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Not all intent data providers are created equal

A new how-to guide to selecting intent data providers
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What’s the key to getting more value out of intent data? Finding the right partner.


Here's how to find yours.

Intent data is critical at every stage of the funnel, but due to its time-sensitive nature, marketers like you must move fast to act on its signals so you’re working with the most accurate data. And while we know you’re no stranger to intent data, engaging the right strategic partner can help you fully capitalize on data.

Choosing the right provider is an important decision and could make or break your marketing efforts. So, to make that selection easier, we’re here to demystify the process. We discussed selection guidance in our original “How to Select an Intent Data Provider” guide. In this new guide, we’ll not only give you a framework for evaluating what you need from your intent provider, highlight some real-life intent use cases, and offer up some key industry trends and statistics. From there, you’ll be more than equipped to evaluate partners—and find the perfect one to address your unique needs.


Now, what’s the cost of not using intent data? Missed opportunities. From our recent study, we found that marketers who use intent data are proven to deliver more value.

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Keep scrolling for your framework for selecting an intent data provider.

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Section 1

Data sources

We can’t talk about intent data without considering data sources. A great provider should offer a comprehensive mix of first, second, and third-party data to give you a more accurate, complete picture of your audience so you can understand their true intent.

First-party data

First-party data is collected on your own digital properties via GA, CRM, or native social analytics. This is the data that is only available to your organization.

A strong intent data solution should monitor a broad range of activities. The more signals you track, the more you know about your buyer and where they are in the purchase journey.

You can access this data from a variety of channels, including:

  • Search engine queries
  • White paper and eBook downloads
  • Website and blog visits
  • Webinar registrations
  • Social media engagement
  • Digital ad and banner ad click-throughs
  • Podcast listens and/or downloads

Second-party data

Second-party data is data purchased directly from the company that owns it. It’s transparent— and all comes from a single source.

This data can be found in:

  • Website activity
  • Mobile app usage
  • Social media metrics
  • Customer surveys


Third-party data

Like second-party data, third-party data is collected from external sites, but from a mix of sources. You don’t own it, and it’s purchased through an intermediary. This data offers the greatest breadth of sources and scopes. When looking for a provider, you want to ensure they’re pulling data from a large pool of quality B2B media and publisher websites. You can address any quality concerns by working with providers who have received third-party certifications like Neutronian, SOC2, ICO, Privacy Shield, and OneTrust.

There are three broad categories of third-party data:

  • Publisher data
  • Location and movement data from mobile devices
  • Advertising Real-Time Bidding (RTB) data
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Section 2

Data value

Data from quality sources should be table stakes. Provided the sources are quality, there are a few key things to look out for when determining whether a provider’s data is valuable.

Data recency

If data is older than six months, it won’t be useful, no matter the source. That’s why intent data is crucial—because it’s instantaneous. The more recent the information, the more accurate it will be. If your data doesn’t reflect current market conditions, you will end up spending wasted time and effort on marketing that isn’t relevant.


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Data analysis

Data is only as valuable as the patterns and insights you can glean from it. A strong intent data provider should be able to analyze and weigh intent signals to prioritize certain data and draw conclusions that will help you better target your customers.

Data security

Compromised data isn’t just worthless—it can also be harmful and create distrust between you and your customers. It’s imperative that an intent data provider stays up to date with regulations such as CCPA, GDPR, HIPAA, FedRAMP, and SOC 2. A provider should also offer full transparency to customers about how their data will be used, a clear path to opt-out of communications, and timely reporting of security lapses.

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Section three

Data integration

We’re all aware of the challenges associated with siloed data, which is why integration is crucial to your marketing efforts. When intent data is integrated into your martech stack, you can access and act on it more quickly—ultimately leading to more effective campaigns.

Sales and marketing systems that need access to intent data include:

  • Marketing automation
  • Customer relationship management
  • Data management
  • Demand-side platform (DSP)
  • Display advertising
  • Retargeting
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Section four


Intent data is a B2B marketer’s holy grail—so choosing the right provider is critical to success. We know the options can be overwhelming, but this framework can help make the selection process easier, so you’re able to find the vendor that best meets your organization’s specific needs.

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Use our simple checklist to ensure the intent data provider you’re evaluating is qualified and the right fit for your organization.

Here's what to look for:

  • First, Second, and Third-party Data: Having more data sources paints a much clearer picture of your audience and their true intent. It also prevents incorrect information from tainting the dataset.
  • Recent Data: By tapping into fresh data, marketers can focus their attention on prospect behavior that reflects current market conditions and business needs.
  • Powerful Analytics Capabilities: To get the greatest return on your investment, find a provider with the ability to analyze and weigh intent signals to find meaningful patterns
  • Security and Privacy Compliance: The solution needs to provide full transparency to customers, a clear path to opt-out, and timely reporting of security lapses.
  • Seamless Integrations: An intent data tool should help all marketers do their jobs more efficiently through automated transfers of data with CRM, marketing automation, and data management platforms.

Not all intent providers are created equal.

If you’re ready to choose a new intent data provider, or need help narrowing down your current vendors, please reach out to Anteriad.