Combining first- and third-party data for intent based marketing
Terminus shows sales and marketing teams exactly who their next best opportunities are– and how likely they are to become a new customer. Combining our first- and third-party intent data allows teams to see exactly where they should be focusing their efforts.
Intent Based Marketing
What is intent based marketing? In the past, you might have heard the phrase “the customer is always right.” That doesn’t mean that customer complaints are always right; it actually isn’t about customer service at all. It’s about marketing. “The customer is always right” essentially means that whatever the customer wants to buy, the business should be selling; if customers are buying blue widgets rather than red widgets, then blue widgets are the right thing to sell.
Intent based marketing is focused on buyer intent. Said differently, what customers are interested in buying now, what they want, and where they want it. Marketing has always been based on giving customers what they want, but intent marketing takes this further. Intent based networking and intent based branding consolidates a tremendous amount of information about buyer behavior and buyer activity to get a bigger picture of what they want.
To really understand interest based marketing, let’s take a look at a few intent marketing examples:
- A legal firm produces a wide swathe of content marketing and then analyzes its website. The partners can see that the pages on bankruptcy are their most visited. They can then perform topic targeting and interest targeting for this demographic.
- An eCommerce company performs an intent based branding review. They see that people are coming to their website very frequently at the beginning of their buyer’s journey but then leaving. Digging deeper, they find their prices are much higher than the competition. They reprice and relaunch their products.
- A local salon is starting their intent based marketing B2B campaign for selling products directly to other salons. Their marketing data shows that their customer base is outside the city that they’re in; they need to move distribution.
So, what is intent based targeting? It’s about finding out where your customers are, what they want, and what they’re looking at. With more data, companies are able to give their customers exactly what they want each time — and, of course, the customer is always right.
Intent based marketing works everywhere, but Google Ads is one of the major venues. Google custom audiences makes it possible to really pare down to those who are most interested in a product or a service. Google tracks everyone’s behavior, including ad interests, hobbies, ages, salaries, genders, and more. Intent based marketing Google tools are some of the most robust in the world, simply because Google is able to consolidate so much information about people.
Google intent marketing also has a lot of support in other technological tools, such as tools that have been developed for marketing, customer relationship management, and other planning. On Google Ads, marketers can directly market to all types of people, within their area or not, and fine-tune those ads based on what is performing the best. Google Ads are a great way to boost a new business, and companies can engage in split testing to fine-tune their intent.
Split testing or A/B testing is a method of running multiple ads to determine which are the most effective.
For intent-based advertising, Google Ads can also be used to track buyers at different stages of their buyer’s journey, and develop more insights into the sales funnel. By inserting Google tracking pixels on websites, for instance, eCommerce marketers can easily determine whether Google Ads are being truly effective. Moreover, it’s not overly difficult for marketers to be able to scale their advertising the way they want; they can pay $200, $2,000, or $20,000 toward their campaigns.
Google Ads are usually used in conjunction with other advertising campaigns. But they alone can be a powerhouse tool for those who really dig into it.
Let’s take a look at some solutions like Bombora. You may be familiar with the Bombora logo or the Bombora ABM partnerships already; it’s one of the leading buyer intent data tools. Like most buyer intent software today, it’s a cloud solution with subscription pricing. Bombora pricing starts at $25,000 annually, so it can be a big ask for a small company starting out. But most companies that use Bombora aren’t small; it’s a large, enterprise suite that’s meant to really make an organization’s marketing fly.
How does Bombora work?
Bombora is an advanced, machine-learning intent scoring system, which takes a look at businesses and the leads that are mostly likely to make a purchase. Essentially, the platform saves marketers time and money by focusing them on those who are most serious in purchasing. Account lead scoring is not new, but the methods that today’s intent marketing software uses are new. These intent software solutions crunch large volumes of data.
Bombora can integrate with Terminus intent data to make it even more robust and effective, and it can learn based on the information that is given to it. The more information included in both the Bombora and Terminus systems, the more accurate it will be. And because these systems are intuitive to use, companies can hit the ground running and start accelerating their marketing almost immediately. Like many marketing tools, intent platforms seek to essentially pay for themselves by boosting the company’s marketing and revenue generation.
