For B2B companies, intent-based marketing is a powerful tool for generating leads. Intent data helps you target accounts that are already interested in your product or service, meaning that you will have a lot more success in closing deals.
In this blog post, we will discuss why it’s important to use intent-based marketing and how you can improve your sales process by implementing it in your business.
What is intent?
It’s important to understand the basics of how an intent-based strategy works and why it’s so effective for marketers and salespeople worldwide.
Every day, people take actions that leave digital footprints behind them.
These actions can be called intents, and every time you take an intent-based action (like a google search, signing up for a mailing list, visiting a webpage or registering for a webinar), you are leaving behind digital prints that B2B marketers can use to target potential customers.
The more intents towards a specific product or service people take, the higher their user intent score is. A high intent score relative to others means they are more likely to purchase products or services within certain industries/categories.
Companies should focus their sales and marketing efforts on people who have a high buyer intent score. Here’s how to find that.
How to Uncover Intent Data
Intent data is collected by observing the actions people take online. The primary sources of buyer intent data are your visitors (zero-party intent data), website (the source of first-party intent data) and intent data collected by third-party providers from elsewhere on the internet (third-party data).
You can gather zero and first-party intent data yourself by using various forms and prompts as well as your site’s analytics (such as Google Analytics or tracking for your Marketing automation tool such as Hubspot) and similar tools like heat mapping software. Heat maps track clicks, mouse movements, and other interactions to discover the pages on a website that receive the most attention from viewers.
You can also utilize third-party intent data to track how interested people are in your products and services by looking at what other sites they visit.
Third-party data providers use different methods to gather their information. What’s essential here is that this information needs to be compliant with the GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy regulations for you to be able to use it without any issues.
With the right intent signals, your inbound and outbound campaigns will be more targeted and personalized than ever before.
Why is intent-based marketing important?
Intent-driven marketing is beneficial because it focuses your efforts on the right people at the right time. With traditional marketing, companies spend a lot of money and resources to get their products in front of potential buyers who may not be interested in them.
With intent data, B2B marketers can focus more on showing prospects the value of their products and services by targeting those who have already shown interest in them.
Here are some examples of how your business can benefit from intent-based targeting:
1. Better collaboration between marketing and sales
B2B marketers can sympathize with the following scenario: the marketing team hands over a list of leads to the sales team, only to find that those leads aren’t interested in what they have to offer.
Low-quality leads mean wasted time and money for both teams, as well as a poor customer experience. Additionally, trust levels between marketing and sales can be eroded due to poor lead generation and this kind of disconnect.
Intent-based marketing can help clear up this confusion by providing sales with a list of better-qualified prospects who are already showing interest in the product or service your business offers.
Your marketing and sales teams can work together more efficiently, helping you save time and money while giving your prospect a more meaningful experience.
2. Higher marketing ROI
Every marketing team has a limited budget. It is up to the marketers to decide how best to allocate those funds, and it’s often the case that smaller companies end up spending more per lead than bigger ones.
Intent insight can help level the playing field by allowing your marketing team to target only customers who are likely to convert into sales (i.e. with a high intent score) instead of wasting money on lower-intent prospects.
With the right intent data, you can lower your marketing costs while simultaneously increasing your conversion rates. This means increased ROI and revenue for your business without having to increase the size of your budget.
3. More effective campaigns
When creating your campaigns, you are undoubtedly building ad groups around different search engine keywords your target audience is likely to use. This is one of the simplest forms of intent-based marketing.
A step up would be programmatic advertising. This type of advertising leverages consumer intent to place dynamic ads in front of the right people at the right time. For example, you can show specific ads only to people who have read a certain number of articles on a certain topic. This ensures that your ads are always relevant to those who see them.
With such advertising tactics, your campaigns will be more efficient and effective, which means you can get the most out of your marketing strategy.
4. Enhanced account-based marketing
B2B organizations widely use account-based marketing to identify and engage with key decision-makers within a business.
Without the right intent data, ABM efforts can be an uphill battle since marketers are forced to execute their marketing strategies with way lower precision. Cold email outreach can come out nearly as spam, ads and other campaigns generate lower click-through rates, and content is served with lower levels of personalization in terms of personas or buyer’s journey stages.
With intent-based marketing, account-based teams have access to a list of potential contacts within a business who have already shown an interest in their product or service. This allows them to plan and execute highly targeted ABM campaigns that increase the number of meetings with decision-makers and improve conversion rates for those meetings.
Deep vs. Shallow Intent
When starting your intent-based marketing journey, it’s important to know that not all intent is created equal.
What does this mean?
We’ve already mentioned the intent score as a way to measure a person’s intent, but it would be useful to break down the different types of intent when a person is browsing the web.
Three primary intent types based on online searches are:
- Transactional – A company looking to make a transaction would be searching for things like ‘buy office supplies,’ ‘rent a server,’ and similar. Transactional intent can be measured by looking at things like purchase history, browsing behavior, and location.
- Informational – Informational searches include anything from looking for ‘how to build more effective teams’ and ‘top ten software for sales,’ to searching for breaking news stories and official information on products/services (like safety numbers). Research suggests that 80% of all searches fall under the informational intent category.
- Navigational – A person carrying out navigational searches is looking for a specific site or service they have been to before (or are familiar with) and is pretty confident about where they need to go. These would include things like ‘starbucks near me,’ as well as brand/corporate sites.
Due to the different kinds of intent behind these searches, marketers should be sure that they carry out their campaigns with the right type.
If you’re looking to improve organic traffic to your business, then informational searches with deep intent are the way to go. Deep intent refers to complex questions that often require more than a simple answer.
These types of searches usually lead to a longer session duration and lower bounce rate, which means more time for your ads to be seen by potential customers before they navigate away from your site.
The purpose of intent data is to help marketers show potential customers value instead of just grabbing their attention with marketing gimmicks or buzzwords. Intent-based marketing ensures that inbound and outbound messaging is always relevant to a person’s needs and interests, which means it can positively influence your business.
The undeniable benefits of intent-based B2B marketing include:
- Higher marketing ROIs
- More effective marketing campaigns
- Better collaboration between the sales and marketing teams
- More effective account-based marketing efforts
- There are many different types of intent marketers need to be aware of from transactional (looking for a specific product) to navigational (looking for a specific site or service). To improve your marketing efforts, you should always be sure that you’re choosing the right type of intent behind each campaign.
Overall, intent-based marketing is the future. Highly personalized marketing campaigns that speak directly to your target audience are becoming more and more common, so businesses of all sizes need to be up-to-date on how they can improve their efforts.
If you’d like to know more about how to incorporate intent marketing into your operations and gain the upper hand in your industry, then don’t hesitate to contact us at AI.corns. We’d love to help you reach more potential customers efficiently.