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Better B2B Marketing Using Intent Data in Programmatic Advertising

Intent-Based Marketing - Advertising 101 - Advant Technology
Intent-Based Marketing – Advertising 101 – Advant Technology

Intent targeting represents a profound shift in online advertising, allowing you to target potential accounts/users/customers who are researching specific topics across the web rather than just presenting ads indiscriminately which leads to wasted marketing budget when engaging relevant accounts.

Intent-based advertising is the next step in B2B ABM advertising. Intent data combined with the right messaging is a powerful combo that both marketing and sales teams benefit hugely from.

Marketing teams can successfully use this tactic to generate leads and improve brand awareness from key accounts around particular topics related to your business. The beauty is that they are already researching these topics and showing ‘buying signals’.

As a programmatic agency that helps B2B clients, we know that intent targeting technology helps marketers identify their relevant audiences across multiple marketing channels and deliver a more targeted message. It is a proven method of delivering greater response rates, higher close rates, and a long-term impact on sales revenue growth.

Intent-based programmatic offers an alternative to Google Ads (intent-based searches) or at the very least support your Google Ads campaigns.

So if you’re running any kind of demand generation campaign you’ll want to read this article to learn how to use intent marketing data as part of your account-based marketing strategies and programmatic campaigns.

What is intent-based marketing in digital advertising?

Intent data is the digital information gleaned from a user’s search for information or actions and online behaviour across the web. It provides an insight into what the users’ intents of their searches and activities online are. This valuable data is what is applied when setting up your targeting.

Intent-based marketing - Digital Advertising - Advant Technology
Intent-based marketing – Digital Advertising – Advant Technology

Intent data is the new art of listening.

The average online buyer has already completed most of their buyer journey before finally speaking to a solutions provider. Therefore targeting customers based on their online behaviour/digital footprint such as content consumption will give you an edge when reaching customers.

If you can intercept buyers as they search for product information they can end up in your sales funnels rather than that of your competitors.

Understanding B2B purchase intent to improve sales prospecting

Salespeople are not a free commodity.

The last thing you want is for them to spend their time on low-quality leads. When commercial teams are aligned together, they perform at their best.

Before buying, B2B buyers are increasingly using the web to research, what you as a marketer must do is capture that intent and interest and use it in your campaigns, this leads to highly targeted leads for your sales team and it also improves conversion rate.

What is account-based advertising/marketing?

Account-based marketing (ABM) defines a strategy to exclusively engage high-value leads interested in a specific product or solution. By using personalised, strategic outreach, you can see the clear fit for intent data.

This type of marketing aims at deepening customer relationships across the decision-makers cohort and is typically applied to segments of accounts instead of one individual contact within the account.

Why are intent-based campaigns more effective?

The power of intent-based targeting lies in the ability to connect directly with your audience who are actively looking for your products and services.

Intent targeting engines use machine learning to analyse trillions of data points from tens of thousands of publishers.

The role of intent data in your ABM strategy

Intent data can help marketers to understand B2B buyer behaviour and align their engagement strategy accordingly. It provides actionable insights regarding how prospective accounts are researching and making buying decisions.

This helps marketers to have a more in-depth conversation with the right decision-maker, at the right time which improves sales effectiveness.

By understanding the research and buying process of a prospective account, marketers can map out an engagement strategy that is relevant and personalised for each individual account.

The primary use cases where intent data can be applied to Account-Based Marketing (ABM) include:

– Segmentation: using intent data in account prioritisation & filtering  to determine the weightage of an account in a scorecard

– Sales strategy: helps marketers to focus on the best opportunities within an account

– Lead scoring: using intent data to increase lead score of accounts that have been identified as more valuable by mapping it against their content consumption and intent

What can go wrong with intent data in ABM?

One important factor is to ensure that the data is of high quality, accurate and actionable. Marketers can end up spending a lot of time targeting accounts that would have been low-value customers anyway.

Another challenge is to determine if intent signals from the account are really relevant for the business or if it is just noise.

Some of the intent data might not be relevant for your company or product at all. For the ones that are relevant, it is important to determine which signals provide the best indicators on account behaviour and ultimately buying decisions.

When it comes to account-based marketing, data is crucial. Consider the quality of that data and how much it can tell you about your target consumers.

Where can I activate intent-based data on my marketing campaigns?

The intent data itself is activated in a marketing technology known as a DSP (demand side platform) which your programmatic agency can provide access to.

From here, in order to engage relevant accounts, we must reach them wherever they are spending time, that could be across consumer sites or even social platforms.

B2B Intent Data Myths

Let’s demystify intent data!

Myth: You cannot target using intent data when people are working from home

Just because people are working from home does not mean you cannot use digital display advertising to engage relevant accounts and prospective customers, your ABM program can still leverage intent data.

Bombora Intent data for example is built using a number of data sources

1. IP to business domain match using Bombora technology.

2. Using the data co-op (a tag across thousands of sites) Bombora is able to take registration data and match it to users.

3. Offline databases and registration data sources provide further business domain matches.

The end result is there has been very little data drop-off post-pandemic, so rest assured we can still reach your target accounts.

Myth: I need a big team to use intent data

False, Bombora has done the hard work for us. All we need are the prospective audiences/topics to build the intent data and we can be up and running with a campaign in a few days.

Myth: Intent data costs a lot of money

False. There are no setup fees, it’s a pay-as-you-go model whereby a CPM is charged on top of an advertising campaign. So if you only want to spend a few hundred dollars that’s technically feasible, though not necessarily advisable.

Myth: Intent data breaks consumer privacy rules

False. Intent data from Bombora is collected through a co-op, this data is aggregated from digital footprints collected from users browsing content-rich website publishers researching online. That media consumption is then tracked only when a consumer opts in to have their data collected and analysed.

The B2B buyer journey & intent data

The B2B Buying journey has always been a subject fascinating for marketing professionals. Especially in this modern world where everything is shifting to online and B2B buyers are getting more mobile than ever before, the way they buy has changed significantly. Take a read of the new B2B buyer journey here.

With Bomboras surging target audience data you can choose to what extent they are showing intent, using a scoring system, though a high score does not automatically mean the buyer is at the bottom of the sales funnel.

Never before has it been more important to influence the buyer with quality content from the top through to the bottom of the funnel as sales teams no longer influence the buyer as much as they used to.


If all of this sounds intimidating and you want help enacting these principles in advertising campaigns, let us know. Our teams of experts are ready and waiting to partner with you to create a stellar marketing plan that drives sales by reaching customers based on intent.



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