data may lead to biased or misleading results, affecting the privacy and rights of the individual. Foundry uses advanced machine learning to improve the accuracy of our data, as well as unique methods for integrating both slow and fast moving data sets for better data fidelity.
- Data sharing: Companies may share or sell intent data to third-party organizations, leading to potential misuse of the information. Foundry does not make our data available in any way to DSP’s, DMP’s or other data sharing platforms or programs. Our intent data is only available through Foundry, where we operate as both data controller and processor.
- Transparency: Companies may not always be transparent about how they collect, store, and use intent data, leading to a lack of accountability and potential misuse of the information. Foundry takes great care in tracking the provenance of our data to ensure we can identify root sources of our signals and relevance.
It remains crucial for companies to implement robust privacy policies, secure data storage systems, and be transparent with their customers about how they collect, store, and use personal data. Additionally, regulations like GDPR and CCPA aim to protect the privacy rights of individuals by regulating the collection and use of personal data. Here are the top red flags for data and lead generation and how to address them: Demand Gen Red Flags.
How intent data enhances personalization and targeting in marketing
Intent data also plays a crucial role in predictive analytics and customer behavior prediction. Predictive analytics uses historical data, machine learning algorithms, and statistical models to identify patterns and make predictions about future events. Intent data provides valuable insights into a customer’s current and future needs, interests, and intentions, which can be used to inform and improve predictive models. In many instances, most of Foundry’s marketing partners will leverage more than one intent data provider and seek to triangulate on common signals captured between various data sets, as well as their own first-party web site traffic, or existing customer information.
Intent data for sales prioritization
Intent data is used in sales prioritization by helping sales teams prioritize and focus on the most promising leads. The data provides insights into a prospect’s level of interest and readiness to buy, allowing sales teams to prioritize their efforts and resources on the hottest leads. This can improve sales efficiency and increase the chances of closing a deal. Additionally, intent data can also provide valuable information about the products or solutions a prospect is researching, allowing sales teams to tailor their approach and messaging to their specific needs.
Most companies would use account level intent data for sales prioritization. Foundry Intent data offers the additional detail of contact level data, and can be separated out by role within the B2B buying team.
A B2B buying team is a group of individuals from different departments within a company who are involved in the purchasing decision-making process for business products and services. There are often over 10 members in a buying team or purchase committee. This team typically includes individuals from procurement, finance, legal, IT, and the business unit that will be using the product or service. The goal of a B2B buying team is to ensure that the purchasing decision is aligned with the company’s overall strategy and goals, and that the best possible value is achieved for the company.
Personalizing content and targeting with intent data
With contact-level Foundry intent data, marketers can begin to create personalized content and messages directed at each individual of the buying team. For example, Finance team members would be exposed to messages pertaining to cost savings and operational efficiencies. Business unit end-users would see messages about ease-of-use and stronger performance. Using marketing orchestration technologies, such as Triblio, help overcome the complexities of personalizing and delivering these messages across multiple media channels, including email, web site content, and advertising.
Industry specific intent data
Many companies across various industries use intent data to inform their marketing and sales efforts, improve the customer experience, and drive business results. Here are a few examples of companies that use intent data:
- B2B tech companies: Many B2B tech companies use intent data to inform their account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, target high-value accounts, and engage decision-makers at the organizational level.
- B2C e-commerce companies: B2C e-commerce companies often use intent data to personalize the customer experience, improve website and product recommendations, and optimize their advertising and affiliate marketing campaigns.
In general, any company that wants to improve its understanding of its customers and prospects, inform its marketing and sales efforts, and drive business results, can benefit from using intent data. While Foundry excels in B2B tech and B2C consumer tech, our database includes contacts and companies from a wide range of industries including Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Travel and Hospitality, and Construction among others. A Foundry Intent data representative can provide a greater understanding of how Foundry’s data can be used for your purpose. Schedule a meeting.
Install base and intent measurement
Data on a company’s installed products and services is called “install base information.” Together, this data and purpose information can help businesses better comprehend their customers’ motivations for making a purchase. Some applications of install base information include:
- Upsell and cross-sell opportunities: Potential for upselling and cross-selling related products and services can be gleaned from an organization’s install base by looking at customer behavior and intentions when making purchases of those products.and services.
- Customer segmentation: By integrating install base data with intent data, businesses can divide their customer base into distinct groups based on product usage and intent to purchase.
- Customer retention: Using install base data to identify churning consumers and intent data to tailor retention efforts to each individual customer’s preferences and needs.
- Sales prioritization: Identifying the most promising leads and focusing sales efforts on them is much easier when install base data is combined with intent data.
- Account-based marketing: Companies can deliver targeted and customized advertising based on the interests and purchase intent of the account by integrating install base data with intent data.
Organizations can better understand their customers’ needs and preferences and tailor their marketing and sales activities to them by integrating install base data with intent data.
