This is part 2 in a 4-part series on B2B buyer intent data. See also Part 1 (InsideView Takes Buyer Intent Data to the Next Level), Part 3 (5 Ways Sellers Can Leverage Intent Data to Hit Their Quota), and Part 4 about how marketers use intent data to drive pipeline (coming soon.)
Compare ZoomInfo Intent Data, D&B Intent Data, and InsideView Intent Data
Buyer intent data has become table stakes for B2B companies that want to be highly targeted in their sales and marketing efforts by focusing on accounts with a high propensity to buy their products or services in the near term. Yet all buyer intent data is not created equal. There are several intent data methodologies, all of which have strengths and weaknesses. In this post, we’ll explore the different intent data methodologies and share insights about what you should consider when selecting an intent data provider.
We’ll dig into InsideView’s intent data integrations, which currently include Bombora’s Company Surge® intent data and, coming soon, an integration with Demandbase’s Real-Time Intent data. We’ll conclude with a look at how InsideView’s intent data offerings compare with competitive B2B intent data solutions, including ZoomInfo intent data and D&B intent data.
Want to jump to a specific section? Just click on the links below:
- What are the Different Intent Data Methodologies (Strengths & Weaknesses)
- How is B2B Intent Data Derived from the Bidstream?
- How is B2B Intent Data Derived from Online Publishers?
- Why Did InsideView Choose to Integrate Bombora Intent Data?
- How is Demandbase Intent Data Different from Other B2B Intent Data Providers?
- How Does Insideview Intent Data Compare to Zoominfo Buyer Intent Data?
- How Does Insideview Intent Data Compare to D&B Buyer Intent Data?
- How Do I Get Started with InsideView Buyer Intent Data?
What are the Different Intent Data Methodologies? (Strengths & Weaknesses)
As we discussed in our first post on buyer intent data, one type of intent data is the first-party data that comes from your own company’s digital assets. If you keep track of people who visit your website, download whitepapers, attend webinars, fill out contact forms etc., you’re tracking buyer intent signals. These “leads” are showing interest in what your company has to offer, and enough engagement from an individual may indicate their intent to buy what you’re selling.
Then there’s third-party intent data — which you get from an intent data provider — and that’s what this post is focused on. There are two primary sources for collecting third-party intent data: the bidstream and online publishers. Even within these two types of data sources, there are a number of data collection and processing methodologies that produce varying degrees of B2B intent data quality and we’ll go over each in turn.
How is B2B Intent Data Derived from the Bidstream?
Bidstream data comes from demand-side platforms (DSP) where ads are served to people as they browse the web. Via the DSP, bidstream data providers can collect information about users such as their IP address, cookies, location, page URL, etc. to create profiles of each individual. For B2B sales and marketing purposes, individual profiles can be tied back to a company to track online content consumption behavior at the account level. Understanding when several people at a company are searching for and consuming data on the same topic provides a stronger intent signal than knowing when just one individual from that company is searching. In other words, it’s the best way to identify when that company has a relevant business initiative and thus are showing intent to purchase a particular product or service.
At this point, you may be wondering how intent data is derived from the bidstream. After all, an ad that you see on a webpage may have nothing to do with the content on the page itself. The truth is, it depends on which company is providing the intent data, because each provider has their own methodology for contextualizing the data that comes from the bidstream.
Some bidstream intent data providers, such as Demandbase, use natural language processing and machine learning to contextualize the content on the page where an ad is shown to determine what the main topics are that the user is reading about. When combined with information such as how many users at a company are consuming similar content, how many relevant articles they’re reading, how many days they’re accessing that content, and how recent the articles are, these B2B intent data providers can determine, with a high degree of accuracy, which companies are showing strong and sustained intent to buy right now.
Other bidstream intent data providers simply read the page’s underlying meta tags to deduce which topics are covered on the page. Meta tagging is useful for search engine optimization (SEO), but it can be less than helpful for understanding what people are actually consuming on the page; after all, meta tags are specifically meant to be read by crawlers to drive traffic to a page, not to be read by people or to accurately convey what appears on the page.
