5 Best Practices to Optimize Account-Based Marketing With Intent Data

August 24, 2023
Contributor: Shubham Gupta

Personalize your marketing, target accounts accurately, boost conversions and optimize ABM campaigns with intent data.

Looking to target high-value accounts? Check. Shorten your sales cycle? Check. Increase your ROI significantly? Check. In the dynamic sphere of B2B marketing, account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that ticks all the right boxes. 

Tech marketers and sales leaders in software businesses are catching on: ABM isn't a trend; it's a game-changer. When executed with expertise, ABM can skyrocket pipeline conversion rates by 14%[1]. No wonder businesses with over $100 million in revenue allocate nearly a quarter of their marketing budget to ABM programs[2]

But executing an account-based marketing strategy requires forward-thinking insights that only intent data can offer. Intent data hones in on buying signals and allows you to devise personalized and effective campaigns for your target accounts.

The million-dollar question remains—how can you harness this dynamic duo to grow your business efficiently? The key lies in mastering and executing the five B2B account-based marketing best practices with intent data. Nail these, and you're set to unlock a whole new level of targeted marketing success.

Maximize your ABM strategy with intent data: 5 best practices

1. Find target accounts in your sweet spot 

Selecting the best-fit, high-value accounts is the first step in developing ABM campaigns, but 40% of businesses report a struggle in gathering account and contact data when running an ABM program[3]

Defining ideal customer profiles (ICPs) will help you identify the accounts that will make up the target account list out of the total addressable market. Then, intent data can help further prioritize accounts by focusing on buying signals.

Startups with smaller data sets should consider using intent data as an account data enrichment tool, as well as a buying activity detection tool, and work with sales to develop a process for finding relevant contacts.

Intent data drills down into account behavior by tracking online actions that suggest a readiness to buy. It's not just about basic demographics and firmographics anymore, but about identifying digital breadcrumbs that lead to a purchase. This can range from tracking keyword searches to keeping tabs on visits to competitor sites and gauging interaction with relevant content.

How to identify key accounts with intent data
  • Gauge revenue potential: Make a beeline for accounts that promise sizable revenue. Intent data helps you assess their purchasing prowess and how well your solution could fit into their business operations and strategy. 
  • Evaluate strategic fit: High-value accounts should not only be potentially lucrative but also strategically aligned with your business. Intent data provides a clearer picture of your target account's industry, size, location and business needs, ensuring a better fit.

Also read: How to Use Intent Data to Achieve Your Sales Goals: 5 Practical Ways


2. Personalize your marketing messages

According to Gartner, 86% of people involved in digital commerce embrace personalized communication from brands[4]. But for software marketers, creating a compelling message requires a deep understanding of the software-buying team, including key roles, use cases, and pain points. 

By collecting user behavioral data, intent data reveals the interests, challenges and solutions your target account explores, enabling you to design personalized marketing messages that hit home. 

You can learn from top brands like Adobe, who’s leveled up the personalization game using its "Experience Cloud." Adobe leverages both structured and unstructured intent data, such as search queries (structured) and social media posts (unstructured), to decode customer needs and interests. These insights inform Adobe's ABM strategies, enabling the creation of custom outreach and relevant content.

How to tailor your marketing messages with intent data


  • Customize your content: With insights into your targets' needs and pain points, you can create content that resonates and aligns with their buying journey.
  • Personalize and time the outreach: Intent data can inform targeted emails and ads based on current interests, enhancing relevance and spurring engagement.
  • Foster contextual engagement: Use intent data to tailor each interaction. If a targeted account shows interest in a specific product, steer the conversation accordingly.

Also read: How to Personalize B2B Marketing Through Evolving Business Cycles


3. Orchestrate integrated marketing and sales efforts

ABM provides a “lift” across critical sales metrics (such as lead conversion rate, sales cycle length, average deal size and opportunity win rate)[5]. Integral to this success is the orchestration between marketing and sales, which can be significantly enhanced with intent data.

Intent data provides a real-time, shared understanding of target accounts, seamlessly integrating the two departments. It eliminates guesswork, aligns both teams and enhances the precision of targeting strategies.

How to align marketing and sales with intent data


  • Synchronize outreach: Integrate intent data into a CRM to help sales “shortlist” the most relevant contacts at accounts showing purchase intent. Then you can build reports to alert reps to respond to a specific prospect or drop them into a sales email cadence.
  • Prioritize accounts: Software marketers can begin orchestrating sales alignment by enlisting a few sales development reps to prioritize outbound activity that engages decision makers across the buying committee. 
  • Grow share of wallet: Use intent data to intervene early with customers at risk for churn and support renewal and upsell conversations.

Also read: How to Establish an Account-Based Marketing Strategy


4. Engage prospects with a multichannel approach

Organizations that manage more channels accomplish more marketing goals than those with fewer channels[6]

A data-driven, multichannel marketing strategy is where intent data shines, offering insight into your target accounts' preferred channels and when they’re actively in-market and ready to buy.

How intent data can boost your multichannel engagement
  • Identify preferred channels: Intent data can pinpoint the channels your key accounts frequently use to conduct research online whether its social media, email, or software comparison sites—like Capterra, Software Advice and GetApp.
  • Optimize timing: Intent data can inform you when your targets are most active or responsive, allowing you to engage them optimally across different channels.

Also watch: Launch Your ABM Strategy With Buyer Intent Data


5. Track metrics your stakeholders care about

For 42% of businesses, measuring the effectiveness of their ABM programs remains a significant hurdle[7]. This highlights a critical need for ABM marketers to deliver the right insights on campaign performance to the right stakeholders. 

Also read: 8 Key Metrics to Measure Success for Your ABM Strategy


Time to act: Ignite your ABM strategy with intent data

The power of intent data in shaping a successful ABM strategy is transformative. From accessing a data set of relevant in-market accounts that are researching your product, to closing deals faster with personalized and timely pitches, to identifying accounts at risk of churn or cross-selling opportunities, intent data helps do it all. 

Buyer Discovery taps into Gartner Digital Markets’ unparalleled volume of more than 9 million monthly B2B software buyers to uncover various opportunities for your demand generation, business development and customer success teams. 


Accelerate efficient growth with ABM

Accelerate Efficient Growth With ABM

The ultimate guide to kickstart an ABM program with intent data.

Shubham Gupta

Shubham Gupta is a Content Writer at Gartner Digital Markets who ideates and creates purpose-driven content to help modern technology businesses achieve their goals. Outside of work, he enjoys reading thriller novels and Urdu poetry, as well as spending time with his dog. Connect with Shubham on LinkedIn.



  1. Account-Based Marketing Program Template, Gartner
  2. Tech Marketing Benchmarks Survey 2022: Target Segmentation Insights, Gartner
  3. Tech Marketing Benchmarks Survey 2022: Account-Based Marketing Insights, Gartner
  4. What Digital Marketing Leaders Need to Know About Personalization, Gartner
  5. What Tech CEOs Must Know Before Implementing Account-Based Marketing, Gartner
  6. 2023 Multichannel Marketing Survey: How the Number of Marketing Channels Impacts Success, Gartner
  7. Measure ABM Impact in Comparison to Traditional Demand Generation to Improve Success, Gartner


Get the Gartner Digital Markets Newsletter

We value your privacy. By submitting this form, you agree we may use your information in accordance with the terms of the Gartner Digital Markets Privacy Policy.

Connect. Convert. Thrive.

Connect to millions of in-market software buyers around the globe with our all-encompassing suite of marketing services.