You are going to hear a lot about intent driven data right now. It’s the top focus for Internet marketing — and for good reason.

Intent driven data tracks customer movements online so you can learn what items or services they are interested in or may need. Intent driven data also looks at online profiles such as on social media to learn about customer interests, such as hobbies, beliefs and political viewpoints.

By using this data effectively, you can create ads and other marketing strategies that get better results in less time. You can meet your sales goals and free up resources to focus on other aspects of developing your business.

You can learn a lot by looking at the companies and executives who are leading the charge with intent driven data. Here are just a few of the things you can learn from the top intent based leadership:

You Must Use Engaging Ways to Collect Data

Cookies can only tell you so much. If you want to find out more about your customers, you will have to think of engaging ways to collect data.

Buzzfeed offers a great example for how to do this. The popular site publishes a number of quizzes on everything from whether they can guess your “true age” to what flavor you would be if you were ice cream.

These are silly quizzes, and most people take them to pass the time and because they are intrigued at what answer the quiz might give back. Because Buzzfeed has developed a reputation for offering up funny and surprisingly insightful results, people continue to take the quizzes.

When taking these quizzes, people offer up a treasure trove of data, including their favorite items (songs, movies, TV shows and more), what they look for in friends and relationships, their beliefs, their political ideologies and much more.

Buzzfeed can combine the tracking data with the information provided on these quizzes to put together an extensive customer profile. They can then show ads that are specifically chosen for that profile and that have a much better chance of making a sale.

You Must Constantly Adapt

The Internet of today is not the Internet of a year ago — nor will it be the Internet of a year from now.

Our VP of Marketing, Angie Geffen, points out that the online world is expected to change drastically just in the next year alone, including seeing the rise of mobile users, an increase of Asian users on social media, and the prevalence of sharing amongst desktop users.

Marketing leaders understand that in order to be successful with your online outreach, you must constantly adapt. Otherwise, the online world will pass you by, and you will be stuck holding your cat memes in an empty virtual room.

Stay on top of changing trends, be an early adopter of new sites, and constantly perform research to ensure that you have the latest information on what your customers want and need.

Branding and PR Work Together

In the marketing days of old, public relations and branding were considered separate activities. Today’s leaders know that they can accomplish the same goals and that they are often one and the same.

The same data you are using to help sell your products can help you better understand how to establish your brand and promote your company with your customers.

These days, many customers are using their pocketbooks to make their values known. For example, many customers are shopping with companies that use environmentally friendly manufacturing processes or that pay their employees a fair and living wage.

By using intent driven data, you can better understand what your customers’ values are and then create ads and marketing campaigns that showcase how your company shares those values. You will better define your brand, and you will engage your target customers at the same time.

Your PR activities can continue to highlight those values. For example, you can attend or sponsor events that promote environmental preservation, showing your customers that this is a cause that your brand also cares about and helping get more exposure for your company.

Today’s leaders understand that this intent driven data can do much more than help them create more effective ads. It can help companies to build a stronger brand, encourage customer loyalty, and increase their revenues.