How to Effectively Use Intent Data Across the Customer Lifecycle

If you’re only using intent data to inform awareness campaigns, you’re missing out on a host of use cases and opportunities. In our roundtable discussion with TechTarget and Demandbase, we explored some of these deeper strategies for making your intent data work harder and potential barriers getting in the way. | Originally aired on November 9th, 2022.
Connect the dots between your marketing objectives and the way you measure success. There’s one more roundtable in this series on how to determine the right metrics for your goals and communicate them effectively.

Key takeaways.


The promise of intent data.
If you’ve got the right data, you’re no longer fishing blind—you’re putting your sales net in the right spot.


Barriers to deeper intent insights. 
Amongst others, a lack of connected and consistent departments and technology hold organizations back.


Strategic use case: Customer protection.
Load your customer list into an intent platform, see what they’re researching, check if they’re looking up competitors, and mobilize on that information.


Intent gives you the ability to take somebody through the entire account journey consistently, personalizing to them at all stages.

Jackie Palmer • VP of Product Marketing, Demandbase

Watch the next roundtable in our series.

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Uzair Dada • Founder & CEO, Iron Horse

Uzair built Iron Horse from a startup to an award-winning growth marketing agency helping global brands build scalable integrated marketing programs. Uzair is regularly featured in Wired.com, CNET, Demand Gen Report, DM News, eMarketer, MediaPost, Native Mobile and Retail Integration, and has spoken at TechWeek, Marketo Summit and other key industry events.

Jackie Palmer • VP, Product Marketing, Demandbase

In her role as VP, Product Marketing at Demandbase, Jackie is responsible for go-to-market initiatives and product strategy for the company’s solutions. Jackie joined Demandbase from Conga (formerly Apttus) where she led product marketing for their portfolio of Quote-to-Cash products. Prior to Conga, Jackie was at SAP where she was a Global VP of Strategy and Solution Management with responsibility for the vision, strategy and go to market for the SAP Marketing Cloud. Before SAP, she served in a variety of product marketing and product management leadership roles at Teradata, Infor, Epiphany and Accenture.

Steve Niemiec
Steve Niemiec • CRO, TechTarget

Using his over 15 years’ experience in the technology media space, as CRO of TechTarget Steve helps ensure that all customers accelerate their marketing efforts with purchase intent. Having worked with 1000's of enterprises, mid-sized accounts, small businesses and VARs, he’s focused on helping each customer overcome their unique marketing and sales challenges. As an organization, TechTarget does this by enabling partners with effective go-to-market strategies rooted in data.

Episode Transcript

Ellen Smoley: Hi, everyone. Welcome to today's round table session. My name is Ellen Smoley and I'm the head of marketing here at Iron Horse. This is our second in our round table series of three, where we take a closer look at key growth challenges identified in our recent survey, which will be linked here in the chat. Our first session focused on content marketing where leaders from On 24 and Netline discuss the importance of creating content for the full customer journey. I encourage you to take a look and go back and watch this session, which we'll also link in the chat for you. Now, I'd love to get into today's session which is focused on intent.

Ellen Smoley: First, I'd like to introduce you to our three speakers. We have Uzair Dada, founder and CEO of Iron Horse. Next, we have Jackie Palmer, VP of Product Marketing at Demandbase. Finally, Steve Niemiec, CRO at TechTarget. Welcome you three. Uzair, take it away.

Uzair Dada: I am so excited to be here and be part of this discussion. Steve and Jackie, thank you again for taking the time to partner with us to talk about this topic. You guys are both part of two companies we respect a lot, we use a lot for a lot of our customers. I'm super excited. Intent I think is a topic that, next to our kids and wives, is very near and dear to us and families. I feel like I talk about this more than I talk about my kids. It's a really fun topic to talk about.

Jackie Palmer: Don't tell them that.

Uzair Dada: Exactly. Exactly. When my kids are starting to get excited about antenna, I know I'm doing something right. That's awesome. I wanted to start out the conversation by looking at some stats for a B2B enterprise tech survey we just did this summer. The big stat was that 99% of the respondents we talked to, and it was a pretty big sample size, I think it were almost 400 people in B2B tech, said that they're using at least one intent provider to identify accounts that are in market for their solutions. I don't know what this number was last year, but I can tell you it's probably not 99%. I mean that's crazy. That means it's ubiquitous. It's always part of almost everyone in great conversation.

Uzair Dada: The right was actually even more surprising. I didn't think it would be that high, but the fact that it is, that 61% of the people are using two or more intent platforms, that means it's becoming core. This is part of our B2B mainstay. Yet, if you talk to marketing leaders and you talk to them about how they're using it and what they're using intent for that, there still is a lot of struggle and challenges about am I getting value from NMI, doing the right thing and so forth.

Uzair Dada: I thought what would be kind of cool is maybe now that we know that intent data is core and we know that people are starting to take advantage of it, maybe we could start first with a polling question about how are people using and where are people using the intent data the most as part of the purchasing and buyer's journey.

Uzair Dada: I don't know if Jackie and Steve, you guys have any thoughts in terms of what you think people's answers will be?

Jackie Palmer: My guess is not every single stage, but I would hoping to be pleasantly surprised, that it's more than I expect.

