First-Party Intent: Leveraging the Data You Have Today

First-Party Intent: Leveraging the Data You Have Today Intent is a hot topic in the world of B2B marketing. But

First-Party Intent: Leveraging the Data You Have Today

Justin Berger

Chief Operating Officer

Intent is a hot topic in the world of B2B marketing. But let’s be honest. But with so many different ways to define “intent,” it can feel more like a buzzword than a meaningful tactic.

What is intent data?

Here’s the gist. Intent data, according to Demandbase, is “information about web users’ content consumption and behavior that illustrates their interests, current needs, and, ultimately, what and when they’re in the market to buy.”

Different organizations may define it in their unique ways, but at its core, intent data helps build audience segments and allows brands to engage with relevant content. What may seem like a buzzword is, in reality, is more like a best practice straight from the pages of Marketing 101.

Where can I find intent data?

Here’s where it gets interesting. There’s a split in the crowd about where to source this all-important intent data.

Some swear by third-party solutions and data aggregators. Review solutions, such as G2 and TrustRadius provide insights into who is researching your category, organization, and competitors. Aggregators like Bombora and Qualified analyze interest in topics across a broad network of sites.

There’s no doubt that these solutions provide a wide range of valuable information. But, like anything, they come with drawbacks, too. First, the barrier of entry is high, given it requires budget and onboarding, an increasing challenge for many. Secondly, these tools are geared primarily towards technology brands, with less direct application for other B2B players like media brands.

With the limitations of third-party solutions, savvy B2B marketers across industries are increasingly turning to first-party intent data.

How do I capture existing first-party intent data?

If you’re a marketer leveraging digital channels to engage your audience, you’ve already got intent data at your fingertips.

Each interaction a user has, after all, shows intent in the topics that matter most to them. Matching future content to those specific topics is, once again, Marketing 101. But this simple, fundamental method can increase results dramatically.

Clicks and opens from your recent email campaign. User browsing history from your marketing automation or CDP. Event registration lists. Whitepaper downloads. Webinar registration. All are displays of intent that signal which contacts are engaged and what they care about most.

What’s more, advertisers are willing to pay more for leads or registrations with intent data that contextualizes their recent engagements – data that is 100% proprietary to your brand.

What are practical ways I can use intent data today?

While the opportunities are endless, here’s some easy starting points. Mix and match audience creation and use cases to grow your opportunities exponentially.

  • Look at recent email openers from recent emails – say, those sent in the last 90 days. Map subject lines to a small number of topics – no more than 3 or 4. For a forthcoming, important send, replace your single generic subject line with personalized subjects that highlight the topics where readers already showed intent.
  • Identify every record who landed on an event registration page without converting. Prioritize these users for higher cost, premium channels like telemarketing. While traditional, spray-and-pray telemarketing can be costly, conversion rates can swell by focusing on just those users with existing intent.
  • Add LinkedIn retargeting pixels on your editorial content. It’s likely this content is leveraging a taxonomy that identifies topics already. These pools of users serve as high-intent groups, converting at a much lower cost than generic lists built on industries or job titles.

So, here’s the truth. Intent isn’t just a buzzword. And even marketers who are not yet ready to allocate budget or have needs outside the typical third-party use case can take part. By leveraging existing data sources in simple, resourceful ways, you’re ready to unlock the magic of intent data today.

Justin Berger,
Chief Operating Officer at 7 Knots Digital Inc

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7 Knots Digital Inc 


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