B2B marketing has undergone a significant shift when it comes to the use of data to track and target leads. No longer are they forced to rely on job titles and demographics to identify prospects and figure out how to approach them; they can now use behavioral and intent data to identify not just key decision-makers but their spheres of influence as well. This data can also tell marketers and sales teams exactly when and how to reach out to them according to their needs at each stage in the customer journey.

The problem with using behavioral data to drive your business growth is that there is never enough scale to target at such a granular level, no matter how large your database is. The data exists that can tell B2B marketers who is in-market, who the decision makers are, where they are in the funnel, what issues they are looking to solve, who their influencers are, what everyone is reading about in their personal and professional spheres, when they are ready to make decisions, etc. It’s a perfect roadmap for engagement, except the access to that data and an ability to analyze and act upon it in a timely manner, has not been available because of the scalability problem.

The B2B space has been slower to adopt intent data platforms, and the scalability issue has been a significant stumbling block. Marketers have access to B2B intent data from multiple providers that trickles in through a small faucet. But what they need is to combine and filter intent data to reach the exact audience profile on a massive scale that can then be used to tailor B2B communications.

Technology can now be utilized to parse those massive amounts of B2B intent data and create unique audience segments, as opposed to targeting by job title. Billions of data points can be distilled into signals that point to surging topics in various industry categories, such as cloud computing solutions in the IT space.

Marketers identify and define these topics, enabling sales teams to target and nurture qualified leads while avoiding wasted resources on prospects who are not in market or who are at a different stage in the customer journey. Intent data solves the question every B2B sales professional faces on a regular basis—who do I call and when, and how do they want to be engaged?

Lead generation is a key component of most sales and marketing strategies, and significant resources are poured into it. So why do 90 percent of leads die on the vine? Once again, the culprit, or at least one of them, is scalability. Traditional B2B targeting parameters like job title, industry, demographic, etc. can help identify many qualified leads, but unless those leads are nurtured throughout the funnel, the majority will either shift back out of market or move toward a competitor.

Intent data at scale enables marketers to not only reach and engage large customer and prospect pools, but it also is what dictates how to reach out to each decision-maker and influencer at each stage of the funnel to encourage a sale and, ideally, a long-term business relationship. No longer do companies have to resign themselves to wasting resources on leads that never get the appropriate follow-up. Scalable intent data fuels sophisticated programmatic platforms that deliver robust and timely insight that reduces waste and improves results.