First-Party and Third-Party Intent Signals with Account-Based Marketing

Learn why intent signals are crucial for full-funnel marketing and sales success and how you can find them. Check out Terminus’ Field Guide to Foraging Intent Data or learn more by requesting a demo!

What Is Buyer Intent Data? (and How Can I Operationalize It?)

A Complete and Unique Intent Data Foundation for Account-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.

Bombora + Terminus Intent Signals Overview

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Terminus-How To: Find, Collect, and Apply Intent Data

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G2 + Terminus Intent Integration Overview

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Intent Signals

What are intent signals? Intent signals are points of data that indicate that a prospect is showing interest or interacting with a brand digitally. An intent signal could range from connecting with the brand on social media to engaging in an online chat. Companies need to be able to capture, monitor, and record intent signals so they can follow up with customers. Companies also need to be able to pare down to the signalling meaning, so they can identify the customers who are most likely to commit, and the leads that are most likely to be high in value.

What does signaled mean? It just means a point of contact.

To get started with intent signals, companies first need the right platform. Any connection between the customer and the company fits the intent signals definition, but it’s up to the platform to be able to log and prioritize these, as well as the signalling intent meaning. Some customers may just be “window shopping” online. Others may be ready to commit. Intent signalling can grow quite complex, because these points of data are not discrete. Rather, they form the shape of the buyer’s journey.

Consider a buyer trying to purchase a house. They might start by looking at a real estate website and then following a realtor. But they may then escalate by looking up what a pre-approval or pre-qualification is and then chatting with the realtor about what’s available. Once this customer starts browsing listings online, they are likely to escalate to the next phase: actually trying to purchase a home.

On the other hand, a buyer who regularly browses information about house purchasing, but has never escalated to the next stage of contact, may still be in the early stages. While it could still be valuable to contact them, it is more valuable to expend resources contacting the other buyer — the one who has been advancing their journey steadily. Prioritization is what makes sales teams more effective, because they are able to zero in and target the customers that are most likely to be interested in products and services.

This is all part of intent marketing and account-based marketing; identifying customers who are interested so you don’t need to produce a hard sell.

What is Intent Data?

What is intent data? Look at an intent data definition and it can be quite vague; any information or evidence you collect about the customer’s relationship with the brand can be perceived as intent data. Buyer intent has to be customized to the business. It can be collected from observed or inferred data, but requires a good platform to process it.

There are essentially eight types of buyer intent data, which apply both to B2C and B2B sales, but are often more important in high-value B2B sales:

  • Psychographic intent. Essentially, when new accounts are made or modified on the company website, indicating intent to purchase.
  • Technographic intent. What hardware the customer is using, indicating their environment and their potential needs.
  • Hiring intent. Company hiring information; what pain points they’re hiring for, what indicators they could be showing such as scaling up.
  • Research intent. The type of content that employees at a company are consuming, or the type of content a customer is consuming themselves.
  • Bid stream intent. Information about how visitors, customers, and businesses encounter the company’s ads; what they’re looking for and what they’re finding.
  • Engagement intent. How frequently the customer engages with the brand (the more frequently, the more likely to buy) and under what circumstances.
  • Relationship intent. The relationship that’s developing between the customer and the brand, such as one-on-one communications.
  • Product reviews intent. If the customer has rated or reviewed the brand or even looked up ratings and reviews for the brand.

All this data can be collected in a single, consolidated system, to identify a customer which might, for instance, be increasing their engagement with a company and building their relationship, at a velocity that is growing faster. This growing velocity would indicate that the customer is becoming more interested in the product and more comfortable interacting with the brand; both good signs for future conversion.

This customer intent data is used to identify customers ready to purchase. B2B buyer intent can be a little different, because B2B buyer intent data tends to be more complex and high level. What is B2B intent data? B2B customers tend to research products for longer and ask more questions, complicating their buyer journey. The buyer intent definition remains the sample, but in an example of intent data for a B2C vs B2B customer, the B2B customer will have far more data points.

Buyer Intent Keywords

What are buyer intent keywords and how do they fit into intent data? Buyer intent keywords are the keywords that buyers use when they are searching for a product and service. They interact directly with Google intent signals. When adjusting your search engine analytics, you should be able to see what keywords buyers are using to get to your page. From there, you can design custom intent audiences following your custom intent audiences best practices.

