TechDogs-"A Dummies Handbook To Intent Data"

Marketing Technology

A Dummies Handbook To Intent Data

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At TechDogs, we love all things magical – from Hogwarts to Middle Earth to Narnia. However, today we want to talk about the magical movie, Now You See Me. It follows a team of four illusionists known as "The Four Horsemen" who pull off incredible heists using, well, magic.

The third Horseman, Merritt McKinney, is a master at reading people’s minds. In reality, Merritt gathers information about individuals using various observational and conversational techniques. He skillfully analyses their attire, body language, reactions, etc. to draw detailed inferences about them. This expertise in gathering and analyzing information enabled Merritt to understand people’s behavior. Impressive, huh?

Businesses need something similar – no, not a master mentalist! An approach to minutely observe consumers, analyze information about them and understand their behavior and intentions. That’s why Intent Data is critical for businesses and marketers. It enables marketers to read their consumers’ minds the same way Merritt does (wink wink!)

Join us as we dive deep into Intent Data, its working, origins, benefits, types and future!
TechDogs-"A Dummies Handbook To Intent Data" Do You Sea The Importance Of Intent Data?
Marketers know that personalization is the name of the game. Understanding the specific needs and demands of their target audience is critical. Yet, this is only possible when businesses have relevant consumer data and insights based on this data. Hence, businesses collect information about the behavior and activities of consumers on their websites, social media pages, online campaigns, store visits, etc. Together, this information is called Intent Data.

For example, you might be a retailer of high-end camping equipment. You decide to offer consumers a 20% discount on heated blankets and flashlights. However, it turns out, most consumers already have these products - their buying interest lies in tents (see what we did there?). Without the right Intent Data, you won’t be able to understand or cater to your consumers’ preferences, interests and needs.

Intent Data provides B2B marketers insight into their consumers’ buying journey, making it simpler to personalize the buying process. It comprises crucial information regarding the behavior of customers such as their website navigation choices, browsing duration and on-site interaction. This data then enables the sales, outreach and marketing teams to develop practical and tailored marketing strategies.

Hop on as we unravel Intent Data!

Understanding The Magic Behind Intent Data!

The term "Intent Data" refers to data gathered on consumers' observed behavior and activities, particularly their content consumption and interaction, that may offer insights into their interests. These insights generally point to potential intentions, such as purchasing a particular item or trying to pull off a bank heist. Okay, maybe the latter is highly unlikely!

Intent Data enables businesses to identify customers who are close to purchasing a product or simply to grasp the subtleties of a consumer's buying journey and conversion. Intent Data helps businesses determine whether a prospect is contemplating or actively searching for a product or service. This is done by monitoring important intent search terms through web cookies and digital sources. Once marketers identify a prospective client engaged in the buying process, they can develop better campaign responses which lead to faster and easier conversions. Makes sense, right?

The evolution of Intent Data also made sense to marketers – read on to understand why.

Evolution Of Intent Data

Hey, Daniel Atlas, we know you can make time stop but can you rewind it too? We want to see how Intent Data evolved over time!
Thanks, Daniel!

Well, businesses have been trying to understand their buyers’ intentions for millennia. Knowing a prospect’s intentions would ensure tailored responses that would guarantee conversion. If you know that your customer is buying a tent for a fishing trip, there’s a good chance you could sell them a fishing rod, fish bait and a portable stove!

The earliest attempt by marketers was through prospecting; reaching out to consumers through a directory or database. This was manually driven and very time-consuming. Moreover, as consumer demand changed, prospecting could not keep up.

Next, businesses started connecting their various databases to get a more comprehensive picture of their consumers. While this process was more beneficial than prospecting, it still relied on manual management and analysis of data. The only thing that should be done manually is magic!

Then, software started running the show across various domains. Data analytics and consumer segmentation could be automated within the software using policies. At this point, marketers realized they could define multiple target audiences and create campaigns for each segment with automation.

The next step was to move things to the cloud. This service-driven model aligned insights from various sources of consumer data, resulting in businesses adopting Big Data strategies. Analyzing this collection of data resulted in a better understanding of consumers’ business intent. Marketers could determine consumers who were engaged in the buying journey and develop quick responses to meet their needs.

Today, we see intent-based analytics (where the analyzed data is Intent Data). We leverage end-to-end automation of the process – from collecting Intent Data to developing insights. This allows marketers to pinpoint user intent and provide insights into their preferences/interests. This evolution made sense as it was necessary to understand the purchase intent of audiences, without which businesses could not create personalized marketing campaigns.

Hey Daniel, you can stop manipulating time now – we’re back in the present looking at the benefits of Intent Data!

How Does Intent Data Help Businesses And Marketers?

Well, here’s what you should know by now – Intent Data reveals a consumer's interests and consequently, what action they are most likely to take next. At every stage of the funnel, targeting and engaging prospects with insights gained from Intent Data improve the chances of conversion. Other advantages provided by Intent Data for business decision-makers include:

Reducing The Marketing Noise

Remember when The Four Horsemen teased their upcoming appearance and the entire world would be hooked? Well, most B2B businesses are not the Four Horsemen and only a small part of their potential customers will be engaged at a time. To get a competitive edge, Intent Data allows marketers to focus on consumers who are already engaged through tailored marketing and precise targeting.

