Account-based marketing (ABM) gives sales and marketing teams a common goal, so they can more effectively target their ideal customers. Companies with mature ABM programs found that those programs accounted for approximately 73 percent of their total revenue.
But just having an ABM program isn’t enough. When you start account-based marketing, you’ll create a list of potential targets, but in order to be successful, you also have to have intent data to further refine that list. You can’t market to everyone; you need to focus on accounts that are most likely to convert.
Where can you get intent data?
Intent data can come from both first-party and third-party sources. First-party intent data comes from your own website and content and the search queries people use to land there. Third-party intent data providers analyze your site and similar ones to offer more visibility into your ideal targets.
Search and first-party intent data is generally cheaper to gather, but the scope of the information is narrower. You likely won’t be able to identify the searcher unless they fill out a form on your website, and you can match up the IP addresses.
Free tools, like Google Analytics can tell you how people are arriving at your high-value pages, like free trial signups or contact pages. It can tell you which search terms brought you to the website and the path they took through your site to arrive at those high-value pages.
Search terms that include vendor names typically indicate higher intent than a query like “what is project management software”. They show that the searcher has already done research in the space and is looking more closely at vendors.
One way to capture this intent data is to set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics to determine the path leads are taking through your site. If prospects are landing on your product pages before navigating to a free trial or email sign-up, you can then bolster those pages to capture more leads.
Getting intent data from third-party vendors is typically easier because you don’t need any technical knowledge, but you do need to understand the vendor’s methodology. Without that understanding, you won’t be able to trust the data sources.
Third-party vendors can provide information on companies and leads that never make it to your website, and it typically provides a more comprehensive view of their browsing history. Maybe they’ve visited a competitor’s site or performed similar Google searches to your converted leads. The data provider will then score the leads based on the searches they’ve performed and sites they’ve engaged with to help you prioritize your funnel.
TechnologyAdvice leverages our own first-party intent data and third-party intent data to create audience segments for outbound lead generation and digital advertising programs for our partners. We also use it to fuel the content we create and publish on our portfolio of technology websites with our Intent Clicks program, which provides high-quality, organic clicks.
Also read: Tips & Tricks: How to Succeed with ABM
Refining your target list with intent data
During a recent DemandFest Panel, Jon Carlson, senior director of marketing at Allego, weighed in on how his company is using intent data to enable their sales team. The intent data shows “which of their target accounts are most engaged in our space and provide them with as much data as possible…to help them figure out where to spend their time most effectively.” They aren’t necessarily cutting accounts off their list, but they want to prioritize accounts that are more likely to convert.
In the same panel, Teresa Villaruz, growth marketing director at Nium, shared similar views. “Your list is not really shrinking, you’re just shrinking who you need to target at this moment,” she says. You have to choose who you market to, and intent data can help you narrow down the list.
So, how do you use intent data to refine and prioritize your current ABM list? One option is to look for companies that are going through a shift (growth, change in products or market, etc.). You can also narrow your market down by industry and company size and create targeted campaigns for each of those groups.
Finally, focus on engagement vs. browsing data. Typically, leads who are already engaging with your content are more likely to convert than prospects who are simply searching for targeted terms.
Expanding your target list with intent data
Refining your target list isn’t the only use for intent data, however; you can also use it to expand the list and find new opportunities. Look-alike accounts are companies that fall into similar categories as accounts you’ve already been successful with. Maybe you do really well with mid-sized companies in the healthcare industry. Intent data can highlight these and help you discover accounts that you didn’t even know existed.
Once you’ve found these look-alike accounts, you’ll need to create personalized campaigns to capture their attention. You may need more than one targeted campaign, for example, one for healthcare, one for financial, etc. However, depending on the tools you use, you may need a minimum level of accounts or successful conversions to effectively discover look-alike targets.
Keep ABM running long-term
The main thing to remember with ABM is that it’s not a one-and-done campaign. It gets better as you collect more data and are able to further optimize your target lists. Mature ABM campaigns return the most revenue, but they don’t get that way overnight. It takes time to cultivate your intent data and refine lists to ensure you’re addressing the right audience with each of your campaigns.
Additionally, you shouldn’t just throw out leads because they aren’t ready to buy at that exact moment. ABM centers around having prospects in different stages of your funnel, so you always have new accounts to go after. If you stop running ABM campaigns after only a couple of months, you’ll likely miss out on some great opportunities that just needed a little nurturing.
ABM is better with a partner
Account-based marketing may not be the easiest method, but its ROI speaks for itself. And you don’t have to handle it alone. TA has experts in ABM and targeted content creation along with industry-leading technology to provide quality intent data and leads. To find out more about our programs for Intent Clicks, ABM, or lead generation, contact us today. Last year, we connected more than a million technology buyers with the world’s best technology companies.