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Intent data can help marketers understand and target consumers appropriately during the path to purchase. In a February 2015 Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Magnetic, nearly eight in 10 senior-level marketers in the US and Western Europe agreed that using intent data for targeting created value, and 67% said that using intent data for prospecting and retention would give them an advantage over the competition.
In the research, which looked at 130 senior-level marketers in the US, France, Germany and the UK, more than eight in 10 respondents agreed that analyzing customer data was valuable for predicting purchase intent. However, this isn’t easy, as 61% also agreed that combining first- and third-party intent data was important—but challenging.
Hurdles abounded when it came time to apply intent data. The three biggest pain points related to data itself, technology and people. When polling asked respondents to rate the challenges of using intent data to connect with users at critical points of discovery on a scale of 1 to 5—1 being “not a challenge” and 5 being “a critical challenge”—52% of respondents labeled limited headcount as a 4 or 5, and 48% same the same about the inability to gain insight from data.
Fully 56% agreed that inaccurate data was a challenge, while limited ability to integrate first- and third-party data was labeled a 4 or 5 by nearly half. Meanwhile, 54% put the inability to integrate intent data into targeting technology in the 4 or 5 category, and 48% said their attribution models were too complex.
Due to such issues, marketers may be missing the mark when serving intent-based targeted ads. When December 2014 research from Trend Micro, conducted by Ponemon Institute asked internet users in Europe, Japan and the US if they believed ads based on their purchasing/browsing habits were helpful, 45% said they were “some” (25%) or “most” (20%) of the time—leaving 55% who “rarely” (18%) or never (37%) found these useful.
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