There are several strengths of bidstream intent data. Because so many sites leverage ad platforms as a revenue source, bidstream data has incredible reach to track online consumption behavior across the web. Bidstream data also offers great flexibility in identifying keywords that are relevant to any company that sells products or services. By the very nature of how the data flows from DSPs, bidstream data can be delivered to customers in real-time (or nearly), allowing sellers and marketers to act quickly on the buyer intent data insights before their competitors do.
Bidstream intent data also has weaknesses. As mentioned previously, bidstream data providers collect information about users such as their IP address, cookies, location, page URL, etc. With GDPR, CCPA, and a growing number of regulations that protect personally identifiable information (PII), bidstream data providers must take care with how they collect and manage data subjects’ information. The flexibility of keyword searching can also be bidstream providers’ Achilles heel. If companies base their intent data strategies on vague or overly common keywords, the value of the insights they gain will be minimized.
How is B2B Intent Data Derived from Online Publishers?
As I mentioned above, most marketing teams leverage first party intent data to track inbound interest in their own products and services and to qualify leads that show strong engagement with their marketing assets. Users voluntarily provide their information, and thus their consent, to get access to relevant web content. Some online publishers make their first party intent data available to other companies. By doing this, they give sellers and marketers a more comprehensive view of a user’s online content consumption behavior, thereby providing a more accurate assessment of whether or not that user is in the market to buy.
Individual publisher websites like G2 and TechTarget are two such examples of companies that provide their own first party intent data directly to customers to give them insight into potential buyers. Product review sites, such as G2, provide product- and competitive-focused buyer intent data which is valuable, though time sensitive, as it typically captures information on buyers who are nearing the end of their buyer journey. Customers using buyer intent data from such vendors will be most successful if they have ways to feed that intent data directly into their sales and marketing workflows to act quickly on those accounts that are ready to buy.
Publisher co-ops leverage first party intent data across thousands of business websites allowing companies to access a vast pool of consent-based buyer intent data. Intent data providers who tap into publisher co-ops, as is the case with Bombora intent data, are able to access first party intent data from extremely popular and well respected business websites including Forbes, Bloomberg, Time, Inc. Magazine, and more. Intent data providers leveraging publisher co-ops typically use artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, and natural language processing to contextualize the content being consumed by users to develop highly sophisticated, curated topics that capture dozens of related intent signals. For example, when people consume digital content that contains keywords such as “cloud security,” “security management,” and “endpoint security” those keywords might be clustered into a single intent topic such as “Cybersecurity.” Keyword clustering to form a curated taxonomy of topics ensures that you don’t have to identify every possible keyword that your ideal customers may be searching for.
Like bidstream data, B2B intent data derived from online publishers has its own strengths and weaknesses. One of the core strengths of getting your buyer intent data from publishers is that users are opting in, sharing their information voluntarily, thus making this type of intent data consent-based and compliant with relevant data privacy regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA. Accessing publisher data is also a great way to ensure that the content consumption behaviors being tracked are relevant to B2B companies, which may not be the case with DSPs that cater to B2C advertisers.
Publisher websites provide highly relevant intent data, but their primary weakness is their relatively limited reach (as compared to the vast reach of intent data from the bidstream). While quantity does not necessarily equal quality, bidstream data providers track billions of page views per day, whereas publisher websites may track the same number of page views over a couple of months. Similarly, though curated intent topics increase the precision of the intent signals and remove the onus on marketers to select all the right keywords, some sellers and marketers prefer the flexibility and ease of defining their own keywords.
Another way to think about the different types of buyer intent data is to think about how they can be used at different stages of the revenue funnel. Because bidstream intent data is real-time (or nearly), it’s particularly helpful for sellers as a flag to prioritize leads and engage immediately. Think of it as mid-funnel. Publisher co-op intent data, on the other hand, is especially helpful to marketers. While not as immediate, the quality of the signal is high and is valuable for refining target lists for account-based marketing (ABM) and other demand generation activities. Think of it as top-of-the-funnel. And finally, publisher intent data from review sites, such as G2, indicate when a buyer may be in the final stages of making a purchase decision and, as such, provide bottom-of-the-funnel intent signals.