Custom intent Google functionality makes it possible for you to pare down to those who are truly interested in your products and services. Consider a company that sells roofing supplies B2C. They may want to focus on an audience that is commercial (“bulk roofing supplies”) rather than an audience that is consumer (“DIY roofing supplies”). They would therefore want to focus on the commercial audience by targeting specific buyer intent keywords. They would also want to focus more on individuals who contacted the company through specific keywords.

Google intent signals make it possible for organizations to react to how people are searching and why. Custom intent audiences YouTube videos will go over how to identify specific audiences and analyze what they want. Through platform features, such as custom intent audiences DV360, organizations are able to import Google’s own analytic data and perform their own analytics and reporting, identifying any major changes to their audience, and figuring out how to target the audience members most valuable to them.

All this is part of buyer intent data, as it shows exactly who the buyer is and what they are interested in. The more information the organization is able to collect, the more accurate their sales process will be.

Buyer Intent Tools

There are many buyer intent tools available today. Some of the most popular buyer intent data tools (and intent data providers) include:

  • Bombora. Bombora is one of the most popular B2B intent data providers today. Bombora intent data can be used directly with Terminus, an account-based marketing platform, to provide for better outcomes, analysis, and functionality. Bombora buyer intent features include contact acquisition, data marketing, digital advertising, lead generation, marketing automation, and sales enablement.
  • ZoomInfo. This buyer intent software suite is known as one of the best B2B marketing databases available. ZoomInfo intent data is used by Google, Amazon, Zoom, T-Mobile, Citrix, and many others. With professional contact info and organizational charts, it enables companies to know more about the businesses that they see as prospective clients and potential leads to engage.
  • G2. G2 serves as a large repository of intent data, culled from many online sources. How is intent data collected in G2? It’s scraped from some of the most important resources today, including social media such as LinkedIn. With buyer intent G2, companies can compare different services and sources. This intent data software provides for excellent comparisons between multiple platforms.

Many of these tools integrate directly with other systems to put their data into action. They can also collect from multiple platforms and channels; intent data Android, iOS, PC, or Mac. Terminus customers, for instance, can collect this intent data and use it to launch targeted ads or personalize calls-to-action on their website.

Because there are many data collection tools, companies may want to test out multiple different services before they settle on the right one. Being able to integrate with an existing account-based management platform is always better, because this streamlines the pipeline for marketing and sales professionals.

ROAS Marketing

What is ROAS and ROAS marketing? ROAS stands for Return on Advertising Spend. A ROAS calculator can be absolutely critical for those who want to determine the overall effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. Today, companies are operating with leaner budgets than ever before. They need to be able to calculate their cost per acquisition so they can know their positioning relative to their ad spend.

With COVID-19 and other 2020 challenges, this becomes even more important. Account-based marketing can help.

ABM replaces traditional “spray and pray” marketing tactics, under which marketers simply contact as many people as possible in hopes that they are interested. With ABM, marketers can instead focus their marketing strategies on customers that are pre-qualified, or potential future customers who fit their ideal customer profile. This improves upon and optimizes advertising spending, and ROAS is an important part of it.

With the right cost per acquisition formula, companies can calculate their cost per acquisition Google Ads, ROAS Facebook, ROAS Google Ads, and any other channels they need. Companies will be able to see how effective their marketing is and will be able to determine how to best proceed. ROAS vs ROI: return-on-advertising-spend is far more fine-tuned than ROI and more difficult to calculate, as it requires that organizations be able to effectively track the consequences of their advertising as well. This often requires a platform.

There’s no direct answer to “What is a good ROAS?” It varies depending on business and industry. In a hotel cost per acquisition example, it may be that a $120 stay requires only $5 of advertising spend. But in an industrial machine cost per acquisition example, it may be that the sale of a $20,000 machine requires $5,000 in spend. Companies can target their ROAS by channel, looking at their cost per acquisition Facebook and their cost per acquisition vs cost per click.

Most online advertising is affordable. When asking what is a good ROAS Facebook advertising, it’s going to depend on how saturated the market is and how targeted the marketing might be. Companies may need to start with an allowable cost per acquisition (a target) and finetune their operations from there.

Companies interested in learning more can look at a cost per acquisition template or cost per acquisition Adalah format, as well as comparing their CPA vs ROAS. CPA (cost per conversion) is vital in many markets, but the ROAS calculation will often give a bigger, broader picture. Either way, companies need to pay attention to their data and make their data consistent. Once consistency is achieved, companies will be able to better optimize their marketing.