Streaming vs. Real-Time Intent Data

In the world of B2B, intent data is like gold. Well, maybe not actual gold and that’s because the benefits of B2B intent data go much further than a one-time increase in revenue.  

The point, though, is that intent data is an incredibly valuable resource to marketers, salespeople, and recruiters alike. 

Why is it so valuable, you ask? Because intent data allows companies to, as they say, “strike while the iron is hot.” Like it or not, the whole “Spray and Pray” approach is antiquated. if you’re still using it, you might want to reconsider, and fast. 

Many companies these days offer B2B intent data, but, as you can probably guess, not all intent data is created equal. Or rather, not all intent data is relevant to your business needs. Because when it comes to actually being able to leverage intent data to contact prospects as they’re searching, it all comes down to timing. 

Real-Time vs. Streaming Intent Data: Which is Better?

So what does “real-time intent data” actually mean? It’s time to read the fine print, and when we do, we know that real-time doesn’t necessarily mean in real-time (aka that very minute). Sometimes there is a 24-hour to a week delay, which in the world of B2B might as well be a year.

While the data may be collected in real time, it takes time to process and package it for customers to actually use. 

Streaming intent data, like ZoomInfo’s new Streaming Intent tool, is what we like to call the cherry on top of the B2B sundae. Streaming intent data provides the best, up-to-date intent information as it’s happening. That way, you can reach out to prospects as they are actively seeking more information about you. It’s a win-win situation. 

Closing a sale is typically based on the first contact — and in fact, 30-50 percent of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

ZoomInfo’s intent data tool lets your team know when buyers are searching for solutions like yours — the moment they start searching. That way, it allows you to capture surges in purchase intent with web activity from companies searching for your business in real-time.

Where Does Streaming Intent Data Come From? 

Intent data can be collected using a variety of methods. ZoomInfo’s streaming intent is gathered from over 300,000 publisher domains and includes over 6 trillion keyword-to-device pairings. Rather than tracking individual people, intent data is sourced from over 91 percent of accessible devices in the U.S. 

But there are also other ways to gain intent insights such as: 

  • Anonymous first-party behavioral: Website visitors that have not filled out a form to indicate who they are, but whose IP addresses can be traced back to a company.
  • Known first-party behavioral: Visitors who have filled out a form with name and contact information.
  • Anonymous third-party behavioral: People who visit other websites (that you don’t own) that are similar to yours, therefore indicating interest in a topic. 
  • Known third-party behavioral: Visitors who have filled out forms on other, relevant websites. Companies can then take that information and make it widely available on certain databases. 

Using Streaming Intent Data in 2020 and Beyond

For an effective and efficient and ultimately successful GTM strategy, you need streaming intent data signals to effectively support your go-to-market strategy. It’s one of the only ways for sales and marketing teams to accurately segment prospect activity in order to ensure that they are reaching the right people (and more importantly) at the right time. 

Here’s how to apply streaming intent data into your GTM strategy:

  1. Identify Potential Buyer Interest: Intent signals (provided in real-time, on time) allow you to identify which companies are researching your solution, as they do it. 
  2. Score Your Leads: Streaming intent data, coupled with predictive purchasing information can help you build your lead scoring model. Based on this, you can prioritize companies that are actually demonstrating purchasing intent and reach out to them before they turn to the competitor. 
  3. Shift Your Focus on Customer Retention: Once you gain a new customer — your work isn’t nearly done. With streaming intent data you can gain insight into what existing customers are researching — identifying ways to up-sell. This technique encourages customers to renew their contracts and subscriptions and prevents them from turning to the competition. 

But What About Data Privacy?

Of course, data privacy is a concern to those who own or use personal data, especially when it comes to obtaining intent data (usually done using cookies). So what happens when a cookieless future is imminent? 

Third-party cookies follow users from site to site, recording search histories, and tracing web habits. And they’ve been banned by Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla so far. 

Hope is not lost. Streaming intent data, like that provided by ZoomInfo, can help future-proof your prospecting strategy. With it, you can access detailed intent data, all while protecting users’ privacy. 

Intent data, and the way that we collect it, is changing for all parties involved. With a cookieless future on the horizon and stricter data privacy laws, companies are going to have to rethink the way they obtain buyer intent signals. The transition has increased recently with Chrome and Safari internet browsers blocking third-party cookies by default in 2021.

In this day and age, you need real-time data. Static, point-in-time data, only provides a snapshot of information that is often out of date often when it’s received. Without accurate buyer intent information, you risk continually falling behind competitors — losing both existing and potential customers.