Steve Niemiec: I would assume it's probably openly more in the awareness and evaluation stage, depending on some of the different types of tactics that they leverage right now. I will say though that I think that there's a massive opportunity for folks to further evaluate, as you think more down funnel. That's certainly something we can talk through today.

Jackie Palmer: Yep. We're going to get into that for sure.

Uzair Dada: From a polling perspective right now, we've given it a bet. I think you're right, Steve, that awareness and evaluation is really majority. 57% awareness, 30% evaluation. Few folks in the consideration state and almost non-existent bottom of the funnel. We are over index on the as we would think about the, I'd call them, basic or standard use cases that you would think about. Talking about that, I think let's start with you guys and maybe Jackie with you first. I'd love to take of a two-way angle. The first one is, how are you guys, as awesome leaders in the space, using this technology and this strategy for intent data for your own marketing strategies? You being a marketing person, why don't we start with you, but how do you guys at Demandbase use intent data for your own use cases?

Jackie Palmer: Yeah. I mean we try to use it throughout that full cycle. Definitely on the awareness side, definitely on the evaluation and consideration side, but we also even use it for retention and upsell cross sell opportunities. For marketers, the biggest thing that we do, I think, is awareness campaigns to sort get the intent that we use to trigger both digital emails, sorry, digital campaigns and email campaigns, driving people from an ad campaign into an email campaign, driving people to the website. All those things that we do for awareness.We also use orchestration to sort of automatically set up triggers to move them further on down into the funnel and other things like that.

Jackie Palmer: At the consideration stage, we do a lot in terms of leveraging product comparisons with G2, TrustRadius, things like that. We also look at a lot of things that we put up there for our sales people, our SDRs and our sellers, but we are working on that from a marketing perspective. That's sort of taking our campaign messaging and our SDR messaging and tailor that content to the intent signals that we're seeing in that consideration and evaluation stages.

Jackie Palmer: I also, as a product marketer, use the intent that we see more in general to help us create what sort of product materials or marketing materials we might want to have at our fingertips to provide during that sales process as well. Or even our content marketing team comes up with different content that we're using on the website based on intent trends that we're seeing overall.

Jackie Palmer: That's probably the biggest stuff that we do from a marketing perspective. Steve can talk about sales, but we use it in the sales cycle as well.

Uzair Dada: Awesome. Yeah. Steve, you are the leader of sales for TechTarget and have a big team. Maybe you can start with the marketing to sales partnership at TechTarget, but really if you could say how does it flow through from marketing to sales and what are you guys doing?

Steve Niemiec: Yeah. I think it's important, when you think about selling today, it's less about, call it, intuition and it's more about being a data driven seller. All right? When you think about the aspect of what a good progressive seller's trying to do today, they're saying, "Hey. How do I map my territory? How do I prioritize the accounts that specifically might be in market?" Because here's the reality, we don't have endless amounts of hours. Just like anybody, you've got pipeline numbers, you've got production numbers that you're trying to figure through. If you are misrepresenting, you're not prioritizing the right accounts, quite frankly, you're behind.

Steve Niemiec: Another thing that you're trying to do is you're trying to say, "All right. If I'm talking to Uzair, if I'm talking to Jackie." I've only got a limited amount of time, as well as this whole research path, 70% of it, 80% of it's already gone on with the prospect. If I get on the phone with him or her and I'm not educated or I'm not informed about what I want to talk about, well I'm naturally behind. If other sales reps are leveraging data and they're leveraging intent and they're having more productive conversations, I'm essentially on my back foot.

Steve Niemiec: I think it's important to frame what sellers can do and even what TechTarget does with intent data, because as a seller you're always trying to prioritize your time as well as have more meaningful conversations with where there are truly relevant opportunities, be it in the immediate or upcoming. Things that we do with intent data, and this is kind of going to what makes intent very powerful for today for organizations, there's got to be good sales and marketing alignment I believe, to start. Myself and our CMO, we'll look at accounts that are coming to our webpages, similar to what Jackie had just shared around trying to organize as well as prioritize accounts that are right in our market.

Steve Niemiec: On the TechTarget front, even with our ecosystem in BrightTALK, we have specific first party data on marketers that are right now researching on go to market topics. We can feed that information directly to our sellers, so that when they're making their outbound, they're not just calling cold or stale names, they're actually calling prospects, potential customers or even current customers that are right now researching around very specific things. We know this, when you leverage intent data and specifically user specific information combined with account level data, you're going to see increases in response rates. Marketing is using intent data to further prime the pump to create more opportunities for our sellers. Then we've built some mechanisms internally where if it's a user, if it's a marketer, if it's somebody that we want to speak to and they're actively engaged right now with content, we see the content, we inform our sellers in real time and then we expect a certain amount of specific follow-up to leverage that information.

Uzair Dada: I think you guys both talked about some pretty awesome stuff that goes beyond the basics. To me, the basics are, I use it for better media targeting. We all know media has a huge perception of waste. If I can target better, if I can use intent data to be much more prescriptive and personalized and almost anti-creepy, because people have a feeling that you're using intent to be creepy, I almost feel intent is helping us be not creepy because it's telling us what to do and

Uzair Dada: what not to do, rather than just wildly chasing, which is what we are used to doing. I think that's one core use case.

