A Lead Without Intent Is Just Contact Information

Sep 10, 2021

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This idea, that a lead without intent is just contact information, has been around in the digital marketing zeitgeist for a while now. It perfectly encapsulates the changing ideas we are seeing within lead generation, digital marketing, and customer acquisition, especially in relation to how companies are handling people’s personal data.

In the latest episode of the B2C Lead Gen Podcast, Databowl Head of Marketing Daniel Hopewell talks to CEO Simon Delaney about why intent is so important when generating or buying leads, why consent alone is no longer enough, and how adopting this mindset can help protect your brand.

Below are extracts of some of the key ideas discussed, but be sure to check out the podcast for the full conversation.

Let’s begin by simply asking why intent is so important in lead gen?

Simon Delaney: Intent is the barometer of the interest a person has in your product or service. Measuring that intent informs what’s going to happen next, and there are a number of significant benefits to this:

  • You are only going to be contacting people who are truly interested in hearing from you.

  • You’ll be able to create a contact method that is far more efficient and works off the intent people have.

  • You will be able to reduce costs by only contacting people who want to hear from you and can become a sale.

Ultimately, this comes down to whether or not you are using marketing effectively. Marketing is usually responsible for getting the intent, and if you are doing marketing correctly it follows the leads generated will have a degree of intent to buy and will want to hear from you.

What is the difference between consent and intent?

Without intent, are you even able to call it a lead? That’s the question. It’s actually just data and falls into a different category. This is where the blurring of lines - between consent and intent - occurs. Traditionally, they have always been just lumped together and called “Leads” but we need to start separating consent and intent and recognise one is simply contact information and the other is an actual lead.

Companies also mistake their own intent with the intent of the prospect and can oftentimes project their own intent to sell onto data that has only given consent.

This also comes down to volume and the quantity versus quality problem. There is a fallacy that more is better, or leads to more success. It doesn’t. More leads does not mean more sales. Better leads means more sales.

As we move into a world where first party data is paramount there may be companies who develop the idea you need to collect as much as you possibly can. This isn’t the case. First party data will absolutely be vital as it allows the brand to own the conversation and relationship with prospects, but chasing a high volume of consent only data - that is without any buying intent - will lead to you annoying a high volume of people, harming your brand, damaging relationships, and removing the chance of future sales.

Moving forwards, the method of collecting and the execution of contacting first party data will need to be based upon the intent of the consumer, not simply the fact they have given consent.

For this to work, do we need to re-think the metrics used to evaluate success?

The targets companies work to are largely f*cked!

It comes down to whether sales and marketing are siloed. Companies need to stop measuring leads and start measuring sales or revenue as a means to evaluating marketing performance.

Many organisations get judged from a data buying perspective on the volume that they get because they have a number of heads in call centres and they need to give those heads X amount of records an hour to fuel a level of sales achieved that will hit ROI. But it’s possible to hit the same level of sales with lower volume, higher intent data and you simply remove the cost from the sales function.

It all comes back to understanding the difference between consent and intent.

Fancy some more? Check out the full podcast on Spotify, Apple, or watch the video over on Databowl’s YouTube Channel.

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