How Intent Data Will Power CDP’s of The Future

Posted on 26 Sep
Intent data in CDP

CDP’s are becoming a big deal in B2B, major corporations in tech like Oracle and Salesforce are getting in on this too. Customer Data Platform, or CDP for reference in this post are a single source of data to run all communications.

CRMs are seen as the number 1 platform for practices like this right now, but they require a lot of manual input. Lots of syncing and APIs are needed to make sure you can run great customer communications. There’s a lot of technology you can use to make this easier. But it shouldn’t need to be like this.

The reality for many SaaS companies and startups now is, not all of this gets done and it’s a missed opportunity to scale quickly with smarter practices helping you do so. We’re looking at how and why intent data can fuel the CDPs of the future…

The CDP opportunity

Data is one of the most valuable resources in the world. It can teach us so much, debunk theories and show us the exact paths we should go down in our marketing and sales activities. But we’re not using it as well as we could.

This is a hard truth about CRM right now. CRM is built to track and maintain customer or potential customer relations – not to find missed opportunities or poor experiences along the way that can be addressed. It’s just now what they are built for. Even though they are amazing tools and without what they do, many people would struggle these days. 

It’s these opportunities that are being missed, which in our minds fuels the growth in CDPs. The value proposition of a CDP is that it’s a 360-degree view of a customer, including a history of behaviors. That includes intent data. But it also eliminates data silos that have historically crippled organizations and their ability to provide seamless customer experiences.

Intent data’s role

With the benefit of a CDP combining all of the insights you’d need to run a stellar growth program, intent data fits in very nicely. The set back with CRM and Marketing Automation is that there is always the “contact or account” issue.

CDP strips that back to “customer or potential customer” – where intent data can shine. Great intent data works on the contact level, this is where it’s most useful. You can approach a person, over their company. Just like if you were selling to a company, you’d be better off mentioning the person you target than just company level context.

Intent data at the contact level can be found on your current customers as well as potential ones.

So if your customer engages with a competitor or attends an event, it’s time to reach out proactively. In CRM or Marketing Automation, this is way too difficult to do. Especially considering how simple this sounds, it’s not as easy as you’d think to get this insight out of a CRM system.

The reality is that a CDP is built around the action of customers, not accounts, so the data you fuel it with should be focused on the same. 

This is why CDP is becoming so big.

The next levels of CDP

With organizations shifting towards Account-based-everything and aligning tools and systems to find accounts, people, who actually buy on behalf of a company, are forgotten. CDP’s realigns customers and future customers’ data first and then tie it back to the account. It allows easier access to more data that can help us provide more personalized experiences for customers and future customers. This is a great strength of intent data, the ability to look at hard data that tells you X person did X action allows you to customize the next step in your process greatly.

If we tried to use intent data as a single source of truth, it would look like a blanket email that a sales rep has loaded into SalesLoft and blasted out to 100 people. The intention of the rep can be good but the functionality of the data silos is literally holding back what you can do with the data.

This is the massive perk of using CDP, it wants you to work smarter with more insight that’s easy to access.

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Incorporating more types of intent data

There are of course different types of intent data. 1st, 2nd and 3rd party.

1st is what you could call Marketing Automation system data. It’s future customers who raise their hand by downloading your content and providing their details to you. You should have this fully working and working overtime.

The key is now to incorporate 2nd and 3rd party intent data, and they come in different mediums. This is the challenge.

A CRM needs lots of custom fields to map 2 types of external data, which could become hard work for a Salesperson to digest easily.

But CDP makes this easy.

Think of getting an alert on a future customer who downloaded your eBook. You’ll see name and email, company, maybe job title. You can also see 2nd and 3rd party intent data on this lead if you’re collecting it in CDP.

So now, it’s all of the details above plus insight on which events this lead attended or what content they have engaged with. What keywords they have been interacting with. You can then tailor your outreach based on this information.

Bringing in the insights of which customers are engaging with competitors and events gives you context to use. This, alongside intent data on your customers researching a competitor or industry keyword arms you with even more context. The reason intent data is used, is to give more context so you can break through with better messaging. Better targeting. CDP is a home for more sources of intent data. CRM and Marketing automation are more like rented accommodation for it.

Let us know what you think about it. And don’t forget to share this article on social media!

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