Why is Intent Data Alone not Enough in 2024?

Data Intelligence

Jan 12, 2024

Buyers today are increasingly self-reliant and independent, regardless of where they are in their buying journey. According to the marketing blenders, 70% of buyers thoroughly understand their needs before talking to a sales representative. This could be attributed to the widespread availability of information online, which allows buyers to conduct extensive research before making a purchase decision. Furthermore, the study found that 58% of buyers have identified specific solutions to their needs. This indicates that buyers are taking an active approach to their purchasing decisions and are not solely relying on sales representatives for guidance.

In a typical firm with 100 to 500 employees, eight people are involved in most buying decisions. As a result, sellers must adapt their approach and provide value to buyers in new and meaningful ways to remain relevant and competitive.

Current market dynamics

According to Biznology, the average sales process will take 25% longer to complete by 2024 than it did five years ago. Companies must determine which parts of the sales cycle can be handled remotely and which must be handled in person to optimize their sales cycles.

This means that businesses must prioritize creating personalized experiences that cater to the unique needs of their customers to generate high-quality leads and drive growth. To be successful, they must be able to meet customers where they prefer to interact, whether in person or digitally.

Businesses often turn to intent data to thoroughly understand customers' natural behavior and how it translates to online activity. This data type can provide valuable insights into customers' purchasing patterns, preferences, and interests. 

However, relying solely on intent data can result in a narrow focus on short-term sales conversions, which can ultimately neglect the importance of cultivating long-term customer relationships.

Why is intent data alone not enough?

Potential customers interested in a product or service could purchase it immediately. However, we know that this is not the reality. Many factors influence a customer's buying decision. 

For instance, a customer might need help to afford the product at the moment or prefer to wait for a sale or discount before making a purchase. Similarly, a customer might be interested in a product but decide to wait to buy it due to external factors like market trends or changes in personal circumstances. 

As a result, businesses need to be patient, persistent, and strategic in their marketing and sales efforts to convert potential customers into actual buyers. 

While intent data can provide valuable insights into the interests and behavior of potential customers, it is essential to note that it is not the only factor to consider in developing a successful marketing strategy. Factors such as demographics, firmographics, and historical data must also be considered to get a complete picture. 

Furthermore, the scope and accuracy of intent data can be limited because it only provides information at a specific time and may not capture the full context of a customer's needs and preferences.  

While intent data is a valuable tool, it's crucial to use it alongside other data sources for a more comprehensive approach rather than relying on it as the sole source of information.

By doing so, businesses can ensure they have all the information they need to make informed decisions and better serve their customers.

Here are five effective ways to enhance your marketing strategy and achieve better results:

Intent data aside, build a digital presence to address customers' pain points and challenges

One of the most intricate challenges that businesses face is generating high-quality leads. According to marketing profs, 77% of B2B marketers consider improving lead quality their top priority, which is even more significant than increasing the number of leads (41%) or reducing costs (24%). 

This requires a deep understanding of your target audience, their needs, and the specific problems they are trying to solve. Creating content and messaging that directly speaks to these pain points allows you to establish trust and credibility with your audience and position yourself as a valuable resource. 

This means using language and information that they will find helpful and understandable. It's best to organize the information logically, putting the most important points first and using short sentences that are easy to follow. Everyday language should be used instead of complicated jargon or legal terms. Keep the original meaning intact, and do not add or remove any vital information.

It's also essential to have a clear goal for your digital presence: generate leads, drive sales, or raise brand awareness. This will help you stay focused and measure the success of your efforts over time. Investing time and resources to gain this understanding will position you to provide the solutions they truly value. 

Create a dynamic customer journey aligned with the customer's perspective

A thorough understanding of the needs and preferences of your target audience at every stage of their journey is essential to improving the customer experience and service offerings. This involves analyzing their feedback, identifying pain points, and assessing the effectiveness of current touchpoints. By identifying areas that are not performing well and optimizing those that are, we can enhance the overall experience. 

