Understanding Intent

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What Is Intent?

Demandbase Intent is a way of discovering which accounts are most interested in your products or services. Demandbase uses your account lists, keywords that you supply, and other data to identify interested accounts. Keywords are words or phrases that you expect interested accounts to read about on a web page.

For example, if your company is an oil field supplier, and someone reads a web page about oil, that’s a start, but obviously not promising because they may be reading about olive oil. If they read a web page about oil fields, that shows more potential, but they may be writing a term paper for school. If they read a web page about oil field suppliers and also for Halliburton versus Schlumberger Production Optimization, then they may have earned your attention, if their company is the size you’re seeking and their interest is sustained.

Discover Accounts in Time to Influence Buyers

Demandbase is able to discover this intent way before a prospect fills out a form on your site or shows other obvious intent. The majority of vendor research takes place before they find your website and on other websites, so discovering their interest early on and outside your website is important. With this information, we can alert you to reach out to prospective buyers in time to influence the buying cycle, before a competitor does. Identifying accounts using certain keywords is one of the ways we do that. In addition to your account lists, it’s one of the ways you can identify your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).


Demandbase Is Probabilistic

Demandbase uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to identify companies that share your ICP. These technologies are pretty sophisticated, but luckily you don’t have to understand the inner workings too much. Basically, they enable Demandbase to identify surges in intent and trends that predict opportunities; they use probabilities. At the heart of both of these methods is the algorithm, which is simply a set of instructions a data scientist gives to the computer to gather and analyze data.

For example: If people read a web page about oil field suppliers (and other terms you supply), the AI identifies the person and their company as having interest. When an algorithm gathers enough data, it can “learn” that these data are associated as a cluster, or that signs of user intent are building up over time. In addition, the algorithm might “learn” things you didn’t know about, for example maybe your most successful accounts are also reading web pages about Halliburton versus Schlumberger Production Optimization, so now it has more to work with.

Building Blocks of ABM

Along with identifying your company goals and creating an initial target account list, setting up your Demandbase tenant to discover prospect intent is one of the foundations of your ABM strategy. 

The three building blocks for Intent are:

  • Which accounts are you targeting?
  • What keywords or topics show intent for your product? 
  • Which web pages are they reading?


Create Keywords to Set Up Intent

To set up Intent, you must enter a set of keywords that your ICP would be interested in, and optionally, some websites they’re likely to visit. Best practice is to enter a comprehensive list that represents your domain expertise. You can also input at least five keywords and ask Demandbase to discover the rest. The more you can supply, the better. You can also enter websites your customers may visit and Demandbase will recommend additional keywords.

Demandbase Uses Data and AI to Enhance Your Keyword Set

Even if you enter what you feel is a complete list based on your expertise, Demandbase enhances the list. In addition to the keywords that you supply, Demandbase Intent draws annually on 470 billion monthly interactions from across the web from B2B companies, 4 billion IP addresses, and 36 billion B2B site visits, and is constantly looking for similarities to accounts that turned into opportunities. The more relevant data that we have to work with, the better our AI and machine learning can analyze and learn from them to create better associations and predictions for prospect intent. Demandbase technology gathers intent data from the following sources:

  • Public business registries for basic firmographics: showing industry, revenue, number of employees. 
  • B2B content consumption: Demandbase uses its publisher/advertising network to observe what types of content company employees are reading. To ensure accurate intent data, instead of looking at potentially irrelevant pages, we focus on a massive network of global websites focused on B2B-relevant topics. 
  • B2B content production: Demandbase crawls the open web for content tied to key company decision makers and stakeholders — blog posts, interviews, bylines, forum posts, speaking slots and panel participation, etc.
  • Engagement on your website for direct intent signals.

With this data, Demandbase instantly maps global B2B interactions between accounts and your B2B products or services. When an account uses many of the keywords that you identify as a sign of interest in your product, AI driven logic helps you uncover accounts that are showing intent and determines how strong their interest is.

The Strength of an Account's Intent

Demandbase Intent measures the strength of intent by the number of people at similar size accounts reading web pages with a keyword.

Important: This methodology and section may be updated as the team makes improvements to the model. 

Account Size Low Medium High

1 - 10 employees

1 person reading 2 - 3 people reading 4 or more people reading

11 - 50 employees

1 person 2 - 4 people 5 or more people

51 - 200 employees

1 - 2 people 3 - 7 people 8 or more people

201 - 500 employees

1 - 2 people 3 -9 people 10 or more people

501 - 1K employees

1 -2 people 3 - 13 people 14 or more people

1K - 5K employees

1 - 3 people 4 - 18 people 19 or more people

5K - 10K employees

1 - 3 people 4 - 28 people 29 or more people

> 10K employees

1 - 3 people 4 - 37 people 38 or more people


Common Use Cases for Intent Signals

Demandbase Intent does more than identify accounts as potential target accounts. Here are more use cases for Demandbase Intent as part of an ABM strategy:

  • Attract: Increase marketing productivity by focusing resources and budgets on target accounts showing high intent.
  • Attract: Create sub-audiences (segments) of target accounts showing similar intent for targeted campaigns.
  • Engage: Personalize ad and web experience based on intent.
  • Engage: Help sales have more productive and relevant conversations based on intent signals.
  • Convert: Increase sales productivity by sharing intent insights that help them prioritize their account engagements.
  • Convert: Identify accounts that become opportunities for conversion to the customer pipeline. 
  • Identify and Retain: Learn that your prospects or customers are reading web pages about your competitors, so that you can take action to attract, engage, or retain them.

