CloseFactor closed down its operations in June 2024. Read more.

The Death of Traditional Intent Data: Why You Need Stronger Buying Signals

Apr 26, 2024
Photo of Leena JoshiLeena Joshi

Stay up-to-date with the lastest news and media coverage.

Share Share on X

Everything has become sleek and modern in the world. But a few remnants of traditional marketing are still very much in use. Take cold calls and email newsletters as an example!

They should've gone obsolete years ago, but here we are, still calling potential clients out of the blue and gathering emails via lead magnets.

Even in 2024, buyer intent data holds a lot of value. Suppose a web user goes to your website's checkout page. Even if this visit leads to cart abandonment, you can still send a follow-up SMS their way days later to redeem their second thoughts into a purchasing decision.

Some other examples of intent data at work include eBook downloads, sales demos, product trials, and – the belle of the ball – lead forms. But are these methods still effective? Is intent data still a powerful B2B marketing tool? We'll explore the limitations of intent data in this article.

But first, consider these interesting statistics about lead forms:

  • Traditional forms is the top B2B marketing tool for 50% of marketers.

  • Forms containing 10-15 questions boast the highest conversion rates.

  • Over 8 out of 10 leads abandon forms when faced with too many personal questions.

What Makes Intent Data a Limiting Resource?

Intent data is a big giant scam.
Photo of Joey Gilkey
Joey Gilkey

Before we go over the limitations of intent data, you need to understand the two key terms involved. They are overt and covert actions your prospect will exhibit online.

  • Overt: A prospect will be very open about their interest in your product(s). They may download a whitepaper, attend a webinar, ask the sales dudes for a demo, or simply fill out a contact form.

  • Covert: You'll get this information via third-party apps. You'll learn who visited the pricing page of your website or checked out product pages. But this data can be tricky (and maybe illegal) to get.

Many marketing experts (like our boy Gilkey quoted above) believe traditional intent data is a dead man walking. Granted that the data extracted from overt actions has always been the bread and butter of every marketer worth his salt, it's no longer a viable option, honestly. As you can see from the stats we shared in the Introduction, prospects may:

  • Find forms boring and just too damn long

  • Refuse to share their personal information

  • Have qualms about data privacy

  • Enter inaccurate information (

Also, intent data may fail you if the buying cycle isn't long enough. You may disagree with me here, but a 6+ month-long buying cycle has become an absolute necessity these days. It gives marketers ample time to build brand awareness and create product demand among prospects.

Intent data will be very useful if you've made your brand recognizable enough. Also, you'd need a broad ABM list to use intent data far more effectively than before.

Buying Signals: The Future of B2B Marketing

Do you want to paint a more comprehensive picture of user intent? The key lies in going beyond overt and covert signals. You need to start the process of building brand awareness and creating demand way in advance even before someone comes to your website!

With less than 20% of sales opportunities closing, you need to invest in new ways to find stronger leading indicators on what accounts are ready to buy and when they will be able to sign the check.

You can make do with intent data, but you will not be as successful as those sales folks looking at stronger buying signals. Maybe your target account is reallocating budget and resources for a new initiative. Or maybe they are hiring a new customer support team as they feel the pain of complaints weighing on them. They might be using technologies that solve adjacent problems to the problem your product is solving. All of these events signal there is likely going to be intent from this account, way before someone comes to your website.

Account-level buying signals will help you understand the prospect's intent. In straightforward terms, understanding and processing a prospect's buying signals will accurately inform you how likely they are actually to buy the product you’re selling.

Intent data can't capture all qualified leads adequately in today's world. It's always been a valuable tool in B2B marketing, but it doesn't accurately grasp a modern prospect's search intent. As a marketer, you must take a prospect's covert actions and buying signals into account as well.

A lot of this account-level information for buying signals can be found in CloseFactor Account Plans. Get yours free today.

Ready to fill your pipeline with the right opportunities?