For example, engaging with customers just starting their journey or nurturing leads who require more time to decide can allow us to fine-tune our messaging and approach. While intent data can be helpful, it's just one piece of the puzzle. 

Customer journeys are becoming more non-linear and multifaceted. Intent data captures a snapshot of this journey but fails to account for its dynamic nature. A customer’s intent can change quickly due to market trends, personal circumstances, or competitive offerings. Relying only on intent data can result in outdated or irrelevant marketing strategies. 

Hence, it is crucial to evaluate and improve customer journeys or touchpoints. This allows for targeted messaging and marketing strategies that resonate more deeply with customers.

Invest in third-party vendors to improve data collection and customer segmentation

While many different channels and tactics are available to connect with ideal customer profiles and convert them into paying customers, the critical question remains to be answered: how to engage with these potential customers significantly.

It is common for different marketing partners to promise access to a distinct audience of potential buyers. 

However, they frequently only hold a vast email list or utilize third-party tools to extract email lists when necessary. It is essential to be aware of this fact while assessing the effectiveness of such partnerships.

Choosing the appropriate third-party vendors that align with your business objectives and goals is crucial to successful marketing outcomes. Therefore, identifying the qualities of third-party vendors that can support your marketing efforts and help you achieve the desired outcomes is essential. 

You can use the following list as a baseline to guide you. Do not choose someone solely based on their promises made on social media. Ensure you know what you want to achieve and your goals.  

Increase relevance by providing additional context

When predicting consumer behavior, intent data can be a valuable tool that can provide valuable insights into customer behavior. As market conditions and consumer behaviors rapidly change, predictions based on historical data can become less accurate. 

Businesses must continuously update and refine their strategies to stay ahead of the curve. 

Here are a few key considerations:

  1. Create relevant content that directly addresses the needs or issues of the intended audience or customers.
  2. Address the most pressing issues for potential customers as well as the needs of the industry. 
  3. Customized experience that caters to customers' ever-changing business needs and preferences.
  4. Allow potential customers to experience the value of a product through additional communication channels. 

A thorough marketing strategy that captures how consumers make decisions across digital channels is essential to improving the success of marketing campaigns and enabling more accurate targeting.

Intent data alone may result in misunderstandings or missed opportunities if it is not combined with a well-rounded understanding of how consumers (or groups of consumers) make decisions across all digital media channels.

Make the Most of Case Studies and Success Stories

Nobody does it better than our customers when telling our company's story. We must ensure that our customer's voices are heard loud and clear and that their experiences with our product or service are accurately reflected in our marketing efforts.

Case studies and success stories can be handy tools for assisting potential customers in understanding and learning from the experiences of others. By examining real-world examples of how people have solved problems, achieved success, or overcome challenges, they can gain insights and ideas to help them in their work and lives.

It is unnecessary to use irrelevant case studies or success stories solely for lead generation. We must have confidence in the quality and value of our product, and we prefer to let it speak for itself. Instead of relying on these tactics, build strong customer relationships based on trust and transparency. 

By providing clear and concise information about your service or product offering, we allow potential customers to make informed decisions and see the benefits of choosing our product.

The way forward: smarter marketing

You can gain invaluable insights into your target audience's preferences and requirements by leveraging the power of intent data and implementing the marketing strategies discussed in this article. With this knowledge, you can create marketing campaigns that resonate with your customers, exceed their expectations, and ultimately drive better results for your business.

Businesses are increasingly turning to smarter marketing techniques. The key to success involves using data-driven insights to create more targeted and personalized campaigns and leveraging new technologies and platforms that can help automate and optimize marketing processes.

A reliable data provider can be beneficial, particularly during the initial stages of creating brand awareness and generating interest. However, developing a comprehensive strategy to guide your potential customers through the sales journey and ultimately achieve your revenue goals by 2024 is equally essential. 

Our team has the expertise and resources necessary to help you succeed. Don't hesitate to contact us to learn more.