Ed Marsh, Chief Revenue Officer at IntentData.io Discusses B2B Marketing and Contact Level Intent Data

By Danni White - Last Updated on September 9, 2019
Ed Marsh - contact level intent data

In June 2019, IntentData.io, announced the official launch of its company and access to its advanced Contact Level Intent Data. B2B marketing and sales teams continue to face skeptical, overwhelmed buyers. Returns are falling and investments in marketing technology often underdeliver. The market needs a solution, not a fix. IntentData.io aims to be that solution.

Many companies invest in digital marketing to attract new leads and nurture existing ones. While it is better than cold calling, it is often inefficient. Buyer intent data, previously expensive and the domain of only big players, connects the dots between prospect intent, lead generation, and sales processes.

IntentData.io, Inc., a Boston-based marketing technology firm, provides third-party intent data to boost clients’ demand generation and support account-based marketing efforts. Through a suite of intent data and activation services, IntentData.io closely aligns companies’ sales and marketing departments and offers tailored intelligence to both.

More specifically, IntentData.io provides individual-level contact details and granular context which is based on competitor and industry engagement. The data is available in tailored streams and can also be delivered directly into common marketing automation and CRM platforms such as SalesForce, Marketo, HubSpot, and InfusionSoft.

Today, we had the opportunity to chat with IntentData.io’s Chief Revenue Officer, Ed Marsh, on the formation of the company and his take on B2B sales and marketing including defining intent data and comparing intent data vs. static contact databases.

Ed is a serial entrepreneur. He has started and run companies internationally in verticals including publishing, consulting and capital equipment. He’s a professional speaker, an active member of the Boston MarTech scene, a Governance Fellow with the NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors) and a member of the ACG (Association for Corporate Growth). Ed is also a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, a former U.S. Army Ranger qualified Airborne Infantry Officer, and a service-disabled veteran. He’s excited to let Yvonne, his wife of 30 years, take the entrepreneurial lead in this business so he can focus on growth and being a dad to three grown sons and Liesl, Waldo, and Fritz (the dachshunds) as well as grandad to Olivia.

DANNI WHITE: Tell us a little about yourself and IntentData.io.

ED MARSH: I’m the CRO of IntentData.io, Inc. I’ve been in the digital marketing community for a number of years, including early engagement with some of the Boston MarTech community’s rapid growth companies like HubSpot and Drift. IntentData.io is a new company with established technology and also based in the Boston area. We’ve been selling data based on our algorithm for several years, and recently established the business to let us more clearly address the needs of a chaotic market. 

DW: What is “Contact Level Intent Data” and how does it help B2B marketers achieve a more precise goal?

EM: Contact level™ intent data is a real-time flow of information that alerts B2B marketing, sales and success teams of people who are taking action that indicate they are researching the products or services that they sell. It’s said that only 3% of the buyers for any given product or service are in the market at any given time. That means that marketing and sales efforts are often diffuse and inefficient. It also means that sometimes customer churn catches companies by surprise. This contact level data helps identify who’s in market now – and focus resources efficiently and effectively.

DW: How does your solution differ from other companies and platforms that offer the same services?

EM: 3rd party intent data typically has some combination of four critical shortcomings.

  1. It often only provides account level signal, and lacks the actual contact. That’s a problem because no matter how large or small the transaction, it’s people that actually make decisions.
  2. Often signals are identified and grouped based on broad topics with an opaque taxonomy. That precludes messaging that engages effectively around stage in buying journey, competitor focus and specific interests.
  3. Data is also harvested from a limited collection of collaborative sites rather than the whole web.
  4. The collection methods can conflict with terms of service in some cases.

IntentData.io data solves those. We observe and report actions taken publicly across all structured and unstructured data on the web. Since it’s public, it avoids conflicts and is GDPR compliant. Our technology also is able to identify the contact who’s taking the action and reports their contact details along with contextual information on the action they’ve taken. That provides the detail needed to craft effective, targeted and helpful messaging to be delivered through retargeting and outbound sales and marketing.

DW: Tell us a little about the technology behind the platform?

EM: The technology is obviously core to our ability to deliver this unique data. There are two components. The first is our ability to take details from a bespoke algorithm and to use extensive crawling and natural language processing to identify content relevant to the client’s key terms and ICP. With relevant content identified, then we’re able to observe people taking action publicly, and then identify who they are. That’s the second part of the technology. Our algorithms track customers, target accounts, competitors and related companies, thought leaders, key events and key terms across the buying journey. We’re able to filter by job roles, seniority, titles, geography, industries, company size and other variables to deliver relevant data. 

DW: How does IntentData help B2B marketing leaders and their teams scale their efforts?

EM: If a company can identify the people that are actually in-market, they’re able to focus finite marketing nurturing and outbound sales resources on those people. This shortens sales cycles and boosts close rates – and means they can get involved early in projects before they’re competitively disadvantaged when they can establish value early in the buying journey. This lets companies help buyers and manage sales with ideal prospects rather than cast about hoping to find activity to help them hit quota.

DW: What primary goal do you want your company to achieve for its customers?

EM: Marketing today is about helping. Strong sales and marketing groups have embraced that ethos, but in practice it breaks down when buyers hesitate to share their goals, concerns and objectives in full. Contact level intent data can help companies develop a good understanding of what individual buyers, and complex buying teams are thinking and doing. That insight allows progressive companies to truly help, and help early, by putting relevant insights in the hands of prospects who are trying to solve a problem or achieve an outcome. We want to help marketers and sales teams really help their prospects, because we know that will efficiently create loyal customers in the long term.

DW: Tell us about the thought process behind creating your marketing technology firm. 

EM: There’s obviously a selfish interest in building a thriving business, but there’s also a rush in bringing innovation and exciting capability to the market. Yvonne Haendel, our founder, is an interesting example of what the Wall Street Journal called “The New Rules of Middle Age Written by Women.” She’s taking a bold step at a stage in her career when many might consider slowing down. She’s observed the growth of interest in intent data, along with confusing claims and overlapping products. She decided it was time to bring clarity and results to the space.

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize businesses and nonprofits. She is the author of 17 books and hosts the #Hashtags and Habits Podcast, which merges digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

Danni White |Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize businesses and nonprofits. She is the author of 17 books and hosts the #Hashtags and Habits Podcast, which merges digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

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