Using Intent Data to Improve ABM Campaigns

Account-based marketing with limited account insight is like trying to hit a piñata blindfolded. You have a general idea of where the sparkly unicorn might be, but without a clear line of sight, you’re taking swings in the dark, and more often than not, missing your target.

The foundation of any great account-based marketing (ABM) strategy requires a deep understanding of who your target customer is and an ability to execute on a customized approach to address their needs. 

According to a Demand Gen Report Survey, 80% of companies that leverage intent data say it helped with ABM account prioritization and scoring. 

For example, streaming intent data in real-time immediately flags when target account activity spikes, allowing you to engage prospects while they’re still in research mode with a buyer’s mentality—not weeks later when they’ve moved on or after they’ve already made their decision. 

Here are five ways intent data can improve your ABM campaigns.

5 Ways Intent Data Can Improve Your ABM Campaigns 

1. Track Topics Specific to Your Business

Intent data allows you to monitor relevant topics and keywords that companies are searching for—while they’re searching for them. For example, at ZoomInfo, we track industry and brand-specific terms such as:

  • B2B contact database platform
  • B2B sales intelligence solution
  • Go-to-market platform
  • ZoomInfo pricing

When multiple people from a company who fit our ICP (ideal customer profile) have been searching for one or more of these terms, intent data signals us to look closer. We can assume they may be interested in purchasing a product that we offer. This helps sales teams prioritize targeting efforts to immediately get our name in front of interested decision-makers.

2. Build Prospecting Lists

When intent data is paired with a robust B2B database, you can automatically receive recommended contacts for each account conducting research relevant to your business. This includes name, title, phone number, and email address for quick, accurate outreach. But that just scratches the data surface. 

You’re also given access to firmographic and technographic data about each business, such as industry classification codes, which CRM they use, and how sophisticated their marketing software is, just to name a few

Using intent data to build prospecting lists gives your sales team the best chance of having an informed conversation with each prospect—and saves time and resources that would’ve otherwise been spent doing manual research.

3. Personalize Outreach

The very definition of ABM is using a personalized approach to target high-priority accounts. ABM intent data can tell you what your prospect is looking for, what their needs are, and how far along they are in their buyer’s journey. You can use this information to ensure your marketing pitch has relevant messaging that speaks directly to your customer’s needs.

“Everyone has software that tells them when someone is on their website and what content they clicked,” says Hussam AlMukhtar, senior director of strategic marketing at ZoomInfo. “But what you don’t know is what they are doing outside of your website. Are they going to G2? Are they going to Forrester? Are they reading articles relevant to your topic? You can use this information to infer where they are in their buyer’s journey and customize your messages accordingly.”

For example, imagine a company is searching for a sales intelligence solution. If they are reading articles with titles such as, “What is sales intelligence?” you can assume they’re at the beginning of their buyer’s journey. However, if they’re reading articles like, “The 5 Best Sales Intelligence Solutions of 2021,” then they are likely further down the funnel and closer to making a purchase. This helps your team know what kind of content to send their way (an infographic versus a whitepaper) and helps your sales rep prepare their pitch.

4. Box Out the Competition

If you can get in front of a prospect while they’re still learning how to solve their problem, you gain a huge competitive advantage. By interacting with prospects earlier in the buyer’s journey, you can build a level of trust with them that subsequent vendors simply cannot. You position yourself as the expert who clearly understands their needs.

Additionally, you can target prospects who are researching your competitors by tracking your competitors’ names. In doing so, your marketing team can jump straight in and strategically promote your unique selling proposition. They can focus on points that differentiate you from that competitor in particular.

5. Shorten the Sales Cycle

Using real-time intent data, you can create campaigns that spark conversation and warm up prospects for better sales engagement. When marketing increases brand awareness at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, your sales outreach won’t seem (or be) completely out of the blue.

“With intent data, you can strategically place account-based ads or run email marketing campaigns targeted toward specific accounts,” says AlMukhtar. “This way, you can warm up your prospects so when your sales team reaches out, the conversation flows easier.”

Get started with ABM intent data today

“Intent data is not only a marketing function and sales function, but it’s also a go-to-market function that can be used across the board,” says AlMukhtar.

Knowledge is power. By knowing what your target audience is looking for in real-time, you can position your marketing and sales teams to act quickly, beat out the competition, and close more deals. 
ZoomInfo’s Streaming Intent Data puts you directly in front of your ideal customer at the precise moment they’re looking for a solution just like yours. Start your free trial.