Intent Data in EMEA: Small Obstacles, Big Rewards

5 minutes
Dec 21, 2022
Predictive Analytics

Despite its growing popularity, intent data is still relatively underutilized in EMEA. We’ve explored the potential hurdles to using intent data in EMEA and how you can avoid them.

Intent Data in EMEA 6sense

Savvy revenue leaders are increasingly turning to intent data to help make sense of B2B buying groups. By uncovering and targeting in-market accounts, businesses are achieving outsized results:

  • 4x increase in win rate
  • 31% increase in opportunity volume
  • 2x increase in average contract value

With these rewards up for grabs, it’s no surprise that the latest ABM Census (presented at the recent Global ABM Conference) revealed an almost four-fold increase in the use of intent data platforms over the last two years – from 10% in 2020 to 38% in 2022.

But despite growing adoption, intent data is still relatively underutilized in EMEA vs North America. There are some common obstacles (both perceived and real) that explain why, including:

  • Local language support
  • GDPR
  • Intent data coverage
  • Awareness

We’ll run through each potential hurdle to using intent data in EMEA, explore the extent of the challenge, and outline potential solutions.

Types of Intent Data

First, a refresher on intent data.

Intent data is the trail of “digital footprints” your buyers leave behind as they anonymously conduct online research. The more intent data you can gather, the better you can understand your prospects and uncover which B2B buying groups are in-market and primed to buy your solution

These are the types of intent data you can track:

  • First-Party Intent: Match anonymous visits on your website to real accounts
  • Second-Party Intent: Uncover buyers researching you or your competition on product review sites such as G2 and TrustRadius
  • Third-Party Intent: Identify buyers researching relevant B2B keywords or topics on the internet
  • Pre-intent: Find companies that just raised funding, hired new leadership, adopted new technologies, have upcoming renewals, etc.

Tracking Keywords in Local Languages

To gather third-party intent – the anonymized data hidden within what we call the Dark Funnel™ – you need keyword insights to capture the details about which topics accounts are researching on the web.

But the EMEA region is an enormous melting pot of countries, cultures, and languages.

The breadth of languages used in EMEA means that if your intent data provider only tracks English keywords, you won’t get a true picture of your accounts’ intent in the region.

To holistically capture keyword-based intent data across EMEA, you need to be able to localize for multiple languages. This means a platform that tracks both English and non-English keywords is non-negotiable to effectively uncover third-party intent in EMEA.

GDPR and Intent Data

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is another potential barrier to unlocking the value of intent data in EMEA. While GDPR applies specifically to EU-based countries, similar laws apply across EMEA.

So, how do strict privacy laws align with using intent data to uncover anonymous accounts? Good news: Account-based go-to-market functions and intent data are 100% GDPR compliant if you and your intent provider follow the appropriate rules.

Our guide to ABM & GDPR compliance offers a more detailed look at these principles, but here are some key considerations:

Be Scrupulous with Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

First-party intent data is sourced from activities on your website, or the data you already have in your CRM. But to uncover potential customers, your account identification solution will need access to this data.

As the controller of this PII, it’s down to you to follow GDPR best practices when sharing this data, including obtaining consent where required.

Account-Level Data Maintains Privacy

Intent data is used to match intent signals to accounts. It doesn’t identify anonymous prospects at the “person” level, but surfaces account-level activity. This means personal data remains private.

Third-Party Data

To uncover third-party data from the web, you’ll need to rely on an account identification provider. Do your due diligence and check that vendors have appropriate safeguards to process PII and source third-party intent data in compliance with GDPR. Here is 6sense’s approach to GDPR compliance.

Intent Data Coverage in EMEA

To understand buyer intent in EMEA markets, you must also uncover what local prospects are searching for and the content they’re interacting with. There are two key sources for this information:

  • Local language keyword insights (which we’ve covered)
  • Websites and online networks including digital trade publications, message boards, social networks, review sites, etc.

Most intent providers have solid partnerships with U.S.-based publishers. But limited relationships with relevant and trusted GDPR-compliant publishers outside North America leads to a shortfall in intent data coverage in other regions, like EMEA.

This isn’t an issue at 6sense. Our data team’s recent deep dive into EMEA third-party data coverage revealed:

  1. 6sense has nearly 10x the intent coverage when compared to other intent providers reviewed
  2. Our percentage of medium-to-large companies showing intent in EMEA is actually greater than in the U.S.
  3. IP coverage in the EMEA region is comparable to the U.S.

Awareness of Intent Data in EMEA

Finally, as we mentioned in the introduction to this article, companies are less aware about the value of intent data in EMEA. And those that have heard of it might be dissuaded by worries stemming from the potential challenges we’ve described.

That’s why it’s worth reiterating that intent data helps companies generate 3x opportunity volume, 4x win rates, and 2x average contract value. And, with a trusted provider, these results are 100% privacy-compliant.

Today, a lack of awareness is only a competitive advantage for companies already using intent data in the region. So the real question is: What are you waiting for?

If you want to share the benefits of intent data or 6sense with your team, check out these resources:

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