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Demystifying Intent data myths and truths

August 30, 2021

Intent data is a relatively new tactic and a hot topic in sales and marketing today, but unfortunately, there’s a lot of mystery and sometimes misinformation around it. We’re here to explain what Intent data really is and clear up some myths and truths about it, so you’ll have a better understanding of how it can be used and how it can help your organization.

The basics: what is Intent data?

Definition: Intent data tells you when buyers are actively researching online for a solution, and the products and services they are interested in based on the web content they consume.

Marketing and sales leaders that use Intent data have an advantage by understanding which prospects are ready to buy – and avoid wasting time and money on those that are not.

Breaking down the myths and truths of Intent data

Myth: Intent data infringes on consumer privacy.

Truth: Bombora’s Intent data comes from our unique Data Co-op, where we aggregate content consumption events of prospects that are opted in through an exclusive tag on participating websites. This data is anonymous and non-branded.

When it comes to privacy and compliance, Bombora maintains direct relationships with members of our data cooperative to ensure compliance with all industry privacy regulations, including GDPR and CCPA.

Myth: Intent data is full of false positives.

Truth: Not all Intent data is created equal. Many Intent data providers use bidstream data, which just looks at keywords on a page by scraping website data and URLs. This technique allows for “false positives” because a keyword being on a webpage doesn’t mean that is what the page is about or that the viewer is interested in it.

Alternatively, using natural language processing (NLP), Bombora monitors topics to understand the context of a page. We also look at historical baselines, so we know what “normal” looks like and can better identify when businesses are spiking in interest against certain topics.

Myth: Intent data needs a big team to be successful.

Truth: Team size doesn’t matter for Intent data. You can start small and expand over time as your business is ready. There’s a lot you can do with Intent, but the big thing to remember is that you don’t need to do it all at once. The most important part is to just get started. As your resources and comfort level grow, you can add on more sophisticated use cases.

For example, Turtl is a small organization that has found success with Intent data. In an effort to identify which businesses are in-market for its solutions, Turtl started using Intent-based workflows within HubSpot that improve SDR prioritization and efficiency. With this targeted outreach strategy, their meeting creation rate increased by over 300% over four months.

Myth: Intent data needs a defined ideal customer profile (ICP) to work.

Truth: Intent data works with or without an ICP. Building an ICP can be time-consuming and challenging to determine the common attributes of your top accounts, however, 100% of that ICP list is not in-market. On average, only 15% of your ICP is in-market at a given time.

Having both an ICP and Intent data is ideal but if you don’t have your ICP fully built out, Intent data can be a useful shortcut because it shows you accounts that are actively researching your product or service at a higher rate than normal, which gives off an in-market buying signal. Intent data can also be easier to figure out than an ICP, but remember, it still takes work to see results.

Myth: Intent data doesn’t work when everyone’s working from home. 

Truth: People working from home is the “new normal.” That’s why Bombora uses a three-prong approach to resolve devices to business domains. The first is via an IP to business domain match using proprietary technology. The second is from Co-op members providing the registration data from its users. And finally, offline databases and registration sources also provide devices to business domain matches. In all cases, Bombora uses a persistent unique identifier to extend the lifetime of the match.

With the increase of remote and hybrid work becoming more common over the last year and a half, we’ve seen little to no dropoff in business research and identification.

Myth: I have to buy another piece of software to get Intent data.

Truth: The best part about investing in Intent data is that it integrates directly into the platforms you already use, so you don’t need to log into anything new or train your sales team on a new platform. Whether you want to use it for sales or marketing, Intent data makes your existing platforms and workflows more effective – from your CRM to MAP to ABM.

Even if you already have an Intent data tool or an ABM tool that gives you access to some or a different form of Intent data, like 6sense or G2, you can layer them together to get even more prospect and customer insights.

Hopefully, this has helped you better understand what Intent data is and how it works. If you still have questions or want to learn more, schedule a demo here.