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8 Steps To Optimize Your Buyer Journey With Intent Data

Intent Data  |   March 28, 2024  |  by Susan Orcutt

8 Steps To Optimize Your Buyer Journey With Intent Data

The B2B buyer journey is far from linear. Take a quick moment and think: how do you assess business tools and software? 

Prospects don’t follow a rigid path from awareness to purchase. Instead, they shift between research stages, self-educate online across multiple websites, and expect highly personalized interactions that align to their pain points. Does this resonate with you?  

To further complicate things, on each account, there are multiple people involved in the buying process. And each person might have their own research behaviors and level of influence within the group. That’s why it’s more crucial than ever to understand the unique needs and purchase motivations of the entire buying committee.

That's where intent data steps in to do the heavy lifting. This powerful tool unlocks a wealth of insights into what buying groups are actively researching, allowing you to tailor your marketing and sales efforts for maximum impact. But how can intent data be leveraged as buying groups move through the different buying stages? How should your tactics and messaging evolve with the research behaviors of buying groups? Let’s dive in.

Personalizing the Buyer Journey with Intent Data 

Let’s start from the top. The buyer journey typically encompasses four key stages: 

  • Awareness: Here, buyers are not yet aware of challenges or opportunities for improvement. 

  • Interest: They are researching challenges to understand how they should address them. 

  • Consideration: They learn about potential solutions and compare categories. 

  • Decision: They evaluate vendors and select the best fit.

Intent data plays a vital role throughout this journey by providing insights into buying group behavior at each stage. For example: 

  • Awareness: Focus on raising awareness of market challenges by delivering educational content like analyst reports, infographics, and articles. 

  • Interest: Identify the specific challenges your target accounts are researching that align with your products and services. This allows you to select targeted content (e.g., guides, eBooks, analyst reports) that focus on their struggles. 

  • Consideration: At this stage, intent data reveals the solution categories that prospects are researching. Share in-depth content such as webinars and reports to highlight how solutions like yours help address their pain points. 

  • Decision: Identify high-intent buyers who are actively researching specific solutions and vendors in your category. With this knowledge, your sales team can prioritize leads with the strongest purchase intent and share content that will highlight the value propositions and differentiators of your solution (e.g., case studies, info sheets, demo videos) resulting in faster deal closures. Here, you can also identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities to increase customer spend and retention.

The benefits extend beyond individual stages. By mapping the buying group’s journey, you gain a holistic understanding of their decision-making process. This allows you to proactively engage with them at the right time with the right message, significantly boosting conversion rates and accelerating revenue growth.

How to Design and Optimize Your Buyer Journey Using Intent Data 

  1. Identify Your Audience: Define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and target personas that make up your buying groups. This allows you to focus on and pinpoint the target accounts that are the best fit for your products and services.

  2. Select Keywords & Topics: Select relevant terms that align closely with your products and solutions and map them to the different stages of the buyer journey.  

  3. Evaluate Your Content: Map your existing content to each stage of the buyer journey and the keywords and topics you’ve selected. This allows you to identify potential gaps in your content strategy and opportunities for refinement. 

  4. Select the Right Intent Data Solution: Leverage the right intent data technology to get the most comprehensive view of your buying groups’ online research and engagement activities across all funnel stages. 

  5. Set Up Intent Models: Customize your intent signals to focus on research behaviors happening around your selected topics and keywords. Leverage AI to help automate this process and optimize your topic and keyword strategies. 

  6. Develop Intent-Based Scoring: Route high-intent buying groups to sales based on their buying stage, signal strength, and signal trend.

  7. Action the Data Across Channels: Leverage your intent insights to personalize sales outreach strategies, optimize your digital advertising and lead generation programs, refine your content strategy, and more. 

  8. Regularly Monitor and Optimize: The buyer journey and intent signals will constantly evolve. Regularly monitor campaign performance and adjust your strategy based on new insights.

Best Practices for Using Intent Data Effectively 

To maximize the return on your intent data investment, keep these best practices in mind: 

  • Data Quality is Paramount: Ensure your intent data provider offers strong intent signal coverage and leverages various third-party data sources for accurate and actionable insights. 

  • Integrate with your CRM and/or MAP: Streamline lead nurturing by integrating intent data with your existing tech stack for seamless targeting and personalized email campaigns. 

  • Penetrate High-Intent Buying Groups: Identify and engage with all key individuals within buying groups that show the strongest intent signals and engagement activities. 

  • Focus on Actionable Insights: Don't get bogged down in the data itself. Focus on extracting actionable insights that can be readily implemented across your marketing and sales efforts. 

  • Align Marketing and Sales: Ensure both teams have access to and understand intent data to bridge the gap between lead generation and qualification, fostering smoother handoffs.

To learn more about leveraging intent data to accelerate your revenue, watch our recent webinar on-demand.

Intentsify and Inverta Webinar March 28, 2024

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