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I’m reminded, even more this election year, of the ironic phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Well, far be it from me to spar with the various political pundits out there, but I do believe one thing about “good intentions” – good intent data does breed marketing success.

Apparently, I’m not the only former or current CMO who feels that way as a recent (2015) study by Forrester Consulting found that nearly 80% of senior-level marketers surveyed recognize the value of using intent data for targeting, and 67% said that using intent data for prospecting and retention would give them an advantage over the competition.

Finding data is never a problem (we are drowning in it) but to produce optimal results, your automation system needs a steady diet of the right kind of data, namely the type that reveals insights regarding the level of intent or interest of potential buyers. Unfortunately, 38% of the organizations that have a marketing automation system (according to the State of Digital Marketing 2015 by Webmarketing 123) use it only for basic processes and have yet to employ advanced tactics such as progressive profiling.

Most CMOs cite time and budget constraints as top barriers to optimizing their data usage. But, given the results that can be achieved by using intent data, overcoming those challenges should be priority number one.

Good intent data can help you to optimize your marketing budget so that it covers, not every channel imaginable, but just the ones favored by your target buyers. This will give you the best chance of encountering potential buyers as they are channel-hopping in search of answers. At this point, when your prospect “discovers” your content, it can serve as a handy rationalization for what may otherwise be an emotion-laden purchasing decision. (Yes, even in B2B.)

Even though Account Based Marketing (ABM) has smartly limited the sandbox in which our marketing dollars are in play, by using intent data and predictive analysis to deliver “individualized” content, you’ll be adding a layer of intelligence to your multi-channel strategy.

You might think of this as Precision Account Based Marketing (PABM) because, more often than not, your marketing budget will be placed where you’re most likely to encounter the decision-makers showing intent within your target accounts.

And that’s a pathway paved in gold.

This post was originally published on the LinkedIn Pulse platform.