Uzair Dada: The second one that almost everyone's using is the sales one, which Steve you mentioned, which is account prioritization. How do I make sure that we don't sort of use the Yellow Pages approach? Even the old school, I don't know if it's old school, it's still school today, I think most sales organizations still have territory assignments and account assignments and that's who you're going to go after. Rather than saying, "Is this even right? Are we making the right decision in?" To me though, are two core use cases.

Uzair Dada: Let's do another quick poll on those cases are great, but why are people still struggling with using intent data to do more than just that? You guys talked about some pretty awesome use cases that I want to unpeel more, but I feel every time I talk to our customers that are very large companies, enterprises and are trying to do more, they're sort stuck to that and that's kind of all they know. What are the gaps? I think it'll be interesting. Any thoughts Jackie and Steve, while we're waiting for sort of answers?

Jackie Palmer: No, I think you hit the nail right on the head. There's a lot of people that are of just scratching that surface. I think one of the things that we're highlighting here today is how we can go deeper. How can people leverage multiple content sources, multiple intent sources? How can they leverage things in different channels perhaps to take that data and then make their other channels more informed? I think you're right. I think people are just getting started, in many ways.

Steve Niemiec: I would probably say Uzair there that I see a lot of customers today, they love the promise of intent and they think that intent's going to bring them to the holy grail, which is I'm going to immediately know quite frankly that this account's in market and then immediately it's going to create an opportunity. I think to your point, intent is insanely smart, because it's refined and directional, if you've got the right data, because you're no longer having the fish amongst the sea, you're putting your net in the right spot. I think that marketers need to refine, test and change the strategy more. I don't think that it's a clear, straight shot from day one all the way to the end, based off of where you think you are and where you're going to go.

Steve Niemiec: I think, to some of what Jackie was mentioning, we see more and more customers today leveraging intent information to even build quality good content. I think where you start it is intent becomes more mainstream and more organizations build their process and their outcomes based off of leveraging intent data to build propensity modeling and go after accounts. I mean you know this, I'm sure a lot of the folks on the webinar know this, that the battleground for where all this research it's happening online. If you don't even have good content to intercept those buyers as they go through their research path, you're behind. You're absolutely behind, because somebody else might be leveraging that intent data way more prescriptively to provide that audience something that they're very interested in.

Jackie Palmer: Oh, sorry.

Steve Niemiec: No, no, go ahead Jackie. I think it's important.

Jackie Palmer: I was just going to say, I think that's a key sort of second phase intent use case, that I think people, once they've gotten started, like you said with account prioritization, really figuring out how to use intent to drive content, both marketing content and even sort of emails that you might be using within your sales processes. It's going to be a second phase I hope for most people. How can we use the intent that we're seeing to better inform our marketing content creation process, our sales content creation process and then ultimately infuse that throughout the whole organization?

Uzair Dada: I think it's great.

Jackie Palmer: Oh, sorry, I was just say that you could even say that you could take it into the product development process too and use in to prioritize your product feature development and your product development.

Uzair Dada: Yeah, no, I think it's awesome. The winner is the first one that 63% of the people are using it for the basic use cases, the two that we talked about. About 16% not using intent platforms, they want to use it 13% sort of have invested in platforms but don't have the skill set. That's a very, very key one. The other ones sort of have it, but they don't know how to prioritize and focus. Not surprising to see where that is.

Uzair Dada: I think this is great. I think that the next area we should talk about is. What is intent? What can it operationalize? You guys hit on a lot of cool cases. To me it's like we are so auto tuned to media and account prioritization, but to me intent I tell our sales and marketing themes is the ability to be a fly on the wall to listen inside a conversation and glean in and lean in, so you now are more adapt at focusing on what to talk about. It's the ability to declutter. That's the first thing.

Uzair Dada: But if you of think about where people struggle is they don't know how to operationalize intent. That's the biggest part, because they feel they're doing the check boxes and then they're like, "Yeah. I'm doing it." I hate this question today. People still go back to, "Well, how do I know this helped me win the deal?" We still are in the world where people are having a struggle, whether this is a marketing led or sales led, rather than saying growth is a joint initiative, there is a sales and marketing alignment and we sort of know in this world where 80% or 70% of the interaction is happening before someone comes to me. Really we're sort of shifting from a sales led growth model to more marketing led growth model. If the two things are not aligned, you're just missing big time.

Uzair Dada: It'd be kind of interesting maybe from a marketing perspective, Jackie, you starting and then Steve adding, where do you think are the challenges and gaps for people to operationalize? You talked about product marketing use cases, content creation use cases, product development use cases, using the data to drive better nurture, yada, yada, yada. Those are not a person in an organization, those are six or seven different roles that could take that data and now operationalize it. Where do you think are the gaps and why do you think those gaps exist?

Jackie Palmer: Yeah. I mean I think, from our perspective, overall sales and marketing alignment is the holy grail. That is the key thing to having a true success in today's very automated, self-serve, buying experience world. Did you say 70% of the buying experience earlier as we were talking, that is in that self-serve automated approach? Before you even get to a hand raise on a webpage or a talk with a salesperson, there's so much that has to be taken into consideration. You've got to be able to create that content to draw people in. You've got to be able to create the interactions that might align people. If your sales and marketing teams are not aligned, you're really going to be missing that completely. I think intent is really a key sort of data driver across all the different stages where sales and marketing can come together.

