Understanding Intent Monitoring and Its Real World Applications
What is Intent Monitoring? Quite simply put, it’s the digital footprint either companies or prospects leave across the internet while they are actively researching potential purchases, in near real-time. An individual, sitting at their desk in their office (or on their mobile device), starts to research their buying journey. Perhaps, they are downloading whitepapers or typing in specific keywords which are a match to a given product or service. These actions signal their ‘intent’. These surges in interest alert you to their arrival at the top of your funnel, so you can trigger relevant B2B marketing interactions with them.
The Days Of Fortune Telling Have Ended
Intent monitoring has very incorrectly been described as the same solution as predictive analytics at times. In reality, this is far from the truth. Intent monitoring is a fact-based solution. This means that collected data is not being used in an algorithmic manner in order to “predict” possible future outcomes. Rather, intent monitoring is descriptive, and fact-based, revealing evidence of a targeted accounts’ readiness to purchase, in your market, – in real or near real-time. Once you understand the true intent of a potential customer, you can activate your personalized B2B marketing campaign, addressing their pain points with relevant engagement.
Intent monitoring is a highly-sophisticated B2B marketing alternative to predictive analytics. It is also more cost-effective, as you are dealing with facts not potential futures.
Tracking Intent Across The Internet
In the past, B2B marketing strategies were created based on job titles and personas. We either knew our visitors name, title, company, and location – because they could be identified by cookies, or we simply had an IP address from the “unknowns”. Both revealed actionable insights. Intent signal monitoring is this process on highly sophisticated steroids; you can track any visitor, to any page, across the internet. You are not collecting data merely from your visitors to your website. Gathering intent signals from these corporate individuals’ IP, when they interact with third-party sites, enables the effective deployment of targeted B2B marketing campaigns.
Judged by Your Actions
The beauty of intent data is that it shows evidence of people’s actions, based on a combination of gathered and aggregated data. There is no gap between what people say they are interested in, and what they actually end up doing. We can eliminate guesswork; intent monitoring gives us the facts at our finger tips.
In a nutshell, intent monitoring:
- gathers data on target subjects (aligned with your product or service-based solutions);
- aggregates data on a specific topic and time period;
- looks for changes in frequency and intensity of those research ideas providing evidence of purchase intent; and,
- supports sales by building and strengthening relationships and training sales teams.
Obliterating The Competition
Now that you have intelligence about what people are seeking out about a product, you can ensure that your B2B marketing content matches their search. Your competitors, using only interruption and mass marketing techniques, are going to be left in the dust. Through the use of intent monitoring, you are offering relevance in almost near real-time, while your competition cannot match that, without embracing the efficacy of intent monitoring as well. Can you see how being able to ascertain interest in a given category can spur on sales-based engagement? Timely communication begins with your target, with content and discussions, to assist them in finding the perfect solution(s) for their needs (i.e. your product). Your ABM strategy will define what outbound tactic will be the most appropriate to use for each tier you target.
Intent Informs Content Creation
Intent signals have a direct impact on how we create every element of our content. When the intent monitoring depicts where a target is researching, we can provide relevant, organic display advertising that provides an immediate solution. You can track and target your highly specific advertising and retargeting campaigns, and refine them as needed, for maximum impact. You no longer have to send out your campaigns to mass audiences, instead intent monitoring triggers a personalized campaign to a specific target. There should be no big surprise when you discover the average conversion rates jump by a whopping 450% when companies use intent signal monitoring effectively.
Relevance is a key driver for Google SERP’s (search engine results page) layout. Ensure your message lands in the top “4-pack” slots when your target is involved in a transactional-based search. Their commercial intent is monitored, and Google gives them the most relevant content to match their keywords. This is why it is essential to gauge which keywords, long-tail keywords and phrases are used which align buying signals with your product(s) or service(s). All your online content can be tailored to include these keywords, to attract visitors to your offering. You’ve logged their intent in near real-time, so you can deliver the content they need in an efficient manner.
A cautionary note: nobody likes to feel they are being stalked from site to site. It is mission critical to find the correct balance between helpful and annoying. Just because you are privy to their exact intent does not mean you should follow them across the web like an obsessive fan. Displaying the same ad over and over again will be overkill, and can be counter-productive. Frequency caps can be used to eliminate consumer fatigue with your overzealous advertising views. Put yourself in the buyer’s funnel step, by step offering the right messages, at the right times in their journey. Intent monitoring reveals exactly where they are in their decision-making process and you can offer personalized content, to facilitate the moment, from one stage to the next.
Intent for Growth Hacking and Demand & Lead Generation
Intent data should fuel the majority of your lead generation activities, as well as your demand generation and growth hacking campaigns. The data you are getting from prospect’s internet searches, is like someone walking straight into your office, sitting down, and reading your brochures from cover to cover. They are showing direct interest in a particular product. Pay careful attention, just as you would if they were standing right in front of you, and lead them straight to the information which satisfies their curiosity and questions. It is important to understand that intent monitoring, in and of itself, provides a relatively low risk method for managing outbound messaging and sales efforts.
What is Real World Intent Monitoring?
Intent monitoring in the real world simply translates to radically increasing your conversions, by being relevant to your buyers, at the moment they reveal their purchasing intent. It’s incredibly easy to operate, without any installation required. With intent monitoring, there is no need to build complex models and constantly refine algorithms. Information comes in from the intent monitoring of your target audience, and you have the pleasure of responding to them with personalized content, in the moment.
Do you think you know the answer to the question, “what is intent monitoring?”. If not, read more in these articles:
- Why Intent Monitoring Is Not Just Another Buzzword
- Intent Monitoring: A Fact-Based, Not Predictive, B2B Marketing Solution
- Is Intent Marketing in your Marketing Stack? (PDF)