Tracking attribution to accounts already in your pipeline
Marketing attribution has been a problem for as long as marketing has existed and it’s no different with intent data. To combat that, David’s team at Intentsify have done analysis by mapping back from the close date to the start of the meaningful intent activity in which they saw a high percentage with a direct correlation between predictive intent activity and what happened three to four months out from a close. So, they use this as a signal to identify that three to four months early they are starting to see this activity and which points to a closed deal.
He has also seen this with another client on renewals, with specific spikes and activity happening a month before renewals. In this particular case, the renewal conversation had happened six months out not one month out, but it was interesting to see this spike in activity pretty much every single time on a renewal. It wasn’t caught early enough, but having that signal, means that you can start extrapolating even further out and maybe get more signals out when it is meaningful.
Actionability and intent data
A lot of platforms now get a feed from either their own or another, intent data vendor, which is often not time-stamped – so you have no idea how old the data is. It will often come in the form of keywords added each week. To make sense of it for your business and to make it actionable, you need to pull it out of that system and put it somewhere where you can analyze it to start seeing a pattern over time and to categorize the activity.
Actionability is a particular challenge for intent data particularly because many companies know that they need it, but don’t know what to do with it. In a recent TOPO survey, 67% of B2B marketing leaders who were surveyed said that actionability is the number one challenge that they had within intent data – a problem that Intentsify has been working on building solutions for throughout 2020.
Jamie sees that it’s tough to operationalize the data within the companies that are getting the insights from intent data and to turn that into something meaningful and useful within the marketing organization. He sees that as a big gap across all the intent providers and ABM platforms in activating that data.
In Kathy’s experience, it’s really hard to get companies to commit to doing historical analysis because they often don’t appreciate the long-term nature of analyzing intent data and expect to see results in weeks rather than months. She sees your past wins and going back and doing that historical look back is critical if you want to get the most impact out of your intent data.
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About the Role
We are looking for a Business Development Representative (BDR), who loves sales and is hungry for growth. Your goal will be to communicate the value of LeadSift’s contact-level intent data to prospects in our target markets in an honest and solution-based way. You’ll be the first impression of LeadSift to inbound and outbound prospects by social media, email, phone, or all of the above to build a sales pipeline.
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Intent data in ABM examples, results, and tactics from real campaigns
Intent data at Inverta – picking a use case
A lot of Kathy’s clients are getting intent data and don’t know what to do with it although they know they should be doing something. She works with them to change that and to show them how to use intent to their advantage.
Kathy has picked use cases with clients around content syndication and BDRs and recommends that you start by picking a very narrow use case and working on it manually. That will give you some baselines to track progress and what’s really going on. You can identify whether keywords need changing later. She also recommends getting a team together in which everyone has a responsibility, walk-through it step by step, and analyze results. Her philosophy is that if some things don’t work, fail fast, pick another one and go. And, if what you have picked does work, then keep the same use case and figure out how to automate it.
Intent data at Intentsify – boosting conversion rates
When using intent data, David is seeing a 132% increase in BDR email open rate, a 46% increase in click-through rates and conversion rates to sales qualified leads jump up over a quarter of the range between 40% and 70%. He also sees conversions going way up in velocity through the pipeline.
He sees so many use cases for intent data, which could be a little overwhelming for a lot of teams when it comes to knowing where to start. If you’re not careful, it can quickly get very broad, involve a lot of different teams and individuals and it can get really cumbersome to actually execute that strategy which, he says, is why it’s so important to focus on one use case, one pilot program.
Getting buy-in from Sales is also critical because they need to help you pick the topics and keywords to actually monitor. He sees that In B2B, there’s often a big chasm between what Marketing thinks are the most relevant topics and points to address and what Sales think that they should address. So, if Sales don’t help to select those topics and keywords at the beginning, the messaging will get corrupted as soon as it goes over to the Sales team – which will undermine the overall resource results.
Intent data at Fortinet – measuring success
Jamie’s experience of using intent data has highlighted the importance of defining how you’re measuring success, especially if you have a longer sales cycle and, in some cases, the success is demonstrated in the overall impact on the organization.
With one of his old customers, where they were doing a hundred thousand accounts and the ultimate long term measure of success was pipeline generation which took months to generate incrementally, Jamie’s team did split tests to show that they were getting 20-40% percent increases in direct mail response rates with a direct correlation between direct mail response rates and pipeline. So, while the revenue wasn’t necessarily attributed to the intent data, with a baseline of 10% conversion rate and a rise to 20%, you can infer that half of that is as a result of the changes made to the overall program.
Pretty much every time Jamie has run intent data campaigns he has also a cohort analysis and he sees markedly improved response rates on almost every channel across the board. Some went up by two or three percent and others by double, or even triple, figures. The key thing, he says is that you have to set a plan to measure the impact and look for that impact in order to see it.
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What if your Intent Data shows a spike for a company that isn’t currently a target account, but is a good fit?
Kathy finds that having reps dedicated to both your target accounts and leads that come in in other ways and making sure that they have good processes or choreographed orchestration for each scenario avoids losing leads in a black hole.
With ‘Dell’ as an example, first of all, consider consent:
I don’t have consent – If you don’t have consent, there is quite a bit of work to be done in getting that consent before you can move on to making contact.
I have consent – Be thoughtful about how you build your tech stack and the tools that you’re selecting that work together.
