What Is Intent-Based Marketing - and Why Is It Important?

JTN Article

What Is Intent-Based Marketing - and Why Is It Important?

Once upon a time, back in the dark ages, digital marketers would transmit their ads out into the ether and hope that someone, anyone, would click through. And maybe, just maybe, they would go on to buy products and services.

Then came a brave knight known as Google Ads who showed these marketers a new path to customers.  ‘The people search and we advertise’, Google Ads declared.

And Intent-Based marketing was born. But that’s only the beginning of the story.

What is Intent-Based Marketing?

Google Ads was a game-changer for marketing.

Instead of a scattergun, fingers-crossed approach, it was now possible to target ads to people who actually intended to buy. The only challenge was to entice searchers to choose your product and over competitors.

If someone searched ‘buy toy cars’ and then saw an ad declaring ‘we have the biggest and cheapest selection of toy cars in the country,’ chances are they’d click and buy right then and there.

On a pay-per-click model, this targeted approach meant marketing spend was actually directed towards people who are likely to buy.

But there are some new heroes in town with technologies that go far beyond search ads that allow B2Bs to laser target their intended audience with even greater precision.

Data is knowledge and we all know knowledge is power.

Whilst data collected from your website activity or marketing campaigns can be extremely useful, what’s more powerful is having data generated externally, namely what your target audience is searching for on the web.

Just imagine what you could do with that information?

That’s exactly what the likes of Bombora, ZoomInfo, and Clickagy are offering B2Bs.

Given that 67% of B2B buyers use internet searches when considering purchases, there’s a vast well of potential leads you can actually reach, and target, with these new technologies.

The power of intent-based technologies

Intent solution firms like ZoomInfo offer B2Bs a way to identify, prioritize and engage sales leads. Using proprietary machine learning technology as well as market intent data, B2Bs can target the right leads just when they are researching their intended purchase.

Intent data is information collected about business web content consumption.  

Bombora’s research suggests that 88% of B2B buyers believe that online content has a significant influence on their purchase decisions and intent data allows marketers to get in front of them right when they’re considering options.  

Other than knocking on a buyer’s door, you can’t get more targeted than that.

Well, actually, you can.

As you know, large B2B purchases are decided by committee.  In a world where marketers fight for attention and customers are bombarded with information, marketers need high-value accounts to get the best possible ROI.

Using the focused approach of Account Based Marketing (ABM) with intent data means you can reach everyone involved in the purchasing decision, maximizing the opportunity for your sales team to seal the deal.

Imagine if you could show your sales team hard data that a high value account is showing a surge in interest in a product you sell.  That’s what intent-based technologies offer.

The level of detail in intent data is astonishing:

  • White paper downloads
  • Case studies read by prospects
  • Internet searches
  • Webinar attendance
  • Articles shared by prospects
  • Online subscriptions
  • Infographics prospects have viewed

When you combine this data with your own, derived from your CRM, website, campaigns and social media you have an incredibly powerful sales and marketing tool in your hands that will give you the confidence that big leads have real potential.

And because every business is different, intent data solutions allow B2Bs to customize the data they want to monitor by size, industry, geography and other firmographics so that the results are highly relevant to the products they sell.

Intent-data solution companies will notify you when a business actively searches for your products so your sales and marketing team can focus their time and expertise converting serious buyers.

Intent-based marketing takes the guesswork out of sales strategies so your digital campaigns are tightly targeted towards people on the cusp of making a purchase decision.

We’ve talked a lot about how intent-based marketing allows you to target with precision but let’s look at that in closer detail.  There are five ways using an intent data solution can speed up business growth.

1. Learn about leads faster

When your intent-based marketing solution notifies you that a business is searching for your product, you’ll find out about it much quicker than competitors without that technology and likely before you’ve added them to your target list.  Then you can act fast, get that white paper in front of the lead and let your sales team do what they do best.

2. Increase conversion rates

You can personalise your marketing when you have granular level detail on what type of business is looking to buy and what product they’re researching.  So your messaging can let the buyer know your product is bigger, better, faster or cheaper depending on the profile.

3. Prioritise leads

Intent data can give your team the best intelligence to prioritize their time and focus on those ready to buy ahead of those in the earlier research stages.  This leads to faster deals and the best use of sales expertise.

4. Get in front of renewals and competitor searches

When you utilize intent data you can find out who is researching your competitors around renewal time and even up-sell to existing clients because you’ll know when they’re looking for new solutions.  

5. Maximise ROI

When you can market to people ready to buy and therefore open to hearing what you have to offer, you can put your marketing and sales strategy to work much more effectively and efficiently.  Money normally spent on unqualified leads can be put to much better use.

The question to ask yourself is not why you need to use intent-based marketing, it’s why wouldn’t you?

Why You Need to Implement Intent-Based Marketing

How much time have your sales team spent chasing leads that had no real intention to buy?

How much of your marketing spend has been cast as a ‘wide net’ with a poor return on investment?

How often were your sales team too late because a competitor got in ahead of you?

Intent-based marketing allows your team to work smarter and make your marketing spend to work harder too.  Every lead counts, so being able to give your sales team the highest quality leads makes the best use of their skills and the best use of your time and money.

62% of B2Bs are already using one or more intent data solutions and that figure will only rise.  That fact is, if you don’t use intent data you are wasting resources on poor leads while others are using their resources to target and convert businesses with money to burn and a product in mind.

Intent-data is the future of marketing and sales.  Now you know you can promote directly to buyers who are interested in your product, why would you do anything else?

In a marketplace crowded by data and information you can either be drowned out by it or make it work to your advantage.  There’s really no contest:  Spray and pray marketing is dead.

What Is Intent-Based Marketing - and Why Is It Important?
Kaitlyn Myers

Kaitlyn is a member of the training team at JTN Group in New York. She's a master facilitator with experience leading workshops & training programs for SMBs through to Enterprise organizations. Learn about JTN Group here.


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