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Stating your intent: how useful is intent data to your ABM?

Feb 6, 2024 | ABM, Insights, IT industry, Marketing

Intent data can be a useful way to support your ABM activities. Research has found that as many as 59% of B2B marketers now use intent monitoring tools to support and power ABM efforts, ahead of things like measurement and reporting tools or web and content personalization tools. What difference can intent data make to your efforts?

Intent data starts from a simple, easily understood place: if you know more about your customers and potential customers, you’re more likely to have better interactions with them. And therefore, you’re more likely to sell to them, ideally repeatedly. Intent data can help get you to that place. As the name implies, it’s designed to give you insights into potential buyers’ intentions and help you identify if and when they might commit and buy from you. It’s built from several digital sources and can help you pinpoint when a buyer is most ready to convert interest into a purchase. This will help you target your sales and marketing more effectively.

Why is it popular?

Making your B2B marketing reach and resonate with the right audiences isn’t easy. It’s a busy, noisy marketplace out there. So it’s understandable why intent data can be attractive to marketers: it can help you better identify, target and tailor messaging to buyers at specific stages of the buying journey. Good quality intent data can help you identify potential buyers faster and know when a lead is more sales-ready. So you can reach out to that buyer and engage them sooner in the cycle, which can make the difference between a sale and them having a change of mind. Intent data can give you a much clearer picture of what the lead is looking for and customise your messaging accordingly. If they’ve repeatedly viewed a specific page on your site and downloaded an asset related to that product, you can whittle down the item they’re interested in. Intent data has also grown in popularity with marketers because it can save you time and money by helping you prioritise your efforts more effectively. You can make better-informed calls about which leads to engage with and in what order, based on their browsing and reading habits. Overall, intent data is designed to help you enhance your ABM in general, and give you a better understanding of specific topics your prospects and customers are interested in and where they are on their buying journeys. It should position your sales teams better to engage accounts more intelligently and on the buyer’s terms.

Is intent data an ABM silver bullet?

Not as such, no. As with so many things in marketing, it’s one tool in the box. For example, it’s potentially useful to know who is filling in forms on your website to download some content, but only 2% of site visitors fill out forms on average. Not to mention that when they do, you have no idea where they are in the buying cycle. And while intent data can be a useful tool to find out when and exactly how to engage your buyers at earlier stages of the buying journey, can you really, 100% know when someone is ready to buy? How can you be sure someone downloading a white paper from your website is at the decision phase of the funnel or at the education stage and just doing a bit of research? So intent data isn’t a solution in itself, it is just one of the elements that make up an effective ABM strategy.

Think timing, context and relevance

These are decent words to live by when bringing intent data into your ABM marketing mix. With only 2-5% of any given audience actively seeking to purchase at any one time, you can’t just push out a campaign and hope. Intent data can help you make your ABM activities better-targeted and more likely to influence a buyer. Timing, context and relevance should always be top of mind if you want your messaging to resonate. Intent data won’t guarantee you turn that lead into a sale, but it can help you towards that goal. Use of intent data by marketers is on the rise: according to Gartner, by the end of 2022, more than 70% of B2B buyers were using intent data more often. B2B marketers, in general, report positive ROI on their investments in intent data platforms. It isn’t necessarily a magic wand, but if you want to make your ABM campaigns more effective and more targeted, intent data could be a smart way to go.

Is your ABM campaign not yielding the expected results? Executed correctly, ABM can be an effective tool in the B2B marketer’s toolbox, but it can also be costly and underwhelming if you don’t take the right approach. Creating correctly targeted content is the key to success. Download our guide to demystifying ABM to find out how to:

  • Research and select the best targets for your ABM campaign
  • Develop buyer personas that are interested in your products and services
  • Create targeted messages that resonate with your audience
  • Build the content mix that keeps your readers engaged


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