What Is Intent Data?

9 minute read | 29 Feb 2024

By Boomi

Recent research shows that nearly 30 interactions take place before a business or consumer makes a buying decision. That represents a lot of opportunities for persuading prospects to become customers. But how do you know what they want or need? When is the right time to contact them?

Intent data marketing is an under-exploited resource that can help you determine your potential customers, what they’re looking for, and when they’re ready to buy.

What Is Intent Data?

Intent data (also called buyer intent data) lets you know your prospect’s buying intentions based on their research activity: exploring companies, investigating solutions, and researching new opportunities.

Intent data is gathered from websites, apps, social networks, purchase history, and search engines. It tells you where your customers have been and offers clues about their pain points and what solutions interest them. You can even predict with some confidence what they will do next – conduct more research, book a demo, or perhaps check out your competitors.

Armed with intent data information, you can determine who to target, when to reach out, and how to best market your offer to them.

What Are the Benefits of Intent Data?

Improve Lead Scoring and Conversion Rates

By examining what your prospects are doing or reading, you can determine where they are on the sales funnel and prioritize the most promising prospects.

If intent data shows that one lead is reading blog posts analyzing a problem and another is reading reviews or checking out demo pages, you know the second lead is closer to making a buying decision. The time is ripe to reach out to them.

Optimize Content Strategy for a Target Audience

You can draw on intent data to create hyper-targeted ads or content that addresses individual pain points or answers questions.

Intent data can also be used to refine your ideal customer profile in response to market changes and give you the information you need to update your content for greater appeal to leads with high intent.

Provide Insights for Sales Teams

Whether it’s an existing client or a cold call with intent data, your sales team can focus less on the intelligence-gathering phase and move straight to increasing rapport and offering solutions.

Refine Targeting and Retargeting

Intent data also means you can improve your targeting of fresh leads and retargeting of previous visitors.

You can craft more effective campaign ads and emails to nurture new prospects or entice former visitors back, and your sales team can reach out at just the right moment to turn a lead into a sale.

The Right Message at the Right Time

The earlier you can start a relevant conversation, the better your chance of closing a sale. Intent data marketing platforms can send alerts to your sales team when a lead reaches a certain threshold of buying intent so they can strike while the iron’s hot.

What Are the Main Buyer Intent Data Sources?

Intent data is divided into various categories. Let’s look at the most important.

First-Party vs. Third-Party Data

First-Party Data

This is gathered from your own websites or apps. It includes:

  • Cookies, IP addresses, and location
  • Information from form fills, surveys, and questionnaires
  • How leads move around your site
  • Data from your CRM

Third-Party Data

This includes any data collected from external sources such as websites, social media platforms, and bid stream data gathered by publishers.

Third-party intent data shows activity across multiple channels. It gives you a more detailed picture of a buyer than first-party data.

Behavioral Intent Data

This is data about the user’s online behavior.

Search Queries

Many search engines provide tools, such as Google Trends, that let marketers uncover popular queries and questions. You can analyze keywords to get insights about your prospects, use them to target ads, or optimize content to attract search engines and users.


Engagement measures how much social media users or blog visitors read, share, or comment on your content. Monitoring engagement means finding more opportunities to target and converting them into buyers.

Purchase Intent

For example, when visitors add items to a cart but don’t complete the purchase, you can use intent data to look for any factors that might have changed their minds, such as a visit to a competitor’s site.

Content Consumption

You can monitor resources such as blogs, case studies, videos, and whitepapers users consume to gain insights into their requirements and purchase readiness.

Form Submissions

Providing gated content that requires visitors to complete a form and submit their details is a direct way to capture intent data.

Other sources of buyer intent data include:

Firmographic Data

Firmographic information tells you the sector, location, size, and revenue of business prospects. You can get firmographics from business directories and data providers or capture them using website forms.

Technographic Data

Knowing which software, hardware, and networks a business uses can inform how and where to target your marketing and sales resources. Technographic data can be gathered using questionnaires or surveys.

How To Use Intent Data

Now that you understand what intent data is, where it comes from, and what benefits it can offer, how do you make it work for you?

Set Up Automation

Automated marketing software solutions can use intent data as a trigger to carry out preset instructions.

For example, when a user clicks on a website button to book a demo but doesn’t go through with it. The software can be programmed to gather intent data about the prospect and send an email or message to your sales team, who can then reach out.

ABM (Account-Based Marketing) Campaigns

You can use intent data for ABM to build account lists of high-value prospects who best fit your ICP.

When you contact an account, intent data can help you gauge when your strategies are working, allowing you to build a feedback loop to refine your messaging and forge a stronger relationship.

Retargeting Campaigns

For example, with the Google Ads custom intent audiences feature, you can retarget relevant ads to the most qualified leads. You can set your bids to target high-value accounts that have previously shown interest in your offer and are close to the bottom of the sales funnel.

Event Targeting

When organizing webinars, conferences, and other events, intent data can help you decide which guests to invite. You can also use it to set up meetings, build rapport, and inform your presentations to better cater to the audience.

Post-event, you can analyze intent data to prioritize the most engaged leads and arrange for follow-up.

Targeted Advertising

Intent data lets you personalize your advertising, email, and direct mail marketing campaigns to better appeal to leads.

Competitive Research

Software can be programmed to trigger if a specific customer visits a competitor’s page, automatically gather intent data about that customer, and send it in an alert to your CSM, who can contact the customer with a relevant message.

What’s more, by analyzing your competitors’ online behavior, you can get an idea of their strategies, such as plans for new products, exploring new markets, and where they’re investing their resources.

Speed Up Response Times on Qualified Leads

The real-time intelligence provided by intent data means you can immediately respond to new leads. For example, software platforms can forward customer profiles directly to sales reps with an alert when a lead fills in a form.

Using Intent Data To Improve Your Sales and Marketing Results

Create Custom Campaigns for Prospects

Intent data enables you to customize unique experiences and marketing campaigns to appeal more effectively to individual accounts.

Make Informed Decisions With Intent Data

Intent data insights are invaluable when making decisions, adjusting strategies, and anticipating risks.

Improve Targeting at Different Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

With intent data, you can spot where a lead is on their buying journey and step in with the most relevant information at the perfect time.

Leveraging these opportunities requires breaking down your company’s data silos and centralizing unknown or underutilized information, also known as “dark data.”

If you provide your team with a single source of truth, such as Boomi Master Data Hub, they can get a 360-degree view of your customers and sharpen their messaging to a fine point.

Align Future Content Creation With Audience Interests

By seeing how prospects engage with, consume, and share content from you and your competitors, you can hone your content strategy to ensure you better serve your audience’s interests and drive them further along their buying journey.

Develop Future Products or Updates

The benefits of intent data are not restricted to sales and marketing. They can be used across your business.

For example, employ intent data in your design process. You can ensure you’re delivering products that better meet the demands of your target market. Or you can analyze how customers engage with your existing products to optimize updates.

Maximize the Value of Your Intent Data With Boomi

If you can implement intent data effectively, it can unlock countless new sales opportunities. However, with so many types of intent data to draw on, how do you best integrate it with your existing systems and workflow?

The Boomi platform empowers you to get total value from your marketing assets by connecting the dots of your demand generation ecosystem. Pre-built connectors and recipes link your marketing, sales, and analytics software to synchronize efforts, accelerate lead-to-opportunity timelines, and drive results.

You can refine marketing data to create the most potent marketing strategies thanks to real-time access to all sources, including deep data.

Our ebook, “Connecting a Fragmented Digital Landscape,” provides a 10-step checklist to plan your integration roadmap.