I am beginning a monthly series entitled What Is where I provide an overview of one of the underlying sales and marketing intelligence technologies or processes being deployed at B2B firms. I will begin with Intent Data.
Intent Data is one of the three informational elements of B2B Lead scoring (the other two are Fit and Opportunity). Intent data consists of both first and third-party elements and identifies when companies are actively researching specific product categories. First-party data is captured in your marketing automation systems and web logs. Typical first-party intent data includes
- Web Logs
- Webform Submissions
- Email Clicks
- Page Views
- Webinar Attendance
- Trade Show Booth Visits
In short, if somebody is viewing your website, reading your collateral, meeting with you at a tradeshow booth, or attending your webinars, then he or she is displaying purchase intent. Of course, not everybody doing so is a potential purchaser, but a high percentage of individuals digitally interacting with your firm are somewhere in the buyer’s journey for your products and services.
Unfortunately, intent data is often anonymous. Unless the individual submits a webform, you are most likely limited to an IP address. As B2B visitors are usually accessing your platform from a corporate IP address, it is possible to tie the IP address to the company and at least associate the activity with a company. Companies such as DemandBase, Bombora, and Dun & Bradstreet offer Visitor Intelligence services to map IP addresses to companies. Along with the company name, they enrich the visitor intelligence with firmographics such as location, size, and industry.
External intent data is provided by vendors such as Bombora, The Big Willow, True Influence, and TechTarget. External intent data is gathered from B2B Media websites that evaluate topics of interest across their network and determine which topics are of interest to companies. Interest is gauged by articles viewed, white papers downloaded, searches performed, case studies read, etc. Generally, each company is baselined by topic with interest determined with respect to the baseline. A surge of interest takes place when short-term interest in a topic is well above the baseline for the company. Intent data is generally delivered as a numeric score by topic with companies licensing the topics of interest. As intent is determined at the corporate level, it works best in lead scoring. With the exception of TechTarget, you don’t know which individuals are researching specific topics.
TechTarget Priority Engine provides technology specific intent at the individual level along with contact information, buying stage (early or late based upon content viewed and downloaded), and key influencers (companies of interest). TechTarget is focused on Technology topics across its 140 media sites.