Intent data definitions: Reference guide for intent phrases and terms

Intent Data Reference Guide: Intent Terms and Definitions for B2B Marketers

Interested in intent data for B2B demand generation, ABM, content syndication, or some other strategy? Here are some intent signal phrases and definitions you should know.

Speak the Language of Intent Data

Audience – An audience is a saved segmentation reflecting applied topic, firmographic, technographic, and demographic filters. B2B marketers use intent data to understand the behavior of specific audience segments that they select and follow using an intent monitoring platform.

Audience Status – An intent monitoring solution can show you several types of audience statuses. An active status in intent initiates contact validation and a delivery process, and triggers sales alerts. Draft status lets you review audience performance without affecting your subscription limit. Inactive status pauses contact and sales alert delivery, so B2B marketers don’t spend resources on prospects who aren’t in-market yet. 

Buyer PersonaThe job level, job function, or job title combination reflecting a valid sales or marketing target. A persona informs you what a customer is motivated by, what their concerns may be, and what they may be thinking or doing as they consider their options. Some intent solutions work with personas to identify members of buying groups, because the best representation of your target customer is based on data. Much more than a one-dimensional profile of the people you need to influence, this approach highlights insights about your buyers’ decisions. 

Buying Group – A group of individuals (personas) with organizational, functional, and individual needs. Each brings their own perspectives, biases, and informational requirements as they influence the buying decision. Only a few intent solutions can deliver a contact-level picture of members of a buying group.

Campaign – A defined series of demand gen activities. All of the tools and efforts utilized in the effort are part of the campaign, and intent data helps B2B marketers better target campaigns to in-market buyers. 

Companies – A feature tab on some intent solutions showing a list of company locations exhibiting intent in the last seven days.

Company Locations – A company record containing complete firmographic information including branch, headquarters, street address, revenue, employee size, and/or NAICS industry. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies to classify businesses for collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data.

Company Summary – Summary view in an intent management system showing a company’s historical intent trendline, number of locations showing intent, list of contacts, list of locations, demand units, and personas showing intent. 

Content – Content may be presented as a blog, social media post, photo, podcast, video, white paper, infographic, or any number of other formats. The information should be relevant and useful to engage people and encourage traffic to a website. Content marketing attracts buyers who are interested in a certain topic, and can lead to content sharing, which further boosts potential traffic and customers. Intent signals capture buyer behavior around specific pieces of content and make this information available to B2B marketers.

Content SyndicationWhen content is made available from one website and duplicated to other sites, usually through content networks. Intent data helps marketers identify popular content distribution points, as well as who is downloading content from a syndication site.

Contact – Contacts are prospects who took actions that contributed to the company’s location intent score. Contact records include name, title, email, phone, street address, and complete firmographic data. Contact records from True Influence receive TripleCheck® validation to ensure quality. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – CRM refers to practices and technologies used by companies to manage customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships, retaining customers, and driving sales growth. More advanced intent solutions integrate with CRM platforms to automate and optimize their performance.

Dashboard – Summary view of a particular audience’s performance, topic trends, and firmographic/demographic criteria. This UI is a helpful addition to integrated marketing for the convenience and ease of use it brings to intent monitoring. An integrated marketing dashboard lets marketers quickly respond to events and maintain control over multiple campaigns.

Demand Generation – Demand generation (or demand gen) is the practice of using targeted marketing programs that drive awareness and interest in a company’s products or services. Commonly used in B2B or longer B2C cycles, demand gen involves multiple areas of marketing and is the marriage of marketing and sales programs. B2B marketers can use intent data to better target demand gen programs to in-market buyers.

Demand Unit – Demand units are defined as a buying group that’s been organized to address a particular need facing an organization. 

Domains – Unique identifier used to identify the source of a company intent signal. A DUNS Number can also be used as an alternative, more accurate unique identifier. Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) provides a DUNS Number, a unique nine-digit identification number, for each physical location of your business.

