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IT & Data Security

Behavioral Intent Data: What Business Leaders Need to Know

By a Verblio Writer

(2537 words)

As we become a more digital society, we are becoming increasingly dependent on data — so being able to use and understand that data bears enormous value. Behavioral intent data tells decision-makers where they should be focusing their energy to increase their sales. Intent means doing something with a purpose. Therefore, the more likely someone is to research before buying, the more likely we can glean their intent from the data trails they leave behind.

How to Make the Most of Your Data

We often lose sight of the fact that data has become a commodity that can tell us more about our potential customer base. However, to make the most of the data we have access to, there must be a system in place. To do this most effectively, we must have a plan that organizes data, a plan in place for managing the data, and the skills to analyze the data for the most effective outcomes.


What form should the data be in to give us the most effective processes for using it? The form we store the data in should be flexible enough to provide us with the information we need when we need it.


Determining how to handle the data is as important as obtaining it in the first place. We must ensure the data is kept safe to protect our clients, but at the same time, we must have the flexibility in place to make full use of the data.


Doing the proper analysis of data can provide us the insights we need. However, if we fail to have a process in place for analysis, the data will be worthless.

When a potential customer visits your website, you need to understand both their interest and intent. This means reviewing what pages they visited, what products or services they reviewed, and how long they spent on the site. Naturally, some of the data that is collected during their visit will be unnecessary, but this can be filtered out with the proper analysis.

Better Intent Data Leads to Better Marketing

Intent data, when used properly, can be used to drive revenue. For example, you can do the following with intent data:

  • Personalize user experiences on your website
  • Categorize your leads based on user engagement
  • Target known leads with targeted marketing campaigns
  • More readily identify those prospects who have yet to engage

To unlock these capabilities, utilizing data best practices is absolutely key.

Humanizing Intent Data

It is important to remember that data sets are not just numbers and information — they represent people. If you lose sight of this basic fact, you will be performing analysis blindly because you will fail to recognize the potential of the information you have on hand.

Developing sales personas, understanding the needs of leads, and effectively engaging with prospects is the way to generate additional sales. If you do not recognize that the data you are reviewing represents individual personalities, you could be costing yourself additional sales.

For example, forgetting there are real people behind the data could result in approaching a potential customer with a sales pitch too soon. You must be prepared to allow the data to indicate when it may be time to reach out to an individual lead with a specific goal in mind based on what the data has told you.

What Collected Data Sources Matter?

There are three primary types of data: first-party data, second-party data, and third-party data. The source of the data you are planning to analyze matters because it can tell you more about a potential client’s intent. All data sets have different uses. For example, your inbound data, which is first-party data, will provide information on page views, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Data analyst studying data on computer screen

First-party Data

Some of the information that is found internally can help to analyze the effectiveness of calls to action, landing pages, etc. and allows you to improve your marketing efforts. It can also help you determine the intent of the client. Once you have determined their intent and interest, you can more effectively contact the client and offer to fill their needs.

Second-party Data

Second-party data is that data which you purchase or trade from a complementary source. For example, if you are marketing accounting services, you would not turn to another accounting firm. However, you may wish to solicit business from business brokers, attorneys who specialize in new business formation, or those who provide financial advice to other business owners.

The second-party data can provide you with insights into customer behavior, which you may not be able to capture on your own website, or through your own analytics. This data can be as valuable as the data you are collecting on your own.

Third-party Data

Third-party data is best used in combination with first-party data. This is data collected from an aggregator — typically someone who does not have an existing relationship with the customer. In most cases, this data is already broken down into various categories, which include targeting audience segments. This means the data has already been analyzed, providing you with a clean data set from which to work.This data can be invaluable as it can provide insights that you may not have readily been aware of otherwise. If you combine this with the data collected from your website, you could gain critical insights.

Firmographic Data

Firmographic data is data that is obtained from sources such as company financial results and the company website. Such data provides a broad picture of the company, including revenue, geographic location, company size, and industry.

Behavioral intent can help identify the customer before they have purchased, versus after they have purchased and are merely looking for additional information or insights.

Social Media Data

Social data comes from people’s interactions on social media sites. This includes likes, shares, comments, and impressions, to name a few. This data will come to you in raw form and require further analysis. For example, you may be able to glean which of your posts were shared most frequently, which ones provided the highest click-through rates, and which social sites provided you with the most leads.

Social media data includes data obtained from Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Direct Message, or LinkedIn InMails. You may be able to provide more valuable content on your website using this data and design a highly personalized sales call for those individuals who have engaged with your company through your sales team or other methods.

This data generally requires the most analysis. The data collection is in raw form but can provide you with more insight than simply collecting data from your own site. This data may also provide the opportunity to improve your online marketing campaigns.

Not All Data Is Created Equal

In past years, many companies depended on demographics for target marketing. However, without a “deep dive” into what is behind those demographics, you could be losing out on a wealth of leads.

In addition to the age, gender, and location of a lead, you must understand where they are in the buying process. Someone who has just purchased one product may be looking at your product for comparison purposes. Someone who is considering the purchase of a competitor’s product may have the same demographics but you could target them and persuade them to use your product instead.

Less Effective: IP Data

While IP data is readily available from your own website, this data is often not as effective as other data you will be able to obtain. While IP data can help you with data that you cannot access otherwise, it is a guessing game. Your sales and marketing staff should be using this data in conjunction with other data. That allows for ideal audience targeting. The IP data will provide you with some leads, but not every visitor is a viable lead.

