As marketing technology has evolved, you must have already heard a lot about intent-based marketing. Websites, cookies, social media, analytics help you have a better understanding of your audience.
But is it enough?
As the population of internet users is increasing, B2B marketers are slowly realizing that basic customer analysis is not enough to drive sales. Metrics such as likes, followers, website visits are vain if they don’t convert to sales.
This may come as a hard-hitting truth, but your customers and prospects may not be as aligned as you have assumed.
Today’s internet customers simply do not have the time and patience to interact with irrelevant messaging. Doing so will have the opposite of the intended effect.
These issues will be magnified in the coming times. To adapt and evolve, B2B marketers need to dig deeper into custom insights and align with customer’s mindsets. We need to build our B2B marketing campaign around intent.
What is Intent-Based Marketing?
Intent-based marketing involves marketing a service, or a product based on the online behavior that indicates the intent of purchasing your product or service. B2B intent data shows you the products/services your target customer is searching online. It helps you create a more effective marketing strategy.
Intent and B2B Marketing Campaigns
Targeting the right audience is a key to success in a competitive B2B market. Having the right data is essential in making the right campaign decisions. But it is not enough. You need to give context to your data. That’s where intent comes in.
B2B marketing campaigns have longer sales cycles. So it makes sense to connect with customers who are really interested in your product.
While researching online, the customer’s search intent may vary depending on where they are in the sales cycle.
A navigational search intent means that a customer is just browsing for information and doesn’t really know much about your product and offerings.
An informational search intent means the users are looking for specific answers through your content.
Transactional search intent means they are intending to buy the product. This can be activities such as add to cart, email signups, phone calls, and more.
For B2B marketers, intent data can help to create relevant and contextual content around their business and customer needs.
The information gathered allows you to understand what your target audience is searching at each stage of the customer journey. Use these insights to create your content strategy that revolves around answering relevant questions about your product.
Intent data can also help B2B marketers create an in-depth marketing persona and understand customer pain points. Companies that understand customer intent can make informed decisions about their website designs and product description content.
How Intent Data is Captured
Content consumption is the strongest signal of B2B buyer intent. The type of content, the target audience is consuming can give you a glimpse of what your target audience is researching about.
You can access this information through your own web content or third-party apps.
The third-party apps aggregate online research activity from thousands of websites, media sites, and other sources. They plot the results against a baseline and see which particular topics are gaining interest in the consumer’s mind.
They also analyze online browsing events for different websites and factor in the following metrics while discovering the intent data:
- Amount of content consumed
- Time spent on a topic
- Scroll speed
- Type of content consumed
- Consumer engagement and many more.
Intent Data and Account-Based Marketing
When it comes to ABM, data matters a lot. Not only do you base your marketing sales strategy on a sufficient quantity of data, but you also need to maintain quality. That’s where intent data comes in.
Good ABM is all about engaging relevant accounts in relevant ways. And nothing helps you build a relevant marketing campaign than intent marketing data.
Intent data helps you optimize advertising campaigns with messages designed to resonate with specific ABM accounts at various stages of the buying journey.
In addition to creating relevant content, intent data can help a B2B company to optimize programmatic, paid search, and social media ads. It helps you recover your advertising money and avoid wasting money on prospects who are not interested in buying your product.
Intent data can also help you build a relevant audience for your ABM campaigns, which can be imported into advertising platforms for better targeting.
Targeting B2B buyers early in the buying process can keep your brand at top of the mind of the consumers. And if you’ve executed your ABM strategy perfectly, intent data could be a huge differentiator between a good and a great campaign.
The Future of Intent
Interrupting ads are out and intent marketing is in. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, marketing automation, personalization, conversational marketing all point towards customer intent.
Only when we understand our audience on a deeper level, can we create campaigns that fulfill the particular need of the customers. Intent marketing is the building block of all your marketing campaigns, moving customers from nurturing stage to buying stage. It even helps you be there when the prospect is ready to buy your product in real-time.
Finding new and clever ways to interrupt customers will not take you far. The future lies in helping customers discover your product when they need it the most.
Most B2B marketers are leveraging intent marketing in one or the other form, but you need a comprehensive strategy to truly realize its potential.
When someone’s attention is interrupted by irrelevant ads, your brand image takes a hit. By shifting your focus to contextual messaging, you’ll be able to subtlely show them your products and services. This is always better than tracking your prospects to just make sales.