Intent 3.0: Using Intent Data for GTM Strategy

Fiona O'Connor

Senior Content Marketing Manager

Intent 3.0Like with many new B2B solutions, early adoption of purchase intent data has depended on broad tactical use cases. Then as providers and users become more comfortable, they begin to push new boundaries. We’ve seen this with intent too, where certain offerings can provide significant productivity gains to Sales. Now we’re entering a phase where the richest sources are showing real benefits in strategic situations that can impact the go-to-market (GTM) end-to-end.

Of course, intent data offers different benefits depending on how it’s made, how it’s sourced and how you put it to use. We define purchase intent data as behavioral data that must be able to guide GTM teams first to significantly more active demand than they could otherwise see, and then, very precisely to specific people whose behaviors have signaled an interest in buying a given product.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how use cases of intent data have evolved and explore this new phase of using intent data.

Intent 1.0: More efficient ad targeting

Real purchase intent data can show you which of your target accounts, as well as who within them are conducting research. Not only can you see that they’re active, but also specifically what topics are of interest to these buyers. With this deep level of insight to buyer behavior, it’s not surprising that one of the first activations of intent data (and still one of the most common today) centered around better ad targeting. This is what we call Intent 1.0. With purchase intent data, teams use the behavior that an account is demonstrating on the web to be more efficient in their ad targeting. They know what accounts are active and can target them accordingly to ensure they’re not wasting valuable ad dollars on accounts that are not in market.

Intent 2.0: More effective marketing and sales

As intent activation continued to evolve, organizations realized that with the right type of intent data, they could go beyond effective ad targeting, to use insights for more personalized outreach. Intent uptake has often started within the marketing organization, but there are powerful use cases for both marketing and sales outreach.

Intent data helps marketers understand what prospects’ interests, needs and challenges are, through the content prospects are consuming. With these insights marketers can provide very personalized offers and specific solutions in their outreach, from email nurture campaigns to virtual events.

For sales, being able to see what accounts are in market allows for smarter prioritization of accounts. And the right intent data goes down to the individual level, so sellers can customize their outreach to the buyers’ exact needs and which of their solutions will best solve a buyers’ pain points.

Intent 3.0: More strategic GTM

Intent 1.0 and 2.0 only scrape the surface in terms of how intent data can be strategically used across your go-to-market. This does require some new thinking about intent – intent data is not just valuable for the individual buyer insights, but as an aggregation of intent signals, intent data can better inform and optimize your go-to-market. This requires moving beyond sales and marketing KPIs to consider how we can optimize strategies across our full go-to-market. Intent 3.0 can help support many different strategic views, including:

Products and features – Product and feature development is an incredibly important part of the go-to-market and if you don’t prioritize effectively as a vendor, you can struggle in your overall execution. Strategic buyer insights from intent data can help inform how to evaluate if your products meet the needs of your buyers and evolve your products to changing buyer needs.

Targeting – Early on in their go-to-market many organizations develop an ideal customer profile to help guide who is likely to buy their product at any given time and how to best engage with them. Intent 3.0 provides necessary insight to accurately develop this profile, from industry and technographics to firmographics.

Content – Every organization needs to develop content to tell a differentiated brand story, to highlight the nuances of their product portfolio, and to showcase their unique value proposition. But this content also needs to actually generate buyer attention if it’s to be effective. Using Intent 3.0, we can see what content is getting the attention of our audience to drive more successful content outputs.

Intent 3.0 for a competitive advantage

There’s incredible opportunity to move beyond the activation of intent data and use the aggregation of the intent signals to mend breakpoints across the go-to-market. By analyzing foundational attributes – types of content, accounts, users and personas – and applying it to strategic areas like product development, content creation and audience targeting, we can then see the full potential of Intent 1.0 and 2.0 strategies. When you can address breakpoints early in your go-to-market you then maximize your ability to win.

For more insights on how to better activate your intent data, watch Intent Monitoring for Strategic Purposes.

How we can help

As a leading innovator in the intent data field with over two decades of experience helping enterprise tech companies with revenue engine optimization, TechTarget possesses the capabilities and knowledge that more teams like yours rely on for guidance, implementation, execution and optimization every day.

To learn more about the topics introduced here and to get started on or improve upon your own intent data journey, speak to a TechTarget representative today.

B2B marketing, b2b sales, digital advertising, go-to-market success, purchase intent data

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