Intent Data: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Intent data, when not used properly can cause a lot of issues. It's important to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of this digital marketing technique.

When it comes to digital marketing, it can be challenging to find ways to stand out from your competition. The market has become saturated with businesses trying to catch the attention of prospective buyers, and economic uncertainty has made it even more difficult to reach prospects. Nevertheless, there is one sure way to stand above your competition, and that is by using intent data.

Intent Data: The Good

Intent data can show what buyers are interested in based on their online activity. So, instead of spending more time on customer acquisition and blind targeting, you can focus on those specific leads. The following are some beneficial aspects of this marketing tool if it’s used correctly:

  • You can identify prospective buyers before the competition even thinks about reaching them. Your competition may not be aware of intent data and thus may continue to use blind targeting and customer acquisition. B2B marketers who use intent data the right way can obtain prospective buyers much faster than many of their competitors.
  • You can accelerate your sales pipeline. With effective account-based marketing (ABM), your focus must be on setting respective targets for specific accounts. From there, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching your prospects’ goals than with customer acquisition or blind targeting.
  • You can increase your ROI. The probability of gaining potential buyers is higher because you are basing your marketing on specific instances of user behavior rather than mass tactics.

Intent Data: The Bad

Even though intent data is helpful in various ways, it can also be quite tricky if you don’t take certain precautions. Be aware of these potential disadvantages:

  • Being specific can lead you back to where you were when you were blind targeting. Intent data allows a whole different level of personalization, helping you engage prospects more accurately. However, if you zero in on super specific characteristics of your audience, you risk not reaching enough of your audience. Being too specific is just like being too general – you’re missing the mark on where the majority of your prospect base lies. Instead, you must employ critical thinking to determine the fine line that your prospect base walks.
  • Waiting to reach out to companies when they express interest can cost you. While it’s important to ensure you have a company’s consent to use its information, you also need a system to verify the consent in a timely manner. Without it, you can risk losing a possible client to a competitor.

Intent Data: The Ugly

As Mat Phillips, co-founder of DemandWorks Media, says: “There is often confusion around what ‘intent’ really means. Is the intent data first- or third-party? How is the data being collected, collated, and scored? Is intent being monitored at the company or contact level?”

As Phillips emphasizes, when it comes to intent data, control and management are necessary to ensure the data is being used properly. If it’s not used correctly, you can face noncompliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), both of which can lead to some ugly fines. As such, you must know when and how to use third- and first-party intent data. Otherwise, you could end up with a jumble of unusable information and a serious issue with regulatory compliance.

To put it simply, first-party intent data of prospective buyers is when you find the data yourself. To ensure you eliminate the risk of violating any CCPA/GDPR regulations, you can use a customer relationship management software, as these products also have to run under such regulations.

Third-party intent data is simply hiring a third party to use intent data for you. However, it’s vital that they are getting their data from legitimate areas that are also in compliance with CCPA and GDPR.

Want to know more about how to properly use intent data? Contact DemandWorks Media today.

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