picture of the abm playbook

How to Use Intent Data to Power Your ABM Strategy

For B2B marketers, intent data is a hot topic. After all, it can be the difference between scaling effectively or failing to get new business. Intent data is useful for businesses in every sector, from start-ups and SMBs looking to break into the industry to professional services firms ready to scale. But how does intent data work? And how can you use it to build an effective sales pipeline?

Read on as we break down everything you need to know about intent data and how companies can use it to take their ABM campaigns to the next level.

Why is Intent Data Valuable?

Every day, buyers conduct important research online to identify solutions to problems they’re having. Under the surface of this research, are keywords and search topics that bubble up hidden “intent,” signals a company has revealing their interest in a specific product or service.  We can then contextualize these seemingly random searches and website visits and, by grouping them together, build a dataset that begins to tell a fuller story. Voilà — now you have intent data! 

For example, an accounting firm may be seeking out software to help streamline administrative tasks. Or, a low-code platform, may be searching for tools to streamline its marketing strategy. When employees and decision-makers begin to enter different keywords and topics into search engines or watch certain videos, they leave breadcrumbs on databases that highlight their intent and reveal their interests or pain points. Companies using intent data can then use these signals to offer products and services to meet those pre-defined needs. For the user, it will feel like the internet knows exactly what they are looking for by presenting products and services that reflect the exact solutions they’ve been thinking about. For you, as a marketer, it will feel like you have a superpower that helps you zero in on prospective clients that are already looking for you. It’s a win for both parties!

First-Party and Third-Party Intent Data

Intent data is split into first-party and third-party signals

First-party intent signals refer to data collected directly by a company from its own interactions with customers or prospective clients. These signals are typically derived from interactions with the company's website, emails (newsletters and/or drip campaigns), events and webinars, social media channels, customer support interactions, etc. First-party intent data is valuable since it reflects the behavior and interests of individuals who have directly engaged with the company's brand, products, or services.

Third-party intent signals, on the other hand, are obtained from external sources outside of a company's direct interactions with its audience. These signals are typically aggregated from various sources across the web, including publisher networks, data providers, social media platforms, and industry-specific websites. Third-party signals may not directly display true buyer intent, but rather an account’s broader interests. It helps provide a deeper understanding of a potential customer’s requirements while also providing important background details that can help sharpen messaging and personalize outreach.

How Does Intent Data Improve ABM Performance?

B2B professionals can use intent signals to help their ABM campaigns really take off. After all, intent signals can identify your in-market accounts to help you build connections with the right people at those accounts. With intent data, you gain access to a bunch of different signals that you can use to personalize messaging around the solution your buyer is looking for

Intent signals also help refine your ABM strategy. Centralized data facilitates team alignment. A key feature of ABM is sales and marketing alignment. When you introduce an ABM strategy to your business,  your marketing and sales teams are aligned around shared goals as well as a shared list of accounts and contacts. 

Thanks to intent signals, sales and marketing teams can focus their attention on in-market accounts to eliminate confusion about which accounts and contacts to target, helping to streamline and prioritize outreach. With more time saved and stronger insights guiding the outreach process, teams using ABM can adopt a laser-focused approach that results in reduced sales cycles. Over time, companies also can lower their marketing spend by focusing on targeted in-market accounts while growing a pipeline of prospects primed for sales engagement. This translates to lowered conversion costs and higher win rates.

Propensity's intent signals

Importance of Capturing Intent Signals

Intent data is captured in real-time, so when intent signals are spiking, you know your buyer is researching a solution to their problem. The trick is distilling those intent signals in a way that connects and reaches the right contacts at the perfect moment. You never want to be too early or too late. 

It’s important to capture intent signals as they are the key to unlocking new opportunities for optimization. They help you leapfrog over your competitors, for example, by getting notified the moment customers are in the market for your solution. By monitoring for intent, you’ll be first in line to serve those prospective clients. 

Capturing intent signals also helps you better understand your buyer’s current pain points or requirements. This helps you gain a further competitive edge. After all, not only will intent data ensure you’re first in line to offer up your product or service to customers, but if you understand what your buyer needs, and why they need it, you can begin to talk directly to them in an empathetic, personal way.

Why You Should Use GDPR-Compliant Intent Data

Intent data is valuable, and that’s why we believe it needs to be ethically sourced. At Propensity, we don’t use the bidstream. Although the bitstream boasts a high volume, it often offers low-quality data and raises ethical red flags in the form of privacy and permissions. Instead, Propensity opts for signals sourced using a cooperative approach. 


We choose to enforce strict compliance with GDPR in our approach to collecting intent data because:

  • By prioritizing GDPR-compliant data, ABM campaigns ensure adherence to legal requirements and mitigate the risk penalties for non-compliance.
  • Prioritizing GDPR-compliant data ensures that customer privacy is respected and that data is collected and used transparently and ethically.
  • High-quality GDPR-compliant data gives more reliable insights into target accounts. This provides clients with more effective targeting and personalized messaging opportunities in ABM campaigns.
  • By using transparent, consent-based data sources, organizations can build trust and credibility with their target audience, fostering stronger relationships while protecting brand reputation. 

All of the data we provide is sourced from consent-based frameworks that are privacy-first to ensure all users are protected. When you use Propensity, all of your intent data is ethically acquired while still granting you an accurate and comprehensive picture of buyer intent.

In Conclusion…

Now that you have a better understanding of intent data and its purpose, you're better prepared to grow your outreach and build effective messaging campaigns before others even have a chance to compete. Get started today by building a better ABM strategy with your top 100 in-market accounts list, crafted exclusively for you based on intent signals unique to your business.