November 27, 2018 // 3:00 pm

What is Intent Data? – How to Use it in ABM

By Jack Mercer

As I’m sure you’re aware, tools like Lead Forensics have made it possible to track which companies are looking at your website via reverse IP lookup technology…however, what if you could track the online behaviour of all of your target accounts not only on your website, but across millions and millions of websites?

Well the truth is, you can! You now have access to information about your future customers that allows you to personalise your outreach and show how much you care, putting the emphasis on conversations at the right time during their buyer journey, and with the most relevant message to them possible, leveraging what they themselves are showing interest in online.

Cue Intent Data – your ABM team’s new best friend!

Intent Data

What is Intent Data?

Wherever you go on the internet you leave a digital footprint, in fact, you left one all over our carpet when you chose to read this blog… don’t worry we don’t mind!

Intent data takes advantage of this footprint by analysing your prospects online activity. This is achieved through monitoring the content your future customers are consuming online, enabling you to analyse their behaviour and establish where they are in their buying journey.

Intent plays a part in the Identify process for ABM, the first step is to start to develop your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and find your best ‘FIT’ accounts. You then segment your target accounts – using STEM – to determine how much of your resource should be applied to accounts based on their potential value.

At the same time as STEM segmentation, you analyse the INTENT data and discover where your future customers are in their buying journey. This allows you to differentiate between people who are looking for information that would benefit from educational content and nurturing and those people who are showing signs of being ready to buy! In other words, INTENT is one of the key factors that has enabled the shift towards a customer centric, ABM approach!

There are two types of Intent Data:

First-party data – Activity captured by a company from their own website or emails they have sent, using marketing automation tools such as Hubspot, as well as reverse IP lookup tools.

Tracking this activity shows buying signals based on which of your webpages a future customer has viewed, the time they’ve spent on each individual page, and the links they have clicked on whilst visiting your website (or potentially in emails you have sent them). To put it simply, it’s the process of utilising the data arriving on your doorstep! From these insights you can see which of your services a prospect is interested in…

To paint a clear picture, imagine you are in the business of selling cars (yes… I’m serious!)

It’s the equivalent of you, as a car salesperson, seeing a potential customer looking at a car in your showroom… of course you are going to want to speak to them!

Third-party data – Activity captured tracking online activity across the web

To do this, you need to create and track a comprehensive list of keywords that relate to relevant content.  Essentially, everything you can think of that if searched for, indicates that there is a potential business opportunity. Taking it one step further, you can then split those keywords into segments that represent both the stage of a buying journey and the different services you offer.

How to use Intent Data in ABM

Working intent data into an Account Based-Marketing (ABM) strategy allows you to personalise the approach further, on an account by account basis. You’ll have insights into what is valuable to them, and deliver with that knowledge in mind. Making your messaging and creative campaigns produced by marketing more relevant to each and every target account.

You can prioritise prospects that have a higher intent score as you know they are in the market for your product. Nurture them using creative direct mail, 1:1 personalised videos, personalised emails as part of your ABM cadence, as well as any other touchpoints you are implementing! You should also be linking content that you know will add value to your target accounts, helping you educate and accelerate their buyer’s journey and cementing you as a trusted source of knowledge and expertise.

There are a number of tools available that can analyse online activity and associate an intent score to each of your prospects based on the amount of intent they’re showing. The higher the number, the more interest the prospect has in your product or service. We recommend making your own scoring system, whereby companies consuming content that suggests the most buying intent, are given higher lead scores.

Intent Data at Punch!

To give you a better idea of what a scoring system might look like, here is how we do it at Punch! At the top level, accounts are segmenting into a 3×3 grid, see the image below!

What is intent data?

The numbers ‘1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’ demonstrate how closely our future customers match our Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), companies that are a perfect FIT for Punch! are listed as ‘1’; accounts further away from our ICP will be flagged as either ‘1’ or ‘2’ accordingly.

The letters ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ represent an accounts stage on their buyer’s journey! As mentioned earlier, our keyword lists are able to indicate which accounts are doing research, and which accounts are closer to making a decision; accounts that are close to going to market are labelled as ‘A’.

Punch! uses this to prioritise our efforts first and foremost on the future customers that are the best fit for us as a business, and the closest to making a purchase decision. The best part is, our target accounts tell us when the best time to open conversation is and exactly what to talk about when we do!

There is no time like the present, start using Intent Data!

Understanding the online behaviour of your target accounts allows you to tailor how you interact with them online. Using targeted advertising and personalised content means you are targeting the companies you care about, in the spaces they care about, with the information you know they are looking for, bargain!  You may also discover that accounts and users from a market you’ve not yet considered targeting start showing intent, so keep an eye out for the chance of targeting a new market.

Alternatively, if you have any questions around Intent Data or thoughts on this blog, you can email us at hello@punchabm.com or leave a comment below and we will gladly discuss with you!

Originally published March 6th, 2018 @ 10am

In order to get started with Intent Data, it’s essential to have a clear vision of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). To find out more about building your ICP, check out our blog:

Ideal Customer Profile

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