The accuracy of buyer intent data depends upon an accurate interpretation of an intent signal. Intent signals are given off by a prospective buyer’s behavior during their web-based research. The anatomy of these signals, however, is often vaguely interpreted and unreliable.

Below is a list of the vital parts of a valid intent signal — for this example, I’ve used the category of ‘Corporate Wellness Programs,’ which would be targeted towards HR and benefits staff in medium and large corporations.

Signal Keywords. These are salient words that indicate intent signals within a category. Solutions must include natural language processing (NLP) to detect variations of these words (tense, plurals, hyphens, stop words, etc.), and to avoid false positive signals.

Core Category Keywords phrases and acronyms that an article contains if written about the target category (i.e., ‘workplace wellness program’, ‘wellness incentive’, ‘employee wellness’, etc.)

Adjacent Category Keywords – words that indicate research in a related category. Adjacent Categories are vital to identifying an early buying journey in the Core. Often, buyers in the Core Category are also on the buying committee of the Adjacent Category (i.e., ‘employee benefits’, ‘weight loss’, ‘group health insurance’).

Stage Keywords. These are words that indicate the position within the buyers journey.

Early Stage Words – certain prominent phrases indicate early journey stages, as the prospective buyer educates themselves on industry trends and terminology (i.e., ‘how to’, ‘definition’, ‘why’, ‘idea’, ‘white paper’, etc.)

Mid-Stage Words – words that indicate the buyer is evaluating solutions (i.e., ‘case study’, ‘example’, ‘best practice’, etc.)

Late Stage Words – words that indicate the buyer is choosing between vendors (i.e., ‘price’, ‘vendor’, ‘consulting’, ‘WorkStride’, ‘LifeDojo’, etc.)

Signal Sources. Signals can and should come from many places. Proper interpretation of these signals, given the source, is very important.

Core Publications – sites that are squarely aimed at potential buyers within your category (ex.,

Adjacent Publications – sites that aimed at relevant adjacent categories (ex.,

Review Sites – sites that vendors pay to register on for exposure among category vendors (i.e.,,,, etc.)

General News Sites – news articles about the category that catch the attention of your buyer. These complement core publication signals for a better understanding of the stage and intensity of the buyers’ journey (i.e., ‘Fitbit’s Game Plan for Making Your Company Healthy’, ‘’, etc.).

Your Web Site – Integrating your web traffic with 3rd-party intent signals is critical to proper interpretation and attribution.

Do you know which specific companies are currently in-market to buy your product?

Wouldn’t it be easier to sell to them if you already knew who they were, what they thought of you, and what they thought of your competitors?

Good news – It is now possible to know this, with up to 91% accuracy. Check out Aberdeen’s comprehensive report Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data to learn more.