Jackie Palmer: You can see the progression as somebody moves through the account journey with you. As they move from more marketing-heavy stages to more sales-heavy stages, you can see that intent and how it builds. I think if your sales and marketing are not aligned, you're going to drop the ball and like you said, Uzair, you're not going to be able to have that fly on the wall viewpoint. You're going to have a totally different conversation from one stage to another. I think that's the sort of first hurdle to get past, is not having that connection of the data that flows throughout the whole journey and connecting all the different channels that you might be able to be speaking with the interacting with for sales and marketers together.

Uzair Dada: Steve, what about on the sales side? You talked about some pretty awesome use cases earlier, that you are taking to staff and John, your CMO, are working on what accounts you prioritize, what are the signals and you're passing that to your teams real time. I love the confidence that you have that your salespeople are using that data awesome, but are they really using it awesome? Everyone's kind of like, "Yeah. I'm doing this," but do people know how to use it? That's where the challenge becomes.

Steve Niemiec: When I think of intent openly, I think people think of intent as directional. Jackie, to your comment, we're going to refine a set of accounts, we're going to figure out the go-to-market strategy. Uzair you mentioned something and let's just kind of hit the nail on the head with this, deals don't just end because they hit a sales rep's desk. We're talking about a seven to eight month buy cycle. Jackie, to your point, people are going to do their research without me even, before they ever want to talk to me. All right? We know that. Let's just get that out in the air.

Steve Niemiec: I think the thing that often is very lost with intent is how does it become very personalized for the actual, physical user? All right? It's important to always remember accounts don't buy, it's the people do, it's the buying teams that are within. It's the four to seven specific people at accounts that are right now researching. They all have a job to do, they're all researching for a very pointed reason at certain variable points. Jackie's right, you've got to be in front of those people because if you're not found, you're behind. When I say personalization though, it's about the user and knowing what they're specifically researched on. How do I get that information to my sellers, so they can actually action on it?

Steve Niemiec: Look, Uzair, I'm not going to sit here and say that hey, all my sales guys and gals, they head home runs all the time. They don't. It's this whole notion of when I'm going to reach out to Jackie as a prospect or you, Uzair, as a prospect, is my touchpoint relevant? Is it relevant about your interests? Is it relevant about what you care about? If I'm doing that the right way, I'm going to win more than I lose, because you only have so much time in your day, you only are going to respond to so many emails. The person that is personalized, that brings forward value, I'd make the case that they're going to win more than they're going to lose.

Steve Niemiec: Why do I see intent falling short is because I agree with everything we talked about. There needs to be sales and marketing alignment. Sellers, as well as marketers, need to be on the same page that deals don't just originate when somebody shows up at a trade show or they get a lead or they land in a queue and turn into an opportunity, they've been going on for a lot longer than that. Jackie, to your point, how do I see that and how do I map it back? But then how do I help my sellers personalize that outreach, right? Look, you personalize your outreach, you get in front of customers in a more timely way and it's more relevant, you're going to win more than you're going to lose.

Uzair Dada: Can we double click on that? How do you do that? How do you get sellers to use this data? A good example is, we started with the stat earlier, the more intent the better. That's great. It's awesome conceptually, but is it really? Because I don't know how to operationalize it. What is happening in the market today is everyone saying, "Okay. I have all this intent data," and I show up in your sales force and I'm a tab in your sales force so you can access me where the account is. I have 20 tabs that now I have to look through that has data from different, whether it's you all or Uber flip or pick your MarTech sales tech stuff ... I think the latest number I saw was on average enterprises have over 80 or 90 different MarTech or sales tech solutions. It's insanity.

Uzair Dada: You guys are doing some cool things where you're sort of bringing stuff together, but back to the seller point, what does a seller need to do when they get an intent signal of someone is looking at X or Y or their propensity is A or B, what is it that you are, maybe as an example of whether it's your team Steve or some of your best customers, what are they doing good and what else can they be doing better?

Steve Niemiec: Sure. I think the first thing that, as a seller myself, and I would highly advise this for anyone who's in any level of leadership and you think about even my role. What's my role? I need to help my sellers get more out of their day, very simplistically. I need to make them more efficient. I need to make them more effective. As a seller, I should be working with my marketing leader to think about how I do that. I'll give you a very practical example.

Steve Niemiec: Right now when you think about an SDR outreach cadence, they have a couple different choices. They can elect to pull generic names out of their Salesforce system. They can go and source that data from, call it, contact databases or even fortunately for TechTarget's data, we know the physical user that's right now researching. We, Uzair, work with a lot of vendors and we'll go, "All right. Hey, you're going to build an SDR cadence. You can load one set of names in, which is essentially guessing, or you could load a set of people who have been researching in real time and you can call down on those people." Now I think most people would probably say that, "Hey. I'm going to lean in this direction."

