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minute read
November 15, 2019

5 Ways B2B Marketing Teams Can Use Intent Data

Written by
David Scott

Buyer intent data is the key to highly targeted and accurate B2B marketing. You'll be able to identify your customers' pain points, motivations, and questions. Intent data is here to stay and B2B marketers are already using it to fuel results across campaigns. But, it's one thing to talk about intent data and it's another to put it to use in your organization.

If you're here, you may already have a source of intent data, or you may be on the fence about using it in your campaigns. We're going to show you why intent data is so important for B2B marketers, and how you can put your intent data to work. We've outlined 5 high-impact ways you can use your intent data in your B2B marketing strategy.

Without further ado, let's jump into the article.

Why is Intent Data Important for B2B Marketers?

It's no secret that B2B intent data is a powerful asset for any marketing team. Research shows that when you use intent data to identify companies who are in-market you can increase the ROI of your campaigns by 3-5x.

There's huge value in identifying potential buyers early. You'll be able to engage with them before your competitors have the chance, and make sure your marketing and sales processes are up to the standard your customers expect.

Once you have access to intent data through a data provider it's time to put it to good use. Let's take a look at some of our favorite use cases in your B2B marketing campaigns.

Intent Data Use Cases for B2B Marketing

1. Identify Topics for Content Creation

Most marketing teams focus on creating top of the funnel content, and addressing broad topics that they hope their ideal customers care about. Rather than leaving your content creation to guesswork or retroactive research, intent data gives you the power to know exactly what you should be creating.

You can personalize your content strategy to what your prospects actually want to read. Content personalization will make your content resonate more with your ideal customers. Personalized content is "more effective" than generic content in 48% of cases, and "much more effective" in an additional 32% of cases.

personalized content
Increasing your content relevance will help it resonate with your target audience

Why is the difference so stark? Most marketing teams focus heavily on top of the funnel and broad topics that they hope their ideal customers will be interested in. Buyer intent data helps you avoid the crux of content planning, which is creating content your audience doesn't want to read.

With a source of intent data, you'll know exactly what type of content your audience is researching and the key problems and questions they have. You can use it to add another vital layer of insight into your content planning process. If you know what your audience wants to read, you can answer their questions within your new content.

2. Identify Pain Points Your Leads Have

Third-party intent data lets you understand what content your leads are reading around the internet. With that information at your fingertips, you'll know the real issues your leads have. If you link your intent data to your ABM campaigns and find what leads are searching, you can then personalize all future communications with them.

One key example of how you can use this information is within your sales calls or product demos. John Steinart, CMO at TechTarget sees this as a key use case for intent data.

"If I'm having a sales conversation, I don't want to make mistakes, I want to talk about issues prospects are grappling with today".

Once you know what your prospects are hoping to learn, you can personalize your sales calls specifically for the account.

You can do this by:

  • Directly addressing the pain points you know they have
  • Preparing a list of qualifying questions
  • Highlighting product features that you know they'll care about

After reading that, you might be thinking that your sales reps are going to be spending all of their time preparing for calls and no time prospecting. Well, one of the great things about intent data is that you'll know which accounts are truly worth channeling your resources towards. Not all accounts will show the same level of purchase intent, so for some, you may stick to your usual demo format, but with those showing high intent, you'll be able to blow them away with a highly personalized and relevant call.

3. Qualify Leads in Your ABM Campaigns

Just because you're targeting an account in your ABM campaigns, it doesn't mean they'll convert. You'll need to engage with them at multiple touchpoints and always be engaging them with relevant information. If not, you're wasting their time and your resources.

Luckily, intent data can help improve your lead qualification process. Intent data will help you define who is close to being purchase-ready, and help you target accounts with the most relevant messaging. Lenovo found that once they started using intent data in their campaigns they saw a 22% increase in display ad CTR, a 3.8x increase open rate in their emails, and a 6% higher overall close rate.

The benefits are clear. Once you start using intent data you'll be able to improve your targeting, messaging, and conversion rates. The added insight into where leads are in their buying process will improve your segmentation and result in more targeted, more relevant communications with leads.

As the Demand Gen Report's State of B2B Intent Data outlined, there's also another key benefit. Not only will you be able to improve the positive aspects, but you'll reduce any negative actions, such as current customers or competitors being added to your lead nurturing campaigns that they shouldn't be involved in.

4. Improved Understanding of Target Market

Most B2B marketers have a good understanding of their buyer personas and target market. But, it never hurts to review who you're targeting and how you're targeting them. One common mistake that companies make is trying to focus on an entire market, rather than focusing on their ideal customers.

Intent data will make your market research activities more streamlined, as you'll be able to quickly discover details on who is in the market for your solutions, and what issues they have. You can then position your brand as a solution for them, and target them in your sales and marketing campaigns.

You could conduct customer interviews, but even then you won't uncover everything you need to know. If your questions aren't framed correctly, or if your customer answers just to make you happy, you'll leave the interview with inaccurate information that could have negative effects on your marketing.

5. Improved Messaging in All Client Facing Communications

Another useful way to put your intent data to work is by incorporating your learning into all of your client-facing communications. Once you know what your prospects and leads care about, you can tailor your email outreach to their purchase intent. If they're earlier on in the buying cycle you can send them top of the funnel, educational content. If they're closer to purchasing then you could, for example, send them information about your product, pricing, and integrations.

You can tailor your advertising campaigns to your customers directly. As mentioned above, Lenovo saw a 22% increase in their ad CTR when they started applying the insights gained from intent data to their campaigns. On average, 26% of your marketing budget will be wasted every year. Other data shows even scarier numbers, with a poll by AlixPartners highlighting that more than half of digital advertising spend has a negative return or isn't even measured.

digital ad spend delivering ROI
Over half of digital advertising spend has a negative return or isn't even measured

The same wastage happens across organizations of all sizes, but you should be aiming to reduce this. With intent data, you'll be able to reduce this. You'll need to focus less of your resources on opportunities you're unsure about, and you'll be able to optimize your budget to focus on clients who show high levels of purchase intent.

Another place where you can use your learnings from intent data is directly in your product. For example, once you know about key pain points or motivations your customers have you can highlight product features that will be most useful to them in your onboarding process. By customizing your messaging and relating it directly to your customer pain points you'll highlight the value of your product as well as improving onboarding and activation conversion rates.

Intent Data and Internal Results

If you're ready to take the leap and start using intent data in your B2B marketing, Internal Results can help. Our team has worked with companies like Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft, and would love to work with you on your next campaign. Once we start working together you'll discover hidden opportunities and be able to connect with prospects who are in the market but haven't yet reached out to your sales team.

Intent data is one of the most powerful ways to gain a competitive advantage in your market, and there's no better time to start than now. If you'd like to talk to our team to see how we can help your brand grow, you can get started here.


Intent data is quickly becoming a must-have in the B2B marketer's toolkit. Once you have access to intent data there are so many ways you can improve your relationship with both prospects and existing customers. You can reap the benefits of intent data in your ABM campaigns, your market research, content creation, and much more. If you're looking to grow your sales pipeline and want to have a clear competitive advantage, you should be using intent data.

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