How to use intent data
Buyer intent data is tremendously useful to sales and marketing teams because it gives them the ability to deliver highly customized messaging to their target audience based on what they are interested in. In addition, this data can be used to power every aspect of your account-based marketing strategy, including:
- Identifying in-market buyers – By looking at the companies showing buying intent for different products you offer, you can see things like which industries are most engaged with your content, what size company tends to show the most buying intent, etc. Integrating your intent data into an account scoring model may also allow you to discover untapped market segments that are interested in your products which you may want to target in the future.
- Building ad retargeting campaigns – Ad retargeting is one of the most effective ways to recapture website visitors that have left your site without converting. By adding intent data to your Google Ads platform, you can dynamically adjust your ad bids to win more ad placements for high-value accounts.
- Personalizing website content – Once you know what a company is interested in, you can use tools like Google Optimize or Adobe Target to dynamically customize your website, from images to text, navigation, and more.
- Creating custom sales and marketing campaigns – Once you know which accounts are interested in which products, you can create customized outreach messages that speak directly to the pain points they may be experiencing and how your products can solve them.
- Monitoring campaign success – It may sound redundant, but companies showing buying intent are probably in the market to buy your products. By looking deeper into who these companies actually are and what they are interested in, you can gain valuable insights into how well your ABM campaigns are performing (i.e., bringing in the right kind of traffic) and provide much deeper marketing attribution for your organization.
How do I deploy intent data?
Deploying intent data can bring significant benefits to a company’s marketing and sales efforts, but it’s important to be mindful of potential challenges and to approach it with a well-planned strategy. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when deploying intent data:
- Data quality: Ensure that the intent data you are using is accurate, relevant, and up-to-date. This will help ensure that you are making decisions based on accurate information and avoiding potential missteps.
- Privacy and ethical considerations: Ensure that you use intent data in a manner that complies with privacy laws and ethical standards, and that you are transparent with customers about how their data is being used.
- Integration with other systems: Ensure that the intent data you are using is integrated with your existing marketing and sales technologies, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) system, marketing automation platform, and analytics tools.
- Data governance: Develop a plan for managing, securing, and maintaining the quality of your intent data, including processes for ensuring that the data is accurate, up-to-date, and being used in a manner that complies with privacy and ethical standards.
By approaching intent data with a well-planned strategy, companies can confidently use it to inform their marketing and sales efforts, improve the customer experience, and drive business results.
How much does intent data cost?
The cost of intent data can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the source of the data, the quality and volume of the data, the level of analysis and interpretation provided, and the specific needs and goals.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the cost of intent data is just one aspect to consider when evaluating potential vendors. Other factors, such as the level of support and analysis provided, and the integration with other marketing and sales technologies, should also be taken into consideration when evaluating the overall value of a specific intent data solution.
Foundry offers many integrations with common tools, including Triblio, HubSpot, Marketo, and other common marketing platforms. Additionally, integration is made easy through standard flat file data uploads (comma or tab delineated data files) and can be automated via APIs as requested.
How to choose the right intent data vendor
When it comes to choosing an intent data vendor, it may seem like there’s an endless sea out there, so where do you start? Here are a few things to consider and ask a prospective vendor before moving forward with them.
Do they offer real-time identification?
One main benefit of using intent data is having the ability to reach out and proactively engage with your buyers when they are the most interested. This is much easier to do when your team receives real-time alerts when accounts are showing elevated buying intent.
Do they offer ISP and WiFi filtering?
If you are running an intent data-based sales or marketing campaign, it is almost useless to see that AT&T or Comcast visited your site 1,500 times last month. Many small to medium-sized companies lease IP addresses from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and without the proper technology in place, the trail ends here. The same goes for filtering out public WiFi – a form fill from a Starbucks WiFi is not valuable.
However, good intent data companies can identify when an IP address belongs to an ISP or public WiFi and filter them out. With these filters in place, you can be sure you are working with actionable business intelligence to power your account-based strategies.
How many identifiable companies are in their database?
The percentage of identifiable traffic from companies can vary widely based on a number of factors, like your specific industry, product, service, etc. However, an excellent question to ask your potential intent data vendor is how many identifiable companies they have in their database. This will give you an idea of how robust their data is and how many companies they can possibly identify.
Do they offer integrations with your existing technology stack?
Learning a new platform and process can be a time-consuming task. By choosing an intent data vendor that seamlessly integrates into your existing technology stack, you can drastically reduce the time and learning curve associated with adopting a new platform while providing your team with the data they need.
The future of intent data
While we cannot know exactly what our potential customers are thinking, leveraging intent data can give us valuable insights into what they are looking for. It can also be a powerful predictor of which companies are more likely to buy right now – giving you valuable insight into who you should be focusing your messaging on to drive better sales and marketing campaigns and increase your conversion rates and, ultimately, revenue.