Downstream Intent Could Be Your Secret Weapon to Win Deals in a Remote World
If you’re a B2B marketer, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of buyer intent data. You may have even used intent data before. But you probably haven’t heard of downstream intent—which is a new type of data that’s already showing promising results. The best part is, your competitors likely don’t know about it either.
The Right Way to Think About Intent Data
87% of buyers we surveyed in the B2B Buying Disconnect want to self-serve part or all of their buying journey. And 57% of buyers make decisions without ever talking with a sales rep.
So how do you understand the buying behavior that happens behind your back? Especially now, when purchasing decisions are made 100% remotely?
At its core, intent data is a tool that can help you make predictions about buyer behavior. Marketers love to predict what the buyer is likely to do next, and try to influence their decision.
People do a lot of things during their buying journey. Once they recognize they have a problem and begin searching for solutions, they leave breadcrumbs all the way through to the point when they make a purchase and get value from it. These breadcrumbs are usually recorded somewhere in the form of intent data signals.
How to Make Sense of Today’s Intent Data Sources
Over the past couple of years, marketers have been trying hard to track all these pieces of intent data and make some sense of them. But with a new intent data provider popping up seemingly every few months, things can get confusing in this space.
Here’s a simple way to look at the market as it stands today:
As you can see, most providers of intent data are 3rd party sources. That means they help capture top-funnel audiences who are early in their buying journey. This data can be quite valuable, primarily because of its huge volume. 3rd party intent data can help you get in front of top-funnel prospects before your competitors—but the impact of that data starts to diminish as you go down the funnel.
The further you go down the path to purchase, the more impactful intent data becomes. Buyers are closer to their buying decision, and their actions become more distinct. That’s why it’s important to consider using multiple sources of intent to generate the most value.
How Downstream Intent is Different
Downstream intent signals are often much stronger than the signals you’ll get from 3rd party aggregators, because the buyers you discover through downstream intent are potentially closer to a purchase decision. Downstream signals are collected from a prospect’s actions on your own web properties (1st party data) or a secondary source such a review platform (2nd party data). These signals tend to be more detailed, down-funnel, and actionable for sales and marketing.
The key to driving impact is utilizing these 2nd party downstream intent data sources—which index heavily on prospect activity in the later stages of their buying journey. These are people who are already evaluating solutions, reading reviews from their peers, and comparing products side-by-side.
These signals make up the largest part of the intent data on TrustRadius, which is without question mid-to-bottom funnel activity. Remember, 2nd party data is someone else’s 1st party data. So it’s credible and highly relevant to predicting what a buyer will do next. Downstream data really works.
Downstream Intent Gives You a Competitive Edge
Most marketers only use intent data from 3rd party sources—which means you gain a strong advantage by using downstream intent data from reputable review platforms.
Here are some ways to drive more revenue with intent data:
- Enhance your ABM program by tracking recent buyer activity
- Improve lead scoring models to prioritize outreach
- Create new target account lists for outbound efforts
- Help sales reach out to prospects who are reading reviews or comparing solutions
- Personalize messaging on chatbots based on review site activity
- Track customer activity for upsells when they shop other products
Alex McWethy, Sr. Manager of Demand Generation at WatchGuard Technologies, uses these strategies to drive real results. In her own words: “I see this data more as a valuable part of the intent puzzle because it is toward the end of the buying cycle… if someone is reading reviews and comparing us to people, we see it as an account in decision to purchase. “
How to Pick the Right Source of Downstream Intent Data
There are only a handful providers of downstream intent data on the market today. But you do still have a choice to make between the few options available.
Here’s how to prioritize and choose the best provider for your needs:
Audience: Does the provider have the right audience you care about? Does the majority of their intent data come from smaller businesses, or does it skew more enterprise? Is there enough traffic for your category to produce a high enough volume of data?
Product: Within the platform you’re considering, are there enough interaction points that are valuable to you? Or is it just about people reading your reviews vs. your competitors? Can you get more detailed data from prospects who interact with your pricing or put your products on a short list?
Content: Most products are rated well on review sites. That’s why buyers care a lot more about what the reviews actually say. How deep or shallow is the review content? This impacts how rich and predictive the intent data will be, and how much you can rely on it.
The key takeaway here is that you can’t afford to ignore downstream intent data. There’s a ton of buyer activity happening today behind your back. Don’t be left out of buying decisions and let your best prospects slip away. If you’d like to give downstream intent a try for free, TrustRadius is offering a free trial. You can use that sample data to drive results and see if a downstream intent partnership is worth the investment.
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