How to Get the Most Out of IP Data

None of this should be taken to mean that IP data does not have value. However, one must use it properly to be most effective. Use IP data to ensure you:

  • Communicate with potential buyers. Follow up on the appropriate leads and ensure engagement.
  • Address challenges. Target the specific challenges a potential customer is facing, do not depend on generic solutions. Always remember that personalization works.
  • Review your content. Your content should be addressing the potential needs of your leads. Make sure your content is engaging and worth your prospects’ time.
  • Practice dynamic targeting. Consider which articles, blog posts, or white papers address the possible needs of your leads and send out emails to encourage viewing.
  • Do not over-market. Remember, too many emails could mean you lose a potential lead. Target your drip email marketing wisely after thorough testing.
  • Create supplemental content. If you set up one white paper or eBook, and there is nothing after that, your lead may wander away to a competitor. Keep them engaged by providing follow-up content.
  • Be responsive. Never lose sight of the fact that when a sales lead contacts you, they should be contacted as quickly as possible.

By addressing the needs of potential leads, you have an opportunity to turn a lead into a sale and a sale into a long-term client. Respect their time and their intellect by addressing their needs.

Marketing Using Behavioral Intent Data

darts on a target board to represent targeted marketing

Behavioral intent data better allows you to target your audience by creating personalized campaigns. This can be done in a variety of ways, including:

Paid Advertisements

This form of advertising is commonly called pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Using paid ads is effective because it is highly targeted and measurable. When you have the data sets you need to create an effective paid ad, you get more money for your dollar. You may also incorporate retargeting as part of your overall campaign.

AMB Campaigns

When you have a set of accounts you have identified through analyzing your data, you can concentrate your resources more effectively with AMB campaigns. This type of campaign specifically targets new business by understanding the specifics of what potential customers are searching for or what they have shown an interest in.

Lead Nurturing

When you combine demographics with other data, such as budget, you can target an audience of leads. Once targeted, you can continue to monitor their behavior, which could allow you to turn a lead into a customer.

Marketing is always the first step in sales. The better the data you have available to you, the more likely you are to be able to turn leads into sales. Behavioral intent data gives you the data points you need to understand when it’s time to make a hard sales pitch either through a targeted advertisement or another type of marketing campaign.

Compiling the right data and the proper analysis of the data can make your marketing campaigns more cost-effective. Once you have determined what type of targeting works best, your efforts to turn a lead into a sale will be more profitable.

Using Intent Data to Drive Sales

Effective sales require the proper use of data to drive sales. Remember, the more information you have available about a potential account, the more likely you are to be able to close the sale. This is when crucial information can be used to close a sale — such as the needs to be addressed, who the decision-makers are, and what pain points are driving them.

overhead group of professionals discussing charts

Some of the information can be used to:

  • Drive event attendance. The right data can help you determine who should be contacted when you are holding seminars, webinars, or open houses. Events can be an important aspect of your sales and marketing efforts. They allow you to collect more information about a prospect.
  • Understand the team structure. When companies have multiple layers of management, they often have teams that work in layers. Your goal will always be to reach the person on the team who has the authority to reach a final decision.
  • Outline competitor views. Another useful piece of information for your purposes will be which competitor a potential client is talking to. The reason for this is simple. You can customize a plan to target the right contact person and make sure you are tailoring your presentation to what interests them now.

Integration of CRM

Understanding your existing customer base may also help you with targeting future customers. This is one of the reasons it is so important to have reliable information. Your sales and marketing teams must have access to reliable data, so they are not overlooking future sales by existing customers. For instance, you can use the data you have obtained from website visitors to see if your existing customers are returning looking for something specific to allow both your sales and marketing teams to fulfill their needs for future products or services.

Additional Uses of Behavioral Intent Data

Targeted advertising has a lot of value. When you are paying on a per-click basis, this is the best way to maximize your marketing dollars. One of the determining factors in paid advertising is how well a campaign performs over time. To create useful advertising, you must have a set of keywords in place. Ideally, these keywords are what is being searched for by your leads. Once you have identified the relevant keywords, you can customize your paid advertising campaign based on the broader topic.

Long-tail Keywords

Paid advertisements also require long-tail keywords. These can be a bit more challenging because there are so many potential combinations. Careful analysis of third-party intent data can help with the identification of long-tail keywords that are most often searched by your potential audience. In the case of online advertisements, nearly all will allow for adjustments should you discover a campaign is not working as effectively as you might hope.

Targeted Accounts

Keep in mind that behavioral intent data should also be used to set up targeted account lists. These lists allow you to keep track of where certain leads may be in the buying cycle. That allows you to customize a marketing program based on where they are in the cycle between lead and sale. These lists can also be used to create personalized email campaigns to ensure your name remains front and center from the beginning to the end of the sales funnel cycle.

Streamlined Marketing and Sales Departments

Having a strong marketing and sales department is important for every business to remain competitive. However, to ensure these departments are working at maximum efficiency, you do not want them wasting time responding to every lead. This is one of the reasons it is important to review available data and determine how to effectively put that data to use.

Data-driven sales prospecting keeps your costs down, avoids the potential of over-saturating leads with the information they have no interest in, potentially driving them away, and allows your sales staff to make the most of their sales calls.


Ultimately, in this day and age, a business’s relationship with its data has a tangible impact on its revenue. Likewise, the possible uses of behavioral intent data are ever-expanding. By investing your time and resources into effectively utilizing data, you can reap countless rewards for your marketing, sales, and overall success.

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