Here’s an example of how Demandbase Intent helps to attract customers with their Advertising solution: By using dynamic advertising bidding, Demandbase puts ad budgets to optimal use by bidding higher CPMs for the high-intent individuals and retargeting users. It also captures those on the periphery, who may have a less significant role in a purchase decision, when the price is right. 

Intent Trending vs Surging

In addition to identifying individual events, Demandbase AI analyzes intent data to recognize surges in current intent and trends as an indicator of future opportunities. Here’s how Intent trends and surges look in respect to high, medium, and low scores:


How Demandbase Intent Works

Identifying intent starts when you create keyword sets in the Demandbase ABM Platform. AI then expands that set to other keywords related to the terms you identified, leveraging a vocabulary of more than 180,000 keywords. AI looks for related keywords in an article to determine relevance — and also searches for combinations of keywords to ensure proper context. You also have the option to let Demandbase do more of the work by entering website pages that your ideal companies are likely to visit.

How It Works  Example

Demandbase scans millions of pages and hundreds of millions of cookies, to compute how many people are reading web pagers about a given keyword from each account.

854 people reading about account-based marketing

Demandbase analyzes the size of each account by number of employees.

10,350 employees

Based on similar size companies, Demandbase calculates how strong this signal is for the keyword for a given company size.

Medium Intent Signal

To get started with Demandbase Intent, create your keyword sets. See Set Up Demandbase Intent: Create Keyword Sets.

Important: You must assign Engagement Minutes values to the types of Intent Activities that your  Demandbase implementation uses. When Minutes for any Intent is at 0, that type of Intent doesn't get calculated in the ABM reporting. See Steps: Assign Engagement Minutes to Intent Activities.

Leveraging Third-Party Intent in Demandbase

All Demandbase One users have access to Demandbase Intent at no extra charge. It’s part of our basic ABM platform. Demandbase Intent gives you access to the extensive database that powers our AI to create better associations and predictions concerning your prospects’ Intent.

Demandbase offers integrations with a variety of partners that enhance the reach and AI of Intent data collection from existing and prospective accounts in the B2B sphere. See the following sections for an overview of each partner’s potential contribution to analytics on your platform:

Bombora Intent

Using Bombora Intent in Demandbase requires a separate, paid license. Contact Bombora if you’re interested in subscribing to a paid license. If you already have a Bombora license and don’t see the Bombora interface in Demandbase, reach out to your account team to get it turned on.

If you’re used to Bombora, you’ll need to adjust to Demandbase keywords. Keywords in Demandbase are similar to Bombora topics. However, Demandbase lists keywords as individual words, while Bombora rolls up multiple keywords into clustered topics.

Each approach has its own advantages. Bombora has the advantage of doing the hard work of figuring out what the many keywords are in a topic, but Demandbase Intent has the backing of more data and shows more detail. We offer both because more data is better. If you’re new to using Intent, we recommend starting with Demandbase Intent. The Demandbase version is based on more data and allows for more fine-tuned enablement of Intent signals, maximizing the relevancy of the signals that the ABM platform captures and reports on to you. Here’s a comparison of the two versions (based on October 2021 data):

Bombora Demandbase

Data is sourced from content co-ops
direct relationship with publisher required

Data is sourced from the bidstream;
source can be any site where ads are displayed 

20.1 billion
interactions per month
3,800 sites monitored
8,086 Intent topics

Over 500 billion interactions per month
2,900,000 sites monitored
245,000+ Intent topics

Updated weekly only

Weekly updates + real-time trending

No historical data

One year of historical data populated within 2-3 hours of adding new keywords

Only includes "surging" Intent

Includes both "trending Intent" and total Intent strength (volume) for each keyword from each account

See Set Up Bombora Intent in Demandbase One for how to implement Bombora Intent topics.

G2 Intent

G2 is a website that offers business software and services reviews. By integrating Demandbase One with G2, your marketing and sales teams can harness anonymous, offsite buying Intent behaviors such as product and competitor comparison reviews at every stage of the account journey. These insights can enhance your capabilities to:

  • Target and engage sales-ready buying teams
  • Personalize and accelerate the account journey
  • Enhance Pipeline Predict and Engagement scoring performance
  • Measure performance of product review Intent

G2 Intent data is offered via multiple levels of subscription. Your subscription level determines which Intent signals you have access to in Demandbase One. There is no configuration required. The signals available for use include views of your product profile, competitor comparisons, product category reports, and sponsored content engagement.

See Set Up Intent for G2 Integration for how to integrate G2 Intent signals.

TrustRadius Intent

TrustRadius is an online site where business users can post software product reviews and view product comparisons. You can expand the Intent capabilities of Demandbase One by incorporating TrustRadius Intent into your selector criteria. This extends the insight you can gain from the technographic Intent signals of both existing and new accounts in B2B, and opens up a variety of new use cases.

See Set Up Intent for TrustRadius Integration to learn how you can boost insight to anonymous, offsite buying behavior and trends.

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