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Buyer intent software provides third-party external customer data to help product marketers make more targeted decisions.
What is buyer intent software?
Buyer intent software allows businesses to gain insight on a customer's purchase intent through features like customer journey mapping, predictive analytics, and competitor data. This software can analyze buyer intent for B2B lead generation to target interested prospects. It can also allow companies to create customized content marketing.
Essentially, a company can gain insight to consumers in two ways: through internal data and/or external data. Using your company’s internal data, you can see what your customers do on your site(s), such as their journey across your owned content, downloads, leads data from forms, time on site, and page views.
However, in addition to what you can see with your own site data, you may also want to see how your customers behave externally—such as how they interact with competitor sites, or other content across the web. This is where third-party, external data comes in the form of buyer intent software. This software aggregates data from advertising networks, publishing co-ops, and individual sites. Buyer intent data is gathered through what a user types in search, the content they consume, and their public postings and comments.
Common features of buyer intent software
When comparing buyer intent software, it’s important to know the typical functionality provided. Below are common features of buyer intent software.
|Intent data||View data results that indicate future customer interest in products|
|B2B lead generation||Manage the process of attracting and converting business prospects into leads|
|Competitor analysis||Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of companies with the same target audience|
|CRM integration||Integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) software to better connect all aspects of your business|
|Lead scoring||Score a lead on their quality or likelihood to buy based on certain behaviors|
|Channel attribution||Create a set of rules that assigns credit for sales and revenue to touchpoints across the customer journey|
What type of buyer are you?
Understanding typical companies who purchase buyer intent software can help you figure out if it’s right for your business.
B2B. Largely, B2B companies invest in buyer intent software. More precisely, B2B companies who launch account-based marketing (ABM) programs need intent data in order to create successful target audiences.
Midsize to large businesses with complex sales processes. Gartner predicts 70% of mid-sized to large businesses will launch ABM programs by the end of 2022 (full content available to Gartner clients). Thus, these types of companies will likely also need buyer intent software.
High tech. ABM is a newly emerging strategy and many companies investing in these programs are in the high-tech and related industries. Buyer intent software is also seeing growth in the business services, manufacturing, and finance industries.
Benefits and potential issues
Buyer intent software can benefit companies in a few key ways:
- Account-based marketing. Account-based marketing means a business targets a particular audience that represents a particularly high growth opportunity with a much more tailored approach, as opposed to casting a wider net to a broad audience (full content available to Gartner clients). Having solid buyer intent data helps a business create better target accounts.
- Content marketing. Buyer intent data can also allow content marketers to target buyers who are at different stages of the buying journey. Content marketers who know what stage a buyer is in can serve the right content at the right time, helping their buyers make better purchasing decisions.
There are also some potential concerns with buyer intent software:
- Privacy. Recently there have been concerns with online consumer data collection. Regulations are changing the way marketers can handle data, including requiring users to provide consent. Because intent data is company-level and anonymous, it shouldn’t cause issues for compliance with GDPR or CCPA.
- Skills shortage. Not many marketers currently use ABM as a strategy because it’s so new. Thus, marketers may not have the skill set to launch an ABM program, and don’t have experience working with buyer intent platforms. As a result, there may be a lag in adoption as professionals grow up to speed.
- Organizational change. Successfully executing ABM or content marketing strategies requires collaboration between many departments and management buy-in. Because many organizations are used to traditional marketing, it may be difficult to change their tech stack to support the use of buyer intent data.
Market trends to understand
Buyer intent data software purchases will likely increase over the next few years since buyer intent data is a necessary ingredient for targeted marketing. In addition, as content marketing continues to become more targeted, buyer intent data will be needed to be able to reach buyers at their specific stage in the buying journey funnel. Essentially, as digital tracking increases, the need for buyer intent data will also increase, as the two go hand-in-hand.