Does “Intent” Data Live Up to the Hype?

Originally posted on VentureBeat

With all the talk about predictive-driven sales and marketing, a new question is emerging – which data is most valuable? Many B2B businesses are achieving unprecedented customer insight by leveraging all kinds of external demographic and firmographic data to see if a company is a good fit for their product. Some are pairing that with signals from their marketing automation systems and web analytics to predict whether a prospect might be ready to buy soon.

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Now, another breed of “intent data” has emerged. External data providers like Bombora, The Big Willow, IDG and TechTarget are aggregating information about web visitors on B2B publisher networks to help businesses figure out when certain prospects might be in the market for their product. This kind of insight presents an exciting new frontier for data-driven marketing.

SmartBug Media Q&A with Infer’s Sean Zinsmeister

Inbound marketing agency SmartBug Media does a great job of educating its clients on new ways to increase marketing ROI and grow their business. Recently, the company’s director of marketing, Dolly Howard, sat down with our own Sean Zinsmeister to talk about the value HubSpot customers can enjoy by adding predictive scoring to their technology stack

What is predictive lead scoring

 

Here’s a an excerpt from their Q&A:

How is predictive lead scoring different than custom lead scoring in HubSpot? There are two big differences between predictive lead scoring and the kind of custom lead scoring in marketing automation platforms (MAPs). The first is that predictive uses both internal data from your CRM and MA systems plus thousands of external signals from a variety of data sources outside your company. The second major distinction is that predictive scoring solutions use machine learning to look at all kinds of combinations in the data that humans could never grok on their own. Whereas MAPs require you to manually come up with points-based calculations formed through your gut instincts, predictive solutions take the guesswork out of the equation and do all that work for you in order to better predict higher converting leads.

Using Predictive Lead Scoring to Measure Demand Gen Campaigns

One of the best things about working at Infer is all of the brilliant strategies and tactics we learn from the smart marketers in our community of customers. Adam von Reyn is one such inspiration. He’s the marketing director at InsightSquared, a popular sales analytics app that takes the pain out of business intelligence so executives can get the information they need to forecast pipeline and grow revenue.

It’s only natural that such a data-centric business would excel at leveraging data to evaluate its own marketing programs. In a recent blog post, Adam gives a great overview of his team’s thoughtful approach to determining which demand generation campaigns deliver the best (not just the most) leads.

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Infer Partners with HubSpot to Bring Predictive to Inbound Marketing

Press Release: Infer’s Pre-Built Integration Helps Marketers More Quickly and Easily Target Top Prospects

Infer - HubSpot IntegrationInfer Inc. today announced a new connector for HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) that feeds predictive scores into the inbound marketing platform for better targeting and segmenting. Infer helps businesses predict and prioritize their highest potential prospects using advanced data science and external buying signals. Many fast-growing organizations such as BlazeMeter, Virool and HubSpot itself use Infer Scores inside HubSpot software to infuse their marketing campaigns with valuable insights about leads and contacts.

“The new integration makes it easier than ever for HubSpot customers to pull accurate predictive scores from Infer right into the software they use every day,” said Megan Keaney Anderson, director of product marketing at HubSpot. “As a result, our customers can hone in on their very best prospects and know which to send immediately to sales, and which to nurture with targeted email journeys, content, offers or campaigns.”

The Behavioral Scoring Test

Every B2B marketer wants to do a better job of identifying which prospects are in-market and ready to buy, and which are just kicking tires. While there are a lot of vendors who say they’ve got behavioral scoring figured out, the degree of accuracy and coverage can vary widely. If you can avoid scores that sales doesn’t trust and instead find an approach that predicts winners at a very high rate, you’ll reach hero status in your organization. Below are four questions to help you evaluate behavioral modeling techniques:

1. Does the model tell you when prospects will buy?
Many behavioral models simply add points for different activities, but in order to know if someone is likely convert in a fixed timeframe, say “the next three weeks,” you need to take timing into account. A good behavioral model will look at the concentration of activity, the breath of engagement, and it will decay activities at the appropriate rate.

Infer’s New Behavior Scoring Predicts Imminent Buyers with Unprecedented Accuracy

Press Release: New Relic Boosts Win Rates by Using Infer to Model Nearly 10 Million Monthly Marketing Automation Signals and Uncover Prospects Who Will Convert within Three Weeks

Infer Inc., a leading provider of predictive applications that help companies win more customers, today announced the general availability of its behavior scoring solution, which helps sales and marketing teams predict which prospects will convert in the next three weeks. Infer is the first company to extensively mine the full spectrum of detailed activity data that is summarized in marketing automation platforms, and use advanced machine learning and predictive analytics to produce highly accurate behavior scores. Already delivering results for several rapidly growing businesses like AdRoll, Chef and New Relic, Infer has generated over 30 million behavior scores for New Relic alone by modeling 47 million activity records.

Where are You on the Path to Predictive?

Going into 2015, experts agree that predictive analytics will provide differentiation to companies in increasingly competitive markets. Now that these tools are readily available to businesses of all sizes, salespeople and marketers need to make the leap from being simply data-driven to being fully predictive-driven. So, where are you on this path?

As any organization grows, it naturally progresses towards greater data sophistication, which increases the efficiency at which you can operate. In sales and marketing, we typically see five levels of customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation (MA) maturity, and at each stage customer insight grows and automation increases:

Predictive Intelligence

Infer’s Behavioral Modeling Takes the Lead

According to SiriusDecisions, 68% of companies use marketing automation systems to do lead scoring, yet only 40% of sales people are getting value from it. When marketers are sitting on mountains of data, how could that be?Behavioral ScoringThe challenge with traditional scoring found in marketing automation is that it wasn’t built with a predictive-first approach. Point values are manually assigned and there isn’t any emphasis on the combination, concentration, or recency of signals. Points are just additive and the point differences between activities (e.g., downloading a whitepaper or visiting a pricing page) are essentially arbitrary. While it’s a starting point, it is easy to see why it is prone to false positives and why it is not trusted by reps.

SiriusDecisions Webinar: How to Evaluate Predictive Lead Scoring Vendors

Predictive scoring is all the rage amongst data-driven marketers, but how do you know which vendor is best? If you want to hit a home run for your B2B company, it’s time to educate yourself on what exactly predictive lead scoring is, and how you can choose the right partner to help you hit it out of the park.

Register-TodayInfer invites you to join one of the authors of SiriusDecisions’ new Field Guide to Predictive Lead Scoring for a free educational webinar.

Wednesday, September 24, 10:30 – 11:30am PT

SiriusDecisons

The presentation will cover:

  • The difference between predictive and traditional lead scoring
  • Key questions to ask when evaluating predictive vendors
  • Pitfalls to avoid when selecting a predictive lead scoring partner
  • Real-world predictive lead scoring success stories and use cases

Mindflash Uses Infer to Predict Loyal Customers

Download-PDFMindflash is the latest in a wave of companies who has gone all in on predictive.

They’re feeling the impact across sales, marketing, and customer success. Recurring revenues are up 50%, they’ve cut their payback time in half, and they’ve been able to bring in customers with higher lifetime value.

Mindflash turned to Infer’s predictive scoring solution, and began to benefit from the instant, data-driven identification of it’s best leads.

Instant Impact of Predictive Scoring