Steve Niemiec: Where it becomes even more efficient and effective is when I explicitly know what to talk to Uzair about versus what to talk to Jackie about. Now, very practically what we want to do and what vendors should be thinking about, and this is where our teams work. Let's build some impactful, outbound emails. Let's do it for the sellers. Let's show them the data and then let's have them build it into a sequence where they can still achieve volume but also achieve personalization. You do that and, again, I would make the argument that you're going to get more emails returned, you're going to have more effective conversations.

Steve Niemiec: Sometimes, very openly, you've got to be willing to grind the gears. You've got to be willing to do the system work. You've got to be willing to sit down with your sales leader. You've got to be willing to take advice from vendors like us to hear best practices around how you should be thinking differently. Uzair, what Iron Horse is doing with trying to pull together the technology stack. I think personally that over the next years ahead of us ... Every vendor has their own value in a lot of different ways. The organization that's really going to succeed and those that are going to succeed are going to be the one that stitched together all of the value that each organization might bring discriminately to build a much more powerful and impactful go-to-market.

Uzair Dada: Jackie, you alluded to something, I want to go there, because I think one of the key things that is ... You alluded to in your first intro kind of overview of how you guys are connecting the dots better by aggregating more data sources. I think that's one of the cool things that Demandbase allows you to do. I use the internal analogy that modern ABM platforms are like neural engines. I'm sort of allowing to throw in a lot of data that goes in. Then it allows me to sort of say, okay, this is all the insight together. Now, take this and North star help drive unified account conversations across channels. That's the North star.

Uzair Dada: You are truly informing what you are doing, one, because back to ... This is a bold statement I'm making. I don't have a lot of data to suggest it, but I think it's pretty accurate. I think more than 50 to, I'd say even 70% and maybe that number was higher before, of marketing and sales effort is wasted, is not directed. Okay? Because we're sort of shotgunning it, we're not optimizing it. I'd say marketing and salespeople have three strategies. It's more, it's more and it's more. It's more budget, it's more tech and it's more people. We keep going back to what's easy to us, rather than saying how do I better connect and stitch?

Uzair Dada: Applying and using data from top funnel, middle funnel, bottom funnel, whether it's your MOPS and CRM data, whether it's your G2, TrustRadios, Gartner Data, whether it's whatever other data sources that are there. I think platforms are improving. That was not possible today. Platforms are all getting better. Both of you, have ability now to sort do person level targeting. To me I think that's a big gap today is people don't do a good job connecting the dots and as a result what they're seeing is tip of the iceberg. They're just seeing a little bit, but there's a lot more they could be doing. Any thoughts on that from what you're seeing your customers do or what they're not doing?

Jackie Palmer: Yeah. I mean I think one of the things that's truly important, especially in the last couple months as the economic climate has changed, is you've got to be able to do more, not with more but with less. I mean this is not a new thing. The ability to be able to target somebody

Jackie Palmer: and take them through the entire account journey consistently, like you said, personalizing to them at all stages, being able to target the right marketing message based on what they're looking at, being able to then hand that off to your SDR to be able to create an email that has the right subject line based on you saw them come to your website five minutes ago with this intent that followed them there. Maybe you don't want to send them that SDR email right away after five minutes, it might be coming into the creepy territory a little bit. Maybe you wait 15 minutes. But being able to target them with the right email subject so that they do open their emails like Steve was saying.

Jackie Palmer: Then connect that then through to discovery conversation that you would have and then taking it all the way through to what the salesperson, who after a little while comes back on the phone and starts to talk to them about more in depth conversations. Having that thread that pulls all the way through is how you're going to be able to do more with less. Being able to have that consistently across the whole journey is going to be able to take us from the more spray and pray approach to being able to do more with less. I think that's really important cause it then feeds the full cycle again so that when you take that even farther to the retention conversation, you can say, in your retention conversation, "Hey. I've got these people that I didn't even think about as part of my current retention buying committee," because they might be different from your acquisition buying committee. Those people are having this intent that I might not have been looking at too. You've got to take it full circle as well, all the way through.

Uzair Dada: Yeah, I love that. I want to go there with some of the conversations we had around retention with Steve in a second. Why do you think that platforms have the ability to connect things? Why aren't people connecting things? What's holding them back? That, to me, is the biggest gap. Capability is there. Is it that vendors are not guiding people properly? Is it an organizational ownership issue, because I only control X and not Y? Why is it that the possible is available today but it's not being equalized? Is it a skill gap? Is it a organization issue? Is it a change management issue? What? What's holding people back?

Jackie Palmer: My thought is that it's probably an organizational/change management issue. I think that a lot of companies, even though they might have moved to a more revenue focused talk, they still have very different systems. They've got their Marketo for this, they've got their CRM for that, they're very separated. There's not a lot of consistency between that. That hampers that sales and marketing alignment. I have a feeling that it's a bit of system, but it's probably also more in terms of the change management approach to how we're using these systems together and how we're stitching everything together from a true baton pass, not a throw it over the wall kind of approach.

Uzair Dada: Awesome.

Jackie Palmer: It's taking time to move to that.

Uzair Dada: I want to pivot the conversation ... Yeah. Go ahead, Steve.

