An August 2016 look into Intent Signals® showing which marketing tactics and tools are being considered by Fortune 500 companies right now
At True Influence®, our not-so-secret weapon is that we use InsightBASE®, our flagship data-as-a-service, to identify when interest in certain topics or products increases at any monitored company.
This marketing intelligence makes it easy for us to solve a perpetual riddle for marketers: how to reach your most interested customers at the beginning of the buying cycle.
For purposes of this study, we monitored marketers – specifically, marketers at America’s largest and most sophisticated companies, whom we’ve been serving since 2008.
We know marketers in companies of all sizes are interested in seeing which marketing topics are earning increased interest from marketers at Fortune 500 companies right now. In other words, what marketers at Fortune 500 companies are considering doing next.
We use InsightBASE to monitor intent signals (online, digital activities such as visits to web pages across the internet, email opens, white paper downloads, and more) emanating from each of the Fortune 500.
Our goal? To see which actionable marketing topics are showing increased activity at those companies.
We track 250 million of these intent signals every day and, thanks to our virtual Rolodex of 30 million business people, we can match the intent data to human decision makers at some 4 million companies.
The Study – on August 1st (2016), one of our own Marketing staff took 15 minutes to create an InsightBASE campaign that would monitor marketing-related terms at all of the Fortune 500 companies, using the following criteria:
a) he uploaded a list of the Fortune 500, this served as our list of companies to be monitored
b) he selected several dozen Marketing-related terms from our keyword pick list
c) he chose the previous 30 days as the time period to be studied (alternates are 7 days or 90 days)
InsightBASE immediately displayed a listing of each marketing keyword showing an increase in online activity at each of the 500 monitored companies over the past 30 days. We then identified the 10 terms showing an increase at the greatest number of companies to create this list of the Top 10 marketing tactics and tools showing an increase in interest at Fortune 500 companies:
Trending keywords among Fortune 500 Companies
From July 1 to August 1, 2016 (30 days)
While the list of hot marketing trends includes recently-popular concepts such as Video Marketing, topics related to time-tested Email Marketing (including Email Marketing and Marketing Automation, etc.) comprised a full 50% of the Top 10 list.
That raises an interesting question – why would marketers at so many Fortune 500 companies currently be more interested in email and related topics than they typically are? Why would interest be increasing in what is such a well-established marketing activity?
As a next step, we decided to compare/contrast the “surging” terms within the Fortune 500 with the marketing terms showing increased interest at other companies. The two groups we chose were:
- Marketing Technology companies (presumably smaller, more nimble, and highly tech-aware)
- A national list of 4 million U.S. companies (to provide a baseline of activity at scale)
Observations on the three lists:
Just as was the case with the Fortune 500, marketers at both Marketing Technology companies and across the country are showing a great deal of increased in interest in Email Marketing and related topics – 5 of the top 10 topics for MarTech companies and 4 of the 10 for the broad national list.
Account Based Marketing cracks the Top 10 for the large national list, coming in at #9 and reflecting the broad interest in ABM in 2016. For all three lists of companies, the #1 topic is Marketing Tools, perhaps indicating that marketers are focusing more on execution right now than strategy, perhaps researching tools that can help them achieve 2016 goals as we move towards Fall and calendar-year Q4
What does this InsightBASE Intelligence Mean for Marketers?
This study was performed to illustrate the B2B marketing intelligence provided by InsightBASE (and the ease with which marketers can access this intelligence for themselves). Now, let’s take a closer look at how this data is gathered and processed so that you understand the dynamics of this new capability.
InsightBASE identifies interest levels from specific prospect organizations. By looking back over benchmarked activity over a period of 24 months, it can determine increased, unchanged and decreased interest levels.
Studies by entities such as Sirius Decisions and Forrester show that the B2B buying journey begins with online research, and the purpose of InsightBASE is twofold:
1. alert B2B marketers that interest in a certain keyword (example: cloud storage) has increased at a certain prospect organization;
2. make it easy for the marketer to take an action (trigger a campaign, for example) based on that alert.
Behind the data
InsightBASE aggregates intent signals from across the internet using a supply chain of over 30 data vendors. This provides extraordinarily broad coverage, ensuring that its users receive the earliest possible indication that a given prospect organization seems to be researching a new purchase.
InsightBASE data receives more than 250 million intent signals each day and overlays this against its repository of more than 40 billion signals (spanning a period of nearly two years). The proprietary Relevance Engine™ uses the historical baseline for each specific B2B contact or organization. It compares the current levels of activity to identify an increase (or decrease) in interest around a given topic.
That’s why we can say, for example, that 460 of the Fortune 500 companies generated increased intent data around Marketing Tools. InsightBASE compared their current levels of intent data with their previously measured baseline for that term.
And that’s why, after you tell InsightBASE which companies in the market you’d like to analyze and which terms are connected with your product or service, the platform can tell you:
- The companies most interested in buying your product or service
- The contact details of the actual people at those companies demonstrating that interest.
For a B2B marketer, that’s about as close to a crystal ball as it gets.
Getting a targeted set of intent data is fast and easy
Running a study like ours in InsightBASE takes just a couple of steps:
First, log into the platform and set up a new campaign. Select one or more of the platform’s pre-configured business domains to analyze. You can also upload your own domains. Then, refine the domain’s variables e.g. size, location, industry, or metro.
In our case the key variable was that the domains consist of companies on the Fortune 500 list.
Second, select the keywords to use for the campaign from the InsightBASE data dictionary. In our example, we used terms connected with marketing tools and tactics.
Based on that information, InsightBASE runs a preliminary analysis of its intent data. It measures the interest level of each company in the domain(s), and maps the total number of companies in each interest level on a spectrum. Green means a surge in interest while red means a drop in interest.
It’s then possible to drill into each section of the graph to get a detailed analysis of which keywords (out of your initial selection) are generating the most interest. You can also see where that interest is getting generated, i.e. from which companies the surge of online attention is coming.
InsightBASE report data comes ready to put to work where you want
Once your campaign is set up and you can see that the preliminary results are relevant, it’s time to run a detailed report on the companies and people with spiking intent data around your keywords.
InsightBASE’s detailed campaign reports include contact information including company names, individual names, email addresses, phone numbers, and street addresses – all ready to use for email campaigns, direct mailings, or simply reaching out to the right person.
The way you use the data is up to you. Whatever marketing you’re doing, and whatever you’re doing it with, InsightBASE is designed to support it. We’ve already developed software integrations for Marketo, Eloqua, and Salesforce. And we just released an API that lets your developers link InsightBASE data with any other business application you use (or will use).
The platform can also put its own data to work for you. Automated alerts run in the background to identify your most interested prospects and notify your sales reps of the opportunities. Simply indicate how frequently the reps should be contacted and InsightBASE does the rest.
That’s a powerful combination of better intelligence on your future customers and increased capabilities to land them.
See it for yourself! Schedule a free demo today.