What advantages can intent data bring to B2B campaigns, and how can intent enhance account-based marketing?
Reaching customers at the perfect moment in their purchasing journey is the nirvana of Account-Based Marketing.
Knowing where a potential client is in their buying journey - and engaging with them appropriately - can mean the difference between achieving a sale or losing the opportunity.
Yet, without knowing everything about an individual, how can you accurately judge where in the buying cycle they are, or crucially if they’re in an active buying journey and purchase-ready?
That’s where buyer intent data comes in.
Buyer Intent Data - A Brief Outline
You should be aware that moving around the web, looking at content, conducting searches, posting on social media etc, leaves a mark - a digital footprint. When we’re active online, we all leave traces of information that reflect our interests and thoughts at that time.
Using Intent Data to Inform ABM
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is all about creating a personalised experience for potential target accounts and existing clients. ABM combines insight-driven marketing with sales, to increase awareness, develop relationships and drive growth within specific high-value, high-propensity accounts.
Intent data then, is the perfect tool to feed into the initial stages of the account identification and lead scoring processes.
By creating Ideal Customer Profiles and segmenting these according to best fit (i.e. - defining who your ideal target clients or accounts would be), it’s possible to use intent data to identify opportunities for personalised and tailored content - and prioritise your resources on the very best-fit, active opportunities first. With intent data incorporated into your target account matrix, it’s possible to distinguish the exact stage your ideal accounts are at in their buying journey, and so align the right content and information at the right times.
4 Advantages of Using Buyer Intent Data in ABM
1. Better Targeted Content
Intent data then, enables clear insight into which accounts are experiencing the specific challenges that your business helps to address - and which accounts are actively looking to adopt solutions (that you provide) to solve them. As a result, you can serve better targeted content and messaging to your ideal accounts, at the ideal time.
This is the first, and most fundamental benefit of using intent data for ABM. But there are plenty of other advantages too:
2. Optimised Sales and Marketing Resource
ABM - particularly more targeted and organisation-centric ABM - can require substantial time and resource investment.
Intent data flips that problem on its head. Instead of a scattergun approach, intent data lets your marketing and sales teams focus on the clients most receptive to your messaging, and ensures you engage with them at the right times. No more chasing clients who aren’t even in the market for your service!
3. Better Understanding of Client Pain-Points
Let’s say you’re a SaaS business, and you sell email security software. Through intent data, you can see that a potential (or ideal) client is often looking at publications and blogs for solutions to phishing emails getting through their enterprise firewall. As an example, by applying that knowledge, you could make sure your sales rep mentions it in any discovery calls.
Not only that, but with enough intent data you could even make a broader inference on the pain points of the target industry as a whole. If you can see it’s not just Client A who’s searching for solutions to this issue, but also Client B, C and D, then it’s a good opportunity to create content that either helps to solve the issue, or directs them towards your service that will.
4. Understand the Demand For Your Services
Do you have a few content pieces or service pages that just don’t get the traction you expect? With intent data, you can better understand why.
If the data shows that your target clients just aren’t searching for the intent keywords you’re monitoring around a certain service, then it’s a good idea to pivot or alter the service to better match their needs.
This allows for a more agile, streamlined approach to service provision; where before it may have taken a year to work out that something isn’t working, now it can be done in days.
Considering ABM and Intent
Like anything in ABM, intent data isn’t a silver bullet, but it can make your marketing and sales activities more targeted, personalised and better informed.
By using intent to find your ideal clients, at the right stage of the buyer's journey, you can better serve the right content and services that your potential clients want
Add in intent data’s ability to take resource pressure off of your sales and marketing teams, and it’s ability to enhance your understanding of not just the issues your ideal accounts face, but the issues entire industries are trying to tackle, and it’s clear that intent data is an incredibly powerful tool for advancing ABM.