Whether personal or professional, accuracy, truth and transparency are essential for success. Accuracy provides a high level of quality and precision, while truth and transparency offer accountability, stability and security. For a marketer, these are all crucial components of building and executing successful initiatives in today’s B2B environment.
The arrival of intent data was met with a great deal of enthusiasm as marketers scrambled to ingest it into their customer data platforms and bring clarity to their targeting, logic to their content selection and prioritization in their scoring algorithms. In fact, Gartner recently reported that 59% of marketers use intent data in their programs.
As a result, there is a growing number of data providers who offer intent as part of their data set — it’s almost as common as traditional demographic and firmographic filters. Suddenly, intent is everywhere and the term has been attributed to people who visited web pages to read product reviews or simply downloaded an infographic. But are those activities an accurate reflection of organizational intent to make a purchase? Probably not.
Generating Intelligent Intent Data
Accurate intent data is comprised of a scientific analysis of individual and organizational behaviors that align with a broad range of activities associated with beginning a buyer’s journey. Indicators emerge from these behavioral patterns as organizational intent is curated from multiple activities that coalesce to form a valid signal. It’s not a single event by any one person; it’s a combination of distinct organizational behaviors.
Intent data isn’t a prediction of future events — it’s an observation of the facts that unfold over a short period. Intent data is perishable, emerging and growing in intensity, and then rapidly diminishing as needs are resolved. Therefore, to be reliable, it needs to be delivered with speed and accuracy to effectively identify your next customer.
To create true intelligence, intent data providers must apply data science to derive intent signals by evaluating multiple measurements and observations to inform its outcome. Also, advanced identity resolution techniques are critical in identifying the actual individual(s) associated with the intent behaviors. Simply knowing that a signal is attributable to a domain is no longer sufficient for savvy marketers who are keen on personalization and working hard to drive a differentiated message at the right target.
Utilizing accurate intent data is critical to the success of any marketing and sales organization. It helps build the integrity of your brand, shorten the sales cycle and increase revenue. The right intent data acts as a compass that guides you to the right customer at the right time for your solution. It accurately navigates you to your destination faster and easier, increasing the velocity of your sales engine.
Ensuring Intent Data Collection Adheres To Privacy Concerns
Now that you have accurate data, you need to address truth and transparency. This is more relevant today as consumers’ concerns grow around privacy and third-party cookie usage. Companies must restructure the way they target their customers by using intent monitoring that no longer relies on third-party data.
The transition to a cookie-less world aligns with clients’ desires for privacy protections and better ownership of their personal data. It will also lead to increased accessibility and transparency where people-based identifiers can help build trusted relationships with brands and publishers focused on protecting their first-party data assets.
Accuracy, truth and transparency in intent data matter, and with applications for intent data on the rise, it’s critical for marketers to ask the right questions. Is your intent data derived in an ethical, compliant manner? Is it curated using an approach that uses data science to rationalize organizational and individual behaviors that align with activities associated with a buyer’s journey? Does it accurately reflect those individuals and organizations who align with topics, content and issues that are relevant to the products you sell?
To maximize effectiveness in today’s marketplace, you need to have data insights to be confident you can define and micro-target audiences, identify and execute initiatives against buying group coverage and get a clear, accurate view of the decision-makers tasked with making the final purchase decision.
Regardless of how you get your intent data, the quality is critical to your success. It matters in the pipeline and the results from the revenue your leads generate. Let intent data be the compass that accurately guides you to the right customer, at the right time, with the right message.
RK Maniyani is the Chief Technology Officer of MeritB2B/True Influence, where he guides the product and technology roadmap, research and development and IT infrastructure. Maniyani brings an interesting balance of management, technical HR skills and account experience.