Getting the best out of intent
Liam Jacklin, Partner, Agent3
18th December 2018
How to get the most out of your intent data
We recently held a festive drinks and networking event for customers and prospects alike to look at how blended intent data can be successfully integrated in to Account Based Marketing (ABM) or Key Account Programmes. We gave it a festive theme and called it “We know what your target accounts want for Christmas”. And, with our blended intent products, to some degree we do!
Like so many things associated with ABM approaches, data and tools there is hype, confusion and a lack of clarity around what is or isn’t possible. For complete clarity, when we refer to our intent products we’re talking about the tracking of behavioural data on the wider B2B media web combined with activity on your own website – we call this blended intent. This anonymised data is then aggregated to provide us with insight on an account basis around levels of interest in particular topics. We then use this data to track changes in engagement around key terms over time, giving your sales and marketing teams insight in to what is happening in their key accounts. It’s our belief that the more blended intent signals within an account, the more opportunity exists for you to deliver commercial opportunity. Of course, data is only any good if you know what to do with it, something which we work hard with customers to support them around either through consultancy or activation of targeted activity.
Commercial opportunities can only be converted to revenue if both sales and marketing teams are working together to make the most of the data. They’ll both have slightly different use cases, but if you can get them working together, you’ll reap the rewards of a data led approach to key account engagement much quicker. To help you consider how blended intent might be used in your organisation we’ve tried to capture some top tips, outlined below. Of course if you’d like to talk to one of our consultants about your specific needs, feel free to get in touch
Top tips for using blended intent with marketing teams
Have a plan around next best actions based on the data coming in
It sounds obvious, but if you haven’t decided what you’re going to do with the data, it becomes difficult to action it. Who should receive it? Why should they receive it? What do you want them to do with it when they get it?
Define roles and responsibilities between Sales & Marketing for who is responsible for those next actions
Once someone has the data in their hands, what should they be doing with it? For a sales person that might be a reason to make contact with an account. For marketing it could be a refresh of targeting for a paid social media campaign. Having clearly defined roles will make sure the data doesn’t just sit unused on an excel spreadsheet on the sharepoint.
Create an agile workflow to allow you to adapt content and targeted assets based on the data
One of the benefits of tracking the changing levels of interest in key topics at an account is that you can respond to the things they’re interested in better than ever before. Crucially though this only makes a difference if you’re able to respondly in a timely fashion. An agile approach to your content and targeting is essential to drive the highest engagement rates.
Triangulate data with your other Martech systems such as MA and CRM
Blended intent data provides great insight in to the desires of your target accounts, but wherever possible you should consider where else you can get data. Your Marketing Automation platform or CRM could provide some excellent additional context to the blended intent trends you’re seeing, allowing you to respond in an even more targeted fashion.
To achieve things at scale look at automated triggers and responses to blended intent trends
Being able to handle the data and take action at any level of scale is key, but the good news is if you’re working with Marketing Automation platforms like Marketo or Eloqua you can create integrations and put in place automated workflows or actions to respond to changes in blended intent.
Top tips for using blended intent with sales teams
Education, education, education – be clear on what it can and can’t do
Blended intent data when used properly is of course incredibly powerful but it is not a silver bullet and its important that expectations are set accordingly with sales teams. Due to GDPR and similar legislation we’re not able to provide details and identify individuals and their activity. We can though provide a clear understanding of underlying trends at target accounts and provide guidance on the topics and issues that matter most
Set expectations around how Marketing will support
It’s important to give an overview of what marketing will and won’t be doing with the blended intent data to support engagement with key accounts including detail of planned activity with paid social and organic channels as well as content development. Ensuring alignment between sales and marketing on this activity will make sure that for the target account the experience is seamless and for the sales and marketing teams the outcomes are better.
Ensure a feedback loop is established so that the terms, accounts and engagement scores can be tweaked for maximum effect
Using blended intent to identify engagement opportunities will of course be infinitely more successful than gut instinct, but creating a feedback loop between the sales and marketing teams can help to hone the triggers and workflows built off the back of the data. For example analysing opportunities against the blended intent data that was provided might show that when a key account is spiking in interest in three particular terms could be a sure fire opportunity. Allowing you to calibrate the triggers you’re using to surface opportunities quicker.
It’s a cliche, but things that get measured, get done and we know from all the work we’ve done with customers, those using blended intent to drive their ABM and Key Account programmes are having greater success than those who aren’t. Tracking success through blended intent based engagement will allow you to benchmark performance and gain greater insight in to whether your workflows and triggers are built correctly. If one sales person is having great success with blended intent, it’s likely the whole team will want access!