Remote work. Ad blocking. Email blindness.
The digital world has changed. For B2B marketers, it likely looks rather odd compared to the world we once knew.
This is the name of the game, however—and for many of the players, the ground is, again, about to move under your feet.
The B2B Landscape Will Soon Experience a Seismic Shift
Try as we might, the ripple effects of the pandemic are inescapable. COVID changed everything, of course. For digital marketers, the application of our marketing has changed in major ways.
Work-from-home eliminated the simplicity of certain ad targets. Budget reductions forced vendors to act and think lean. Deafening silence from established spray and pray channels, email included, weren’t producing the same yields.
However, the events and behaviors of the past 36 months have only been an amuse-bouche for the true entree on the horizon.
The mere mention of Google can either excite or terrify B2B marketers. They are the keeper of the keys; the Boogeyman; the digital alpha and omega.
Truly, they hold so many (if not all in certain aspects) of the Internet’s cards.
It’s this knowledge that looms over the industry; and prepared or not, Google will eventually make one of the most significant decisions in its storied history: Deprecate third-party cookies. The company’s current timeline states it’ll be late 2024 before they actually make the move.
Whenever it does occur, however, it will completely upset the current digital ecosystem. Generations of marketers have learned their trade by leveraging third-party cookies, using this data to reach their audience and prospects.
How will marketers navigate this? Naturally, you can’t wait until the 11th hour to make decisions. You want to be ahead of the curve long before your competitors even begin to turn.
In fact, what you want to be is more…intentional.
Highlighting Why Intent Data Matter
As third-party cookies go by way of the dinosaurs, you’re going to be seeing quite a bit about intent data in the coming years. As such, B2B marketers will need to have something tangible to turn to.
Intent data is that very thing.
To state it more specifically, buyer-level intent data is that very thing.
Said plainly, buyer-level intent, or buyer intent data, is the measure of an individual prospect’s readiness to make a purchase within a given timeframe.
This calculation is based on a group of signals shown by a prospect over the course of their digital buying journey.
Intent data matters because it is based on genuine activities. It is not an accumulation of random, often mismatched information, but rather the whole picture complete with context.
Frankly, intent data, let alone buyer-level intent data, is and will be more impactful and beneficial for B2B marketers than third-party cookies ever were.
Intent Data is Already Making an Impact
Having access to buyer-level intent data means having visibility into the buyer behaviors that truly matter.
No longer will marketers need to guess what a potential buyer may or may not have been thinking when they visited a homepage of a website. They won’t need to guess as to whether or not a website visitor is actually a legitimate prospect, either!
Instead, intent data will identify, capture, and weigh consumer behaviors, simplifying the sales process for all parties. Let’s take a closer look into precisely what intent data offers.
What Intent Data Eliminates
Leveraging buyer-level intent data provides a number of benefits. For starters, there are a few marketing elements that intent data neutralizes almost instantly.
We’ve mentioned it throughout this piece, but the elimination of guesswork is one of the greatest net positives of intent data.
Consider all of the time you and your colleagues have spent wondering whether the person reading your blog will ever convert from browser to legitimate prospect. Imagine if you could take that same time instead and begin catering to those folks who’ve actually shown legitimate interest in your solutions simply by studying intent signals. How much more efficient and effective would your process and output be?
Marketers get excited about data. Sales reps…not so much; at least, not in the same way marketing professionals do.
Sales representatives have a difficult job and aren’t interested in going on scavenger hunts just to see if a lead might be interested. They’re looking for complete data that details who their lead is, what their challenges are, and when they might be looking to make a purchase decision.
Third-party cookie data is often incomplete and often devoid of any context. Buyer-level intent data is context quantified.
One-Size Fits All Outreach
Speaking of in-actionable data, one of the greatest outcomes of in-actionable data is the one-size fits all approach. Whether it’s via email, display, phone calls, or texts, no one likes being a number in a sea of “everyone.”
Intent data offers the opportunity to speak directly with the person who wants to hear from you and your team.
Sure, there are going to be plenty of times when a blanket statement appeals to and applies to all. But working with intent data offers you the unique opportunity to stop guessing something will be relevant and, instead, know it certainly is.
What Intent Data Enables
On the opposite end of the spectrum, intent data opens the door to a number of advantages.
If someone has their hand up, it means they’re interested. Buyer-level intent data offers tangible evidence of those with their hands raised.
Intent data gives Marketing and Sales teams the proper understanding of who should be contacted first and whose timeline is most pressing. This saves a considerable amount of time for these professionals and gives the prospect the attention they deserve and need.
You know that feeling you get whenever you receive something that was created just for you? In the B2B marketing world, intent data makes this possible.
By shining a light on precisely what a prospect is in market for, what they’re struggling with, and the types of content they’ve been exploring, B2B pros can craft and deliver true 1:1 experiences for their prospects.
Accelerated Sales Outcomes
When the stars align, Sales can shine.
Ultimately, this is what it’s all about. As NetLine’s Chief Strategy Officer, David Fortino shared at B2BMX 2023, “If you can deliver the who (via buyer-level intent data, you’re effectively accelerating #sales dialogue.”
What more can you ask for than that?
Intent Data is Changing the B2B Landscape
The pursuit of purer, more-actionable data is never-ending. Intent data, specifically first-party sourced buyer-level intent data, gets us that much closer.
In closing, intent data matters because the experience of your prospects and customers matter. How you prepare and bolster your team matters. How you source data matters. All of these elements are standard issue when it comes to intent data.
And it’s for these reasons that we’re so bullish on buyer-level intent data being a staple in the Marketing department for decades to come.