Steve Niemiec: No, I was going to say I agree with that, because I think that marketing is still somewhat separate and siloed from other organizational inner teams. When you think about it, I need to connect this to Salesforce or I need to connect it to this nurture engine or I want XYZ to work together. That requires a queue that's quite frankly probably very long. At the same time, how do you prioritize this versus that? It could take time. This is the thing I think that people need to commit to how they want to leverage intent across their full ecosystem. When you meet with vendors, you should share with them what your technology stack is and you should ask them what would they suggest that you could do? It might not be easy. There's going to be things that are easy, and there's going to be things that are harder, but commit to what you want to do and you're going to drive better outcomes from it.

Jackie Palmer: One thing that we've found that is more success oriented is to have things where people live. Steve, you talked about the 10 tabs in the CRM that are showing intent, or maybe Uzair, you mentioned that, but it's got to be where they live. Do they spend their time in the CRM or do they spend their time in Slack? Maybe that's the key point, the first thing of integration that you put intent into. Do you put an alert into Slack or Teams, rather than putting it into the 10 different tabs of CRM That will take, like you said Steve, a number of months perhaps to get your IT department to even integrate it there. How can you get started quickly in the places where they live and maybe that is Slack and Teams and not and not CRM.

Uzair Dada: I think that's a great point. I think organization is thing, but I think it's a change management issue. I think even on the vendor sides, I don't think the customer success teams do justice working with customers. They're so me-centric rather than you-centric, you being the customer. This is your environment, this is your outcome, this is what you have. How do they cross connect? What they're focused on is I am vendor X, how do I make sure you're using vendor X rather than saying, how do I get you the best outcome with the environment you live in? I think there is work for us to do. I think we're better sellers and not as good customer success people, because customer success view for us is still narrow rather than very customer centric. I think there's evolution in the market.

Uzair Dada: Before we go into sort of the next segment, I want to sort of do another poll which is, we've been talking about different use cases. It'd be kind of cool to ask the participants about what is the next step with intent data. What do they want to do? Where are they today? Maybe if they don't have a ABM intent platform, maybe they need to purchase it, they have a platform or they want to use it more comprehensively, they want to integrate additional data sources or they're really struggling with just operationalizing what they have. We sort of talked about a few things that'd be interesting to see what people say. Any thoughts, team, on where you think the challenges are?

Jackie Palmer: The top one that's popping up is the one I was thinking as well, operationalizing it. I think it speaks to that conversation we were just having about the change management. It's hard. It's just hard to get it through.

Steve Niemiec: Yeah. I think the operationalizing. This is something I think a lot of people can do immediately. You get an intent ranking list from one vendor, you get an intent ranking list from another vendor. You should use both those intent sources to double verify the accounts as well as inform that list, if there are accounts that one vendor has versus the other. We have a vendor that we're working with and they're doing something similar to that and they've increased their ABM campaigns by their opportunities by over 30%. It's not rocket science. I'm literally taking two good intense sources and I'm verifying together and it's telling me which ones right now, quite frankly, I'm checking the box. Operationalizing.

Jackie Palmer: Right, Steve? There can never be too much data.

Steve Niemiec: Yes. Yeah, I agree with you on that. I think a lot of people they go, "Oh, I've got to get it integrated, I've got to get it integrated." Look, that's important, but what are the short term steps that you can do quickly to share as well as build success. If somebody came to me with a triple verified, double verified list of accounts that we're right in market, I'd be all over it as a seller. I'd have my sales teams definitely mobilize on that.

Uzair Dada: Let's kind of build on it. Jackie touched on it, I know we chatted about it in our prep, Steve, protection. The term you used was protection, account protection. We are again, as marketers and sellers obsessed with new logos. There's this insanity obsession with new logos. The reality is new logos make up maybe, I don't know, Steve and Jackie you guys can ... Maybe 20 to 30% of our revenue. 70 to 80% of revenue on an annualized basis comes from our existing customers. Yet, we sort of treat them as second class citizens, in some ways, from a love and care and being able to grow them and nurture them and make them successful. Talk about protection. I think that was a great term that you used.

Steve Niemiec: Yeah. I mean I think that this is a very, very clear, but also hopeful use case for intent as it further grows in the industry. Uzair, to your point, everybody loves a new logo. It's just the nature. You ring the bell, because it's a new logo, it's been. If you think about intent in its very most simplistic form, it's all the accounts that are right now researching, that you may or may not be aware of. More times than that you're not aware of it. I think there is a vendor's belief that just because somebody's your customer, it means that you own them. It means that they only go to my website to do research.

Uzair Dada: Yes. That's awesome. Yeah.

Steve Niemiec: Quite frankly, they don't go to your website because they assume that what they're going to hear from your website is going to be exactly what they don't want to hear. They want to hear agnostic, third party point of view, things that they can help better inform their purchase decisions. Intent, especially in today's macro environment, it's going to be harder to get acquisition logos and it's going to be more valuable for companies today to grow through their current customers, to spend more time with them, be more impactful.

Steve Niemiec: Think about a sales use case. Say, Jackie, you're my customer. I call you and I don't know what's going on in your environment. You're probably going to be a little turned off, but if I call you and I say, "Hey, Jackie, I understand you're research on X, Y, Z, I'd like to spend some time and talk more about that," let alone acquisition, you already have a relationship with me and I'm better informed to have a better sales conversation with you. Better informed to even service you based off of the need.

