Raising Their Hand: Intent Data Is Now Widely Used In B2B

Email is not the channel most favored by B2B marketers when employing intent data. But it is part of an activity mix that is increasingly driving success for brands, judging by The B2B Perspective On Using Intent Data, a study by RollWorks and Bombora, conducted in partnership with Ascend. 

Almost all respondents believe intent data will provide them with a competitive advantage in the year ahead — 50% say they agree with that statement, while 47% strongly concur, and only 3% disagree.  

Not all have strategies in place — 41% do and add that it’s measurable. Another 24% are currently rolling out a strategy. And 35% are planning to create one in the next 12 months.  

Just what is intent data? The study defines it as data “based on content consumption of users across the web (also known as 3rd-party intent)” or as data based on “direct interaction with company properties such as a website (also known as 1st party intent data or engagement data).”



Here are what the respondents see as the most actionable ways to use intent data:

  • Delivering targeted ad content — 52%
  • Personalization — 49%
  • Account-based initiatives — 37% 
  • Crafting messaging/content — 33% 
  • Email marketing — 32%
  • Informing automation campaigns — 28%

Is intent data helping them achieve their goals? Of those polled, 33% say they are very successful, or best in class, and 33 are somewhat so. Only 4% are unsuccessful.

But they face challenges: 

  • Data quality — 56%
  • Making intent data actionable — 50%
  • Data security — 36%
  • Aligning marketing and sales — 35%
  • Integration into existing tech stack — 34%
  • Unifying data sources — 28%
  • Lack of resources — 25%

What kind of intent data is used most often? For 27% it’s first-party data and for 6% it's third-party data. For 66%, it’ s a combination of both. 

The primary uses of intent data are:

  • Identify new accounts to target — 56%
  • Align sales and marketing — 51% 
  • Prioritize accounts for prospecting — 38%
  • Tailor messaging based on intent topics — 33% 
  • Monitor customer churn — 33% 
  • Optimize lead scoring models — 29%
  • Sales enablement — 29%

The survey was fielded to a panel of marketing influencers and research subscribers. 

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