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How to Predict Your Customers' Needs Using Intent Data

Written by Joe Mccluskey, President – LSC Digital on July 6, 2017

Marketers know that the wants and needs of their buyers won’t necessarily remain the same from one day to the next. The prospects of your business and the priorities of your customers can change rapidly, causing problems for those who fail to anticipate and adapt to the dynamic sales landscape.

The question is: How can I learn to predict my customers’ interests and engage them before my competition?

This is where intent data can help find the sales and marketing opportunities that build strong relationships with your audience, generate more conversions, and further grow your business.

What is Intent Data?

Intent data is live information about a person’s online activities and behaviors. Effective use of intent data can create a comprehensive and thorough analysis of your audience’s preferences, information needs, inclination to take action, and intent to make a purchase.

Whether the user is reading a blog post, shopping for a product, or just browsing the web, they usually have some sort of purpose for being online. Knowing the context for why someone is performing an action is crucial for businesses looking to better understand their demographic.

Intent data can be broken down into two categories: Topic Data and Context Data.

Topic Data

When you are online searching for something or visiting a website, you are expressing an interest in that topic. If you’re looking to purchase an online storage solution, for example, you might go online to various shopping websites to gauge your options.

The IP address of the user visiting the website is logged and used to track their activity. This information can then be leveraged to personalize the content displayed. Intent data can also be used to collect the IP addresses of people researching in-market but not specifically for your business’ product or service.

This data is an important foundation for a sales team to work upon. Topic interest alone, however, is not entirely actionable without understanding the context of the person consuming the content.

Context Data

Learning and understanding why the individual is researching something online are far more insightful than a topical interest. Without this context, you’ll be wasting your time and budget engaging with prospects that may be making all the right signals but will never become customers.

Context can range from broad, general information such as demographic and location data to the granular level such as buyer persona and degree of knowledge about your product or service.

Once you gather this information, you can use new incoming data to find opportunities to influence how consumers engage with your product or service across their journey. Do they match your ideal buyer, or could they be an influencer?

Where is Intent Data Derived From?

Intent data is derived from multiple sources. This includes:

How Intent Data Can Predict Customer Needs

Running media based on intent data can provide you with near real-time feedback on the value of your topic.

By identifying and targeting consumers who demonstrate intent to buy a specific product or service with customized content about that specific product or service your campaigns can strike with surgical precision and should yield the results your marketers are looking for.

There are several different ways you can leverage intent data to boost revenue:

  1. Create personalized website experiences for visitors
  2. Prioritize leads based on engagement
  3. Nurture leads with personalized emails
  4. Identify potential consumers who haven’t yet engaged with you

Why Intent Data is Valuable to Your Business

There is great value in knowing what people are doing before they get to your website. Intent data can be a valuable tool for your sales teams to gain insight into prospect and customer needs and serve them personalized, contextual content.

At a granular level, intent data can reveal the terms your target customers are using to research products and services like yours. In addition, intent data can also help determine who the best leads are.

What makes intent marketing an important tactic to include in a sales team’s arsenal is that it actually allows you to capture demand from places previously untapped. Intent data can bring in more qualified leads and nurture relationships much earlier in the buyer journey.

Effective use of executing marketing campaigns grounded in intent data can justify new business opportunities and close more deals compared to traditional models.

The Challenges of Using Intent Data

While it is not strictly true that most customers make the decision to buy before even speaking to sales, what is clear is that more and more people are being strongly influenced to make that decision before visiting a website or reaching out to a vendor.

People are blasted with content thousands of times every day from myriad different outlets. They examine content on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or read reviews on the product or service which can help push them in one direction or another.

Sifting through the noise to find the best leads can be challenging, and marketers are turning to predictive analytics platforms to determine prospective accounts’ likelihood to make a purchase.

How E-Lumigent Can Help

In order to make more conversions, sales teams know that it is critical to reach and engage with audiences at the early stages of the purchasing journey. They can utilize intent data to understand the needs and preferences of their potential buyers and deliver highly customized experiences every step of the way.

Sales teams can use E-Lumigent to give you the edge you need to get in front of clients who are most interest in purchasing your product or service.

Our platform combines expertise, data, and technology to reach and uncover audiences at the early stages, offering anticipatory and insightful business intelligence you can act upon. With E-Lumigent, you can discover untapped audience segments across thousands of websites and engage prospects with your branded offers. We make it easy to set goals, plan a budget, and execute pinpointed marketing campaigns.

Recap

In short, B2B businesses should make the move into intent data now or risk being overshadowed by their competitors who do.

Earning new business and retaining it is dependent on reaching the right people with the right message at the right time. Intent data can help companies stand out from their competition by anticipating prospect and customer needs and delivering fresh content relevant to their interests.

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