Using intent data to fuel your marketing activities seems like a no-lose situation. It’s an opportunity to gain deeper insight into the behavior of individuals in your target audience. With that information at hand, you should be able to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities.

At least that’s the promise of quality intent data. It’s why about half of B2B companies are already investing in intent data to some extent.

But intent data shouldn’t be used as a magic bullet for marketers. For intent data to live up to its potential within your organization, you need to find the more practical ways to put it to use.

There are many different options, but the following 4 use cases can give you a better idea of where intent data can best serve your goals.

1. Focusing Your Content Marketing

Ten years ago, you might have been able to follow inbound marketing best practices to the letter and reap significant rewards. Creating educational content for an increasingly self-service-based customer journey was a true differentiator.

But all of your competitors are meeting that standard now. There’s so much content available to your customers that great blog posts, eBooks, videos, and more can go unnoticed. It’s a problem of engagement that you must overcome if content marketing is essential to your overarching marketing strategy.

One way you can make the most of intent data is to increase the impact of your content. Intent data offers insight into the topics that matter most to your customers and prospects.

Instead of outlining vague audience personas and creating content that focuses on what your business can do, intent data helps you become truly customer-centric. You’ll know which topics to focus on for each stage of the buyer’s journey. And instead of getting lost in a sea of similar content, you’ll stand out by resonating with what customers really need.

2. Improving Sales Enablement

There’s a disconnect between the marketing and sales departments of most companies. Traditional marketers focus on generating leads but fall short of sales expectations when it comes to qualifying those leads.

As a result, you have marketers wasting time qualifying leads that sales won’t close. And you have salespeople wasting time starting from scratch because they don’t trust marketing-qualified leads.

Intent data helps you fill the gap between sales and marketing. It gives the two departments a common language and gives you the insights necessary to properly qualify leads. When you can create prioritized lists of leads for sales, you’ll be able to collaborate more effectively and streamline sales enablement.

The key is to find the right third-party data to supplement the first-party insights you have into lead activity. All of this data will generate more accurate intent scoring, enabling sales to close deals more efficiently.

3. Bringing Personalization to the Customer Experience

B2B buyers now expect a new level of service from the brands they interact with. It’s not just about having all the right content and being available in the right channels. You also have to provide a more personalized experience at every stage of the buyer’s journey if you want to differentiate yourself from the competition.

The starting point for many marketers looking to personalize experiences is in email marketing. Beyond starting emails with the recipient’s first name, you can use behavioral insights to further segment email lists and ensure that prospects and customers are getting hyper-relevant messages.

Intent data can make this level of email personalization much easier. But personalization is about so much more than email. With the right intent data and technology, you can start to personalize experiences across your channels by serving known visitors relevant content in real time.

Most marketers haven’t found a way to personalize customer experiences at scale. However, if that’s your goal, intent data provides the foundation for success that you’ll need as martech solutions continue to evolve.

4. Minimizing Waste in ABM

In many ways, account-based marketing (ABM) strategies are meant to improve the use cases we’ve mentioned so far. Instead of focusing on leads, you organize around target accounts. You work to identify key contacts that are part of the purchase decision to improve sales enablement. And you narrow your focus to individuals within target accounts so you can personalize marketing messages.

However, without the right data and insights into your target accounts, you could end up wasting the resources of both marketing and sales teams.

Third-party intent data fills the gaps in your ABM contact and account profiles to ensure your sales and marketing activities have the highest likelihood of success. Not only that, but intent data can help identify accounts that fit your ideal profile and are in the market for your products. The more accurate your view of your total active market, the easier it will be to maximize business results—and intent data is the key to gaining full visibility into total demand.

Make a Plan to Get the Most Out of Intent Data

“I believe that, initially, folks don’t buy intent data for the right reasons. They subscribe to the fact that their internal data is so bad they can’t fix it, so they try to solve the problem with third-party intent data. Using this data will help you build performance, but you’ll see intent data having the biggest impact when it’s aligned with your own internal engagement data.”Mark Ogne, CEO of ABM Consortium

The key to intent data success is investing with a plan. Having so much data at your fingertips is great—but only if you have a plan to get value out of it.

The four use cases listed here are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to intent data. There are so many different ways that you can bring third-party intent data into your marketing strategies. It’s just a matter of understanding what you’re buying and how it aligns with your goals.

But if you’re new to intent data, you might not know how to unlock it’s potential. If you want to learn the ins and outs of intent, download our free report, Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data.