What is Intent Data?
Intent data is derived from reading a prospect’s digital activity trail, e.g visit a particular page, enter a search query, download content, watch a video, open and click on an email, etc. The trail is found in cookies, TCP/IP log files, and marketing automation platforms.
Steven Woods, Eloqua cofounder, used the term “digital body language” to advocate harnessing intent data. His focus was on the interpretation and actions taken based on the data, and not focus on the data itself.
Velocity, frequency, and topic of interaction (clicks, opens, and visits) are examples of intent data markers. They show interest and how close a lead is to a purchase.
Reading that data and interpreting it as we would physical body language signs is a powerful opportunity for marketers. If we can read the intent of our buyers, then we can more likely provide an experience, content or some other deliverable that results in the action we want: a sale!
Leveraging Intent Data
Segmenting your prospects based on their actions with your content is one example of how to use intent data. To do that you need to first assign your content to a persona, buyer’s journey, and need.
When leads engage with a piece of content they can be put into a segment based on their interest, position in the buyer’s journey, and persona. Once segmented, they can be inserted into a nurture program with content and messaging that is personalized to the segment.
To properly leverage intent data, there’s more nuance to lead nurturing than just putting prospects in a standard nurture stream. Continual response to their actions is key. You can reroute leads to different programs that have a different focus or you can remove them from nurture programs all together.
The result is a three-fold benefit.
- First your leads get an amazing personal experience; the kind of customer experience they expect today.
- Second, because you are responding to their actions they are more likely to engage with you. Engagement leads to a relationship and ultimately leads to a sale.
- Third your messages are specific for a highly-targeted segment. Broad-based messages should not be sent to every lead as that practice ultimately exhausts your lead database.
Interpreting intent data also allows you to see when a lead is ready to speak to sales. By including intent data points in a lead scoring program, you can see when a lead is beyond the research stage by rationalizing velocity and frequency for an individual as well as the entire organization.
It is intent data that has taken marketers beyond batch and blast. It has provided us with the opportunity to deliver a personalized customer experience.
By reading and taking action on intent data you can more efficiently and effectively fill your funnel with well qualified leads.