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Without intent data, your ABM is just M...

What's the best way to market to high-value accounts? It's a question that every B2B marketer worth their salt has asked at some point. And while there are a lot of different answers out there, one approach that's gaining traction is account-based marketing (ABM).

If you’re a B2B company and ABM is not currently one of your core marketing channels, you are officially in the minority. A recent HubSpot report found that 70% of B2B marketers rely on ABM techniques for outreach and lead generation.

So, what is ABM? And, with so many organizations doing it, how can you stand out?


What is Account-based Marketing (ABM)?

ABM is a focused approach to B2B marketing where sales and marketing collaborate to find and target best-fit accounts. In contrast to the mass messages of traditional marketing, ABM involves extreme segmentation and highly personalized targeting. When done correctly, it is cost-effective and will lead to a shorter sales cycle and higher sales conversion rate.


How can you stand out with ABM?

With 70% of B2B companies doing ABM, business buyers are becoming increasingly accustomed to personalization. So how can you make sure your ABM campaigns break cut the noise? In our experience, effective ABM campaigns have five vital ingredients:

  • A high level of personalization
  • A clear focus on the buyer’s pain points
  • They offer some form of value to the buyer
  • They act as a conversation opener

They take a multi-channel approach - for example, email, direct mail, telephone outreach, and targeted advertising.

To deliver each, you must know a lot about your target account. And using knowledge about your target account is how you can stand out.


ABM and buyer intent data

Imagine knowing which target accounts are actively researching your market, product/service category, or competitors.

With that knowledge, you could select the accounts that require time and money investment, creating highly personalized messages around their specific pain points. Based on understanding their information needs, you could open conversations and have the confidence to spend marketing budget positioning around their decision-makers and buyers. The additional investment would help your business stand out and make all other ABM look generic and impersonal, just like traditional marketing.

The potential impact is enormous. And it's possible with buyer intent data.


How to use buyer intent data in ABM segmentation

Buyer intent data rewrites the script for segmentation inside your total accessible market. The traditional way to approach market segmentation is to find target accounts that meet a pre-defined set of traits, usually based on an understanding of an existing client. Buyer intent data turns this on its head, allowing sales and marketing teams to focus on in-market target accounts and to open opportunities with organizations inherently more likely to close.

Intent data model segmentation

  1. Buyer intent
  2. Account engagement
  3. Account access


Buyer intent data

Buyer intent data segmentation involves prioritizing the target accounts searching for a solution in your market. This entails accessing data that identifies buyer signals, designing highly personalized marketing outreach, providing information and communicating solutions around their pain points and challenges. With an intent-based approach to segmentation, this is the first port of call for analysis. First contact advantage can prove critical in the potential to convert a sale, with first call setting the expectations and laying down the benchmarks for competitors to beat.

Buyer intent data can be first-party or third-party. First-party data is collected from your audience directly, and third-party data is collected by another entity - often sourced through a cooperative of consent-based websites. First-party data offers ownership, control, accuracy, relevancy, reliability, and personalization benefits, and is commonly sourced through direct engagements, events, and website or content engagements.


Account engagement

Prioritizing account engagement involves reviewing prior contact points and deciding which accounts require sales and marketing focus. Engagement analysis should include analyzing contact history recency, frequency, and engagement level, with contact sources being events, website, prior enquiries, marketing, networking, etc.

Accounts with high recency, frequency, and engagement should be prioritized.


Account access

Next, segmentation should consider account information access. This involves prioritizing target accounts on accessible information to support the personalization required to make account-based marketing successful. Account information can be held internally, gathered through previous interactions, and stored in a database or Customer Relationship Managemet system (CRM ). Or it can be sourced through a data provider. In all cases, the quality and completeness of data are critical for success when planning a multi-channel ABM campaign.


Why use buyer intent data in ABM?

Adding buyer intent data to your ABM will help improve your return on marketing investment, generating more leads and boosting sales. You will take your ABM to the next level when targeting  is taken from ABM-to-few to ABM-to-one.

Rather than being reactive and waiting for your target accounts to find you, buyer intent data will give you a competitive edge allowing you to intercept their buyer research process with information to answer their needs. This will position you in front of your target accounts earlier in the decision-making process and improve your sales conversion rates.


How we can help

If you are considering investing in buyer intent data or ABM, get in touch. We offer a comprehensive B2B marketing solution including buyer intent insights that help you find, reach, and convert your ideal customers.