By Brian Giese, CEO of True Influence
Here’s How to See Who’s in the Conversation.
Trying to figure out how to run B2B demand generation in the midst of a global crisis? It’s not all bad news: some markets are spiking, and some B2B buyers are seeking solutions.
For example, we’ve found that interest in demand generation as a topic has actually increased compared to the start of the earliest COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. Intent by industry (manufacturing, professional services, technology, transportation) is also up, as is purchasing in certain other industries.
Basic intent data alone isn’t enough
Generalized trends about market spikes are common. That’s great for getting buzz about intent; bad for helping people understand how to use it. Intent data comes in a variety of forms, and to just see how 10 topics are spiking oversimplifies what it can do. Market-level Intent data alone, while interesting, doesn’t give the complete picture in B2B marketing, especially now. Several things are missing: contact intent, buying group members, context and full data verification.
B2B marketers are recognizing the important difference between just streaming data and activating quality data with intent monitoring to drive revenue. Data alone won’t get the job done. Marketers need intent-driven demand generation to find real in-market prospects, and not just make assumptions based on oversimplified intent trends.
Intent monitoring and management via a marketing cloud allows easier activation of intent through various channels. This integrated approach of data with intent engine helps B2B marketers and revenue teams be proactive and agile in times of uncertainty. (And isn’t that really always the way?)
For B2B marketers who engage with intent data, the question isn’t “Can I get data?” Of course you can. Any number of providers offer different levels of intent data. For a B2B marketer, the bigger question is “who?” and not every intent provider has an answer for this. Who are the active searchers in these spiking markets? Also, what are they looking at? What industries are they from?
Spiking reports capture contact intent in verticals
Some categories have fared better than most during this crisis. Even in the face of COVID-19, there could be companies showing intent around your topics. Our weekly Spiking Intent Reports show there’s still demand out there, as buyers look for solutions. You’ll see a list of companies showing intent near real-time.
The intent information in these reports shows B2B marketers and salespeople where it makes sense to hunt in certain verticals. There are still markets where people are buying, so go here! The industry insights in the reports cover six sectors currently positively spiking for demand generation services, but reports can be set up for other topics. They organize the data to make it easier to see how it relates to your business and to you as a marketer. Filtering down to audiences relevant to specific targeting removes a lot of the noise and gives a little better target. You can do this in your own complimentary reports, too.
Set up your own spiking reports by audience
Right now, B2B marketers are looking at their personas and the industries they serve, and wondering where the heck do I spend my money? The answer: Spend where your own customers are hunting. And where is that? It comes back to intent and what you can learn about prospects.
You can set up your own spiking reports by topic, audience and more, and align them specifically with your business. Like the reports we’re sharing regularly with the market during COVID-19, the complimentary data reports for businesses have weekly updates. You can look at the week’s data set and react to any intelligence that’s changed.
Lean on thought leaders
Then the next question becomes: What are you going to do with that knowledge? Now that you know where to hunt, how do you approach it? If you’ve been avoiding the next level of serious intent monitoring, don’t let it intimidate you.
Working with a trained customer success team gets you to usefulness faster. If you just get data streams or try out intent monitoring without some practice or guidance or context, you’re not going to get full value as quickly. It’s wise to bring in intent experts to help navigate the new B2B marketing landscape, especially during COVID-19, because some best practices have changed.
You’re built for this
Right now it’s challenging to be a productive B2B marketer. However, it could be a very appropriate time to find the opportunities still available. An intent-based platform reveals how your solutions have been trending and lets you quickly put that data to work in any number of ways: email, content syndication, display advertising and more.
You can see examples in these weekly spiking intent reports, and also enroll for complimentary intent monitoring. In these challenging times, this information will help you focus on going forward. It’s all any of us can do.