Let’s say your ICP is VP of digital marketing, and she’s looking for a CRM. Her biggest challenges are maximizing ROI and ensuring consistency in leads, she reports to the CMO, and wants a platform that offers one-click integrations with various MarTech she and her team needs. And because this is a B2B purchase, you know she’s not the only decision maker.
So, you gather this persona-specific information about all your target designations and individuals, and, then, create a marketing campaign. You have personalized content and ads, and you’re truly adding value in their buyer journey. Now, imagine a personalized campaign like that will have on their decision.
This is where the importance of intent data in ABM becomes evident. By leveraging intent data, you can identify your “best-fit” accounts and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. You gain insights into the challenges they face, their preferences, and their buying signals. Understanding their buyer intent allows you to align your messaging, content, and offers to precisely address their needs. This approach significantly increases the likelihood of capturing their attention, building trust, and ultimately influencing their decision-making process.
A campaign with already-qualified ICP, targeted campaigns, and with the understanding they actually need the solution has a more probability of success as compared to the traditional marketing. This method has gained so much popularity in the recent past that approximately 98% of organizations currently use or plan to use ABM as a strategic tactic—and at the core of each successful campaign is understanding the intent of your ideal buyer.
But First, What Is Buyer Intent?
Essentially, it is little clues and actions that help you understand your ‘best fit’ target audience actually needs the solution you’re selling, and it helps you engage with them on their terms.
With buyer intent, your marketing and sales teams proactively engage with all contacts within a target account. By precisely targeting your marketing messages towards your ideal customers and utilizing the channels where your target audience are most likely to be noticed, such as social media, display advertising, video, or mobile, you can generate the continued momentum needed to close sales.
Engagement is a pivotal stage in account-based marketing, which encompasses a wide range of methods to interact with your prospects. Email outreach, webinars, ebooks, targeted advertisements, videos, events, programmatic or automated approaches, there are various methods by which you engage with your buyer. By collecting and leveraging buyer intent data, the entire engagement process becomes more personalized.
For example, consider you’re selling talent acquisition software. And as we all know well, there’s never just one decision maker in B2B, so you need to engage and show value to all of the decision makers. So, for the chief human resources officer, you create campaigns regarding cost optimization; for hiring managers, you talk about time saving; and for talent managers, you mention the quality of candidates and reduction of repetitive tasks. This way, you’re systematically delivering value on each level, and also engaging with them in their terms.
So, by incorporating buyer intent into your account-based marketing strategy, you can enhance your engagement efforts, personalize your messaging, and establish more meaningful connections with your target audience, which, in turn, maximizes your ROI on each campaign.
How Buyer Intent Data Is Collected
As the ‘outside-in’ approach is absolutely fundamental to ABM, you need buyer intent data as a prerequisite to create a campaign. So, here’s what you should be collecting and evaluating:
1. Website Tracking
By tracking website behavior, businesses can gather intent signals such as:
- Visitor navigates to specific product pages, indicating interest in those offerings.
- Visitor spends a significant amount of time on the pricing or comparison page, signaling a potential purchase decision.
- Visitor fills out a form to request a demo, suggesting a strong intent to explore the product further.
2. Search Data
Examples of intent signals collected from search data include:
- For example, user searches for “best budget CRM,” indicating an intent to purchase a CRM within a specific price range.
- User searches for “how to improve SEO ranking,” showing an intent to learn about SEO strategies and techniques.
- User visits software comparison sites, such as G2 and software select, and searches for “best ABM tool”, indicating they are in need of an ABM partner.
3. Content Consumption
Intent signals extracted from content consumption may include:
- User spends five minutes reading an in-depth blog post about email marketing automation, indicating a strong interest in the topic.
- User watches a video tutorial on setting up a smart home system, suggesting an intent to implement the technology.
- User downloads an ebook on social media advertising strategies, indicating an intent to enhance their social media marketing efforts.
5. Form Submissions
Intent signals obtained from form submissions can include:
- User fills out a contact form, providing details about their business and a specific inquiry, demonstrating an intent to engage with the company’s offerings.