To sum it up, all intent data methodologies have their strengths and weaknesses and are applicable to different use cases. The best solutions will provide buyer intent signals for the entire revenue funnel, which means they will likely employ multiple intent data channels to leverage the best, most timely, and relevant signals.
Why Did InsideView Choose to Integrate Bombora Intent Data?
InsideView is the leading provider of B2B data and sales intelligence and it just made sense to partner with an intent data leader. Our data and intelligence helps customers find their best prospects, understand their needs, and know what to say. Our unique insights such as news events, buying triggers, and social feeds also provide signals that suggest the right time to reach out. Now with buyer intent data, our customers will know even more precisely when to engage. It’s like the difference between knowing what your prospects are talking about vs what they are actually doing. When they are actively researching products like you sell, that’s a very strong indicator that they are in the market to buy.
Combining our highly accurate firmographic and demographic data with Bombora intent data is a perfect recipe for delivering value and insights to sellers and marketers, who can use buyer intent data to:
- Refine ABM, key account, and campaign lists
- Target advertising
- Time outbound campaigns and one-on-one outreach
- Prioritize accounts
- Plan account strategies
- Identify upsell opportunities
- Prevent churn – when customers are researching competitors
- Tailor messaging
We’ll cover more on intent data use cases in an upcoming post.
How is Demandbase Intent Data Different from Other B2B Intent Data Providers?
InsideView, a Demandbase company, will soon integrate Demandbase’s native intent data to expand buying signals for our customers. Demandbase derives buyer intent data from its own bidstream, using its proprietary DSP — the only one of its kind built specifically for B2B purposes. Using refined algorithms, Demandbase pulls intent data signals from +650 million global users accessing +18 billion pages every day. Unlike some bidstream providers, Demandbase uses natural language processing and machine learning to analyze the content on every page visited by a user to truly understand what content that user is consuming, how relevant the information is, and how indicative the content is of buying behavior based on patterns between that user and other users that work at the same company.
With InsideView combining Bombora intent data and Demandbase intent data into a single platform, our customers will be able to leverage both of the leading B2B intent data sources to find new, high-quality business opportunities at every stage of the buying funnel and even pre-funnel, before buyers have engaged with your sales team or your marketing content.
How do the Different B2B Intent Data Providers Compare?
How Does Insideview Intent Data Compare to Zoominfo Buyer Intent Data?
ZoomInfo acquired Clickagy in 2020 to deliver bidstream intent data directly into its platform, ending their partnership with Bombora. Clickagy derives intent data from the bidstream via tags that it embeds in online articles to track both B2B and B2C users as they browse the web.
InsideView, on the other hand, will soon provide Demandbase intent data, derived exclusively from their proprietary DSP that was built specifically for B2B purposes. Demandbase intent data will live natively in our sales and marketing tools alongside Bombora’s B2B intent data, which is already available within InsideView Insights, InsideView Apex, and InsideView Target. Soon, our customers will have the flexibility to leverage Demandbase’s unique intent data signals from the bidstream AND Bombora’s highly curated and targeted intent data sourced from its publisher co-op. The ability to access both types of buyer intent data will give you an unprecedented inside view into your prospect and customer accounts to ensure that you win more deals, faster.
How Does Insideview Intent Data Compare to D&B Buyer Intent Data?
D&B offers intent data through partnerships with several vendors. They identify in-market companies based on keywords and deliver them on a weekly basis.
InsideView customers will benefit from the ability to access both Bombora publisher co-op intent data and Demandbase’s native bidstream intent data, derived from their proprietary, one-of-a-kind B2B DSP, all integrated conveniently into the InsideView tools you use every day. No separate weekly lists.
Not only will our multi-sourced intent data offering allow you the flexibility to use keywords and curated B2B intent topics, but you will also be able to leverage buyer intent data from all over the web and activate those signals directly in the Demandbase One platform. And unlike D&B, InsideView customers own the data you get from our platform, including intent data signals, allowing you to use and activate your buyer intent data anywhere in your sales and marketing workflows.