“Know thy customer” has taken on a whole new meaning in a buyer-led era.

Cold outreach is increasingly seen as outdated and intrusive. Instead, the focus has shifted towards understanding buyer intent and facilitating a guided buyer experience.

Leveraging buyer intent to find and engage the 10% of buyers who are “in-market” at any moment in time is increasingly the holy grail of demand generation strategies.

But not all intent strategies are created equal. From the Cadillac versions requiring hefty investments to more budget-conscious “DIY” approaches, the key lies in understanding three core pillars that drive success in this domain.

  1. Carefully Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

The foundation of any intent data strategy lies in a meticulously crafted ICP. This involves not only delineating the characteristics of your target accounts but also mapping out their buyer journey. By identifying where potential customers are in their purchasing process, marketers can tailor their outreach efforts accordingly. Whether focusing on broad engagement and awareness or honing in on later-stage funnel prospects, a well-defined ICP ensures precision targeting.

  1. Track In-Market Activity

Gone are the days of shooting in the dark with marketing efforts. Today, tracking in-market activity provides invaluable insights into the behaviors of potential customers. By monitoring searches, visits to competitor sites, and interactions on review platforms, marketers gain a real-time pulse on the 10% of accounts actively seeking solutions. This data not only guides targeting efforts but also serves as a barometer for gauging market demand and competitor landscape.

  1. Capture First-Party Data

Beyond simply identifying in-market accounts, capturing first-party data is paramount. Whether through website visits, content downloads, or participation in interactive experiences like competitions, these engagements signal genuine interest in your offerings. By weaving together data points indicating ICP fit, in-market activity, and engagement with your brand, marketers can pinpoint high-quality leads ripe for conversion.

The convergence of these three pillars can lay the groundwork for marketing to effectively enable sales with high-quality, in-market leads. 

Success lies not in pushing products but in guiding customers along their journey. And intent data and in-market accounts serve as the compass.