- User completes a form to register for a webinar on content marketing strategies, indicating an intent to gain knowledge in that area.
- User requests a quote by filling out a form, suggesting a potential intent to make a purchase.
However, not all data is relevant data.
Say, a seemingly fit profile shares an article about CRM types, that doesn’t immediately mean they’re in the market to buy one. Which is why, you need buyer intent data measurement and qualification process, so you don’t end up chasing dead leads. And here’s a great way to start:
Scoring and Ranking: With buyer intent data, assign scores or rankings based on specific criteria. This will allow you to prioritize leads and prospects based on their level of intent—this essentially means prioritizing high-intent accounts so they’re addressed first, while you continue to nurture the less-intent accounts. ChatOps Sald such as website engagement, content consumption, and online behavior are assessed to determine the strength of a visitor’s intent. For instance, Sald.io helps you engage with high-intent accounts with behavioral and firmographic (relating to the firm) filters.
Data Analytics: Advanced data analytics techniques can also be employed to analyze buyer intent data. These techniques involve examining patterns, trends, and correlations within the data to uncover insights about visitor behavior, interests, and potential buying intentions.
Note: For the purpose of qualification, you can follow the BANT mechanism. It is an acronym of qualification questions, Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline, that can help you prioritize accounts.
By now, we’ve talked plenty about how buyer intent can help you delineate your strategic ABM accounts, how you can measure those signals, and what parameters can help you prioritize accounts. But, how are ABM and intent signals related—let’s get into it now!
What’s The Connection Between Buyer Intent And Account Based Marketing?
Essentially, all marketing boils down to intent: whether it is following the traditional funnel or the inverted (ABM) funnel. This is because most buyers turn to online research to identify their problems, find suitable solutions, and choose the right vendors. This behavior provides valuable signals about their stage in the buying process, whether they’re at the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel.
Some of the ways buyer intent can directly impact your account based marketing practices are:
1. Identifying High-Intent Accounts
Buyer intent data helps discover accounts that show strong indications of purchase intent. By analyzing intent signals, such as website interactions, content consumption, or form submissions, businesses can pinpoint the accounts that are actively researching or expressing interest in their products or services. These accounts become the primary focus of ABM initiatives.
2. Driving Conversion and Revenue
The ultimate goal of ABM is to drive conversions and generate revenue from target accounts. Buyer intent data plays a critical role in this process by enabling businesses to identify accounts that are in the later stages of the buying journey and more likely to make a purchase. By aligning ABM strategies with buyer intent, companies can effectively nurture and convert high-intent accounts, leading to increased revenue and business growth.
By leveraging intent data, businesses can gain deeper insights into the needs and interests of their target accounts. This allows them to tailor their marketing efforts more effectively and engage with potential customers at the right stage of their purchasing journey. Intent data enhances the precision and relevance of ABM initiatives, ultimately improving the chances of success.
Pro tip: By identifying and delineating the right buyer for each account, you can reduce the margin of error and create an idiot-proof statement of work (SOW) on which products and services will be offered to the account during the nurture stage.
Step-By-Step Guide To Leverage Intent data In Your ABM Strategy
Incorporating intent data into your account-based marketing (ABM) strategy can greatly enhance your targeting and engagement efforts. So, here is a step-by-step guide to help you effectively integrate intent data into your ABM approach:
Step 1: Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Begin by clearly defining your ideal customer profile, including key attributes, characteristics, and firmographic data. This will serve as the foundation for your ABM strategy and help you align intent data with your target audience.
Step 2: Identify Relevant Intent Signals
Determine the intent signals that are most relevant to your business and align with your ICP. These signals could include website visits, content consumption, search behavior, engagement with specific topics or keywords, or interactions with your marketing assets.
Step 3: Leverage Intent Data Providers
Research and partner with intent data providers that offer reliable and accurate data relevant to your target audience. These providers can help you access and analyze intent data from various sources, such as IP-intelligence, behavioral tracking tools, or social listening platforms.
Sald.io, for example, helps you collect and analyze campaign, website, and funnel analytics and helps you add predictability in your campaigns. With customizable properties, dashboards, and dimensions, its proven to deliver better ROI on marketing campaigns.
