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The Importance of Looking at All of the Data (Not Just Intent Data)

According to the Acquity Group, 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct online research prior to making a purchase decision.  And according to CEB, 57 percent of the purchase process is complete before buyers even engage with a sales rep. But you knew that already. That is why you are busy creating blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics and videos that help educate your prospects rather than simply shill your products and services. But what about all of the content consumption that happens outside of your website?

Your prospects are out consuming content on other websites long before they ever engage with your brand. In the predictive marketing world, we call all this intent data. Intent data covers all of the signals that prospects are sending out as they consume relevant content, engage on social media and search various topics. (If you are new to the concept, our CMO Brian Kardon wrote a great introduction to intent data last month.)

Intent data can help:

  • Identify prospective buyers earlier
  • Provide greater accuracy on who’s likely to buy, what and when
  • Get deeper insight into buyer personas

We’ve found that intent data creates the stronger predictions when it is mixed with fit and behavior data. For example, someone may be actively researching cloud-based storage. Intent data alone would indicate that this is an interested prospect. But having insight into the demographic and behavior may indicate that this ‘prospect’ is actually a student conducting research for a school paper. Not the best fit! Or you may uncover that this ‘prospect’ works at a tech company that is actively hiring and expanding its team. Now, this is a lead you would certainly want to pass over to your sales team!

Here’s a look at how intent data is just a piece of the puzzle:

Here is a sample look at how a total score could be calculated by combining fit, behavior and intent data. You’ll see each data set contributing to the overall score.

Read more about intent data, including four great uses of intent data.

Written by

Amanda Maksymiw
March 16, 2015