What Is Intent Data and Why Does It Matter To Marketers?

Intent data helps marketers connect various elements of a user’s online activity to gain perspective on the relationship between motives, topic searches and buying.

This category of data offers more profound insight than what you can gain from traditional forms of profile and behavioural data.

The following is an explanation of intent data, along with some of the critical reasons that your company should leverage it to optimise your lead generation efforts.

Intent Data Overview

Intent data is an attempt to relate the topics a user searches and engages with to the context of his or her problem. It is gathered through off-site publishers and search engines, and on-site activities.

As an example, marketers want to know what types of phrases business buyers in specific job functions enter when researching a given problem.

This intent is detected by piecing together searches with content consumed to establish the context with which a person uses searches to derive the desired information.

You need to find out who people are to begin to build your prospect profiles. Historically, online tracking tools only picked up on IP addresses and other impersonal data points. However, top data tools now enable you to match IP addresses to company names.

If you capture an email, you can then match that email to an individual based on their social media profiles and other online accounts tied to that email address.

Why Intent Data Matters

The ability to more clearly connect data to marketing programs is a fundamental benefit of intent data. The insight on how online buyers think and act is more apparent than it is without these combined inputs.

The following are some additional benefits of intent data:

Better Predictive Capabilities – Unlike manual lead scoring processes, intent data allows you to better predict the path a prospect takes to arrive at a purchase. With predictive power, you can design your content marketing strategies and on-site experiences to align.

More Efficient Prospecting – Your sales team can more successfully determine which online searchers are just conducting superficial queries, and which ones have a genuine and active motive to find a remedy. By identifying qualified prospects more accurately than you can through traditional lead scoring models, sales reps make fewer wasted calls.

Useful and Relevant Content – By recognising the correlation between topics and context, you can develop more on-point content to attract the right people. Prepare articles, whitepapers, eBooks and videos that answer the primary questions posed by targeted prospects through search engines. Improve your search engine optimisation and attract people that need the information and solutions you provide.

You can also personalize your digital advertising and email campaigns based on the motives, concerns, emotions and needs of individual prospects. Target people within the same company based on distinct job functions and titles.

personalise content with intent data


The power of intent data is clear in the current marketing climate. The question is whether your business is going to leverage it as much, or better than, your industry competitors. Deeper insights on prospects and customers are necessary for successful lead generation, nurturing and conversions.