Leveraging Intent Data in B2B Marketing

a Game Changer or a Risky Business?

Is Leveraging Intent Data in your B2B Marketing a Game Changer, or a Risky Business?

One of the biggest trends for B2B marketing in 2024 is definitely AI-powered personalization. Keeping quality in mind, AI will allow us to create even better CRM programs, more powerful demand generation, and more precise account-based marketing.

By: Carl-Johan Färnström on January 29, 2024 | Reading time: 5 minutes

Producing personalized content is now easier than ever and customers will simply expect personalized omni experiences across product, social, web, mail, etc.
It will no longer be a differentiator; it will be hygiene.

The key to personalization is, of course, DATA. McKinsey says companies must be absolutely on top of their data management to succeed. As AI-powered personalization becomes hygiene, a healthy data foundation becomes a necessity. But, regardless of how good your data foundation is, first-party data can only support the lower end of the sales and marketing funnel. Companies need to source data elsewhere to achieve personalization in the very top funnel.

To provide companies with insights into buyers’ research journeys, in the top funnel, we have seen a rise of different intent data platforms that leverage third-party data in the last few years. The trend has been stronger in the USA but has now gained momentum in Europe as well, one of the reasons simply being access to GDPR-compliant intent data.

Intent data platforms now rely less on third-party cookies and bidstream data; serious players now put all focus on data co-ops. Some companies like Bombora have built vast external networks of publishers and review sites. Other companies like Foundryco leverage publications within their own company group. Customers of these services will be presented with signals of which companies are researching which topics. By combining this intelligence with owned first-party data, customers can tailor content and create powerful demand-generation activities and account-based marketing programs.

Data is collected with consent from readers/researchers, anonymized from personal details, and grouped on account/company level using domain or IP address. Thus, it’s regarded as GDPR-compliant. However, European privacy laws differ between countries, and legal interpretations change as technology evolves. So, will using intent data in your sales and marketing process be a sustainable strategy?

Charles Ohlsson, MarTech consultant and privacy expert at Curamando AB, says using the word sustainable here is difficult as the landscape is ever-changing. “Data co-ops, as in this example, are based on how current consent works. What personal data users will consent to share in the future is difficult to predict, but the upside of using intent data in commercial processes, right now, is simply too big to ignore.”

Johan Persson, Senior Manager – Marketing Technology at Curamando, fills in, saying that you might also be able to build and manage your own solution. “Depending on the size of your operations, it might be worth investigating what intent data is available across your company, company group, and even partners. Setting up a model allowing first-party data to be shared between companies within your trusted sphere can be more sustainable and relevant for your needs.”

So, in the current economic climate, intent data can definitely become a game changer if used right. Companies should see no reason to ignore this opportunity, as they will be able to:

  • Target potential buyers with the right message at the right time, positioning their brand as leaders to create demand.
  • Score leads higher up in the funnel and use intent data to take appropriate action to push leads through the funnel.
  • Provide clarity for SDR and Sales of buyer intent for efficient demand capture.

Consequently, we should expect to see more and more GDPR-compliant intent data on the market in the future. Building your own solution might be underestimated and could definitely be the best solution for you.

About the author 

Carl-Johan Färnström is a CRM Consultant at Curamando, a leading digital consulting firm in the Nordics. He has a B2B SaaS and Telecom background, with expertise in CRM, Lead Management, and Revenue Operations.

Get in touch!

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