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It's Time to Admit that Marketers Need More

Intent data isn’t a new concept for B2B revenue teams. Since Bombora’s jump into the market in 2014, B2B marketing and sales teams have been fascinated with the chance to unlock the key to getting a leg up on their target ICP’s buying intent.  Unfortunately, B2B intent data hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype.  

Visiting a website isn’t a signal of purchasing intent.  There are about 20 vendors in the space who’d like you to REALLY believe that it is, but in almost every data correlation I’ve seen, it simply doesn’t.  Intent to learn about a topic, sure – but web page consumption data (primarily discovered from manipulating programmatic bidstreams) will never be any more than that, intent to learn. Just because I read an article about weightlifting doesn’t necessarily mean I intend to join a gym – the same holds true for B2B products and solutions, and the market is finally catching on.  

Most intent vendors are using the same two or three sources of data.  Have you ever noticed that when you reach out to your “intent” companies, your closest competitors usually are, too? That’s because dozens of vendors in the space use the same “base” data.  Sure, some may add their own bells and whistles, but almost all of the intent data comes from either Bidstream extraction or data cooperatives. Both are readily available to build and purchase from numerous places. When everyone has the same “intent,” are you really gaining any competitive advantage?  

A lot of the “intent” from your favorite vendor or platform is just a shiny version of the data you already own and spent a ton of money collecting. Yup, your website traffic data and CRM data are being sold back to you by “intent” vendors as some sort of value. There are vendors who can feed you your account-based web traffic for hundreds of dollars a month; there is no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.   

There are a few rays of hope for the space, though. The key is seeking out vendors who identify signals that are both A) unique and B) proprietary—not the vendors with the biggest marketing budget or flashiest sales team. Doing so can unlock a ton of pipelines you may currently not have access to.  

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Intent Data
Chris Rack
Post by Chris Rack
Apr 24, 2024 9:15:00 AM