Hashed Email – Hashing converts an email address to a 32-character hexadecimal string. This unique identifier remains associated with that email. It was originally a security practice, but now email hashing has applications across every marketing channel. Intent solutions may provide hashed emails as part of their contact delivery.

Intent Contacts – These are contacts who are known to have taken actions that indicate intent. These contact records receive TripleCheck® validation.

Inferred Contacts Contacts matching the demographic filter criteria set for the defined audience segment. They’re at the location the intent signal emanated from, but it’s unknown whether they are the individual exhibiting intent. Hence, their intent is inferred. These records may receive electronic validation to confirm their email and phone as valid. 

Integrated Marketing – A marketing strategy that stresses the importance of a consistent, seamless, multi-dimensional brand experience for the buyer. This means that each branding effort – online and in person – is presented in a similar style to reinforce the brand’s message.

Intent Data – Data generated by aggregating intent signals (see below) that lets B2B marketing teams use intent monitoring (see below) to identify organizations with a demonstrated interest in their products and services.

Intent Data Feed Options – How U.S. contacts can be delivered based on marketers’ demand generation needs. Domain Intent Data provides basic company information. Contact Intent Data delivers additional contact information (hashed email), while the most complete offerings provide Contact Intent Data with Contact Name. This targets the person showing in-market activity relevant to your specific topics.

Intent Monitoring – The practice of monitoring intent data to identify organizations that demonstrate an interest in a brand’s products or services. Intent monitoring solutions use AI, machine learning, and natural language analysis of content to identify precise topical interest and map intent activity to thousands of B2B topics.

Intent Signals – Data signals that demonstrate a user’s interest in specific topics as they engage with resources on the web. Behavior and activities such as conducting an online search, downloading a white paper, or registering for a webinar generate intent signals around a specific topic.

Lead – A lead is someone who has shown interest in a product or service, either by filling out a lead generation landing page, subscribing to a blog, sharing contact information at a B2B conference, or by some other method. While leads may or may not become customers, generating leads is an important part of the marketing process.

Lead Generation – The initiation of buyer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising or demand generation, but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers. Intent platforms have proven to be an excellent means of generating quality, in-market leads.

Lead Scoring – A methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value of each lead to the organization. The resulting score determines which leads a receiving function (e.g. sales, partners, tele-prospecting) should engage, in order of priority. Intent data helps identify contacts that show more valuable behavior, making it a useful complement to lead scoring. 

Marketing Automation – Marketing automation is the use of tools and data to reach targets that have shown interest in a product or service. Marketing automation helps scale efforts and make them more cost-effective. Some intent management systems integrate with marketing automation platforms (MAPs) to streamline and accelerate B2B demand gen campaigns.

Preview – Initial results of a search prior to saving in an intent platform. Typically, this is an unsaved view of 100 companies and contacts matching the topic or filter criteria. Although it’s not saved, you can use this view to explore titles and personas, and to target active demand insights for audience segmentation and selection. 

ROI – ROI or “Return on Investment” is an indicator of the benefits a business receives from an investment, and helps evaluate whether or not it was economically sound or profitable. Smart use of intent data can improve ROI for demand gen and ABM campaigns by identifying successful tactics and prioritizing accounts with the most potential.

Spike Alerts – When intent signals for a designated topic or account rise above a certain threshold, an intent monitoring system notifies you of the activity, so you can respond quickly through some sort of engagement.

Topic – Words and phrases representing concepts, technologies, categories, problems, companies, or products. Topics represent concepts and aren’t the same as SEM / SEO keywords. For example, “android device manager”, “device management iPhone”, and “mobile device access” would all be included in the topic “mobile device management”. 

Let’s Define an Intent Strategy For You

Now that you speak the language of intent, let’s have a deeper conversation about what it can do for you. Call us at 1-888-301-4758 to speak with experts who are fluent in intent and integrated marketing.

For an updated list of terms for 2020, click here.

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