Top 5 mistakes marketing teams make when tracking first-party intent

Buyer intent data is key to building your sales and marketing campaigns. Check out this article to make sure you’re doing it right!

Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen a lot of successes and a lot of “learning experiences” working with our customers to make the most of their first-party intent data. Here are some of the common mistakes we’ve seen and what you can do to make sure you don’t make them:

1. Not tracking your entire website – A crucial part of any successful first-party intent data strategy is building a holistic picture of the customer journey across your website. This can only truly be achieved by tracking every page on your site. If you’re only tracking your homepage, single landing page, or maybe a contact us page, you’re missing out on a HUGE portion of your website visitors that are engaging with your content but may not be quite ready to talk to a sales rep.

For example, imagine you are only tracking your homepage and contact us page. You may find a huge portion of your traffic is not viewing enough pages to reach an MQL or SQL lead score. Even though many of these companies may be deeply engaging with other pages and content throughout your site, if you’re not tracking all pages on your site, you would be blind to these actions. Finally, tracking all pages will provide your team a holistic picture of how your potential customers are navigating throughout your site and what they are interested in (i.e., what led up to them filling out a contact form). This can trigger the next steps from the marketing side or even help the sales rep pinpoint what the prospect is truly interested in.

2. Not tracking your blog – This ties into the last point. Your blog is a key tool for generating interest and inbound leads for sales and marketing teams. In fact, companies that maintain an active blog produce an average of 68% more leads than companies that don’t

Visitors may be on your blog for a variety of reasons – maybe they are just interested in your latest blog post, or maybe looking for information on why your solution may be a better fit for their business. Tracking content engagement across your blog, especially for solution-specific content, can help you build a more accurate picture of your visitor’s intent to purchase. During the pandemic, our customers commented to us about the importance of growing organic traffic because other sources (events, face-to-face meetings, etc.) were unavailable, and their active blog could become an essential source of first-party intent data.

3. Not tracking your homepage – This point may seem repetitive to the previous two, but it’s worth mentioning again. On most websites, the majority of traffic comes to the homepage first and then either bounces or moves onto more specific pages. While this is not necessarily a problem, it can sometimes cause data usage to be higher without providing many viable leads for sales and marketing. However, not tracking your homepage means you miss out on any referral data, personalization opportunities, and understanding the true path visitors take on your site. 

Think about your website like a storefront. You’re sitting there behind the counter waiting for someone to come inside (i.e., visit your site). Now imagine someone walks into your shop – what do you do? Do you greet them warmly and ask if they are looking for something in particular or need any help? Or, do you say nothing and wait for them to get halfway through your store before you greet them? (Probably that first one, right?).

4. Going too big too early – While there are a seemingly endless number of use cases for first-party intent data (personalized content, customized outreach, conversion path optimization, etc.), you must also take into account the bandwidth of your teams to properly implement and utilize these solutions. The key to getting the most value out of your first-party intent data is building your foundation with only a select few use cases your team can effectively implement and measure. This will allow you to get the most out of your data and experience fewer setbacks. 


5. Not having a clear strategy to use your data – This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something we see too often. A shocking number of companies do the work to set up high-powered tracking methods on their website, only to fall short when it comes to tactically deploying their data to drive more conversions and build their pipelines.

Here are just a few things to consider before implementing a new intent data campaign: 

  • How will intent-based leads be qualified for MQLs and SQLs? 
  • How will first-party and third-party intent-based leads routing differ? 
  • What supporting content and personalized messaging are you giving your sales teams to better connect and engage with interested buyers?  
  • What is the handoff process like from marketing to sales? 
  • What additional resources will you need to provide to move prospects along the funnel?

Before you jump into a new intent data initiative, answering questions about the tactical strategy for using your data will ensure that you don’t make these common mistakes, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running and maximize the value from your data. If you’d like to see step-by-step how to activate your intent data, check out our Definitive Guide to Activating Intent Data!

[Originally posted on kickfire.com]

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