Promoting Yourself Better

Jack Wilder, the acrobatic fourth Horseman had to fake his death as his identity was revealed to the FBI. If you work for The Eye, keeping your existence hidden makes sense! Yet, when it comes to marketing, businesses want audiences to be aware of their existence. When potential buyers are researching/contemplating, Intent Data helps marketers reach out and encourage consumers to buy their solution rather than the alternatives. This is achieved during the customer’s buying journey through tailored communications.

Finding More Potential Leads

The FBI struggled to locate the Four Horsemen throughout the movie – is that how you feel about finding quality leads? All you need to do is identify potential buyers that are searching for solutions similar to your offering. This is where marketers can use Intent Data to look for spikes in intent keyword searches to locate potential leads.

Offering Personalized Outreach

The main reason we loved the Four Horsemen is because of how relevant their magic was! Being relevant plays a huge role in marketing as well and Intent Data helps you with it. Marketing campaigns can be better personalized if marketers are armed with insights from Intent Data. Personalized outreach helps convert prospects faster through individualized targeting.

Yes, Lula, we agree!

Now that you understand how Intent Data benefits businesses, it’s time to reveal the types of Intent Data!

Hint: It’s the same number as the “Now You See Me” movies!

The Types Of Intent Data

Some say there are four types of Intent Data (the same as the Horsemen, coincidence?) – Informational, Navigational, Commercial and Transactional. However, they fall into two categories of Intent Data that marketers need to be aware of:
  • “First-party Intent Data”

    is your go-to Intent Data that is generated exclusively by your internal sales and marketing campaigns. This type of Intent Data also includes businesses’ online research activities and digital interactions that reveal prospects’ intentions acquired through website visits, landing page visits, social media interactions, CRM insights, email campaign responses, online subscriptions and other sources.

  • “Third-Party Intent Data”

    is collected from third-party sources such as data vendors or intent data-driven solutions providers. This data is acquired through information collected by data vendors, product review sites, partners of intent data providers, public databases and more.

First-party Intent Data is your own, which distinguishes it from third-party Intent Data. Since no one else has access to the first-party dataset, it offers a unique competitive advantage. Your rivals might gain access to the same insights by purchasing third-party datasets. Moreover, third-party Intent Data comes with restrictions and compliance worries. For instance, you might not be aware of the sources used by the third-party data provider or how accurate the data is.

Yet, all these limitations are waning as almost every business’s reliance on Intent Data grows. Soon, Intent Data will make lead generation and marketing seamless while providing improved experiences for consumers. Even better than the Four Horsemen’s disappearing trick - okay, maybe not!

What Are The Future Trends For Intent Data?

Thaddeus Bradley, the former magician and magic debunker, once said:
That’s what marketers will say to consumers in the future – although much less ominously!

Thanks to Intent Data, consumers will get precisely what they want, sometimes even before they know they want it! According to a 2022 DemandGen report, 25% of B2B businesses are currently using Intent Data, while 35% are preparing to utilize it within a year. Soon, every marketer and lead gen executive wanting to understand the intent of their prospective customers will look to leverage Intent Data. Moreover, automation and augmented analytics will offer real-time insights and help deliver the right content to the right consumer instantly.

With the aid of Intent Data, more potential consumers will be pushed down the sales funnel earlier, increasing conversion rates. Finally, personalization will be made simpler by Machine Learning models, improving the consumer experience and enabling businesses to produce tailored communications on demand.


Regardless of whether it is first-party or third-party, Intent Data is essential to businesses. It notifies marketers when customers act in a way that indicates they are prepared to buy the products/services their company offers. When used effectively, it can help increase customer conversion rates and boost sales. If you want easy insights into customer behavior, Intent Data makes a difference. You don't need a mind-reader like Merritt to know what your customers are thinking, just the right data!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Intent Data?

Intent Data refers to the collection of consumer behavior and activity data, providing insights into their interests and potential actions. This data includes observations such as website navigation, browsing duration, and on-site interactions, helping businesses understand consumer preferences and needs. By analyzing Intent Data, marketers can personalize the buying process and develop tailored marketing strategies to engage with their target audience effectively.

How does Intent Data benefit businesses and marketers?

Intent Data offers several advantages for businesses and marketers. Firstly, it helps reduce marketing noise by allowing marketers to focus on engaged consumers, leading to more precise targeting and tailored marketing campaigns. Additionally, Intent Data enables businesses to promote themselves better by reaching out to potential buyers during their research or consideration phase, increasing brand awareness and conversion rates. Moreover, Intent Data assists in identifying potential leads by monitoring spikes in intent keyword searches, facilitating lead generation efforts. Lastly, personalized outreach becomes more achievable with insights from Intent Data, enhancing customer engagement and accelerating the conversion process.

What are the types of Intent Data?

Intent Data can be categorized into two main types: first-party Intent Data and third-party Intent Data. First-party Intent Data is generated internally by businesses through their sales and marketing campaigns, website visits, social media interactions, CRM insights, and other digital interactions. On the other hand, third-party Intent Data is obtained from external sources such as data vendors or intent data-driven solutions providers. While first-party data offers a unique competitive advantage as it is exclusive to the business, third-party data may provide broader insights but comes with compliance concerns and data accuracy issues. Both types of Intent Data play crucial roles in understanding consumer behavior and informing marketing strategies for businesses.

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First-party Intent Data Third-Party Intent Data Intent Data Informational Intent Data Navigational Intent Data Commercial Intent Data Transactional Intent Data

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