Overcome the Over-Promise of Intent Data

Overcome the Over-Promise of Intent Data

It’s tough to be a B2B marketer in the modern world. With 57% of buyers making software purchasing decisions without talking to a salesperson, it’s increasingly difficult to reach and influence the buying committee. Add that to an already complicated buyer’s journey, and the lack of channels to reach a target audience, and the odds are stacked against B2B marketers. Savvy marketers are looking for better strategies—like using buyer intent data—to give them a competitive advantage. The use of intent data is the newest B2B marketing trend, and will continue to be adopted going into 2022. About 40% of marketers are using some type of intent data, though they are early adopters mostly just getting started.

Current intent data landscape

Much of the intent data utilized in the market today is third-party data collected from keyword searches and content consumption through publisher co-ops. Most of the data collected and modeled is based on potential buyers who are “problem aware”—meaning they know they have a problem that they need to fix and are researching the topic. These are top-funnel indicators of buyer intent and can be quite helpful in influencing buyers and making them aware of your brand. The problem arises when marketers expect mid-to-bottom-funnel outcomes from these early signals—which often lead to weak outcomes. A good number of marketers who tried buyer intent data don’t believe it works. The reason for this, in most cases, is because they used the wrong data for the marketing campaign. Marketers are also using the same intent data sets aggregated from across the internet, shifting media dollars into crowded channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and display. So, the competitive advantage dissipates.

The untapped bottom-funnel intent data source

New to the intent data landscape, second-party intent data comes from software review platforms. This untapped source of buyer intent data collects buying signals from in-market buyers doing in-depth research on products, reading reviews, exploring pricing, and comparing products against alternatives in their technology category. These visitors are typically downstream, solution- and product-aware, and at a later stage in their buying journey. The quality of second-party intent data is solely reliant on the quality of content and the type of traffic that the content attracts. The quality of the content is determined by the depth of reviews, product description, media, and pricing data. Software review platforms focused on the richness of reviews and insights, instead of volume of ratings, produce higher quality and reliable intent signals.

Building the right data strategy for you

There is no silver bullet when it comes to using data to reach and influence your target audience. Marketers still have to assess their marketing goals to support the business and build a strategy that will achieve those goals. For example, a marketer might still need to fill the top of their funnel, but in a smart way, which means targeting prospects with awareness content and using third-party intent data to inform the target accounts to go after. In addition, a marketer might have a low lead-to-opportunity conversion rate or close rate, so downstream intent data would help them discover in-market buyers to increase win rates and deal acceleration. The length of your deal cycle, average contract value, and buyer group sophistication can all play a role in determining how you can use downstream buyer intent data to achieve your goals. With the ever-changing B2B landscape, it’s important to remember that an intent data strategy is unique to you and your business goals.

To learn more about activating the different types of intent data check out our guide. If you want to get in touch with the intent data experts at TrustRadius, reach out to hello@TrustRadius.com.

About the Author

Jo Gonzales
I’m a California native who is currently residing and enjoying life in Austin, TX. I graduated from Texas State University with a BA in Mass Communication and Journalism. My specialty working in demand generation brought me to TrustRadius, where buyers go to make purchase decisions. My passion for driving demand remains because I’m able to influence an audience in a creative, strategic and insightful way.