At a recent SiriusDecisions forum, held at Cambridge, Mass., Kerry Cunningham and Matt Senatore unpacked “The Role of Predictive Analytics for Demand Creation and Account-Based Marketing.”
ABM and predictive analytics solutions dominate the B2B discourse at the moment. The discussions pivot around the challenges B2B marketers face trying to generate and convert quality leads when using traditional demand creation programs.
While the forum focused on eight predictive use case applications they also tackled one particular application that has been gathering momentum in the industry – Intent Signal Monitoring.
It’s important to note that Intent Signal Monitoring is NOT a predictive analytics solution – it is fact based and descriptive. The in-depth analysis of Intent Signal Monitoring revealed that unlike predictive, it does not employ a statistical approach to ascertain future performance based on historical data. But is nevertheless a vital element of any ABM strategy.
What Intent Signal Monitoring provides is almost real time evidence of the topics being researched by people in your target accounts. When there is a surge in the frequency of these searches and activities compared to baseline activity, this intent signal data is delivered to the B2B marketer as actionable insights. They can now find the right solutions for the prospect in near real time when prospects are looking to buy.
When people are using specific keywords and phrases in their online searches, downloading white papers or engaging on social media platforms that are all relevant to your product/service, they are potentially revealing buying intent. This is an extremely valuable resource for B2B marketers and sales teams.
However, it was noted that using Intent Signal Data would not yield results if you do not have your playbook ready to deploy at the first sign of intent. Compared to predictive analytics, intent monitoring platforms are easy to operate with no software to install, no models that need to be built or algorithms that need constant refining.
They also noted that some predictive analytics vendors are adding Intent Signal Monitoring into their comprehensive packages that seek to predict ideal customers. At the same time, they discovered that in the last year some vendors have only been using intent monitoring.
They ‘predicted’ that more vendors would follow suit in the first half of 2017, exclusively using intent signal monitoring. Kerry and Matt see intent monitoring as a “lightweight” alternative to predictive analytics solutions but that the marketplace will keep growing in the next 18 -24 months.