Steve Niemiec: For me when I think about protection, load a customer list right into an intent solution and then organize that customer list, because you're going to see, you're probably very surprised that a lot of your customers are right now researching for other ancillary products and services that you might sell, they are researching with your competitors, which would be certainly a very large red flag for me to ensure that my marketing, as well as my sellers, as well as my customer success teams are paying attention. We're seeing more and more customers do this on the TechTarget front, because they're coming to realize that the research isn't with them. The research is going to happen without them. In order for them to be data driven, they need to see it, they need to mobilize it, as well as they need to make sure that they prioritize it. It's a very, very big thing that I think if a lot of organizations get right, they will succeed.

Uzair Dada: Yeah. I think you touched on it ... Go ahead.

Jackie Palmer: No, go ahead.

Uzair Dada: No, no, go ahead. Go ahead. Latency of bandwidth.

Jackie Palmer: The story of our lives these days. I was just going to say we have a customer called Cipher Health who does exactly what you were just saying, Steve. Their customer success team uses intent to sort of figure out who's a potential churn risk, who's a upsell opportunity. They're trying to figure out what are people looking at, maybe even people that are top users that they're already engaged with, these customer success folks or maybe even not top users, but they could be something that they need to pay attention to from a churn perspective. They're very focused on looking at that as part of their customer retention and customer success process.

Uzair Dada: One thing I want to touch on, and I want to move on to the last topic. I think from a competitive insights perspective for retention, but competitive insights perspective for also new logo acquisition. I think intent is phenomenal. Where we work with a lot of our customers to say you can now, working through the neural engine analogy I talked about, get insights on your customers looking elsewhere, your customers looking at you and looking at others, which others. Your customers, looking at others and not looking at you, are prospects. The ability to now be able to layer that in from a marketing perspective and sales perspective and customer retention perspective, phenomenal. Phenomenal.

Uzair Dada: I want to sort bring it all together and the last few minutes talk about ... We've been so focused on intent. Intent is a key ingredient in a recipe. I'm adding sugar to something that's a dessert, that's great, but if I don't have other pieces I can only get sweetness and that's it. How do I get the perfect recipe? To me, I think there's two really interesting things. One is we've been talking a lot about audience obsession. Understand your persona, obsess about who they are, understand their journey and layer that in. Another thing, that as we were talking about intent, I was thinking about that is goldmine that most companies don't have in place or don't use properly is telemetry data, how people are using their applications and what they are doing and what they're not doing. Again, from an insight perspective of what's possible. Those are two things, but thoughts on how to make intent as a key ingredient. What else is needed to make intent-based go-to-market strategies and selling strategies more effective?

Jackie Palmer: I just thought of an example from one of our customers, I'll bring them up again, but when you mentioned the product telemetry, they're actually using intent to figure out where to place stores. What sort of geographic concentrations, where people are located, to where that heavy concentration of intent is coming from. Where should they place stores? Where should they place branches? It's kind of a unique scenario but it's interesting.

Steve Niemiec: Jackie, I think that's exactly where you're going with that. In my opinion it's, one, you got to be where your audience is esearch. Jackie, your point, they're using that telemetry data to essentially say, "Hey. You know what? There's five spots they might be, but let's focus on these two because this is where I know my buyers are showing up to do their real research." Uzair, that I think, in the end game, that's the most simple thing in my mind. You might have a great intent solution, you might have a great ABM list, but in the end, if all that research happens outside of me and I'm not in front of it, I'm losing. I'm losing. You've got to be in the right spots, I think that's the first thing. You don't need intent for that, you just need to be in the right spots.

Steve Niemiec: The second thing is that it's content, because I might be in the right spot, but if I have a piece of junk content or my content is 12 months old, or my content isn't about what this audience cares about and they're researching and they've got a choice ... Let's be fair, they're going to look at six or seven vendors. That's the hard reality that marketers face. If I'm one of those vendors and my content isn't good, they're not going to download my asset. By the time that I might find out about that as a seller .. I always say this. This is even stuff I talk to my sales team about. If I'm calling on you at the 99th hour and you've never heard of TechTarget, or you haven't engaged with my materials, I am behind. It's just the sad reality of sales today.

Jackie Palmer: You've already almost lost, right?

Steve Niemiec: Well, the only way I win that deal, Jackie, I win it based off of price. That is a terrible thing in. I think do an intent right, use the tools, use the solutions, use the telemetry data, make sure that you're thinking about how you're organizing your systems, but you've got to be in those right spots because if you're not there, it doesn't matter the intent data you got or quite frankly the list that you produce.

Jackie Palmer: With the right content. Not just in the right spots, but also with that exact right content, like you were saying. Not just the right online spots, but even the right offline spots, if you can.

Uzair Dada: Yeah. We work with a lot of large customers where you'll see they're using the same ads or the same content for all types of people, for all stages of the funnel. They are using information and they're like, "Well, we're doing things, I don't know why it's not working." My best example, and I think I've shared this with Steve before, is we had a unicorn customer that got a bunch of intent data and they're like, "Well, I called them twice, but they didn't answer. I don't know if this is working. I don't know if this is the right person." I said, "You only called people twice? You're done?" I think there is this mentality of.

Jackie Palmer: Who picks up the phone nowadays, anyway?

