I = Intent; Why B2B marketing today is all about the I.

B2B Marketing Nov 10, 2019

What is an Intent ?

Intent in the marketing world is the signal that a buyer sends — explicitly or implicitly that he or she is interested in a product/service or a category of product/service.

What is Intent based marketing ?

The concept of intent-based marketing is very simple. It is a marketing practice that helps businesses predict buyer purchase intent through an in-depth analysis of behaviour data and offering their product or service that matches the user’s interest. This form of digital marketing is gaining rapid adoption in B2B marketing and in the advertising domain.

Traditionally in B2B marketing, intent data was captured when a buyer visits the vendor’s website, downloads a case study, fills a contact form, registers for an event/webinar among other things. These are explicit signals which marketing took, acted upon to qualify and pass it on to sales for deal closure.

Why Intent-based Marketing and what are its advantages?

Intent-based Marketing brings better results as marketers can execute Bottom of Funnel (BoFu) stage campaigns as buyers have directly moved deeper into the Marketing funnel. Statistics say 50% of the Top of the Funnel (ToFu) campaigns attract leads that are either non-relevant or of less-value — read low ROI and ineffective.

What are the challenges in executing Intent-based Marketing?

While knowing the buying intent has a clear advantage, with changing buying patterns it has become difficult to obtain intent as buyers delay the form-fills upto 80% of their buying journey is complete — 68% of customers prefer to research independently before ever engaging with the brand or company.

Form-fills that used to be a great source of intent tracking has lost steam and marketers are now forced to rely on other sources to track the intent. This is easier said than done!

What are the sources of intent data for Marketers?

Intent data can be grouped into

  • 1st party intent
  • 3rd party intent

1st party intent is those signals exhibited by buyers on your website or in channels where you have direct control. ex. Marketing campaigns. Explicit intent signals are that of filling registration forms, downloading a case study etc. Implicit intent is behavioural based and includes the time spends on your website, the type of content that a visitor reads, chat conversations with customer success team etc.

3rd party intent is signal from the activity performed by the buyers on other third party websites. For example, when a prospect visits a business news website and reads an article related to your product and company, It is a signal the visitor has some buying interest. Unlike 1st party intent, 3rd party intent is misleading at the initial stage but becomes progressively reliable.

In the above example, if the same visitor read articles repeatedly, specific to your product or category, the visitor can be considered as one with an (implicit) intent.


The key to leverage purchase intent data is to combine 1st and 3rd party intent data and integrate the insights into your marketing campaigns. When intent data is used correctly, it can boost conversions and sales dramatically. At Recotap we focus on obtaining 3rd party intent for our clients, at scale and help improve their marketing effectiveness through personalisation.

Arun Gopalaswami

Co-founder & CEO @Recotap ¦ Likes all things SaaS ¦ Design Thinker ¦ Digital Enabler.