Step 4: Integrate Intent Data with Your CRM and Marketing Automation Tools
Ensure seamless integration between your intent data provider and your CRM and marketing automation tools. This integration enables you to enrich your customer profiles with intent data and create personalized experiences based on individual buyer interests and behaviors.
Step 5: Analyze and Segment Intent Data
Analyze the intent data collected to identify patterns, trends, and commonalities among your target accounts. Segment your audience based on their intent signals, grouping them into specific clusters or categories that align with their buying stage, interests, or pain points.
Step 6: Tailor Content and Messaging
Utilize the insights gained from intent data to create highly personalized and relevant content and messaging for each segment. Customize your marketing assets, such as emails, website content, ads, and social media campaigns, to address the specific needs and interests of different account segments.
Step 7: Implement Targeted Campaigns
Develop targeted marketing campaigns that align with the intent signals exhibited by your identified account segments. Use intent data to determine the most appropriate channels, timing, and messaging to engage with your target accounts effectively.
Step 8: Track and Measure Results
Continuously monitor and measure the impact of your ABM efforts fueled by intent data. Track key ABM metrics, such as engagement rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated, to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns and make data-driven adjustments as needed.
Step 9: Iterate and Optimize
Use the insights gained from intent data and performance metrics to iterate and optimize your ABM strategy. Refine your targeting, content, and messaging based on the feedback and results obtained, ensuring ongoing improvement and success.
For instance, Sald.io integrates seamlessly with ad platforms, CRMs, CDPs, and other popular martech platforms through no-code (O-Auth) integrations. We install a lightweight script on websites to automatically track visitor engagement, including page views, scroll depth, button clicks, and form submissions.
Using IP-lookup technology, we can identify and track anonymous companies visiting a website, providing information such as company name, industry, and employee headcount. This helps qualify accounts based on ideal customer profile (ICP) criteria. Further, by consolidating all this data in one place, we can map the entire customer journey, starting from ad clicks and web sessions, to creating or updating contacts in the CRM, and ultimately tracking pipeline and revenue generation.
Our proactive approach enables the identification of anonymous accounts and their intent, allowing for effective targeting of sales-ready buyers. Additionally, retrospective tracking of the entire customer journey helps optimize spending on touchpoints that drive conversions, leading to increased pipeline with reduced expenses and better overall return on investment (ROI).
- Not all buyer intent is your buyer intent: While you may be tempted to look at all the data and figures before selecting your target accounts, messaging, and MarTech, it is best to keep your ICP and all the decision makers in mind.
- ABM without intent data is just traditional marketing: ABM focuses on targeting the “best-fit” accounts rather than casting a wide net. By aligning marketing messages with the needs and challenges expressed by potential buyers, businesses can increase the probability of success compared to traditional marketing approaches.
- With intent data, you know where to start: Intent data helps prioritize and rank leads based on their level of intent, allowing businesses to focus on high-intent accounts and allocate resources effectively. Scoring and ranking, along with data analytics techniques, can help you get to the low hanging fruit first.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is Buyer Intent important?
Buyer intent is crucial because it provides valuable insights into the mindset and readiness of potential customers. Understanding this intent allows businesses to create custom marketing campaigns with the specific needs and interests of their target audience. Creating campaigns with buyer intent in mind results in more targeted and effective communication, higher engagement rates, and increased ROI.
2. What is an example of buying intent?
Let’s say a business owner searches for “best project management software for remote teams” on a search engine. This search query shows their buying intent as they are actively seeking a solution to address their specific need: managing projects for remote teams. By searching for the “best” software, they are indicating their intention to evaluate and potentially make a decision. This search query provides an opportunity for SaaS companies offering project management solutions to target and engage this potential customer with relevant marketing messages and compelling offers.
3. How do you identify buying intent?
You can identify buying intent by partnering with tools like Sald.io. This platform helps you discover, qualify, and convert anonymous companies visiting your website, measure engagement trends, and helps you deliver objectively better ROI on marketing campaigns. Sald.io also offers seamless integrations with 30+ marketing tech stack so all your data can be consolidated in one place.