Uzair Dada: Right. I think Steve alluded to in the earlier conversation, instant gratification, holy grail. Intent is meant to be, in their head, that they will answer the phone call or they will answer the email and they will set up a meeting with you, rather than it just helping you be more efficient. You still have to work hard. I think that's the part that's a mess. It's sort of like intent is part of your portfolio marketing strategy. The question I asked that sales leader was, I said, "You are a unicorn, but does this customer know you?" No. So I said, "Why would they answer your email to set up an appointment? You're nobody to them. They have no clue who you are." You may be the best at, but they don't know what that is.

Uzair Dada: It's sort of a really interesting strategy. Key learnings are operationalization is a huge gap in the market. I think change management is a big miss if people don't do it. Really, I think the people need to take a portfolio approach where intent sort of informs all the different things that they're doing to get more out of it. It's not the magic pill, it's the magic pill that makes other things better. I think that's sort of the core.

Uzair Dada: With that, let's sort of move to any questions. Ellen, what do we have? Do we have any questions from the audience?

Ellen Smoley: We do. We do. Thank you, Steve, Jackie and Uzair for that conversation. Turning to our questions, Uzair, you were just kind of addressing this one, but if campaigns based on intent data are not working, what can be some of the issues and factors that are affecting that? Uzair, you went into don't use the same content across the whole funnel? Can you all kind of talk through one or two more points on that question?

Uzair Dada: Jackie.

Jackie Palmer: You can't expect them to, like you said, Uzair, automatically give you a meeting without giving them something in return. Intent allows you to figure out what that give is or what the best give is. I think that's one of the things first that you've got to figure out what is it that you're going to use, as that carrot to be able to get that meeting. That's important.

Steve Niemiec: I think it's important to define working too. Obviously the end result is I need more revenue, I need more opportunities. That's why we're all in marketing, as well as sales. If I take an intent list in my SDRs and my callers are just naturally right now 20% more effective because the accounts that they're calling pick up the phone, well, that's a winning metric, because in the end you do that over and over again. If they're good, or quite frankly you've got a good solution, you're going to produce more. I think it goes back to some of what we were talking about. Define what you want to do with intent and then consistently grind it and refine it and build the strategy over and over until you can replicate what is most successful for what you're trying to do.

Uzair Dada: Yeah. I want to double click on the defined part. I think one thing that we don't a good job, as a growth team, is we shortcut the definition of what the conversation arc is with our prospects. What do they need? What do they know? The intent tells us some of the stuff they know, but we don't really define what is that conversation path that we want to take them down. We just sort of throw stuff on the wall. It's this. Okay. There's a structured approach to giving

Uzair Dada: them information they need to make a decision. Even if they have it, they can fast track themselves. Thank God, we've gotten better at not gating the whole world, which is kind of the old marketing strategy of everything. We've moved beyond that, hopefully. To me, I think that's a big miss. I think where you went, Steve, I think is the right structure.

Uzair Dada: I feel there's so much loss in not having an understanding of the audience and defining how to talk to them so that they understand my value to them. Then I think what Jackie said earlier I think is spot on, which is, to me, I'm a huge believer in give before you get. What are you giving me in value, as a prospect, before you're asking something back in return? We've just gotten into such terrible habits. I get probably 30 emails in my LinkedIn inmail every day about, "Hey. Can we set up a meeting with you?" It's just like there's no sense of relationship development. I think that's a miss. I think for us to be effective, it's doing what you all talked about, but I think there needs to be a strategy and a definition of the conversation arc.

Jackie Palmer: Absolutely.

Ellen Smoley: Perfect, thanks. Steve, I'm going to let you start with this question. How can you sift through so much intent data to find information you're looking for? Give us just one place we should start.

Steve Niemiec: Not that I can ask the question for a question. Sorry. On the sift through intent data to start. Well, look, I mean foremost, as a vendor, I'd prioritize my first party data to start. I'd prioritize my inbound web traffic, I'd prioritize where I'm actually placing cookies on our pages. TechTarget has our own first party data, these are people that are coming to our sites. In general, first party data, for a vendor, especially if you have very specific product pages and you can organize your intent data by that, it's probably a good place for you to particularly start. You're not going to get the critical volume because naturally there aren't that many people always going to vendor webpages that are specifically looking at product specific information. That's a pretty good nugget of information to start with.

Steve Niemiec: Then I would start to think about, all right, so now that I've harnessed that, what are these other secondary signals to a vendor that would add other additional scale that I don't see or that is relevant to where my buyers are actually at.

Jackie Palmer: I'd only add to that, the first party data of it is absolutely the best place to start, but then you can take that information and translate it into the keywords that you want to look at for your third party stuff too. It can inform and help you for the next sort of expansion opportunity for that.

Ellen Smoley: Wonderful. Well, that is all the time that we have for now. Steve, Jackie, Uzair thanks for the conversation. To all of those that joined us on today's conversation, thank you. We will have our third round table coming up in December. We are going to put the link here to register in the chat. Make sure you join us in December. It's going to be around measurement and reporting. We look forward to seeing you back then. Thank you, all. Hope you all have a good rest of your day.

Uzair Dada: Thanks, all.

Jackie Palmer: Thanks so much for having us.

Steve Niemiec: Thanks, folks.