I have consent but is this the right person? – If you already have some contact details, that person might not be part of that buying committee that’s actually looking at your product. In that case, you need to try to get contacts for that buying committee. A good way of doing that is third-party lead generation or content syndication targeting a specific company. If the lead engages with branded content syndication that’s an extra layer of intent, they download it and you have the contact info and there’s a good chance that they are on that buying committee. And, with enterprises like Dell, the buying committee is located across the globe, so make sure that you can localize where the intent is coming from. You may find that the buyer is located in Austin or New York so focus your efforts on those regions.
How to engage companies once they’re ready
If ‘Dell’ starts demonstrating some elevated activity through Bombora, 6sense, MRP, or another intent provider and you have consent, you could trigger:
Programmatic advertising – running programmatic advertising is one of the easiest things a lot of ABM vendors do if they haven’t already run it. Over the past few years, it has become key when using Intent Data to use smart programmatic – cookie data – to filter out the targets so that you’re not wasting impressions on just a broad range of people at a particular IP address. This is even more important now many of us are working from home. Choose vendors that have really strong identity graphs who can help you identify device IDs and potential target ad accounts either using geolocation or some other way to identify a person that appends to their cookie device, so you are actually targeting the user.
Emails – after you have run programmatic for a week or two, start triggering a few emails specifically targeted to some of the key contacts. So for Dell, it might be white papers.
Direct Mail – If it’s a high-value account and they don’t respond to the email, then you can start executing direct mailers after an email. If they respond to the email, you can save the money and not send the direct mail.
BDR Team – if the lead visits your website, they get your email and they have converted on direct mail then you can start funneling them over to your BDR team.
It’s really about being thoughtful and mapping out that touch process. Once you have the touch process mapped out and you’ve executed a few times, you’ve got some baselines and you can start playing with the order of things. Then you can start changing what the initial signal was versus what you’re actually marketing to see if there’s a correlation between what the signals are and what they’re actually interested in.
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Intent data is of limited value on its own and shouldn’t be used to select accounts. It should be combined with fit data and not used for account selection. Think of it as a prioritization and personalization tool that gives you insights into the most relevant leads and what they’re looking for. Select your accounts based on business benefit and ICP based on tech graphing information of thermographic information and then use intent to prioritize them. Without that, you’re just using simple intent and it’s not nearly as powerful and it’s not ABM. Intent data enables your ABM program to stand out by being thoughtful about the accounts with the most potential. You can use your intent data to supplement propensity modeling and tribal knowledge from your own accounts and to identify who is in the market right now.
Why use intent for ABM?
There are two key benefits to using intent to power your ABM:
Account Prioritization – i.e. reducing the scale of the program – traditionally with ABM programs, you might have 10,000 accounts with 1,000 different messages and 1,000 different creatives put together by the graphic designer resulting in weeks and weeks of work. When you looked at all the outcomes, it was pretty much no different than the control, so the ABM didn’t have that much of an impact. Adding intent data to an ABM enables you to identify and prioritize much smaller sets of accounts manageable for the size of your marketing and sales teams and to develop sales and marketing alignment and understanding around what’s going on at that specific account.
Account Activation – Using ABM with intent data enables you to create personalized and very specific marketing messages. Having a platform to capture intent data insights enables the whole team to understand the insights, marketing to act on it, and for them to support sales.
Intent data can also be used in:
Content marketing: identifying prospective buyer’s concerns and creating or sharing content with them that speaks to that.
Funnels: identifying which accounts are actually progressing through the funnels and informing what type of messaging to use for them.
Arming BDRs with the right content: so they can use it when they reach out to these prioritized accounts.
Content syndication: once you know what account you’re prioritizing you could make sure that the publishers you are going through are actually generating leads from those accounts. That way you know that it is more likely that they’re going to convert so you’re not wasting your media budget, or follow-up efforts, on accounts that aren’t actually identified by their content consumption.
Post-sales: using intent data to identify which accounts that you currently have are most likely to churn. If your customers are researching competitor brands, that is indicative that they may be looking to leave so you could actually rectify those issues before it’s too late.
Expanding on an account: you can see if they have recently been researching product offerings that you may offer but they may not be aware that they can source from you, then your team can focus resources to expand those accounts
ROI is easier to measure in more sophisticated marketing organizations with BDRs where you can establish a baseline from which you can measure any sudden peaks in productivity. That enables you to go down the chain and get a good clear ROI number. Jamie sees Intent Data definitively impacting ROI on increases in click-through and conversion rates in direct mail etc.
How soon can you expect to get an ROI when implementing an Intent solution?
There’s almost a leap of faith, to begin with as it can be difficult to get a baseline to measure ROI from depending on the organization, what they’re tracking, their goals, and how the organization defines ROI. Some organizations are simply looking at conversion to marketing qualified leads – in that case, you will find an ROI a lot quicker than if your goals are a pipeline creation where it will take longer to track. It is usually easy to see ROI when using Intent Data to get better leads on content syndication, for example, where you can expect conversion within 3-6 months.
Even without an ROI, Intent Data is a way to funnel things with the first level of prioritization as it enables you to allocate resources to the right targets so you can also track time savings. For example, giving BDRs Intent Data enables them to prioritize their calls – and they will be keen to try anything that can enable them to get ahead.
Baselines for measuring Intent Data ROI
In David and Kathy’s experience, identifying a baseline isn’t the norm or priority for most companies, but it is something more marketing organizations need to be doing. There are two ways to measure, either:
With a baseline using historical data; or
With a control using accounts that they wouldn’t have otherwise been put into the system.
The key is to figure out where to put the Intent Data discipline in – typically Kathy sees this happening where companies are making a big enough investment to want to measure Intent Data ROI.
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