Like most professions, marketing has had more than its fair share of trends along with a litany of corresponding buzz words. In fact, the word intent is rapidly becoming omnipresent in today’s marketing vocabulary. Any marketer worth their weight in gold can’t seem to let a day go by without referring to intent in some capacity. Purchase intent, data intent, intent monitoring, intent analysis, and intent behavior all fit under the umbrella of B2B intent marketing strategies in 2018. Understanding the scope of what intent marketing represents is just the beginning. Harnessing its power can mean the difference between profitability or not meeting revenue goals.
The Importance of B2B Intent Marketing Strategies in 2018
The term intent marketing is quite simply any marketing activity that is designed to meet the needs or wants of a prospect’s intent, during a specific period of time when they are conducting their online search. Individual users and businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on using the internet as a sophisticated research tool. This phenomenon has led to changes in the way savvy marketers promote their products and services.
Once the marketer truly understands the B2B buyer’s journey, they are in a position to successfully market their offering by utilizing the concept of buyer intent. Possessing a thorough understand of buyer intent can dramatically improve the lead qualification process, thus enhancing sales conversion rates.
Intent marketing strategies are especially powerful when using paid or organic search, due to the fact that content can be created by using targeted keywords. Buyer intent comes down to knowing what makes a great lead. The prospect’s needs, wants and interests must be at the center of all sales and marketing campaigns.
Marketers use data analytics tools to measure the success of every marketing effort. Keyword searches, engagement rates, email open rates, behavioral data, and demographic information are some of the metrics that contribute to B2B intent marketing strategies in 2018. Simply put, buyer intent data is a collection of information about a company and their online activity.
With this data, you can get a better sense of where buyers are in the sales funnel, a bigger understanding of how to keep their attention, and a clearer picture of how to convert them into paying customers. With the help of modern data analytics tools, marketers can map out buyer intent and determine where buyers are in the buyer’s journey, which helps improve targeting.
Hedging your B2B Intent Marketing Bet
Not so long ago, marketers spent their sales and marketing dollars telling potential prospects about themselves. This included all the bells and whistles that made their product great: how their customer service team rocks; how their product is the most cost-effective out there; and what kind of deal they could offer to close the business right away. Mercifully, this approach has gone by the wayside of the leisure suit. In today’s marketplace, it’s about how well you can deliver what your prospect wants or needs in terms of product.
This more customer-centric approach is mission critical in today’s competitive environment. Providing the right products and services, for the right prospect, at the right time, using the right channels, all while addressing the right needs or wants of your prospect, is what customer-centricity means.
With B2B intent marketing strategies, you have visibility into studying the online activity of your prospect and then deriving actionable insights from it, including:
o Improved pipeline impact
o Stronger prioritization of prospects and account targeting
o Cohesive brand and demand generation activities
o Optimization of programmatic advertising campaigns
o Improved ABM and related strategic marketing initiatives
Understand your Prospects
In 2018, B2B intent marketing strategies have opened a new door for marketers to improve their marketing mix by breaking the traditional style of campaigning around demographics, which are irrelevant to an account or prospect. B2B intent marketing strategies are dynamic and help the marketer plan better advertising and marketing campaigns to targeted customers, gaining better results.
With traditional technology, marketers had to play a guessing game regarding the prospect’s interest level with a particular product or service. By leveraging big data technology, marketers can more easily identify the prospect’s interest level for a product or service by considering their behavioral patterns, whether it be by a Google search, visits to a particular website or the downloading of a white paper. This information helps marketers develop a specific prospect profile who is in the market to buy the marketer’s product or service right away.
Optimizing the Customer Experience
Ironically, it’s not enough to simply offer the best products or services any longer. Prospects want to feel as though they have a connection with the companies they do business with. In other words, they want to feel the love. Prospects want to feel a lot more than just the making of a good deal. They want to feel as though their wants, needs and concerns are being met.
According to Gartner, by 2020 a positive customer experience will overtake price and product in terms of overall value to brand differentiation. By optimizing the customer experience, you add revenue, decrease costs and promote loyalty that keeps the customers coming back.
Improve Content Marketing
Big data-driven tools help marketers analyze which pieces of content are most effective, while leading through the marketing funnel. Creating content for every stage of the buyer’s journey is the best way to acquire targeted traffic. All marketers have the important goal of delivering relevant content at each stage of the sales funnel. An important guide to follow is that content marketing should ultimately be about one simple thing: solving your customers’ problems.
Improve Marketing Performance
Traditional marketing technology made it difficult to track return on investment directly. Big data analytics helps marketers channel relevant advertisements, push notifications, offers, tweets, and so on to their customers or prospects. This enables marketers to boost their business and results in improving their marketing tactic metrics.
B2B Intent Marketing Strategies are a powerful tool for marketers to effectively engage their customers. The key to intent marketing is to consider the usage of big data strategies to find out intent signals and how intent marketing is carried out, and the benefits of intent marketing for your company.
According to Forrester, the first vendor who makes contact with an interested prospect closes the deal over 85% of the time. By determining buyer intent through digital footprints and customer touch points, marketers can focus on engaging prospects who are most likely to buy.
Gone are the days when buyers approach a company for services with little knowledge of their options. Pre-packaged sales solutions no longer work. These days, buyers do a lot of research and educate themselves about their problems and available solutions even before making an initial inquiry.
In doing so, buyers leave digital footprints called intent data. Every website they visit, every article they read, and every other online action can give you tidbits about their motivation and purpose. Businesses who capitalize upon and utilize this intent data gain a competitive advantage over those that do not.
To learn more about intent data marketing, check out our Quick Start Guide to Intent-Based Marketing.