by Shahnaz Mahmud.
It’s not a crystal ball that’s helping marketers predict buyer intent. No, it’s intent data. Intent data is data collected about a Web user that gleans some intent or future action. That could be anything from travel to purchasing goods from an e-retail site or even in a brick and mortar store.
As Alex LePage says in a blog post for Marketing Land: “Intent data — whether it’s gleaned from social, search, browsing patterns, or the context of a webpage — makes advertising more relevant. That’s a great development for marketers and consumers alike.”
Intent data will be a part of an overall discussion on understanding consumer behavior and purchasing decisions at the upcoming LeadsCon Las Vegas Conference in mid-March at a panel “Finding Return When Measuring Buyer Intent, Behavior & Targeting.”
At the heart of it is gaining valuable insights into the consumer behavior leading them to their purchasing decisions. Getting a picture of what the buyer journey actually looks like is critical. Marketers must understand the underlying reason for triggers that set a customer on his path. Equally, marketers need to pay attention to the barriers that are causing the buyer to halt the purchasing process.
“The best way to gather intelligence on prospect intent is via a survey campaign, which provides crucial information to forearm the sales team on what prospects need; how far along the path they are to a decision; and other key indicators,” says Lisa Vitale on the SimplyDIRECT site.
But with the onslaught of all kinds of data, and even with a focus on intent data, challenges remain. Brian Kardon, CMO for Lattice, cautions intent is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. “You need fit, behavior and intent data together to get a complete picture of buyer propensity.” He notes that if not used correctly, it can actually guide you down the wrong path because the data you’ve collected is an inaccurate reflection of that buyer propensity.
Bob Egner, VP of Product Management and Business Development at EPiServer, rightly points to a big issue in uncovering relevant data in an article for Demand Gen Report. “The problem is finding the patterns in that data that help you enhance the digital experience for prospects.”
With that, intent data has become a beneficial tool. It allows marketers to be more concentrated in their efforts and, therefore, more relevant. Marketing programs are thusly becoming more personalized. That can only bring you a step closer, as you should be, to your customer.
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2016.