Intent Data & Its Implication in Lead Generation

What is Intent Data? How to know if and when a prospect is looking to purchase your product or solution? Only a small fraction of your prospects is in an active buying mode at any one time, so it’s crucial to determine that purchase intent, and target appropriately.


Intent data shows which leads are actively involved in doing research about the product. Intent data is rarely used alone. Combining third party data sources with website data tracked over time, intent data supports marketing and sales teams to get insights on buying motives, areas searched, pain-points, intent level and other account intelligence.




  • Internal Intent Data captures the insight from a company website through a marketing automation tool. This data can be anonymous where there’s no name associated with the records, or it can be identified when individuals fill out a form and provide their name and contact information. This data can be used to know intent, for example by tracking the content a prospect is looking at, links clicked, time spent on page, etc. therefore it is possible to identify interests, buying stage and more.


  • Third-Party Intent Data is collected by publisher networks, usually via cookies, user registration or IP address tracking. Third-Party intent data providers track wide range of data showing much wider intent and interest – content a target account is reading or downloading, site searches, etc. Bombora, for example, collects data from hundreds of reliable analyst websites like Gartner, review websites like G2Crowd, and publication websites like Forbes.




  • Prioritizing Prospects: Marketing/Sales teams can easily identify and prioritize warm, relevant leads based on their likelihood to purchase.


  • Support and Nurture: Intent Data can help you identify the buying stage that a prospect is at and specific areas and issues he is facing; hence you can take specific actions or develop custom content to engage and nurture them at the right time.


  • Specific, customized messaging: This data informs you about your prospect’s interests and intent, this information enables marketers to create personalized content around the challenges and topic interests.


  • Improved ad targeting: Data insights enable marketers to improve ad targeting with better messaging and approach to particular target accounts.





Internal Intent Data can be collected from marketing automation tools like Marketo or Eloqua. These platforms give you different levels of access to the data. Marketo’s scoring feature allows users to score accounts on very granular actions, users can penalize accounts based on negative attributes such as irrelevant job titles. It is recommended to add criteria like “flexible scoring model” and “intent data integrations” while choosing an automation tool.

Third-party data is provided by vendors like Bombora and TechTarget. The following questions need be asked while evaluating data providers:


  • Is the data mapped to leads, accounts, or both?
  • How is the data gathered?
  • How extensive is the coverage and how comprehensive are the details?
  • Is the provider giving details over the context- breakdown on how scores are calculated?
  • Can the data be integrated into existing CRM model?


Intent data can sometimes be incomplete. For example, using intent data to focus only on accounts who show interest, will lead to missing some accounts who are interested but could not be captured by data provider’s system; this is for the reason some prospects may research on out-of-network websites or might be registered under wrong IP-address.


Intent data is best used by combining it with other data to create an all-inclusive scoring model.