Content + Intent Data: The Rise of First-Party Data

intent data Brian Giese

We recently gathered 10 intent data experts and power users and collected their tips and insights in The Content + Data Connection: 10 Top Marketing Executives Explore the Rewards of Integrating Intent Data into Content Strategies.

To keep that conversation going, we’re posting a series of Q&As with those experts to share their perspectives on how content marketers can make the connection between data and content.

The Rise of First-Party Data

Today, we feature a Q&A with Brian Giese, CEO of True Influence. His groundbreaking work in intent monitoring earned him the B2B Innovator People’s Choice Award in 2019. He’s been on the forefront of intent data marketing, demonstrating how essential intent data is becoming in the emerging “cookie-less world.”

Here, he forecasts what’s next in content marketing, plus his perspective on first-party data’s expanding importance.

Do you see opportunities for more B2B brands to use intent data intelligence at the foundational stage to formulate their content strategies?

Yes, marketers can utilize intent data to drive their segmentation effort, helping B2B marketers discover companies (and people) who are in-market for a particular product or service. The True Influence approach provides robust audience segmentation and filtering using an unlimited combination of multi-variant intent topics including company contacts, locations and installed technology criteria. We utilize lead scoring to rank potential customers by low, medium and high intent to purchase, accelerating the ability to identify in-market prospects and prioritize promising accounts. 

How does the elimination of third-party cookies change the content marketing landscape?

Increasing concerns about privacy and the use of third-party cookies has forced the industry to restructure the way marketers target their customers. Platform publishers such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple now are eliminating third-party cookies in their products.

This demise of third-party cookies will result in the rise of first-party behavioral data across all channels of B2B marketing, forcing data-driven marketing and demand generation platforms to build wider networks to compile data from publishers’ content, Java script, and first- and second-party data.

How are B2B companies using intent data to inform the content they’re creating in terms of topics and formats?

The nuance is that there’s a lot of granularity within topics. Intent helps define that granularity. Intent signals emanate from buyers’ interactions with content. For B2B marketers, this is highly prized information.

Marketers can learn where buyers seek content, what topics interest them and what formats are popular. Intent data also reveals differences in topical interest by account, segment or location to enhance a content strategy, improve overall SEO/SEM techniques and drive more effective campaigns at the bottom of the sales funnel.

How else can revenue teams use data to make sure sales teams get the right content to the right buyers?

The key is utilizing intent data to recognize the decision-makers tasked with researching a specific solution or service, and how they work as individuals or in buying groups to make the final purchase decision. Once you’ve identified these potential customers, you can target your content accurately.

With contact-level intent, you can target multiple people in a company with different roles and tailor one overall message to best fit each person—i.e, if you’re talking to someone in accounting, you can use more financial terms versus using more marketing terms for someone in marketing.

Do you have tips for B2B brands that are just starting to apply intent data?

The biggest suggestion at any point in the process is to only use accurate, quality data. This will save time and money for the entire organization, and ultimately help close more deals.

True Influence uses a three-pronged process of proprietary algorithms to screen out inaccurate records, so only real, active B2B contact records are delivered.

It starts with an Identity Graph Triangulation™ where records are matched to build a cohesive, omnichannel view of individual customers. These customer records are then analyzed by the True Influence Relevance Engine™, where advanced intent monitoring analytics using natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence to examine behaviors that identify billions of intent signals to get a clear picture of and total active market (TAM) for specific products and solutions. Each contact record is built with unprecedented speed and accuracy and is TripleCheck® validated to ensure all information is 100% correct.

Do you have any use cases that demonstrate how intent data has been effectively integrated into a content strategy?​

One case study to highlight is Imprivata, a global healthcare IT security company.

Challenge: Determine whether intent data would add value to a new ABM program

As part of a sweeping initiative that involved replacing their entire technology stack, the Imprivata marketing team also made the decision to transition to an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. The team recognized that intent data could add critical insights to the customer journey, offering the opportunity to “check in” at regular intervals to see if their strategies continued to align with the customer’s intent signals. At each checkpoint, the customer’s intent data would either validate Imprivata’s current course of action or indicate a need for adjustment.

Solution: True Influence Marketing Cloud (previously InsightBASE) intent-based account acceleration platform

After researching and reviewing multiple providers, Imprivata decided on the True Influence solution.  Armed with the specific combination of topics in which the account demonstrated interest, the sales team had grounds for re-establishing contact and the information they needed to conduct a conversation centered on an actual, current needs. The team also uses the True Influence Marketing Cloud to identify opportunities with existing customers.

Result: Imprivata received a 430% ROI utilizing True Influence Marketing Cloud.

Proved that intent data enhances ABM by determining targets’ interests, identifying trends for sales or marketing action and enabling the team to place the right targets in front of the right people at the right time.

Check out additional True Influence case studies here.

How can intent data help marketers build content that's customized for unique accounts and target buyers?

Intent data can allow you to see an entire buying group, as well as their roles within the group. Forrester Research defines buying groups as “audiences that are activated to find solutions to business needs that match the selling organization’s solutions.” Curating and monitoring buying-group intent, combining multiple variants, has become a powerful tool to visualize the buying committee inside a targeted company.


Once these buying groups have been identified, you can strategically position and contextualize content syndication to target buyer personas involved in the decision-making process. Users can also uncover and close database gaps in buying groups to drive more focused customer engagement activities.

In our recent panel, Why Intent Signals May Be the Missing Ingredient in Your Content Strategy, we discussed the intersection of intent data and content with Latané Conant, VP of Marketing at 6sense, Nirosha Methananda, VP of Marketing at Influ2, and Jon Russo, CMO and Founder of B2B Fusion Group.

For additional perspectives, read our interactive E-book, The Content + Data Connection: 10 Top Marketing Executives Explore the Rewards of Integrating Intent Data into Content Strategies and our previous Q&As with Jon Miller, John Steinert, Latané Conant, Jon Russo, Randy Brasche, Mark Ogne and Justin Keller.

Holly Celeste Fisk is an accomplished marketing pro with 20+ years of experience in B2B and B2C. She’s responsible for Content4Demand’s internal marketing efforts, managing everything from content creation and email marketing to events and sponsorships, blog publishing, website management and social media presence. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sliding into third at softball, buried in a book or practicing her Italian. 


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