Analyzing intent signals not only allows you to inform your sales team of their journey through the funnel, but you can map prospect behavior over time and use predictability modelling to create effective campaigns for different personas. Without intent, marketers are essentially left in the dark about what makes their buyers tick.
Through intelligent data algorithms, you can improve your content strategy, nail personalization, and give buyers what they want (and when they want it). It’s no wonder more and more organizations are realizing the benefits, and allocating larger proportions of their budget to intent. There’s a clear trend of growth and investment in the coming year, and here are the stats to prove it.
1) 99% of large companies are using intent data in some way
According to our latest research, 99% of companies are using intent data in some way or another. Only 1% are yet to explore this data-driven B2B marketing technique, showing a level of maturity in the use of intent signals across the industries. Although a high percentage of businesses are using some form of intent data, intent data opportunities are extensive and businesses need to understand the breadth of how it could affect their strategies. For businesses that haven’t yet invested in data collection and management, now is the time to act - explore the different elements of intent data available and how you could incorporate them into your strategy.
2) 98% of marketers are confident about using intent data
What’s also promising is the positive outlook on how intent marketing works as a practice, with almost all of our survey respondents showing confidence in investing time, money and resource into this area.
Recent research highlights that over a third say they are “confident” about their intent data practices, while a huge 64% say they are “very confident” about achieving results. This tells us that despite intent data being a relatively new tool, one that is also complex in nature, many organizations are navigating this area well and are seeing the benefits of their work.
3) Over half of marketers combine first party and third party data
When it comes to choosing the type of data to use, inexperienced marketers may feel confused about which is best for demand generation activities. Our research reveals that there is a mix of people using solely first party data, people using solely third party data, and those combining both for a comprehensive approach.
While 19% favor third party data, over a quarter prefer to stick to data sourced internally. However, the largest group (55%) dedicate efforts to using both types of data.
Both first and third-party datasets have their uses, and it’s important for marketing teams to understand their respective applications in order to get the most out of their data, and a combined approach seems to be the ideal way to do so.
4) …but most consider first party data as the most reliable source. Are they missing an opportunity?
Despite a large percentage of marketers exploiting both types of intent data for demand gen campaigns, the majority say they rely on first-party data as their main source.
Whilst first-party intent data is definitely more cost-effective in comparison, the heavy reliance on it highlights that many organizations are missing a trick when it comes to utilzing all types of intent data within their marketing strategies.
Third-party intent data provides a real opportunity to harness fresh insights from new prospects, as opposed to solely analyzing the behaviors of people who already know your brand. In order to grow, businesses need to change their perspective of third-party intent data and access "in-market" audiences who are not yet engaging.
5) The top three challenges of intent data are human errors
Although ‘intent algorithms’ is a complex field and there are a number of challenges to watch out for, the main reported issues are largely to do with human application.
Common problems expressed by B2B marketers include being able to make insights actionable, combining insights with the wider B2B marketing strategy, and ensuring teams are utilizing intent information properly. It’s all about connecting the dots, and this is where strategy and leadership prove vital.
For organizations with concerns over intent data efficacy, our research confirms that problems are mainly down to human error or mismanagement. Therefore, a clear strategy needs to be in place, with achievable goals and objectives, and a smooth process that makes the data work harder so you don’t have to.
6) Almost 40% of businesses are spending more than half of their marketing budget on intent data
In terms of spending, a substantial number of businesses (39%) are willing to allocate more than half of their total budget towards gathering and using intent data. Only a tiny percentage (3%) of marketers say they dedicate less than 10% of their budget towards intent data.
7) Almost 70% plan on increasing spend on intent data next year
Even more significant are the stats on predicted spend, showing growth in data-driven marketing techniques. While 31% of companies plan on allocating the same amount of budget in the next 12 months, a large 67% plan on spending more. Only 2% of respondents say they will be decreasing spend.
8) Of the marketers who haven’t invested in intent, 50% plan on doing so next year
As seen with our earlier stats, only 1% of marketers aren’t using intent data in their strategy, in some form or another. And of those who aren’t, half of them plan on including it in their strategy within the coming year.
9) An impressive 99% have seen a sales / ROI increase
The most important statistic from our study shows resounding positivity regarding results, with almost everyone (99%) agreeing that intent data has helped their business in some way, whether that be ROI or sales growth.
While 13% reported on increased return on investment and 22% reported on better conversion rates, 64% told us they had seen improvements in both.
10) Similarly, 98% say intent data is essential for demand generation
In line with the impressive results and clear benefits to the bottom line, our survey also confirms the magnitude of intent data and its uses within the business space. Again, almost everyone in the group (98%) said that they consider intent data to be a fundamental element to success.
Furthermore, almost half of those respondents agree that intent data is the heart of their entire B2B marketing operation.
The impact of intelligent customer data is clear in our research, and this insight adds further confidence for marketers looking to augment their journey with intent data activities. If you want to find out more about how your B2B prospects behave throughout the funnel, intent is the way to do so, and it’s absolutely vital to your long-term strategy.