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Marketing with the best of INTENTions? Or doing it with real insight?

By Liam Jacklin, Partner, Agent3

Although every large enterprise we work with has a unique set of challenges and objectives, if we were to summarize them into one, it would look something like this: I want to engage the right lead, about the right topic, at the right time, to ultimately deliver sales. The need for revenue growth means that the allure of new marketing technology and techniques can be too much to resist. But how can you make sure you’re using these tools and tactics to make decisions based on insight, not just good intentions?

We pride ourselves on helping customers navigate through the myriad of marketing buzz terms and fads towards the options that will deliver real commercial impact. An area that has been getting forward-thinking sales and marketing leaders excited in recent times is ‘intent data’. We’ve been working with customers for more than 18 months on this emerging area and have some great examples of the benefits it can bring. That’s why we took a particular interest in this recent post on the Marketo blog by Jingcong Zhao, from Socedo, a company specializing in B2B Intent Data from the Social Web. The post examines how to best evaluate intent data suppliers and we weren’t the only ones to take an interest, with Steve Niemec, from TechTarget, another supplier of niche Intent data, posting a response here.

We agree with lots of Jingcong’s points. Using one source of data to make decisions about your marketing or sales engagement approach simply doesn’t make sense. If we assume that most engagement activities cost many hundreds if not thousands of pounds (or dollars), then transfer that same thinking to your personal life. When did you last spend £10,000 based on one piece of information? You wouldn’t. You’d compare and gather multiple pieces of information to make an informed decision. 

There is of course probably an incremental benefit to taking a one source approach inasmuch as at least you know a little bit more than you did before, but to deliver truly actionable opportunities you need to triangulate multiple sources of intent and insight. Customers using our Agent3 Platform benefit from this process being automated through the combination of behavioral intent data with social insights and unstructured public data to create IQLs (Insight Qualified Leads).

The creation of IQLs means our customers know what their target accounts are most interested in, why they’re interested in it and who is likely to be making the decisions related to it.

Intent data is still an emerging field, but the results we’ve seen where it’s been incorporated as part of a bigger strategy lead us to believe that this isn’t just a fad, as long as it's used correctly. For those who are able to turn intent into actionable insight, the rewards could be very big indeed.

If you’d be interested in finding out more about how intent data could underpin your sales and marketing activity, please get in touch.

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