According to Openprise’s 2016 State of B2B Marketing Data Management report, 72 percent of B2B marketer’s top data management goals are to improve ROI measurability, 65 percent aim to improve data quality and 63 percent want to increase data use and accessibility.
Savvy B2B marketers are learning to make the most out of data in order to succeed. One of the most effective types of data to help marketing effectiveness is intent data. Intent data can be internal to a company or external, coming from a third party.
Internal intent data, or first-party data, is the data that a company collects through its website, CRM and e-mail platform. This kind of data gives personal insights into how a specific individual is engaging with content at the individual level and can signal where in the purchase cycle a person is and when they are likely to transact. Predictive behavioral models tap into marketing automation systems in order to understand a prospect’s behavior based on how they click and how long they have spent on each page. These tools have the potential to identify in-market shoppers that exhibit buying propensity.
External intent data, or third-party data, is collected through publisher partners at the IP level, or through user registration and cookies. This data can give marketers insights into what target buyers are searching for and which content they click on. External intent data, on one hand, isn’t insightful enough for predictive modeling. It is, however, the data that works best in personalized emails and content marketing programs, as well as in targeted advertising and targeted account lists. Both internal and external intent data can be used for multiple purposes and work best when both are layered on top of each other.
When it comes to working with third parties, media companies are becoming some of the most valuable partners for B2B marketers. Traditionally B2B marketers have worked with media companies to generate awareness and create demand, but this has shifted over the last year and now marketers expect leads from publishing partners.
This shift means that media companies are no longer simply engaged in top-funnel activities. Their metadata is valuable to marketers throughout the customer lifecycle. A publisher may now sell leads through a content syndication campaign, and can also share insights at the account level, which helps marketers prioritize lead nurturing and follow through on the sales side.
The future could even include continuous database revisions based on title or company changes among known contacts, which would be huge to B2B marketers. These new advances mean that B2B marketers should begin to think of their publishing partners as data partners. With this in mind, marketers should perform media partner audits the way they would with other vendors. This means understanding which data solutions they use.
Ultimately, B2B marketers will begin to include publishers within their marketing tech stack to help organize data flows and streamline processes.
Data will continue to play a more important role in how B2B marketers generate leads and nurture clients across the lifecycle. It’s time for companies to rethink the importance of data skills, to take advantage of intent, and to rethink how data from media companies is used.