Columnist Thomas Koletas discusses how B2B marketers can effectively use intent data to bolster their entire marketing and sales strategies.
There is a popular commercial for the candy bar Twix that shows two adversarial Twix factories that take different approaches to making the same product. The copy implores the viewer to “pick a side,” which of course is ludicrous because each side of a Twix bar is the same product.
It’s a manufactured controversy that, for B2B marketers, evokes inefficiency — and perhaps shades of what they experience between the brand and demand teams within their own marketing departments.
Unfortunately, too many B2B marketers have created a similar schism with the way that they structure their brand strategy and their demand generation strategy.
As media continues to consolidate and marketers begin focusing on customers themselves instead of merely their job titles, the separation between the two objectives no longer makes sense.
B2B marketers are looking for more cohesive strategies, and with some subtle but important changes, any B2B marketer can achieve efficient and effective marketing through a brand-to-demand approach. The recipe is simple, and the key component isintent data.
Marketers across channels and disciplines have recognized the importance of intent data in developing efficient and effective campaigns, but until recently, they were stymied by a lack of scale. Now that the technology exists to gather and analyze intent data at scale, B2B marketers need to know how to utilize it effectively to inform their entire marketing and sales strategies.
Traditional lead and demand generation strategies have only ever been somewhat effective — a large percentage of leads die on the vine. Intent data not only lets sales and marketing teams know who to call, but also when to call and what to say to encourage the prospect to continue through the funnel.
This kind of information is not just important to demand generation; it can be extremely useful in accomplishing more effective branding.
And if both branding and demand gen are running off the same information and insight, why keep them siloed at all?
How To Leverage Intent Data
Marketers can utilize several tactics to gather and leverage intent data for both objectives, thereby increasing efficiency and results.
• Content integration across targets and devices should be a no-brainer. Your customers and prospects are conducting both their professional and personal lives on several devices, meaning they are generating tons of intent signals you can use to engage them. Just be sure to remain consistent and relevant as you track them across devices.
• Dynamic ad units that leverage intent topics, or ads that can change size according to the screen of the device, are extremely effective in cross-channel marketing, as they provide the necessary consistency without rendering or display issues on devices other than desktops.
Dynamic ad units grab attention and maintain a positive experience and will do so even more effectively when driven by intent.
• Site-specific advertising tactics traditionally have been more difficult for B2B marketers to master due to a lack of data, or data at scale, to accomplish it in any real, measurable way.
Programmatic advertising has changed all that, making it possible for B2B marketers to run large-scale, site-specific campaigns, which can home in on the most valuable prospects based on the specific content or site they read.
The modern media landscape has required B2B marketers to rethink the way they approach brand and demand; the two are more symbiotic now than ever as media seems to simultaneously fragment and consolidate.
The companies that show interest in your ads and at your site are the best prospects, and the content topics that have the most interactions are key to content marketing strategies for demand generation.
Brand advertising that leverages intent data is more targeted and can provide crucial insight from ad interaction and site visits that will then fuel more effective demand generation.