Bombora is the top platform for B2B intent and is focused on closing those high-level, high-value sales. That makes it particularly useful to large companies that need to close a lot of B2B accounts.
Demandbase is another B2B intent provider. Like Bombora, it crunches buyer intent data and allows marketers to echo B2B intent, drilling down to the best candidates in their B2B contact database. It is a commonly used intent source of buyer intent data, and one of many intent marketing tools and B2B intent providers. But they don’t have an integration with Bombora the way that Terminus does.
While there are intent marketing tools out there (like Echo and other similar solutions), intent based marketing tools are often differentiated on the amount of data they can crunch. Intent based marketing companies are only as viable as their data; if they don’t have enough information and if their samples aren’t specific enough, they aren’t able to score leads as accurately. Inaccurately scored leads can be worse than un-scored leads, because they can direct marketing attention elsewhere.
However, Demandbase is one of the more popular intent based marketing tools because it does have a significant breadth of information, even if it doesn’t interface with solutions such as Bombora. Demandbase pricing makes it accessible for those within mid-market and enterprise businesses, and the solution itself is fairly easy to use. Companies can give themselves an advantage by trying out the demos of different tools before they commit to one, to see which tools resonate with their current flow and processes, and which seem to give them the best results.
There are dozens of intent based marketing companies out there, and more arise every year. But not all of them have the expertise and the history to back their platform. As intent based marketing becomes more popular, more software solutions are released. Companies should look to the software solutions that have the best integration and the most functionality.
Custom Affinity Audiences
How do companies really dig into the individuals who are most likely to make a purchase from them? Often it’s through things like custom affinity audiences and custom intent audiences. Custom affinity audiences are audiences that are passionate about specific things. So, for instance, an eCommerce store that’s selling high-level, luxury jewelry would have a custom affinity audience who loves the finer things in life: fashion, travel, and wine. These are hobbies that might not be exactly “jewelry” but are close enough.
When it comes to custom intent audiences best practices, standard A/B testing applies. It’s not always easy to tell what your primary demographics are interested in. And the goal of custom intent audiences vs in market audience is that they can be a little more specific and often more niche. Testing a multitude of audiences lets the company really drill down into what the customers want and who is most likely to be interested.
Tools such as Google Ads have the ability to tie into custom affinity audiences, but those are fairly rudimentary compared to the tools and analytic services that are in a dedicated intent based marketing solution. In solutions like Terminus, companies can better define their affinity audiences, especially as relates to B2B marketing. B2B marketing is a different beast from B2C marketing because B2B sales are more high-level, take more time to close, and usually require deeper relationships with the customers.
Facebook Detailed Targeting
In addition to lead scoring, it’s important to bring in leads. Google Ads is one way to do this. Another way is through Facebook detailed targeting. Everyone uses Facebook today, including a multitude of businesses. And everyone has a Facebook interests list, even if they don’t know what’s on it. Facebook tracks information on a high level for everyone that’s on it, from their salary to their education. Thus, the Facebook interest targeting tool is useful for both B2B and B2C sales companies.
Consider a multi-level company that’s interested in intent advertising, because they’re selling a product such as skincare direct to other consultants. The Facebook interest targeting tool can be used to generate intent based advertising toward those who are interested in skincare and interested in starting their own business. It can even be used to target those who make above a certain amount of money if there’s a significant wealth requirement. Ads interests can be quite niche.
With interest based targeting Facebook, companies are able to better bring in leads. These leads are essentially pre-scored, because they’re already people who are interested in the product. Then, once these leads have been connected, the intent based marketing system can take over and help the company re-score and connect with the leads. Altogether, this creates a streamlined system that is highly effective for securing sales without a lot of resources.
Facebook marketing is limited in one sense, as it is still used more for recreational purposes than business. But many intent based systems and B2B intent data providers can also connect directly to LinkedIn and other services as well.